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We have more than 300 emails for camp alumni, but over the last couple of years some of you have moved or changed your email accounts.

Please send your new email and emails of other alumni to so that we can update our list of camp alumni.

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And don't be bashful. It's OK to comment. Really. It's OK.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Familiar faces

More than a year ago I got an email out of the blue from a writer in Britain basically asking if she could have Kelly Hardwick.

Or more accurately, a photo of him:

Dear Mr Owen and/or somebody in Alumni/Archives at Camp Stephens:
I found your article on the Camp Stephen's web page from 2008 re: Kelly Hardwick's Left Hand. 
There is a photograph accompanying the story of Dr Hardwick etc. in a canoe on the river. 
The reason I am writing is because I have authored a book which will be published by Seren Press in the United Kingdom next Spring 2014 and I would absolutely love to reproduce with permission from Dr Hardwick, The Camp Stephens archive, and the photographer, to use the photo as the cover for the book.
It is a full-length text, fiction, about kids on the Susquehanna River in southeast Pennsylvania, USA in the mid-1970s.
If you could please let me know if it would be possible to obtain permission/rights/release to use the photograph I would be very grateful. 
Thank you very much.
Sincerely Yours,

Karen Fielding

This is the photo she spotted while reading this blog, specifically this 2010 post: The Left Hand of Kelly Hardwick. It's the story of what happened to him during the 1976 six-week trip as told by him and the other participants.

I replied to Fielding:

Are you sure it's the same Kelly Hardwick?

Her reply: 

I think so.

She sent me the photo from the blog and I identified the two people in the centre of the photo; Kelly Hardwick walking a canoe with an injured John Maclean seated inside.

The photo was taken by tripper Neil Robinson, so I replied to Fielding he was the best person to ask for permission.

Thanks so much!  I shall try to contact him. 

P.S.  i went to summer camp in the pocono mountains in pennsylvania and used to go on overnight canoe trips down the delaware river...but six weeks on the river? -- canadians are amazing!!

Neil gave permission (obviously).

Fielding replied:

Your wonderful photo really captures the essence and spirit of the time.  And of course you would be given the photo credit...!!

I read the story online and was really amazed, actually.  Kelly must have been in excruciating pain. And far from the world except probably bears that would like you for a tasty snack. 

Now that the book is published, Robinson says in a recent email he and Hardwick are arranging a get-together.

Kelly and I are trying to get together as I have a copy of the book for him. Apparently, I am now acting as his agent for all present and future engagements.

American Sycamore is available online at Goodreads and Amazon.