It was that great summer of 1953 when Jerry and I pulled some way out program stunts that thrilled the campers and gave Rolf Nielsen, the Kunatah Director a major ulcer. One in particular was Jerry Gordon's "death".
It was his day off and he was out of camp. So we started a rumor that he was sick. As the day progressed, we reported that he was in the Narrowsburg hospital. (Narrowsburg doesn't have a hospital.) Then reports that he was failing fast. And by suppertime that he died. We even built a mock coffin and displayed it on the ballfield. Rolf asked how we planned on having Jerry back at his SM job the next day.
That night was the OA tap-out and Jerry was the one planned to do the tapping. After he got into his regalia, we applied heavy grease paint (black/white) to each half of his face and with the hair roach, he was almost unrecognizeable. Almost. While he was running around doing the tapping, a buzzing arose from some in the circle of Scouts. "Its Jerry Gordon...". "Can't be; he's dead...". "Must be his ghost...". After the tap-out and with his makeup removed, those not in on the program realized that they've been had.
Another time just before the dinner meal we hid all of the Kunatah Scouts in the woods up by the rifle range and sent a Scout to the dining hall with a message for Rolf: "Come find us!" By 7 PM there was no response so we returned to the dining hall but were told by Rolf that supper was over. So back at the campsites, trunks were opened and the kids pigged out on their Care packages. Harvey Smith, hearing that the Kunatah Campers weren't fed, ordered the kitchen opened. It was around 10 PM. A long night.
Jerry Gordon is very much alive and well and living in Florida. He'll be at the Feb. 11 Bird Walk. Will you?