Hello Mommy, Here I Am At Camp Salami!
t was the summer of 1961, and
time I ate an entire kosher salami in
I was among the throngs of kids
one sitting. It had been leftover from
who filled the parking lot of the
a canoe trip. A decade would pass
Royal Theater on Seven Mile, prepar-
before I could look at another salami
ing for the journey north to Camp
without getting nauseated. On another
Tanuga in Kalkaska. The
occasion, I commandeered
bus engines roared, sig-
and downed a 1-gallon can of
naling time for last-min-
peaches. And then my older
ute hugs and instructions
brother Hal, a counselor,
would smuggle Murdock's
Teary-eyed, I kept
Fudge into my bunk under
thinking to myself, what
the veil of darkness. This
could I have possibly
brazen act of insubordination
done wrong by age 6 that
went against Tanuga's strictly
convinced my parents to
enforced "No Candy Rule." He
send me away to overnight
that blood is thicker
camp for two months?
Was there a little-known
Ironically, the only diges-
problem I experienced
shall send your children
at camp didn't involve food,
unto the hinterlands
but two marbles. As part of a
every summer to giveth thy parents a
"magic trick:' I hid the marbles in my
mouth and challenged my counselor
It took less than a day at Camp
to guess where they had disappeared.
Tanuga that first year to realize that it
I accidentally swallowed them. Yes, I
wasn't a punishment, but the begin-
wasn't even 10 years old, and I had
ning of a ritual of unending fun that
already "lost my marbles." They rattled
would create a lifetime of memories.
around in me like a pinball machine
Make no mistake, I was a "differ-
until a day later when they "reap-
ent" type of camper. Sure, I enjoyed
peared." Ta da!
water-skiing, arts and crafts, and
As the old adage goes, tragedy plus
baseball, but you'd be hard-pressed to
time is comedy. I could fill pages with
find another kid who turned his joy
the fun stuff, but inevitably it was
of eating into a camp activity. Like the the camp "traumas" I endured that
Aug. 4-10, 2011
4-10 Av 5771
instantly bring a smile to my face.
Like when my brother Mel, also a
counselor, took a day off, only to have
his friends lie and tell me he had been
drafted into the Army. Or the time our
counselors dragged us out of bed in
the middle of the night and onto the
athletic field, where they brainwashed
us into believing the silver object on
the Rec Hall roof was a Martian space-
ship! A restless night of sleep was
followed by a morning of humiliation
when we were informed the alien ves-
sel was actually just a row boat cov-
ered in aluminum foil.
Too bad the visiting camp doctor
that week was a podiatrist and not a
For all the joy that was my Camp
Tanuga experience, one of my favorite
stories actually is part of Mel's camp-
ing lore. On the last day of the eight-
week-long session one of his young
campers proudly announced: "I did it!
I wore the same pair of pajamas for
two straight months without washing
I say, big deal, let's see the kid eat an
entire salami in one sitting. Now that's
Alan Muskovitz is a writer, speaker, emcee
and voiceover talent. Visit his website at
Vol. CXXXIX, No. 26
When David Broner retired from
the family business, he didn't want
to sit back in an armchair and watch
TV "I'm a high-energy guy, I don't
like to be stagnant. I need to be
engaged in something meaningful,"
David was involved with Hebrew
Free Loan some time ago, but couldn't
invest as much time in it as he
wished while running his company.
Now he shares his energy and business
knowledge with others. "I volunteer
as a SCORE counselor, which is part
of the SBA, and I work with HFL."
As a member of the HFL Board,
David is excited about the hfl.bis
small business program, and its part-
nership with Wayne State's TechTown.
"I relate to this program, because I
was a small business guy. I know
what it's like, both what the worries
are and what the businesses can
become. When you can't get the
funding to pursue a good idea, and
then you find out there's HFL, that's
a true bonus for the community."
The Power of Recycling
Shabbat Lights / Fast Day
Points Of View
Staff Box/Phone List
Tisha b'Av: Fast begins Monday, Aug. 8, 8:44 p.m.
Fast ends Tuesday, Aug. 9, 9:30 p.m.
Shabbat: Friday, Aug. 12, 8:20 p.m.
Shabbat Ends: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9:24 p.m.
Times according to Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
Shabbat: Friday, Aug. 5, 8:30 p.m.
Shabbat Ends: Saturday, Aug. 6, 9:34 p.m.
On The Cover:
Page design, Deborah Schultz
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August 4 • 2011