by Dan Merritt
Erev Shabbat at the waterfront must certainly be engraved on everyone’s memory…some of it planned: everyone washed and scrubbed, wearing whites, a festive spirit in the air… some of it Nature’s contribution: evening’s calm on the lake, the fir trees arrayed like dark sentinels along the banks. You might catch the eagle circling over the island; you’d certainly thrill to the loons’ call from across the water.
I was new to the Camp in 1955, and new to many things that were part of the Camp experience. When, at a Shabbat Eve service, two lovely young ladies arose to sing a Bialik poem, harmonizing their beautiful voices, I was completely captivated. I recognized the words, but only because I knew them as a poem. I had never thought it could be set to music to be sung in thrilling harmony.
How many moments in our lives have combined – an exquisite natural setting, glorious music, a rapt and friendly audience – all infused with cultural and spiritual resonances?
It was an ethereal moment for me, one that has endured in my memory ever since. I acknowledge and am humbled by all of its elements– but I am particularly grateful to the two unforgettable young ladies whose talent and beauty lifted it heavenward – known to us then as Shommie Seefor and Deanna Taxman.
Memories of the 1955 season