Jay Edwards <[email protected]
In the summer of 1952 I attended Camp Namequoit with my cousin John Bergaman. We were both from New York and joined the group from Baton Rouge at Grand Central Station. Those boys from Baton Rouge were about as alien a bunch of kids as I can remember -- totally different accents, interests and world view. That summer we fought the Civil War (pardon, Waawaa of Northern Aggression) all over again. You would have thought it was 1866! I remember that I was one of only two Northerers in a cabin of Baton Rouge boys. Now, we never paid much attention to the Civil War in school. They, on the other hand, knew the details of every single battle, and how the South had won them all. Even the names of the battles were different.
Finally, one night, their unhappiness at having to reside with two Damn Yankees came to a head, and a fight started between me and their ring-leader, a tall, red-headed boy. I was smaller and thinner, but I had had some boxing lessons in my home town in Pittsburgh, PA. The cabin Councillor stopped the fight with a promise that it would be taken up the next day. Until then, I didn't even know that Namequoit had boxing, but we entered the ring that morning with large boxing gloves but no helmets. A large crowd of cheering kids surrounding the open-air ring. We were in the middle of the second round and I began to prevail with some well placed left hooks, when suddenly the fight was called off. I was told that it was because a boy in another simultaneous match had just suffered a concussion, but I always suspected that it was because they refused to see a Baton Rouge boy get beat. Thus ended the second Civil War.
P.S. For the last 45 years, I have been a professor at LSU in Baton Rouge. Go Tigers!