What you had to do for dinner back in the 50’s

A couple of Kieve stories and memories from William M. (Bill) Walker II (Kieve ’50 – ’56)


My father, Shelby S. Walker, attended Kieve in its first year, 1926. Subsequently, he was responsible for introducing “Uncle Don” to his older sister, Harriet, and she married Uncle Don in 1929. But this is the story of my father travelling from Birmingham, Alabama by train to Philadelphia to connect with the other boys going to Kieve. He was thirteen years old when he arrived at the old Broad Street Station in Philadelphia. Uncle Don immediately introduced him to the Koelle twins, Craig and Dick, as Shelby Walker from Birmingham, Alabama!! And the Koelle twins said, “Birmingham, Alabama, what do you eat down there?” Certainly, an interesting response to an introduction!

From the 1950 Kieve Annual.

south_glenayr_sandy_cove_1950_smlI was 8 ½ years old when I attended Kieve my first year in 1950. The story I remember most in all my years, 1950-‘56 as a camper and ’58-’59 as a councillor, occurred that year. We went on a four day camping trip to Sandy Cove. Since we were the youngest boys in camp, we were in South Glenayr and we travelled to the campsite in one of the war canoes.

About halfway through the trip, Jim Beighle, the camp director, arrived in the old motor canoe with a live chicken in a crate which was meant to be our dinner that night. Sometime later, Walter Trott, our head bunkhouse councilor and trip leader, removed the chicken from the crate and put his head on a chopping block and cut it off with an axe, and that headless chicken jumped off that block and rang right across the beach and about 10 feet into the water before it expired. The chicken was then plucked and cooked for dinner. Needless to say, it was quite a visual experience for an eight year old, and I didn’t eat much dinner that night. And one more thing about that first camping trip, for some reason we were served SPAM for over half the meals on the trip, and I have never touched it again!!!

I can say that I value my experiences at Kieve as much or more than any others in my lifetime.