Sunday, April 17, 2011

How awesome would it be to have Dar Williams around the campfire at Waukeela 90th reunion on August 26th?

Dar Williams is looking to visit camps where her fans were born.  In order to build an itinerary she's accepting submissions.  I've included a copy of what you might call my "cover letter" to Dar.  I've invited her to join the Friday night campfire on August 26th that will kick off the Waukeela Camp 90th reunion.

If you're a Waukeela girl please click here and submit a request to let Dar know how much we want her amid the pines of Waukeela.  Please list me (Jamie Foehl) as the contact.

Boom, Boom.

In the mid-nineties, I brought a Dar Williams tape to camp.  Clearly I was a fan.  I had a tape.

During “pre-camp” a few counselors were sweeping the floors to clear them of pine needles that would inevitably make their way back in as soon as campers arrived.  We don't do anything at camp without songs (either listening or singing) so I popped in the tape.

I distinctly remember the moment one of my friends paused and asked "Who is this?"  Selfishly, I was delighted.  Waukeela prohibited Walkmans.  In order to keep listening to Dar I had to get my friends on board.

A week later, I was driving with other counselors during our day off.  My car, my music.  Dar.  One of the counselors from Sweden asked “Who are Ron & Nancy?”  An hour later we nearly broke the tape deck with rewinds and fast forwards trying to figure out the words to Hallelujah.

The next day, I nearly broke the cassette making copies of it (I'm sorry - Dar wasn't available at the Camp Store and there was no i-Tunes or internet, let alone service in the woods).

We sing A LOT at camp and by summers’ end we were not only singing along with Dar, we were singing Dar.   “When I was a Boy” was the first Dar song to hit the non-denominational weekly appreciation service at Waukeela Camp for Girls.
We have a LOT of traditions at camp and Dar probably holds a record for becoming one in just eight short weeks.
Dar remained with us during the winter too (there are only two season’s in a Waukeela girl’s life – camp and not camp).  I recall leaving work two hours early to get tickets to a Dar show at the Chappaqua library the moment they went on sale.   I also recall becoming increasingly impatient with the librarian who wasn’t prepared for such a strong box office open (it was just me and she had no idea about the pre-sale).  We got to that concert before Dar (and before the library reopened, actually) and were thrilled when she waved to us from her Honda.  We were also relieved because her presence signaled we would get into the library soon to use the restroom.

During the concert Dar reminisced about a Chappaqua tradition - an annual school bus trip to Friendly’s.  The Chappaqua resident in the group visibly bounced when she learned she took the same bus as Dar. Our collective enthusiasm was such that folks in the row in front of us asked if we were related to Dar.  If only.

I’m concerned about a character limit here, but I’ll chance it with one more story.  Fifteen years later I remain an avid fan. Why else would I volunteer for the street team and hang posters Chapel Hill over the summer when temperatures are upwards of 100 degrees?  

To meet Dar, of course.

The Tuesday prior to the NC concert I found myself in the ER/ICU due to a cerebral hemorrhage.  The night of the concert I was tethered to an IV in Raleigh.  I rarely play the “brain card” (everything is fine now, so there’s not really anything to play) but if the tale of my unredeemed meet and greet/concert ticket puts Waukeela in the running for a Dar visit it’s a card that will bring joy to many, and therefore, a card well played.

2011 marks the 90th anniversary of my beloved camp.  Over a hundred of us, representing generations of campers and years of attendance (13 summers from me) will gather at camp at summers’ end.  Please consider this letter an invite.

The event starts on Friday August 26th and having Dar join us for an evening campfire would be the perfect way to kick off the celebration.

I like to take credit for introducing Dar to a generation of Waukeela Girls. 

I would love to take some credit for getting her to reunion.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

-Jamie Foehl

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