Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great Lost Loves of Camp: Eric Michaels of Camp Walden, MI

Me and my girlfriend, Wendy Wallack, Camp Walden, Summer 1991. We were both counselors and when we were not “working”, we spent a significant amount of time hanging in the Meadow (general camp meeting place and, to this day, greatest place on earth to just hang) and countless evenings at The Pines (local Cheboygan bar right by camp which has since burned down). We spent every minute together that summer much to the detriment of my responsibilities running the camp tennis program and the dozen 11 year-old boys in my charge. Days-off were our priority as we valiantly searched for perfect destinations to stay throughout Northern Michigan. This was the consummate camp relationship – intense, genuine and meaningful but inextricably short-lived given the brief nine-weeks we had at our disposal.

As is often the way with serious camp relationships, we swore to stay together when camp was over. I went back home to go to Michigan State and she returned to Indiana University. I was anxious, but comforted by the fact that one of my best friends from camp was going to Indiana as well. He promised me that he would "look out for her". He definitely did that – and a bit more. My heart was broken when she dumped me for him a few months later. What an asshole. I got over it. Eventually. He is likely still an asshole. In the words of one Mr. Kid Rock from his ballad, “All Summer Long,” the summer of 1991 has left its mark as a time which will forever "hold a spot inside my soul."

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