August 4, 2018

Summer Science VI

Summer Science I: Gordie Howe off the Ice
Summer Science II: Night of the Concave Earth
Summer Science III: Rock Hunt
Summer Science IV: Holiday Inn
Summer Science V: Science Smorgasbord

Sundays and Other Treats

On Saturday afternoons and Sundays during the five weeks of the 1965 Summer Science Program in Lakefield, we were usually free to pursue our own interests, whether they included shopping trips or movies in Peterborough, outings on the river (or around it or in it), or simply catching up on sleep, writing letters, and doing laundry.

In the cramped quarters of our dorm, Ian Graham and I catch up on correspondence or, in my case, painstakingly take the next step in constructing a Heathkit shortwave radio.

In the heavily used common room, Mike Waters and Bill Falkner ponder the angles for a critical pool shot.

Music accompanied a lot of our activities, whether it was singing folk songs around a campfire (amazing how often "Farewell to Nova Scotia" came up) or hearing raucous choruses of "House of the Rising Sun," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," or "The Wild Colonial Boy" in the hallways.

Hugh Laurence (on guitar) leading a session of campfire singing.

One special treat was a trip to Peterborough to hear the touring National Youth Orchestra of Canada. I had a particular reason for going. The principal violist, Wendy Pinkus, was from my high school, and I got a chance to meet her after the concert. My music teacher, John McDougall, was also there, spending the summer assisting the conductor, but I didn't get to see him.

Many of the program participants were talented musicians, quite capable as singers or on the piano, guitar, or bagpipes. Several took part in the Lakefield school's end-of-summer-session "Variety Night '65," which featured performers from among the summer school boys, faculty, and waitresses and other staff. "Many of the acts were funny, and some were quite good," I wrote in a letter home.

John (Call Me 'Windy') Atchison plays the bagpipes as one of Dr. Anderson's daughters dances the "Highland Fling" in the Lakefield school's variety show.

Hugh (12-String) Laurence accompanies Susan (The Original Red-Hot Scientist) Cochrane in a set of folk songs.

Sundays allowed time for outings to Peterborough, with as many as six people crowding into a taxi for the 17-mile trip from Lakefield. I made the trek twice, once in search of a missing part for the radio I was helping to build. I also made a point of viewing the famous hydraulic lift lock on the Trent Canal in Peterborough.

Peterborough Lift Lock.

Sunday afternoons allowed enough time between lunch and dinner for walks to lock 27 on the Trent Canal at Young's Point (a 10-mile round trip) and for a circumnavigation, up to Young's Point, then across to the other side of the Otonabee River, and down to the lock just below Lakefield (lock 26), and back to home base (a 12-mile trip).

Lock 27 on the Trent-Severn Waterway at Young's Point, Ontario.

Gordon Langford and Mike Waters on a Sunday afternoon jaunt, upriver to the Lock 27 on the Trent-Severn Waterway, then back on the other side of the river to the lower lock below Lakefield.

My first experience with canoeing occurred on a Sunday late in our stay in Lakefield. Ian Graham and I were in one canoe and Dave Cuthiell and Peter Kowalcyzk in the other. Neither Ian nor I had ever paddled a canoe before, and we made an amusing pair as we struggled to steer the canoe and make it move forward. We persisted and eventually made it to the lock just downriver from Lakefield.

The Otonabee River just upriver from Lakefield, Ontario.

We stopped for ice cream in Lakefield, then headed back upriver to the school, this time facing stiff currents and an impending rainstorm. We had switched partners, so paddling was a bit easier for me. But we were thoroughly soaked in the rain. Moreover, Ian's canoe capsized twice, once in the wake of a speeding motorboat and again when we were racing to the dock.

Soggy adventurers after a canoe outing: Dave Cuthiell, Peter Kowalczyk, and Ian Graham.

There were other moments of levity. Given that quite a few of us had studied Latin in school, we came up with a "table Latin" dictionary for our meals, from soup (Blandus liquidus frigidus) to grapefruit (Fructus squirtus) to steak (Immasticatus).

And there were pranks. One morning, the wake-up bell rang, and I dutifully arose, showered, dressed, and went in search of the morning newspaper, delivered daily to the common room. It wasn't there yet. Puzzled, I proceeded, with a few others, to the dining hall for breakfast, only to find that the staff was just arriving for the day. The true morning bell went off shortly afterward.

One consolation was that whoever had set off the bell had to have been up even earlier than we were awakened.

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