Thursday, January 29, 2009

kids sends kids to camp

Click on the image above to see a larger version of this page from Frost Valley Life.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Marc Hanna has made a wonderful video montage consisting of many many black-and-white photos he himself shot throughout the summer of 1995. It's on Facebook and I'm not certain those without a Facebook account can view it, but give it a try and see.

Here are some of the people who appear in the video: Adrian Gamarello, Al Filreis, Alexander Papouchis, Alexander Shalom, Alexander Warnow, Angelica Velazquez, Anne Valerio Goff, Bob Eddings, Brian Butler, Carly Einstein, Chloe Annetts, Coll Wenke, Damion Frye, Diane Sacker, Elisabeth Gordon, Elizabeth McNeil Runte, Eric Blum, Heather Constant-Eddings, Heather S Graf Noon, Janine DelGiorno, Jeff Daly, Jennifer Ostrow, Joe Elliott, Josh Gordon, Joshua Tucker, Julie Cusumano, Kate Landis, Laura Viggiano, Leah Rickman, Malik Jenkins, Mikia Eatman, Noah O'Connor, Ryan Annetts, Sara Sara Bo Bara, Theresa M. Lane.

where have you gone, lean-to?

For years and years, long past the kids in the picture had grown to be adults, this postcard was sold at the "canteen" and later "the camp store." I can only for the moment identify two people in the shot: one, at far left, a camper, is the young Pat Ricciardi. And the counselor stirring the big pot was Lynn Garrison, from somewhere down south (I assume Mississippi). Lynn was probably the VC at the time of this Devil's Hole overnight. Later he was the Program Director (I'm going to guess in '67 or '68). I'll guess that this shot was taken in '66 or '65.

Indeed it was at the Devil's Hole camp site. Today's campers and staff will immediately notice that cooking was being done here from the big pot. Not something done these days. Indeed one probably can't get such a pot to take on an overnight. (Not that I'm recommending the return of these clunkers. I ate too many bad meals from the insides of them in my time.) Since Lynn's stirring the pot we can assume that it's not merely boiled water for hot dogs. I'm guess it's either a big mess of baked beans or some kind of beef stew. About the site: these days the hole area itself - the big flume - is referred to as "Devil's Hole." The hole itself is on State of New York land. So way back, presumably in the late 50s, the camp site was built about 100 years on the camp side (to the west) of the hole, on Frost Valley property, next to a beautiful and less dangerous swimming hole and little waterfall. The whole site - the flume and hole; the camp site just to the west - was called "Devil's Hole." Now the first site is called "Brothers' Hole" and only the main hole (the real attraction) is called "Devil's Hole." Not sure why or when this name change happened. There's a cable bridge at Brothers' Hole, so one can cross and use a new-ish trail to get back to Devil's Hole. In my day there was a nice lean-to built at the camp site. It's long gone, and is a fabulous spot for a new one to be built. (Any volunteers out there wanting to re-build that old lean-to. Excellent for rainy nights out.)

Can anyone identify others in the postcard?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

radio Dave

David Scherer ("Radio Dave") is up to something on YouTube - something about some sort of somewhat unkosher project he undertook in Forest one summer - but I can't quite say what it is. Anyway, here is is, Dave's video, on YouTube: link.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

snowy trails

Just back from a gorgeously snowy and cold winter weekend. Saturday afternoon and overnight we got a new layer of powdery snow (8 inches or so), on top of the 4 inches of icy hard stuff that was already there. Perfect for cross-country skiing. Before the snow we slipped and slid along the Castle Loop trail (easy) and busted out onto the red trail that goes on past the Castle field toward the old Sawmill site, crossed the Neversink at the bridge built for logging (near the Model Forest area). At some point, breaking a new trail somewhat east of main camp, we stopped to make this recording to mark the spot.


Jake Kerr - son of Leslie Black and Doug Kerr (both of them Frost Valley lifers) - is being deployed to Afghanistan and is leaving January 14. Jake himself is a FV longtimer - having spent the earliest years of his life living there and has always felt a great love of the place. I asked him if he wanted his FV friends to have his email address, and he said yes, and added: "Getting mail is always a good thing for deployed soldiers." So here it is: If you know Jake or knew him at camp, please send him your best wishes!

Monday, January 5, 2009

ICCP '82

Here are all the international counselors from the summer of 1982:

Hanne Drachmann, Denmark
Dimitris Emmanoil, Greece
Gorm Fosdal, Denmark
Per Eric Hansen, Norway
Karen Muller, Sweden
Ruthild Raasch, Germany
Veronique Pfeiffer, Switzerland
Pamm Robilliard, Australia
Graeme Sephton, Australia
Levon Yotnakhparian, Gaza
Tom Franzkowiak, Germany
Walid Sakr, Lebanon
Jon Coates, England
Mike McNamee, Wales
Anne Wishart, England
Fiona McKeith, England

landscape a painter can love

The web site,, keeps track of new exhibits as museums and galleries. Today the site features a new show of paintings by Louis B. Sloan, who died in '08. Louis Sloan used to visit Frost Valley and one of his FV landscapes is in this exhibit and is mentioned in the article.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Louis B. Sloan (1932-2008) was a prominent figure in the Philadelphia art community. An alumnus of Fleisher Art School and PAFA, Sloan taught still-life, landscape, portrait and figure painting classes at PAFA from 1962-1997. Sloan worked in the conservation department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1961-1980.

The recipient of many prestigious awards, including, PAFA's third annual Distinguished Alumni Award and the Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, the Emily Lowe Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the James Van Der Zee Award from Philadelphia's Brandywine Workshop, Sloan also received tributes in the halls of government from Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode, and most recently on November 4, 2008, from Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

The exhibition, curated by Philadelphia art collector, Lewis Tanner Moore, will display over thirty works spanning Sloan's long career. Early works include Backyards, 1955, painted during Sloan's student days at PAFA. The painting captures a moment in his west Philadelphia neighborhood and "that glorious light that glows", indicative of Sloan's work, particularly his landscape paintings. While Sloan's cityscapes favor a more somber palette as seen in Early Streetscape and Gathering Storm over Philadelphia, c. 1961, Sloan's landscape paintings embrace brighter colors to emphasize the varying light and atmospheric conditions as seen in Moon Light, 1978 and Lifting Fog in the Poconos, 1980. Sloan's true passion was landscape painting and it is in paintings such as, "Frost Valley in the Catskills, 1995," that his great techinical skills, unique artistic vision and masterful rendering of nature are brought together.
D'Arcy Oaks saw the painting and was intrigued. Where is the painter standing? What scene is the painter painting? His guesses: "My guess: perspective is from somewhere near the water tower, looking through some of the recent trees at Wildcat. Second guess: beyond the trees is bank's hill." Anyone else have a guess?

- - -

A few weeks after posting this entry, I got this note from John Giannotti: a note about Louis Sloan, the painter of "Frost Valley in the Catskills". Lou was a delightful man who first came to FV with me in 1977 when we did our first Weekend in October painting marathons with his students from the Pennsylvania Academy and my students (and Bill Hoffman's) from Rutgers. Lou fell in love with FV at first sight. That fall was the beginning of a long association with Lou and FV. We came back dozens of times and Lou continued the tradition with his plen-air painting friends from all over the East. By the way, Chuck White loved to watch Lou paint. In fact, Chuck was in awe of him. I loved to watch Chuck watching Lou -- loved to watch that heavily lined, Marlboro man face turn all warm and fuzzy when he discovered a new color in the mountains that Lou had found for him on his canvas.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

1985 names

Some names on the 1985 summer staff:

Kirsten Albert, VC (Pokey?)
Judd Allen, Adventure staff
Connie Bartis, CIT Director
Juliet Bobrowsky, Family Camp
Jen DeMelle, C
Stuart Duff, program staff
Alice Selig Giarrusso, Adventure staff
Betsy Glick VC Windsong
Mike Hall, dining hall steward
Abby Kantrowitz, JC
Dari Litchman, JC
Preston McCollum, Iscusfa VC
Lourdes Montoro, C
Coenraad Rogmans, VC (Holland)
Todd Watson, C
Sue Yennello, Program Diretor