Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Gonna Sit at the Counselors' Table: Lennie Friedman

Another story from the long-dead past, the true tale of the origin of " I'm Gonna Sit At the Counsellors' Table." It was 1941 or 1942. I am inclined to think it was 1942. Jerri (Wachman) and I were seated in adjacent booths in the lower la. We were talking about the songs we had just sung (we sang songs infront of the mess hall before each meal, Tuck (Kate Kirby) leading). We had just sung, "I'm Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table," and we thought we could write one about the special life of a counsellor, to wit: the counsellors' table, red Hudson Bay blankets, iced tea and coffee... I forget the rest.
We heard a noise behind us, on the other side of the la. "Oh oh," we thought. "We're in trouble again!" I was frequently in trouble, dragging poor Jerri along. We said nothing to anyone.
That night at supper, someone (who?) introduced a new song, "Im Gonna Sit at the Counsellors' Table," which was rapturously received and was sung for many years. But we wrote it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lenny Kaufmann Friedman's First Story (for us)

The people I remember most were my Caravan tentmates: Pat (Spargo) Bryan, Anne (Johnson ) Cook, Ann Pfohl, and Barbara Grever, and, of course, Jerri Wachman. Here's a funny Quidnunc story. It's 1938. I am 9 years old in the Brownie Unit. One of the kitchen staff is named Helen Pick. We called her Pixie. Fast Forward. It is 1945. I am 16 and I have a part-time job in Macy's on 34 Street. Across the street in an arcade is a store called "Pick's." I go in, and there she is..Pixie. Fast forward. It is 1973. I have just been appointed to Flushing High School as Chairman of English. At the pre-school faculty meeting I am introduced to the staff, including a librarian about to retire--Helen Pick. "Pixie!" I shout, and I am 9 yearsold again.

No one would be interested in this story, but it's true. and I thought to share it with you.

Lee (Lenny) "Ajax" Price Ellis

Hi: I'm Lee Ellis, Quidnunc alum, camper and staff 1948-58.
Visited Q during my 5oth NYC HS reunion in 2004. I had heard that there had been some vandalism, but had no idea that the camp had been closed all these years. I was expecting the hustle and bustle of getting tents put up, etc. What a SHOCK! to find it not deserted, but completely removed!
Would definitely be interested in future reunions, tho I now live in CA. In 2004. I also visited ST. John's in the Wilderness. It was an unbearably HOT day - can't remember if I visited Claude's grave too. Will check my photos.
Incidentally, all of us are alumnAE of Quidnunc. I almost flunked Latin but I did learn that:
masculine singular plural
alumnus alumni
feminine alumna alumnae
plural of both males and females together: alumni
Miss Walsh would be so proud!
I'm absolutely amazed at the number of women who have the same deep feelings for Quidnunc as I. The blogspot is addictive!!
Hope to meet you at a future alumnae reunion ;)
Lee Ellis
camp name: Ajax

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lennie Kaufmann Friedmann

Hi, Kathy! I'm Lennie (Kaufmann) Friedman. I'm new at this computer stuff, and it has taken me literally months to figure out how to do this. I was at Quidnunc from 1938 to 1945, and my sister, Barbara (Bobby) was there until 1950. We both stayed all summer all those years, and we both have long and pretty accurate memories. If this reaches you, please contact me and ask me anything you want. My e-mail address is
Both of us have stories and remembrances of people up the Wazoo. You mentioned Bridgie. Of course, I remember her. Her name was Margaret Lynch; her sister, Ethel was the camp director of Brady, and they lived together in an apartment in Jackson Heights. Once, I was in their apartment, though I can't remember why. Bridgie and Tommy (Annie Sue Waldrop) became the joint directors of Quidnunc after the death of Miss Ford (That's Constance Evangeline Ford, nicknamed Gay). Miss Ford's last year was 1942, the year I was in Neppie's. I got in trouble for cutting arts and crafts and Miss Ford sat me down on the back porch of the Cabin and told me that she was seriously considering sending me home. She didn't. I think my head counsellor, Dot Lyon, intervened. Bridgie became sole director in 1943 when Tommy joined the WAVES. Tommy left Shanty Wu (Shanty Wu was an Irish Terrier) behind her and Randy (Marjorie Holm) the head counselor of Caravan took him on. 1943 was my first year in Caravan.
There are three other prople on the "do you remember list" that I knew very well. Joan (Jerri) Wachman was a camper with me for several years. She lived in Kew Gardens, and I haven't seen or heard from her sice she left Quidnunc in"45 I think. I would dearly love to know where she is. Nancy Dunham was a prentie in 1943; her sister Jean was a counsellor that year. They lived in Jackson Heights, and she went to Newtown High School, as I did. Maggie was Maggie Magenheimer, the youngest counsellor of the three in Caravan in 1943. The three were Randy (Marjorie Holm), Stevie (Lorraine Stevenson), and Maggie. And Shanty Wu.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Glo's Midnight Swim

Glo recently sent me a letter detailing a midnight swim escapade involving Flip...

"Many hot nights when the 3 of us...Cathy, Ellie, and myself...looked for mischief. The idea was to go down to the lake for a "swim" in the Brownies crib. ( I didn't know how to swim, so my buddies were kind enough to stay with me.) One night we caught sight of a lantern moving toward us-until we saw the legs in the light we didn't know it was Bridgie. Wow, did we move fast and of course she read us the riot act. That part of our evening entertainment ceased for the rest of the season. When I returned to Cleveland I received a letter from Bridgie telling me I was fired unless I shaped up. Needless to say I apologized profusely and was able to stay on. Later we found out that Flip-Jean Allen- waterfront director had squealed on us."

Linda sends new pictures

Monday, July 20, 2009

Girls in Front of the Infirmary

Thanks to Wilma Franco for this picture!