Wow! This year we are celebrating Yawgoog’s 100th Anniversary and where does my mind go? Yup! Directly to Gus Anthony! It doesn’t take much because I think of him often, very often, as I still work at the place he loved so much – the Narragansett Council and Camp Yawgoog. He is everywhere I go and everywhere I look.
Today, you will read a story about Gus. A story from one of our Alumni Members who, too, thinks about Gus, Chief and Yawgoog often. Gwen, Gus’ daughter, sent me this letter as she thought Bill wouldn’t mind me sharing it with everyone… so Bill Dwyer… thank you for letting us use your letter, and most of all thank you for the letter!
Dear Gus & Martha, August 5, 1980
There I sat watching the sea roll in at the New Jersey Shore. We were on vacation for a week and my oldest son, Bill (now a junior at the University of Notre Dame) arrived from a visit with my Mom in Rhode Island. With him, he had a newspaper article about a gentleman which I often think about.
Yes, Gus, Chief and Yawgoog bring back many memories starting with my first day at Yawgoog in 1949. I was 12 and a “rookie” struggling across Tim O’Neill Field with my knapsack on my back and an old leather suitcase which probably weighed more than I did. The others had gone ahead to Camp “Sequan” but told me the general direction. I stopped to rest, tired and alone in the middle of the field. I remember it vividly. Did I really want to be there? Would I have fun? It was hot! I wanted immediately to go home! Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Go back and take the bus to Providence before it leaves. No cars here and I’ll have to walk everywhere. Where’s “Sequan”? Probably at the end of the World.
My thoughts were many during this short rest. Daydreaming, I guess. Then I saw what I thought was unbelievable. An old, old, old car coming straight at me. It went off the road and straight toward me. “My God, he’s going to kill me”, I thought. No, he stopped and this fellow said, “Hi Scout, I’m Gus Anthony”. “Where ya goin?” Thus began about 15 glorious fun filled, adventurous years at Camp Yawgoog as Scout, ASM, SM & Staff Member. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was probably another “good feeling” day for you. Being helpful… you always were.
As I got older I joined the staff as a kitchen boy (tough job) and then as an Adventure Trail Guide. Boy, I could write a book. I think maybe someday I shall. Those were fun years. Gwen was ‘our’ age. ‘Our’ means Rod McGarry, John Hanigan, Dick Guindon, etc. We spent many nights at your home on the other side of the pond.
Well, I’m 43 now and a father of four. Janet and I were married in 1959. Our children are Bill (20), Kathleen (18), Timothy (16) and Kevin (14). Bill is an Eagle Scout. His Eagle rank, I was told by Notre Dame Admittance, was a definite factor in being accepted at Notre Dame.
My Mom and Dad attended the dinner in your honor at Rhodes. I’m sorry to say that my Dad passed away in 1977. Mom still lives in Cranston, but she may have to go into a nursing home soon as she is failing.
Yes, Gus, as I sat watching the sea roll in, I was suddenly 12 years old again thinking many thoughts. When I stopped daydreaming, I suddenly realized that I had to put pen to paper and say “Hi Scout, whatcha doin?”