Camp Horseshoe


After our wedding on 6/22/47, we were still attending school. Me, at University of Illinois, Navy Pier and Mom, at the Art Institute. One day, I was looking at the bulletin board outside of the main office. There was a card listing a job for a couple at a boys camp in Wisconsin. The job included room and board, plus $10/day. The job listed Horse back Riding, Tennis, Sailing, Swimming, etc. For boys only.

It sounded like fun. I told Mom about it and she thought it sounded like fun, too. So I signed us up and I got the train tickets to the camp.

When we got there, we were given a tour of the camp and a list of our duties. (What? Duties?) We had to get up at 5:30 am and go to the Mess Hall to set-up and serve breakfast to the little rich kids.

After breakfast, we had to clean up and go to our cabin to rest for an hour or so until we had to go back to the mess hall to prepare for lunch.

After setting-up and serving lunch, we had a couple of hours rest then back for the dinner set-up and serve.

(Having fun yet?)

After clean-up, we could go back to our cabin and do whatever we wanted to do. (REST). The lady in charge asked if I knew a couple of people that would like to come and help with the chores. I called my Uncle Tom and he said he would come and bring a friend.

They got there a few days later and were put to work helping us. They made a joke of the whole thing. They made friends with the baker and went to town every night for beer and fun. We went to bed for rest.

Except one evening - after clean-up - we took a sail-boat out for a sail. After about an hour, we decided to return to camp, but when I turned the boat around to return, the breeze had stopped and I had to paddle back.

It took us until after 11 :00 PM to get back. That took care of all future fun.

Into the third week, Mom said she wanted to go home. I told the camp director we would finish the week and leave. After a little haggling they agreed to our leaving, as long as Tom and Roarity would stay.

We didn't care. We were going regardless. I looked in our luggage for our return tickets which I could not find. I asked Mom if she had them. She said the staff needed them for our luggage.

I told mom we already had our luggage. (She said she didn't know). The Staff said we were only entitled to return if we stayed the whole time. They paid us for our time, which was $210.00, less taxes.

We got a ride to the bus station with our luggage. We had agreed to meet Tommy and Roarity in Green Bay and go to Lake Koshkonong together. Mom and I took a bus to Green Bay, got a cheap room for a couple of days and being short of money we started hitchhiking to Lake Koshkonong.

(We shipped our luggage to Edgertontown, next to Lake Koshkonong.

We then started hitching rides. After a few rides with local farmers in between town, we got a ride with a milk driver to Madison, Wisconsin. We spent one night in a barn sleeping in the hay.

From Madison, we got a ride to Ft. Atkinson from a young couple going to a beer party at Ft. Atkinson. (Kids drive from town to town to go to beer parties.)

This couple drove about 80 miles per hour through the back roads. They were driving so fast, I had Mom lay on the floor with me on top in case of a wreck. (A lot of good it would have done IF we HAD wrecked.)

I forgot to say I called Grandmother Patton from Green Bay to tell her we were coming, and to tell her to send my allotment check (from the Marine Corps).

When we got to Ft. Atkinson, I called Grandmother Patton to tell her where we were and could someone come and get us. She said Wally was there and he could drive there and get us.

We got to the cottage at about 9 PM and went right to bed. The next day was July 24, Mom’s 19th birthday.

Tommy got home that day and we planned a party. Gram made a cake and Tommy, Roarity and Jerry came over for cake and ice cream.


Later that night, Tommy got a bottle of Champagne (cheap) and Mom, Tommy and Roarity and I put a blanket under the tree in the front yard and light candles and started drinking the “champagne”.

After about 1/2 glass, I had to help Mom upstairs to bed. She was zonked. Tommy and I finished the alcohol and went to Maple Beach Club House for a little more. That was it. I woke with a hangover.

Happy 19th birthday, Mom!