Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Couple

The longer I live, the more I realize how blessed I was to have the parents I did. There were things we could count on; traditions, expectations, requirements. These constants made my life as a child manageable. While I have come to admire spontaneity, I wasn't big on surprises as a kid. I liked to know the order of events in my life. One of my favorite constants was camp and by that I mean church camp, which now seems an odd thing to call it. For a number of years, my father was the director of Nebraska Youth Camp, a two week get together for mainly, but not exclusively, kids from churches of Christ in the Cornhusker State. Dad loved it; so did Mom who also was part of the staff. I always felt her job description should have included staying on my back all the time but she was the best. That fortnight was something I looked forward to annually and I forged lasting friendships and everlasting memories. The camp still is going strong since its inception in 1958, I believe. Some things have changed. NYC, located on Interstate 75 east of Kearney, now has a Facebook page where you can daily keep up with the sessions! I got a chuckle several days ago as a fire broke out over the wooded grounds threatening a calamity.... but it was extinguished. I smiled. Dad did the same thing decades ago one afternoon and was extremely embarrassed, especially when the campers substituted his name for Miss O'Leary in that ditty about the great Chicago fire of...... well, a long time back!

And the longer I live, I realize there have always been certain people in my life, non relatives who are quasi-family simply by their presence in so many junctures of my adolescence. Last night, on the NYC Facebook page, there was a poignant shot of an older couple walking hand-in-hand through the campground. But it wasn't just any couple; it was Harold and Deena Tandy. I never knew camp without them. My guess is they were there every day I was ever at NYC in some capacity of the staff. I even remember them before they got married! They lived in York as I did and I saw them at worship/Bible study three times per week. They worked at York College and were friends with my folks. And somehow, they were interwoven into every memory of the roughly 4 % of the calendar year which camp occupied. When my father died, my brother Scott put Dad's pictures onto a disc and sent out copies to the siblings. Sprinkled among the family photographs were about thirty pictures of camp. The shot at the beginning of this page is one of them. And there, at the top right corner of the photo, is Harold in the hat with Deena dressed in yellow standing right beside him. My guess is that it was the latter part of the 1960's and it isn't inconceivable it could have been taken fifty years ago today. That would make it a Golden Anniversary of sorts if you want to use your imagination like we all did when were little. I am guessing NYC would have survived all these years if it wasn't for Deena and Harold but it would not have been the same. The lives they impacted for the Lord is incalculable this side of eternity but I'm sure the numbers have been run in the place where it matters the most. You know, my recollections about them aren't all that specific except for this: they were faithful to that cause and purpose longer than anybody. They mattered because they were a constant for me. I haven't seen the Tandys since 1983- funny how I can remember that tiny piece of data. But when those happy times run through my mind like an old 8 mm film, Harold and Deena still play their summer time roles flawlessly. And unlike the rest of us, they haven't aged a bit.

Applicable quote of the day:
"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
Martin Luther

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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