Special Report: “Camp Grenada”

Special Report: “Camp Grenada”
Vol: 82 Issue: 25 Friday, July 25, 2008

Last night, one of my sons phoned me with a problem. My ten-year old grandson had gone off on a two week camping trip with his friends. It wasn’t going like Jacob had evidently expected.

As Ricky explained all Jake’s various complaints about the campsite, my mental jukebox started whirring until it selected Alan Sherman’s “Camp Grenada.”

“Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda, / Here I am at Camp Grenada / Camp is very entertaining / And they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining. . . .”

“Jake’s really miserable, Dad. He told me on the phone that if we don’t come and get him, he’ll just ‘collapse’,” Rick said. “Every time he calls, his mother starts to cry . . .”

“So, what’s the problem?” I asked. “Go get him.”

“Well, I would but . .” and launched long and rambling explanation about ball joints and wheel bearings and gas prices and payday and . . .

Rick waited patiently for me to realize that my truck was much more ideally suited for the four-hour drive to Owen Sound to get Jacob. (It was filled with my gas, and came with a spare driver)

(Heavy sigh of resignation) “When do you want to go get him?”

“I went hiking with Joe Spivy / He developed poison ivy / You remember Leonard Skinner /He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.”

“Well, Dad, if its not too much trouble, how about right now?”

I have to admit, Jake isn’t exactly the camping type. Jake was born old.

At family get-togethers, while all the other kids are playing baseball or soccer, Jake likes to sit around with the men and discuss rising prices and falling wages or who should be the next one kicked off ‘American Idol’.

So I could almost hear the desperation in Jake’s voice when he was pleading with his dad to come and get him.

“All the counselors hate the waiters / And the lake has alligators / And the head coach wants no sissies / So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.”

So, last night at about seven o’clock, Rick and I climbed my truck and headed north to rescue Jacob.

I actually enjoyed it. Rick will be thirty on the first of next month — the last time he and I went on a road trip, he reminded me, was when he and I made our memorable two-man trek to New Mexico in 1991 when Rick was 12.

As we drove, Rick tried hard not to sound like a doting father, (which of course he is), explaining Jacob to me — as if I didn’t know him. (All my kids are like that with their kids. Like when I got them — they arrived as adults or something).

Rick was certain that unless we rescued Jake immediately, he’d be scarred for life. “Jake isn’t much for camping, you know.”

As Rick talked, I was having this deja vu moment about the last time I had to mount a similar midnight rescue mission to get him.

Don’t leave me out in the forest where / I might get eaten by a bear.”

The further north we got, the narrower the roads seemed, and the darker it seemed to get. Rick brought his GPS navigator. I had mine with me. Both of them were shouting directions at us from the dark.

Conflicting directions. “In 200 yards, turn right . . .” said Tom-Tom. “Go straight for five miles . . .” protested Garmin. Rick thought he knew a third, even better way. We got lost about four times on the way up. (Only three on the way back)

We got to the campsite at just after midnight. They brought Jake to the front gate, along with all his gear.

(I wasn’t sure if I was just tired, but I thought I saw the two guys that dropped Jake off high-five each other as they drove back to the campsite. I guess Jake made it known that he wanted to go home RIGHT NOW!)

Rick bounded from the truck, anticipating one of those slow-motion movie moments where a grateful Jacob would run, his little arms outstretched towards his Dad, as his Dad ran, arms outstretched towards his son, with string music rising in the background. . . .

Jake planted his feet on either side of his gear, crossed his little arms and glared at us: “What took you guys so long?”

We didn’t get home until almost six o’clock this morning.

It’s a ‘dog-ate-my-homework excuse, but that’s why this morning’s OL is coming your way this afternoon instead.

“Wait a minute, it’s stopped hailing. / Guys are swimming, guys are sailing / Playing baseball, gee that’s better / Muddah, faddah kindly disregard this letter.”

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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