Friday, October 03, 2008

Camp Iroquois

[Totally Options Prompts challenged us to revisit a place, person, or idea that was once familiar and that you haven't seen in a long time. This is what came to my mind.]


Camp Iroquois

He saw it clear and sunny,
fresh as honeysuckle vines.
The fresh air of New Hampshire
lighter than a Brooklyn summer,
even with trips to Coney Island.
Color wars and war canoes,
camp crafts and camp fires,
swimming in the lake and
hiking the nearby mountains.
And, oh! those wild strawberries
and low-bush blueberries!

The summer we looked
at colleges for me we plotted
our trip to take us nearby,
thinking we'd stop by and see
the camp, ask politely at the office
to look around, for old time's sake.
We knew we were close and finally
we stopped to buy maple syrup
and ask if they knew
where Camp Iroquois was.

It was closed, they said, but
directed us there anyway, where
we parked and wandered
into the wilderness, grown up
around crumbling foundations.
I think our hearts broke
when we found the skeletons
of the mighty war canoes,
spread wide and bleached in the sun.








[Effective 30-April-2015 I have turned off comments on this post.]

26 comments:

Stan Ski said...

Nothing lasts forever - more's the pity.

anthonynorth said...

Nostalgia shattered by its invasion of the present.
Nicely done.

sister AE said...

thanks, stan and anthony.

Sweet Talking Guy said...

I got a tingling reading this, like I had been there before. Perhaps it was the skeleton reference to the canoes. Anyhow, loved reading this.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Andy!

karen crone said...

My heart broke, too.
And longed for even the skeletons of those canoes.
Thanks for this.

sister AE said...

Thank you, Karen. Now I'm thinking I need to dig out the photo I have somewhere...

Michael said...

Revisited there myself, left feeling that something is now missing.
Michael

Anonymous said...

you caught the sense of camp iroquois. the memories still mean so much to so many.

Anonymous said...

I know this camp. Your poem brought back memories. What years were you at Iroquois?

sister AE said...

Anonymous in June - I never went there as a camper. My dad did as a kid back in probably the 1920's.

Trigger said...

Hi All- are you guys talking about Camp Iroquois in Peterborough NH? my parents owned that camp from around 1956 till 68. Rose and Leo Trigoboff. I'm Steve, the youngest (not so young any more though)!

sister AE said...

As I recall that was about where we were. The afternoon I was there was 30 years ago and I had never been there before (nor have been since). But my dad always cherished his memories of being there in the 1920's and maybe 30's. Sounds like your parents had the camp long after my dad had left the area.

toll free yip times said...

i was there for 4 summers when i was a baby...do you remember all
the music up there .. as it were only rumors...the beatles ,arlo guthrie...the band 'started there and a bit more ...even so...how you love it...the poem,though.is it the camp creation myth or inspired plus a few lines" ..i remember your dad driving his golf cart..& your mom on the lawn with candy the dog.the plays,the sports.. sounds ...my mom and dad worked there.

sister AE said...

toll free yip times - I'm afraid you may have me confused with someone else. My dad was a camper there, but years before golf carts were invented. But it sounds like you have some fond memories.

Salpert said...

Wow! My dad along with three friends purchased the camp from the Trigoboffs in 1968. Unfortunately, a winter fire in the mess hall destroyed much of the camp's equipment just one year later. They were never able to revive it... Such a shame. Such great memories even as a five year old. Was just thinking about it as I drove to Pennsylvania to see my kids at Camp Starlight.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my brother and I were at camp Iroquois from 1961 thru 1967. Some of the best memories of my life. I will always remember Nikki Trigoboff (spelling?) and his brothers, and their dad, Leo. He was this "Hoss Cartwright" kind of guy, larger than life. Oh what fun we all had. The chef, Frank, once threw a meat cleaver at one of the waiters, who just put up his tray to block it. Back then, no one back then would have thought of calling the cops. I shared a cabin with Jeff A., Robert C., Jeff G., and many others. My brother's name was Ken, and I am Andy. I had the lead in the summer of '67 in "Guys and Dolls". I was Nathan Detroit. The leading lady was Ann N. What great times!

Anonymous said...

Hi I was at the camp those years too. I was the stage hand working the curtain. My name is Brian smith. I was in a bunk with Songo and Gary and Larry and Debbie korn was there too.

Marty S. said...

I was a waiter at Camp Iroquois in 1965. My parents were friends of the owner's brother, Seymour (Trigoboff) Turner. I was in a bunk with Jeff Abrams (son of famous Brooklyn Dodger Cal Abrams), but I can't remember the names of my other bunkmates. I played a mean accordion (seriously), boogie woogie style. Still have photos from that summer. Leo (the owner) would drive us into town (Keene NH) sitting on loose wooden benches in the back of an open-air truck, swaying from side to side. There was a road sign along the way that said "Keene NH, the All-America City". We joked that was because no one in all of America had ever heard of it. Bye, Bye Birdie was the camp play that summer. They took all of us waiters and CIT's on a road trip to Mt. Snow Vermont and Tanglewood in Massachusetts. It was a great trip. I tried to visit the camp again in the 1990's, but was told that it had burned down. Lots of memories from that summer.

Marty S. said...

I was a waiter at Camp Iroquois in 1965. My parents were friend's of the owner's brother, Seymour (Trigoboff) Turner. I was in a bunk with Jeff Abrams, son of famous Brooklyn Dodger Cal Abrams. I can't remember the names of my other bunkmates. I played a mean accordion (seriously), boogie woogie style. Still play it. Bye Bye Birdie was the camp play that summer. The camp's owner, Leo, used to drive us into town (Keene NH) with us sitting on loose wooden benches in the back of an open air truck, swaying from side to side. There was a sign along the road that said, "Keene NH, the All-America City". We joked that it was the "all america city" because nobody in all of America had ever heard of it. Leo took all of us waiters and CIT's on a road trip to Mt. Snow Vermont, and Tanglewood in Massachusetts. It was a great trip. He also took us to the Pandora sweater factory in Manchester NH. I wasn't much into sweaters, though. I tried to find the camp again when I was in New Hampshire in the 1990's, but was told that it had burned down. Lots of memories from that summer.

Steve Trig said...

If anyone wants to get in touch email me at triggernyc@gmail.com
-Steve Trigoboff son of owners Rose and Lee (Trig)-
Brian Smith! I absolutely remember you!!!
and a lot of the other names sound very familiar.
btw-I carried on my dad's tradition and was a director for American Trails West teen tours after college for several summers! Now I own a bar in NYC and a restaurant in LA.
Would love to hear from you guys! Maybe we could have Color War again :)
I've visited the camp property as well. Exhilarating and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I'm the Ken that Andy talked about(above). Yes a great place. I've been there many times over the years. Nothing left to see. Can't really walk into it because people own the land and it's trespassing. Have lots of good memories of those days. Wish there was a site on facebook or something. Pictures would be great. keenyselcer.com is me.

Anonymous said...

I was the waiter Frank threw the Ax at. Lucky the tray held up. Been back again and found the property is now subdivided with a few homes. Check it out on Google maps.

Sally Turner said...

just in case anyone checks here, I am Sally, daughter of Seymour and niece of Leo. So many memories of Iroquois….. my son lives and breathes sleep away camp at 22, it is in the blood. I have a sweatshirt, two t-shirts and the swing from girls camp. Marty S. - how are you…..and your sister Susan… and the K and A, are you the seltzer boys. BrianS. - I think we are the same age and I think you dated Fran S. Steve, how are you….our cousin Sharon just found this page…..

if anyone wants to, you can email me at salnan@optonline.net or on Facebook at Sally Turner Moradoff.

sallyt said...

Hi to anyone checking back here. I am Sally, daughter of Seymour and niece of Leo. My camp memories are strong and my cousin Sharon just found this discussion. It is old but maybe someone will check back. SAlpert, don't know if your dad or friends are still alive but check in the papers, fire was suspicious, such a shame that they ended this wonderful camp. Steve, hey, how are you, I see your brothers every once in a while. K and A, the Seltzer boys, I remember you and think you knew my brothers, Keith and Erik, Brian S. I think we were the same age and you dated Fran S. also from Merrick, and Marty, such fond memories of your family, hope you and Susan and your families are good, we have you in our home movies running in Tribal War. and I believe that the cleaver was thrown and hit my cousin Joe who is Leo's son. If anyone checks back, you can email me at salnan@optonline.net or on Facebook at Sally Turner Moradoff

Jaime T said...

I went to Iroquois 1964-69. I remember the Trigoboff's...I roomed with Danny all those years, and remember Steve and Danny...Michael was my counselor..the best by far. I remember Tanglewood with BB King, The Who and Jefferson Airplane, I remember having the camp thrown out of the Peterborough theatre for our bad behavior at the movie "Zulu", the countless walks to Bonds Corner on laundry day. Some of the best times ever...Brian I remember you as well. I was there 25 years ago, walking among the ruins if you will, the basketball court all overgrown, the boathouse was still in tact with names scratched into the walls. Somewhere in the distance, I heard the wind whisper "Miles Lawrence Cavilier, that's the name we want to hear".

Peace-Jaime