Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
The gentleman in this week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt reminds me of so many men and boys captured on the film in my grandaunt Helen Killeen’s little box camera. Aunt Helen rarely labeled her photos with names, opting instead for funny little captions like
and “Terrible Five”
Recently that silly caption “Terrible Five” has taken on a whole new meaning. I was going through some photos, letters, and other memorabilia belonging to Aunt Helen and her sisters when I unfolded a typed poem glued to a heavier piece of paper, maybe a folder or large mailer. As I read it, I recognized scenes recorded in photos of a camping trip which was the focus of an earlier Sepia Saturday post.
** A triangle of paper is missing. Words in brackets represent a logical guess based on the syntax of the sentence. If no logical guess could be made with any certainty, I inserted dashes inside the brackets.
The Memorable Camping Trip
The third of July dawned bright and clear
We all left home with merry good cheer.
Going away on a camping trip
To have a good time, sure you can bet.
Lots of dancing, and things to eat
Nice place to swim, good place to sleep.
Nothing to worry about in the care of the “Terrible Five,”
Now we are lucky to be alive.
Landed at Northwest, Va., about eleven o’clock
Tired, sore and hungry, it sure was a shock.
The roads were something awful, bump, bump, bump all the way
Gee, it’s a wonder our hair didn’t turn gray.
We went in bathing to rest our poor bones
But the water [was] full of snakes, mud and stones.
About that [time] someone called,
“Dinner is [ready], come one and all.”
Everyone [ - - ] for they were starved it seemed
But what [did they] get to eat, but beans, beans, beans.
The [ - - ] under two big trees
After dinner we loafed around awhile, and went out in the canoe
For there really wasn’t anything else that we could do.
Then someone started the Victrola,
So we started to dance, and as we danced,
Someone said the country people were in a trance.
And if we did not stop, they would have us put in jail
And we would have to get someone to go [sic] our bail.
So we decided at last, to go to bed
But soon discovered there was no place to lay our weary heads.
So we stretched out on the ground under a tent
Then the wild animals their weird sounds sent.
They screeched and howelled and cooed
And scared us so bad we couldn’t move.
Somehow the night passed over
And Sunday came and went.
And we welcomed Monday, as some great event.
We left Northwest about half past two
And got bump after bump, until we nearly turned blue.
Arrived home about seven or that way
Only to discover that red bugs had come home with us to stay.
So I tell you dear friends, if you want to die
Just go on a Camping trip, with the “Terrible Five.”
The moniker “Terrible Five” must have been part of a running joke among the friends who seemed to enjoy getting together often whether at the beach or at a riverside camp. Perhaps the poem was written – AND preserved for presentation – to be read at some other gathering of “The Gang.”
Jump in – the water is fine at Sepia Saturday, and so are the photos and stories.
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.