Summer is finally here, friends, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. For me, the summer season screams (heh, get it?) horror. Sure, the Halloween season is THE season for horror, but many of us were groomed on slashers. And when is the best time for a knife-wielding maniac to attack? At summer camp, of course! As far as I can remember, Mr. Voorhees was my first killer of the sorts, what with Jason Takes Manhattan on USA, TBS, or TNT at nearly any given time of the day during my summer breaks. I also DESPISE the cold and the devil’s spit it brings with it, so there’s that.
Some of my best memories from my youth come from summer camp. I always attended a Presbyterian camp called Calvin Crest – first as a camper, then eventually as a counselor. As a late bloomer (read: not interested in girls until 8th grade; I preferred baseball cards and POGS), I remember my first experience seeing people making out in person. There I am, 12 years old, walking up to the dining hall for some water, rudely interrupting two pre-teen couples playing tonsil hockey. Having considered myself a Friday the 13th aficionado, my first thought was, “Oh they’re gonna be the first to die,” immediately followed by “OHMYGOD PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THAT?!?!” Years later, I would be the one on which a camp newbie would walk in on with the same thoughts (if they were a giant nerd like me).
Unfortunately, I had always attended a church camp. Still cool and fun, but not as cool as, say, “Camp Hope” (Heavyweights) or “Camp Arawak” (Sleepaway Camp). Kids weren’t having sex (that I was aware of), nobody was killed (that I was aware of), and the counselors weren’t showing up several days before to party (that I was aware of). But I do remember the coyotes. You see, I was a special class of nerd that went to (and counseled at) Ranch Camp. We rode horses, cleaned up their shit, ate under a lean-to, and slept in… COVERED WAGONS.
Every night we would hear a pack of coyotes come into our wagon circle and search for food (or children, I didn’t really know). I would lay on my cot in my (gulp) covered wagon and watch these cute little dogs huddle up in the middle of all the wagons, and spread out to the wagons, as if they had a plan. It was at that point I realized these things weren’t cute at all and would rip my throat out if threatened. I would then watch one or two coyotes come up to my wagon, look up the couple steps inside to see if anything was moving (I couldn’t move even if I wanted to, paralyzed with fear), and then go under the wagon and try to pull our things through the slats in the boards. After your first year of experiencing this you realized the slightest movement would scare them off, but as a 12-year-old kid, I just KNEW I would die at the fangs of a wild dog.
Luckily, I’m safe in the confines of my basement this summer, where no one can harm me (save for the spiders that sneak in). As for the podcast, summer is always a great time (having gone through… one). June looks great with guests like Patrick Kinney from Film Streams, Travis Sing aka Township & Range, and playwright Marie Schuett. Our buddy Rob Bruns will make a couple appearances as well, which are always highlights for me. Kevin’s birthday is in July, so we may do something special for that. Maybe I’ll have people call in and wish him a happy birthday. I don’t know, we’ll see. I’m always open to ideas.
Lastly, thank you for listening or reading. Whether you’ve listened to one episode, read one article or review, or you’ve been with us since the very beginning, your support means the world to me. And thank you to Firebelly Rep for sponsoring us this month. Make sure you head to firebellyrep.com for tickets to their upcoming production of “Beastiary” by our guest from episode #66, Brendon Reilly.
Have a bitchin’ summer!
Editor-In-Chief, Podcast Host