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"Reflections"
Looking back on
FNCA 1989


The 1989 session of the Assembly was notable for more © Anna Rich 2009exciting events than we can mention here. But I'd like to share a few with you.

On Outing Day the first week, a whole crowd of us went to Lincoln, New Hampshire (at the opposite end of the Kankamagus Highway) to the North Country Center for the Arts to see Andrew Schwartz perform "Juggling Through the Ages". WOW! What a show it was! He began with a caveman skit, complete with animal skin suit, unintelligible gutteral grunts and, of course, rocks. The skit ended when one of his juggling rocks bonked him on the head and knocked him out!

Andrew Schwartz continued through history, covering everything from the French Revolution to cowboys of the Great Plains, amazing the audience with a wide variety of tricks including rope twirling, plate spinning, a balancing act, and an incredible variety of juggling, from the usual balls, clubs, and torches, to some other stuff that had to be seen to be believed! Each act was performed in the appropriate costume, with funny jokes and  patter done in the appropriate accent — French, cowboy drawl, etc. This was a real family treat.

On a more lofty plain was an unusual concert which no even regular concert goers are privileged to hear [unless they were at the Assembly]. Roy Trombly, a musical history buff and one of our well-loved campers, used lecture times to complete a reproduction of an ottavino (an antique Italian keyboard instrument that's a bit like a harpsichord). The instrument itself is beautiful, and Roy's concert was indeed memorable. The subte and beautiful music, with historical commentary between numbers was a one-and-only experience. Roy's playing, his wry wit, and his impressive knowledge of music made this a very enjoyable concert.

By the time Ian Woofenden had reached the top of the towering but decaying oak tree, quite a crowd had © Ian Woofenden 2011gathered far, far below to watch this gentle man slowly, carefully, and seemingly easily back-cut, saw, lower, drop, shout, slip, catch, direct, oversee, and do everything else to remove this tree from the landscape. His work was made more difficult by the nearness of two cabins — one wrong move and a roof might have needed replacing!

The whole operation lasted at least two hours, and what a thrilling performance it was! The onlookers hung on every move, every nuance, every huge limb crashing down with a CRACK! SMASH! and SPLINTER!

Special thanks to Ian and his volunteer ground crew for a job well done. Ian spent many hours during the two weeks trimming and/or removing other trees that were potentially dangerous to buildings, too.

© Cassie Young 2009The Umptillionth Annual Banana Hunt was, once again, a delicious, nutritious, and ambitious success. Bananas, each one with the name of a camper on it, were hidden in various places in the lounge and main room. Young and old searched hopefully and excitedly until at last their bananas were found and taken to an array of ice cream and toppings for a banana split dessert.

Down at the river, campers enjoyed a wide variety of activities  — swimming, sunbathing, rope swinging, sand castle building, minnow trapping, beach combing. There were several trips down the Saco in canoes. A "Round River" trip was made by several hardy and hard-paddling folks. "Round River" is a full-day canoe trip that begins at camp and, because of the meandering nature of the Saco River, ends 28 miles downriver at Lovewell's Pond only 10 minutes' drive from camp.

And, of course, there was the Flames annual bonfire and corn boil on the beach the last Saturday night.

© Carolyn Judson 1988

Finally, the annual staff vs. Flames volleyball game! Held one afternoon before swimming time ("Sweat and then get wet" was the motto."), the game was watched by a fair-sized crowd as two rather large teams competed. The staff thought they'd knock these young whippersnapprs © Cassie Young 2009down a peg or two as in years past. And the Flames figured they had the team to show the old-timers a thing or two. Two exciting games followed. The first went to the staff. The second was a come-from-behind win by the Flames. And at that point, this reporter's memory fails: did we decide to quit while we were tied, and go swimming? Did the staff exert their obvious supremacy and go on to whomp the Flames in a third game? Or did the Flames wipe up the staff in a rousing finale? Well, as they say, you know the difference between ignorance and apathy: who knows and who cares! We all had a great time on the back field, and then went for a refreshing dip in the river. That's all that really matters.

["Reflection" 1990]

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