Hal Carter, summer camp counselor 1954 and 1955

This letter was received by our Director of Development Susan Daily:

November 22, 2018

My dear friend,

Our local high school band will be playing and marching in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band makes one trip each year at Thanksgiving. Last year it was Chicago. Their uniform is black pants; white shirt with black bow tie; red vest and black sports coat. They also wear a black fedora hat with a red hat band. They wear a small red heart “stick-on” on the temple of their face. They are called “The Georgia Bridgemen” (Loundes County High School). They are very colorful, and I think they are good. I know two of the mothers who are with them: Amanda Anderson is a nurse at one of our hospitals and has two children in the band; Cari Hawley-Browm has a son playing in the band, and she is the volunteer coordinator for Halcyon Hospice for which I do volunteer work.

In Valdosta (we are 22 miles north of the Florida state line on I 75), we have two high schools: Valdosta High School which is a city school, and Lowndes County High School which is the county school. Both high schools are band crazy, and both are beautiful.

They started out on chartered buses on Sunday or Monday and spent a few days in New York City. They were able to see “Frozen” on Broadway.

This has brought back many memories for me. In 1954 an older counselor at College Settlement Farm Camp encouraged me to visit New York City on one of my off days. I was 18 years old and had barely been out of the hills of Eastern Kentucky. I stayed Friday night at the counselor’s house in Philly and a friend of his who was going to the Garment District to buy clothes for his shop picked me up early Saturday morning. He let me off in the Garment District when we got to New York City and picked me up there for the trip back to Philly. I marveled at all the sights. Of course the skyscrapers blew me away. My fondest memory was visiting the Statue of Liberty, and I was able to a go to the top of Liberty’s arm. On later trips, years later, I was only permitted to go up as far as the crown. I donated money to the refurbishing of the statue several years ago. My name is written somewhere inside the statue as a “thank you” for helping get the structure up to par. I had such a wonderful time that day. After that trip I wanted to see the world, and I did many years later.

I hope you had a successful Gala last month. I will look forward to seeing some of your photos. Thanks so much for making it possible for me to see the photos of present day College Settlement Camp. My experience there in 1954 and 1955 aided in my development as a successful school teacher and also as a successful human being. I will always be grateful to College Settlement Camp.

Take care my friend. I wanted to let you know that you are in for a treat in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade. Wishing you a happy, memorable Thanksgiving.