July 26, 2016 by Doug Webster
A pair of recent posts chronicles the saga of discovering an old postcard on eBay that was sent home from Otter by a James “Bud” Bizzell of Ithaca. Bud was about 8 when he sent the card in 1936.
We subsequently learned that Bud died late last year and that his wife Virginia was still living, so we contacted her and got some additional information from her about her husband which we included in a second post.
Now, another link has been located, with help from Bud’s daughter Martha, who now lives in Texas. When she heard about our posting from her mother, she then went back to the individual who had put the card on eBay. I had assumed someone in the family had posted it, it turns out that card was actually in a box of things that was sold some time back in a garage sale and the new owner found the card in that box and posted it.
Martha talked with him and it turns out the box also contained some more letters Bud sent home from camp that same summer. The eBay poster sent scans of those letters to Martha and she forwarded them to me:
I am struck by how much the content of these letters bore strong similarities to the notes we all sent home as campers years later: Bugs, homesickness, fun, water, counselors and probably some more bugs. (“I am hitting bugs with one (hand) and writing with the other.”)
Our thanks again to the Bizzell family for sharing.
I just got your letter tonight. How are my two hens(?) How big are they? The bugs are awful. I am hitting the bugs with one and and writing this letter with the other. I went out in the sailboat. I like it up here….
The bug comments seem to suggest Bud was living in a tent rather than a cabin.
Next: Dear Mother. I am having a good time. This is the sail boat (and a sketch of the same.)
(Page 2) I have been riding horseback this week. I play baseball. Can you come pu (sic) and see my (sic) some time? I want to come home. The boy thro me in the water. That is whie I want to come home.
(According to Martha in a talk with her uncle (Bud’s brother), some of the older campers that year apparently took Bud’s bed down to the lake while he was sleeping and set it in the water. He was not (as the saying goes) a happy camper as a result.)
Next: Dear Mother. I have been rowing a row boad (sic) up and down our lake towing a big barge. Yes I received my copy of the Popular Science. Herbis (sic) says (he is my counselor) says I can not use American stamps here in
(page two) Canada. That is why I did not use the paper you put in the trunk.
Love to all Bud