… and I have exchanged emails…
We live about an hour apart. I moved to California permanently in 1975. I first lived in Sacramento (1975-1980) then lived in San Francisco, Petaluma, and now live in the south part of Santa Rosa. The website is great and you even have a picture of the waiters from 1961 where I’m sitting on the right side of Milt Blatt. His son, Jerry, was my counselor and Mark Levin and I were always getting into trouble. I can close my eyes and picture almost the entire camp down to the smallest of details. My family started going there in the 1940s and my younger brother, Michael, was still going there in the early 1970s. Needless to say, we loved the place.
My younger sister, Iris, is still in touch with her friends from Bunk 16 and they will be meeting next year in the late spring or early summer for a reunion in New York.
Some camp ties never die. I’ve been friends with Jerry Solot since I was about 12 and we still see each other regularly even though he lives in Pittsburgh and I live out here.Dick Trout lives in Lancaster, PA, and I gave him a telephone call recently and he was greatly surprised. He is in his 70s and is still married to Marge. Nice guy. We had a wonderful conversation. I find it amazing that people are still so connected by a camp that ceased to exist so many years ago. Michael went up to camp several years ago and told me that the forest has taken over the place although he said the baseball field was still there and you could make out the outline of girls camp. I have a thousand memories of KCL and they were, without doubt, the greatest summers I’ve ever had. What a ton of laughs we had. How lucky we were to be there. I will try to find some old pictures to add to your site. Nice work.
Thanks for writing and letting me know about it.
Chuck Rait, Ki, double t a, t i double n y 1953 to 1961 plus one summer.
Your response is terrific. May I post your email to me on the blog? It’s perfect as is. Please let me know.
We’ve lived in the same places: San Francisco, Sacramento [I’ve eaten many a pizza at Zeldas], Santa Rosa, Sebastapool are both places I’ve lived and and/or worked in. Amazing!
You and Jerry Solot, whom I remember well, were a few years ahead of me. Two, if I remember correctly. Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with Craig Pearson, who’s had some health problems of late and, through this blog, the Berk Twins, Barbara Burton and others.
We need to have a mini reunion in California.
BTW, you confused the Blatts. An easy thing to do. Joel is whom you meant. If posting your thoughts turns out to be ok with you, I’ll edit… *I can’t wait to talk camp with you in person.*
Regards to your family.
You’re right, I did swap Jerry for Joel Blatt – we would have had much more fun with Jerry. He wrote songs for Bette Midler. My sister, Iris, spoke with Bette many years ago about Jerry. Unfortunately, he died many years ago. I “helped” him write some color war songs and he was tremendously funny and creative.
You can certainly post my email and your editing would be appreciated. Every once in awhile when I lived in New York I would run into someone from Kittatinny. Out here, never. Yes, we have invisibly crossed paths out in California. I had a great time in Sacramento and did a good deal of white water rafting around there. Loved the fact that you could wear a t-shirt and flip flops for six months out of the year. Now it seems way too crowded.
Jerry and I were a few bunks ahead of you. We are both now 63– a fact that I have trouble believing.
Somewhat related to Craig, is a story I have about something that happened a few years ago. I was having a board meeting at a hotel in Phoenix. I was then the executive director of a nursing association and we were planning to have a large conference at this hotel the coming year, so they put my name on the VIP list. During the board meeting, someone from room service brings in a silver ice bucket in which there is a purple cloth napkin and a note. I didn’t order anything so was very curious as to what this was. I opened the note and it said: “If you are the brother of Iris and Toby Rait, I think I know you.” It was signed Helen Schwartz (who married Craig). I unfolded the napkin and start laughing. In the silver ice bucket was a beautiful borsch beet! Helen and I “went” together when I was 13 and I had the worst crush in the world for her. When she started going with Craig the next summer, I wanted to kill him. I couldn’t believe she would marry him, as his nickname was “hoagy nose” back in the day. Helen and I had a wonderful time over lunch that afternoon (she worked in the sales and services department of the hotel and that is how she saw my name). Only someone who went to Kittatinny would think of sending a raw beet as an introduction. But I knew immediately who it was and what it meant the second I saw the beet.
Man, the things you remember about those summers.
A mini reunion in California would be great if you could dig up some more Kittatinnyites living out here. Have you run into anyone from KLC out here? What brought you out to California in the first place and why did you leave loverly, nuke free Sebastopol for Alameda?
You can post any part of the emails I send you as I did manage to get over Helen dumping me for Craig (almost). :-)
Chuck, Flaming Arrow 1953, Rait
Yes, Chuck, time goes very fast… I left Sebastapool to live in San Francisco when I was doing comedy in the mid 1980s. I lived on 4th and California, met my son’s mother, moved to the east bay and discovered the city of Alameda … a great place, as are the other places we both lived…
“Hoagy nose.” That makes me laugh. Great story…
I’d be delighted to put the two emails up on the blog. Please identify the names of your bunkmates in the “comments” on the blog. I’ll send you an email with a link when I get it up, as it were…