Tributes to Ben Kimball and Camp Dry-Kye
Plucking the Chickens with Ben
By Martin L. Gerson
I think my years at Dry Kye were about 1950 and 1951 or so.....
On my second summer, Ben had arranged for the neighboring Farmer/Landlord to add a few chickens to his flock, to grow for the Camp.
And then came the "Harvest" ... The Farmer expected Ben to do the slaughter.
So one morning, Ben and three or four of us proceeded to farmer's the hen-house. Ben had decided to do it pre-breakfast (on an empty stomach). The Farmer gave Ben two minutes of instructions... And Ben then took over.
Ben knew Opera ... but Ben was not too great at chicken-slaughter. While I don't remember the gory details (and you don't need to hear them anyway), Ben was not proficient at the task ... It was a mess, he had to "double Dip" on a number of occasions. Our job was easy; pluck the feathers of the dead chickens.
By the end of the task, Ben was ghastly white.
We returned to Camp, proceeded to the kitchen "for breakfast". Ben promptly took down five glasses, opened the scotch, and poured all of us a drink. (I think Ben's was a bit larger than the campers') ... afterwards, we did eat breakfast.
Addition from Don Bloch: A memory recalled from my first year at camp--1952: My mother was not the most creative cook. When she made spaghetti for my brother and me [my father would not eat the stuff], she served it without sauce. Therefore, we were reduced to using ketchup for "sauce".
The first time that spaghetti was served to me at Dry-Kye, a sauce made with pride and care by Ben was in the chow line right after the pot of spaghetti. I asked for ketchup and sat down with my plate of plain spaghetti.
Within a minute Ben appeared from the kitchen with what must have been a five gallon bucket of ketchup, yelled "who asked for ketchup", walked up to my seat, slammed the bucket down in front of me and announced to everyone in the dining room that he was never laboring over home made sauce again and that if someone stood up his sauce for ketchup, everyone would get ketchup the next time. That was my first step towards gourmet eating.