Camp Purgatory [PHIL-OSOPHY]
The curio of all novelty songs, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)" by Allan Sherman and Lou Busch, begs to be played during the COVID-19 summer of 2020. Listen to it if you're not familiar with the golden oldie or you need to refresh your memory about a true-to-life tune, based on letters of grievance and misery that Allan received from his son while attending Camp Champlain in Westport, New York.
The song may be a spoof, but it's no laughing matter that kids will have a very weird experience if they attend summer camp this season. I'm even being presumptuous that there will even be summer camp in Massachusetts because the decision whether or not to allow kids to socialize playing on teams or horse around in the water is stuck in government purgatory. Massachusetts has not laid out plans regulating camp activities yet, but the governor said he's been thinking about it and has spoken to about 20 governors about their approach that would balance safety, health and the "joys of being a kid."
In neighboring Rhode Island, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced that there will be summer camp starting June 29, but with a lot of restraints and stipulations that make the whole idea of summer camp hard to imagine. The taboos seem to outweigh the fellowship and teamwork that are the very essence of the camp experience.
The kids will definitely need a release of sorts after the closure of school and being held close to home for so long, so I suppose some kind of summer camp is better than no camp whatsoever, because, joylessly, I overheard someone talking about "virtual summer camp."
Incidentally, this year the song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
Maybe now more than ever.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.