Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1974

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin as CRCAP begins to see weird moments become everyday occurrences …]



The Happy-Go-Lucky Janie Papps starts in as director of The Daily Double. She was alleged to have enjoyed it …


During THE FREELANCE KID when they were putting the fire out that was part of the end of the play, they took blankets and tried to smother the fire. Dana Berger said, ‘Good, every spark out.’ The girl who played Judy just totally broke character and said, ‘It’s not! It’s not!’ The blankets and stage had caught fire. Maureen went running off to get some water. They eventually did put it out. Well, the next night it happened again! This time they had a fire extinguisher.”


Anne Matthies made the body puppets for THE FREELANCE KID. The frame stood on the shoulders of the person inside it. They were eight feet high. On clean-up day after the show, we were lying on the lawn when all of a sudden we saw the body puppets walking across the field and right over to the Drug Store. They went in and sat down. Those people at the Drug Store gave them what they ordered; nobody asked any questions. And then with their food they walked back across the field.”


You know how the kids get so noisy around the tent stage? Besides the obvious reason that no one will forget a President resigning, you wouldn’t have believed what it was like at Charles River. There was a TV on the ten stage and everyone was quiet. I mean, we were all there watching Nixon talking about his parents and he was crying. The whole scene was unreal. All the kids were glued to what was happening. Then, when it was over, everyone cheered. It was really weird.”


June 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1973

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin as CRCAP begins to enter its wild adolescence…]



Priscilla Dewey takes over the CRCAP Director’s Chair … Donny Ball takes over the snack bar …

The Daily One Sheet” gets a new editor, one Lisa Hardin. This move catapults publication to twice its previous output. CRCAP Director Priscilla Dewey, racking brain for name for camp newspaper, comes up with Daily Double at Suffolk Downs (her horse came in last that day).


I remember during THE SECRET GARDEN, David Glantz, who played Colin, decided to try out a trampoline the afternoon before a performance. He fell off and had to go the hospital. However, he returned to play his part, an invalid, that night.”


I remember the second year of the Tennis Tournament, 1973, my partner was Peter Dewey. That was the year I won it. That’s the year Peter won it. I got to get a trophy too. Peter had won it the year before. Peter got me the second year because it was guaranteed that we would lose. I’ll never forget it; Peter took me out in Millis. It was about 100 degrees. He ran me around the tennis court until I thought I was going to die. He taught me how to play net, he taught me how to play dirty, he taught me everything. Every time we had a chance he would drag me into the tennis courts and we would practice. We won our first match. I mean, Peter had trained me and I was so terrified of him killing me if I didn’t do well. We continued to play people and the last match was at the Morse’s tennis court the night of the cookout. We played Jessie Shepard and Tom Scott. They were the favorites; everybody hated Peter and me. We were booed and things were thrown at us. Toby [Dewey] was there making awful remarks about us. In the end, in the dark, we won. We were very unpopular. Jessie and Tom got trophies and we got salt and pepper shakers that were mine anyway.”

Peter got taken out of the Tennis Tournament. It was ridiculous. He always picked the best partners.”


The Supremes. Anne Matthies, Paulette Bowes, and Maureen McKibben were in it. Maureen was Diana Ross. They wore those little wigs. It was so weird. They sang those ooh-wah-ooh kind of songs. I think it was to ‘One Fine Day’.”



The Most Serious Voice – Charlie K. … Best Sense of Humor – Nissy Dewey … Best Stripper – Mike Herter … Best Dancer – David Alexander … Oldest Counselor – Anne Matthies … Shortest Counselor – Jeanne Sanders



Today we did not have a Noontime Show!!!!! … Instead we had a camp picnic at the Foster’s Pool. … The campers were privileged to see a tug of war fight between two teams of counselors (the rope broke three times). All the latest fashions portrayed by a frog (Debby Kronberg), a mouse (Suzy Nachman), a slug (Peter Dewey), a fly (Bicky Blanchard) and a kickboard (Mandy Hoagland), those being the flora and fauna that inhabit the poolside. … I would like to congratulate the swimming staff for keeping the pool clean today. There were only ten dead beetles (which was an improvement over a dead mouse a week ago).


The first year they swam at anybody’s pool. They’d be driving all over the countryside, driving one group or another to some pool. It was terrible. It was almost just as bad as going to the Foster’s because they’d spend three-quarters of an hour going back and forth.”

Jane Detenber drove the bus…

I had run a yellow light. I didn’t know the bus was so long. The police pulled me over with his siren going. This was right here in the center of Dover. He wouldn’t let the kids off the bus to change for the next class. He came strolling up and looked so official. But he was embarrassed when he didn’t have any tickets in his ticket book. So he had to go back to his car and radio right across the street for another cruiser to come, lights flashing, with a fresh ticket book. When we finally got back here, Jeff Nachman took the ticket for big bad Jane across to the Chief and it was torn up within twenty minutes.”



To Mrs. Dewey: Why don’t you let your hair down? -Hair Freak Dear H.F.: Because the last time I did Jeremy Hutchins said I looked like a witch.

To Boob: Are you growing a beard? Do you [dye] your hair? -from An Avid Fan Dear A.F.: (a) I prefer the windows open in the summertime. (b) Feb. 2, 1942.

To Mrs. Matthies: Why did you remove your make-up as a monster that your make-up students did? -from Curious Dear Curious: With the make-up I was a sex symbol. So I decided to take it off and return to normal.

They made Anne Matthies up as a monster with hair all over her and a chain around her neck. They took her over and put her in the lock-up; the Police had come and arrested her! The kids just loved it as the Police led her down the street.”



Yes, folks, due to summer difficulties Arny will have to leave today. But he will be back on Friday to see PRIDE OF THE YUKON. He will also be back on Thursday to pick up his ceramics. Arny’s real name is….. D.A. Zakon!!!



NEEDED: One pair of size 5 cowboy boots for Prune Pit Bailey. See Lindy if you’ve got them.



For sale: Two slightly used tennis balls. See Anne Matthies.

The day of Anne’s striptease I think every retired teacher from the Charles River School came over to see what the summer program was like. With the Uncensored Noontime Programs, who knows what will happen? It was just unbelievable. The kids didn’t know whether Anne was serious or funny or what it was all about. It was done to ‘Let Me Entertain You’. She threw out these tennis balls, hundreds of them. She had on the most marvelous array of funny things, layers of costumes.”



In addition to Eve Baltzel needing those white sheets, WCRS, our award-winning radio station NEEDS YOUR RECORDS!! If you don’t want to hear THE DUELING BANJOS all day, bring in your favorite records to be played by our expert DJs.



A yearbook is going to be printed at the end of the summer, containing the best pictures from the whole summer. If you would like a copy, you must pay in advance. Please bring a dollar ($1) and this coupon to the office. The book will be mailed to you in September or October.



The good ship, Provincetown, carried a soggy collection of the most distinguished listeners ever afloat. Dramamine flew as they assembled in the music salon to cock their ears to the liquid tones of our very own celebrated flautist, Maureen McKibben, flanked by virtuoso friends on cello and harpsichord. … Selections by ancient classicists were upstaged by hum-along pop-tunes such as “Pipeline” whose author was hailed by the clamoring stars and artists on board. -by Priscilla Dewey (portside)

It was the late cruise on a really rainy night. The Charles River people, of course, took over the boat. It was the first time the entire staff got together. There were no cookouts then. The harpsichord was from Herz, Herz Rent-A-Harpsichord.”



Starting at 9:00 on Friday night / There will be a groovy hop that’ll be out of sight!

You can boogie and rock ’til the night turns light / And there’ll be lots of food for you to bite.

You can stamp your feet and wiggle your hips / And to top it off you can lick your lips

With delicious drink / That makes your head clink / And your cheeks turn pink.

At this bash dress like a greaser / Bring your bobby socks and you’ll sure be a pleaser.

So get ready to rock, babe, and get ready to roll / ‘Cause you’ll be in for a good Cajole*. (*hoochie koochie)

-by Lou Hurwitz (15) and friend

June 17, 2019 Posted by | CRCAP | Leave a comment

Charles River Tent Flaps: 1972

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). We begin as CRCAP begins to get noticed …]



The summer of the infamous sleep-overs…the Playwriting Contest yields PRIDE OF THE YUKON…Peter Dewey is transformed into Mick Jagger…


After the tennis bubble deflated, they used the tennis court the way it was. In 1972, they added another tennis court and put that whole thing together with the swimming pool.”

‘I couldn’t believe it last August when the tent blew down after making it all through summer. What a disaster,’ said Meg Vaillencourt of Westwood, who was a member of the cast of the Charles River School Creative Arts Program musical version of PETER PAN…

On weekends during February and March the young people in the cast have been touring with the show, to raise funds for a new tent for the 1972 summer theatre in Dover.” -Westwood Press 3/29/72

They also did a videotape of it for Channel 5 which they still show on JABBERWOCKY.”

I always know when they show the videotapes of PETER PAN and RIP’S NEW WRINKLE. I get fifty calls that day from people wanting to get their kids in here. The PR is built right into it, Eric Matthies and Sheryl Stevens saying, ‘Come to Charles River!’”

Hank Sparks designed the new Festival Theatre which was where the stage is now. Elsom rented it to outside theatre groups. The first was actually OLIVER! Which Elsom directed. Anne Matthies was Nancy, Tom Scott was Bill Sikes, Frank Foster was Oliver. I got the pit together: Paulette Bowes, Bob Johnson, Margaret Johnson, Ron Haroutunian, Anita Asher. Bill Maxwell played the piano. Elsom asked me to head the Music Department. I had to hire people who could teach and also double as the pit for the shows. We worked very hard. The Music Department, Technical Theatre, and Make-up were involved in Festival Theatre. Everyone else would go home after camp. We would stay, eat dinner, then go rehearse. We also played the camp shows, KING ARTHUR’S KNIGHTS AND DAZE and RIP’S NEW WRINKLE.”

I was here a lot the first two years but just writing musicals. The third year, I wrote PR for Elsom. I wrote about three press releases every week and a syndicated column for about 22 papers on the arts. I interviewed people like Walter Kerr, Stephen Sondheim, Billy Friedkin. Always at the end it was tied in: ‘You too can be a Billy Friedkin! You can come to Charles River and make your own films just like he does!’ I did columns on some of the kids who came to camp, Dana Berger and Frank Foster. I also wrote about the boys choir and the shows Elsom paid to perform here.”

We thought it would be great to have smoke coming out of the stage when Guenevere was burning so I drilled four holws in the stage and Katy Hutchins and I [Anne Matthies] sat there and blew cigarette smoke through the holes. Of course, you couldn’t see it at all from the audience. It was really funny because Katy and I were trying to give up smoking.”





That Performing Telephone rang all the time. It was in a little room upstairs. But it got lines crossed all over Dover. Everyone in town would pick up their phone and hear it. Finally they were forced to stop it.”

June 13, 2019 Posted by | CRCAP | Leave a comment