In 1984, I spent the summer on the Camp Pendalouan staff in Montague, Michigan. In addition to leading songs about the great ship Titanic around the campfire, walking through quaking bogs and marshes full of mud, swimming every day in Big Blue Lake, I found myself teaching sailing and minding various cabins full of kids.
I did the same again in the spring and summer of 1985, except this time I taught "nature lore", which basically meant we walked around the camp grounds to see what grew there, made tea from sassafras trees, and watched snakes eats the frogs and toads we caught around Big Blue Lake. Great stuff.
I still say it was the best job I ever had.
This guy, Eddie Boersma, was on the staff, too. He was always the guy with the camera, either still or Super 8, recording memories of the summer. He was 70 or so when I worked there, and like most of the staff, we became friends.
Last year, at the age of 97, Eddie passed away. When I learned that he had worked at Pendalouan pretty much until his final days, and that he had been there since the 1920s(!!), I was gobsmacked. And kinda jealous. Eddie spent his days doing what he loved, and wow what a mark he left on the thousands of kids who met him over the 70 years at camp.
My boss at the camp back in the day was a guy named Daryl. Daryl posted the news about Eddie on Facebook, and let the community know that there was a Eddie Boersma Memorial Fund being established in his memory, with the intent of helping kids get their most of their Pendalouan experience.
Having more time than money, I thought it would be a good idea to do a fund-raising print. Daryl thought so too. So I got to work. I started with this flag, which I won on an e-bay auction a few years ago, trolling through the offerings looking for bits of nostalgia. I think the pennant dates to the 1940s, and probably one just like it hung on Eddie's wall at the time:
Instead of the Y logo, I used the picture of Eddie above, which Daryl sent to me, and incorporated into the design.
I think I was able to capture his likeness :) I really like the simplicity of the print, and am excited to get it into Daryl's hands for his fund-raising efforts. I made a special one, number 1 of 40, for an auction.
And here is the final result:
I am really honored that I got the chance to contribute to the memory of such a memorable man.