I met Melvin Drazor at Ray Meyer’s basketball camp when I was 15. Actually we met in the parking lot of the Bunny Hutch, waiting to board the bus, to take us to camp. His parents were not sure they should put their only child on a bus to the Northwoods of Wisconsin without a claim check of some sort, so they were introducing themselves to anyone who would listen. Melvin’s parents never went to camp, and were concerned their son would be eaten by a bear or something. My parents gave them our phone number, but I don’t know what good that did. If he was eaten by a bear, I surely would have written home about it, but what were my parents supposed to do? “Mrs. Drazor, this is Scott’s mom. We received a letter from camp saying your son was devoured by a bear. I’m so sorry. You might want to call up there. What’s that? Yes there was a date on his letter. Here it is…. 8 days ago”
Even that wouldn’t have done much good. There purposely were no phones at the camp, so the homesick boys couldn’t call home. It was one of the first things we were told upon arrival. Don’t ask to call home. The only phone was at the Meyer residence, down by the lake, and you better not go there. Stay with your counselor at all times, even if you’re experiencing abdominal cramps or heat stroke, stay with your counselor. He knew where there was a water fountain.
Like several other things that weren’t in the brochure, we hadn’t been told there was a canteen, so many of us new guys hadn’t brought any money. Besides being able to buy candy, because we liked candy, it would have helped sustain us. The food was lousy. I never ate so much peanut butter and jelly. I started calling my new friend, Fun, after we teamed up to get some cash for candy.
There was a kid in our cabin that unfortunately looked like Eddie Munster. Someone got the bright idea to draw a beard on Eddie while he slept. The plan was to keep him from knowing that it was there, until he reached the mess hall. There was no chance of him seeing himself in a mirror, because there weren’t any. It was a mean thing to do, but we woke up the next day, and since everyone was in on it except Eddie, we acted like the beard wasn’t there until the guys outside our cabin saw him. Even then, the poor guy didn’t know why there was pointing and laughing, until someone told him.
After the dust settled, some of the guys with cash, threw out a dare. $10 to anyone else who allowed a beard to be drawn on for an entire day. There was no reason to specify a timeframe. All we had was a permanent black marker. Drazor approached me to do it but I was fearful that the marker wouldn’t come off. That concern diminished when he convinced the swells in three other cabins to do the same. $40 bought us a lot of loot and earned him the name Fun. It didn’t have the impact that the darers had hoped for, because Eddie endured the brunt of the ridicule.
Fun Drazor and I never returned to Coach Meyer’s camp. But somehow I still enjoy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.