Bob Goodman

Bob Goodman, Class of 1958

Camp Dunbar, 1957

This trip down memory lane is in response to a suggestion by [department chair] Richard Kobe. A part of his suggestion was to include photographs, which would have been possible if a fire 13 years ago had not taken all of them to that great darkroom in the sky. A sad statement from one that has spent a lifetime in the field of commercial photography concurrently with a career in public land management.

These will be random thoughts, as obviously any sense of chronology is long gone.

At this point, kindly listen to a grinding sound emanating from memory gears slowly beginning to turn.

Ah, yes, the summer of 1957. Among many other memories, this was a summer of dust. Local in nature, this dust would fill my 1949 Chev four-door sedan entering through the gaping hole caused by rusted floorboards in the rear. My car was the last one chosen for a trip to the Soo Locks, or anywhere else.

The cabin I was assigned upon arrival was an upgrade to the tents I had spent the previous two summers with the Forest Service in north Idaho. Our view of the St. Mary's River and the passing lake freighters is indelible. Before regulations set in for scuba diving, I already had my tank and single-line regulator, mask and fins, so off to the river.

I do recall our living entomology awareness came in the frequent visitations of mosquitoes large enough to have individual tail numbers. Our hope was that our blood production rate was greater than loss to the mosquitoes in order to survive the summer. Entering and leaving our cabin became an art form to do so quickly, leaving the door open for a minimum time.

The public recreation management tour across the UP in the stock truck made my dusty Chevrolet more tolerable. Our stops along the way helped infuse local economies with cash, and us with some fun nights. It served as an eye opener to many facets of public land use some of us were not aware of before, and was helpful in my career when I was responsible for recreation uses on the districts I served with.

One weekend a couple of us were headed somewhere in my Chev along a dirt road, when we came upon a young woman trying to change a flat. She was, as I recall, quite alluring, and when we finished changing her tire and putting things back in order, I threw my star wrench into her trunk, and off she drove. Damn!

I don't recall which courses were taught at Dunbar, but what I do remember is the field surveying course, which served me well for many years into my professional life. The huge event of this course was setting up the staff compass near the camp one day, and I suspect it was my professional black suspenders that caught the attention of a guest. Well, yes, a female guest. Turned out we dated for the ensuing senior year.

I had a lot of experience in the woods, even before the two previous summers with the Forest Service, so the logging class was a breeze. It was during this course it became obvious we do not excel in all things. As in, those at the academic top of the class at East Lansing, did not fare that well in the field exercises.

Having lived off-campus following freshman year, the consistently good meals at Dunbar proved a life saver. I know they were good meals because I didn't have to prepare them or do the dishes. Life was good.

The only real drawback to the summer session was not being able to work to earn a living. For some of us paying our own tuition, and for me also out-of-state, the busy 1956 fire season carried me through when Fall fees were due. My campus job kicked in upon returning to campus, so all ended well.

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