IT'S COOLER BY THE LAKE

We found ourselves this weekend visiting friends in the northwest corner of Connecticut, and were pleasantly surprised to discover how much Litchfield County resembles Tuscany. As it happens - and we swear it was strictly a coincidence - the Times Escapes section also visited the region on Friday.

AMERICAN HISTORY THE WAY IT OUGHTTA BE

1210 A co-worker forwarded this site to us the other day. Apparently a New Hampshire-based cartoonist has produced a long-running strip in which the statue of Revolutionary War-era Brigadier General John Stark relates his heroic exploits at the Battle of Bennington. Stark argues that his success led directly to the defeat of the British. The strip's conceit, and Stark's argument, hold up remarkably well. Not for children, but well worth a look.

NOTES (AND NOTES, AND NOTES) ON CAMP

Slate last week offered a package of articles on the American sleepaway camp tradition. Since our own experiences as a camp counselor were as positive as our experiences as a camper were negative, we identified most with Seth Stevenson's "Minor Gods: Why Camp Is for the Counselors," in which he reports:

. . . . A few kids, though, started to buy what I was selling. They'd break up cliques on their own, and they'd take the shy kids under their wings. When I saw small triumphs like this, I felt like Gandhi and John Lennon rolled into one. It was a soul-thrilling feeling. . . .

I remember the first time I got a night off that summer in Maine. A group of us counselors drove out to the one little pub in town, and we got drunk and played pool all night, relishing our time away from the kiddies. It was fun. But we soon realized we weren't Gandhi in that pub. . . .

After that, on our nights off we mostly just sat on the empty dock in the moonlight, our bare feet dangling in the water.

Sounds about right.

July 24, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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