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Old 11-20-2003, 10:53 AM   #1
Michael Ohlstein
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Location: Old Brookville, NY
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Resurfaced Memory

For many years I've had a paper bag which contains a small number of M80 'firecrackers'. I had them in my parents house, I moved them in and out of many apartments during my years at college. I've moved them five times since coming back to Long Island in the late 80's.

I could never exactly remember where I had picked them up. I'd had them for so long that they simply became part of my inventory. My best guess was that I must have picked them up at 'South of the Border', during some Hunter Thompson inspired road trip to spend winter recess 1976 in Florida. In fact, there were three guys on that trip who were in pioneers with me in 1972. We had been thrown out of a hotel for lighting fireworks off of a balcony. We had a particularly 'colorful' visit to Disney. We got booted out of the last camp site in the only camp ground on Key West at 1:00 AM. It seemed quite likely that the M80's were left over from that trip.

Last week I was in touch with another old camp friend who mentioned that within the last two years he had finally disposed of the last of his share of the M80's. That threw me for a little bit of a loop, because he hadn't been on the trip to Florida.

We started to talk about it a little more, and with some input from yet another former camper, came up with the following.

In unit V in 1971 (the same year as the rubber cement peace sign fire), a box of M80's had been confiscated from a camper. A day or two later, that box disappeared from the unit shack. Now that the statute of limitations has run out, I have to admit that I participated in the heist.

There were quite a few of them, and my coconspirators and I really didn't know what to do with them. At least one or two wound up going off in the lake, in the middle of the night. A few of us sneaked out after the O.D.'s had gone to sleep. Using no flashlights, we hiked into the woods behind unit V, then behind the girls bunks in unit II, and then out onto the dam. We lit a couple of the M80's, and tossed them into the lake. The explosions were a little more powerful than we were prepared for.

A little freaked out, we scrammed through the woods, in the dark, back to unit V and the safety of our bunks. The next morning, a few dead fish washed up on the shore.

And we never got caught.

I'm guessing that more of these things will come back to me, but there must be others of you who have stories to tell....
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:47 PM   #2
Steve Sturm
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As I remember it...the 1/2 gross box of M-80's was left 'unguarded' in the Unit Shack. Several of us innocent, nice boys from Bunk 95 felt it necessary to 'distribute the wealth'. I admit to taking 5-10 of them, 2 of which (my oldest souvenirs from Narrowsburg) remained in my house until last year when I disposed of them in a 5 gallon bucket of old latex paint.

As Spider acknowledges, we had a certain fascination with the waterproof fuses and underwater explosions.
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Old 08-08-2005, 05:07 PM   #3
David Fried
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