In the early 1980’s my great aunt drove the bookmobile for the Rodman Public Library in Alliance, Ohio. Her job allowed my younger brother and I ‘backstage’ access to all the events the library held. We were allowed into the library before it opened and were permitted to stay late after the doors had been lock to the general public. If there was a book sale, we always were allowed to view the assortment the night before the event and she allowed us to pick out one book to keep, free of charge.
On one such night before a sale, I found a book, First Camping Trip, by C.B. Colby, and it instantly became my all time favorite. I fell in love with the hand-drawn illustrations showing all the things a boy should know about camping and the basic instructions on how to survive in the wilderness. After finishing each section of the book, I would immediately run out into the backyard and attempt to mimic what was being show on those pages. (The ax/knife sharping and fire starting were done under adult supervision)
This book is a piece of my childhood that I will hold onto until it is time for me to pass it along to the next generation. In the meantime you can find me in the backyard honing up on my long-handle ax skills or thatching a one-man shelter with evergreen saplings.