Life With Ferris: Thank Goodness, Mama Talked Me Out From Under The Bed

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of going away to camp. I practiced tying knots and using a jack knife. I roamed through the woods, imagining I was far away from home, at camp.

When I finally had the chance to go to a day camp, not even an overnight camp, I panicked. I’m embarrassed to admit how old I was, but I’m pretty sure I was the same size as my mother.

I was suddenly terrified at the idea of going someplace (even for a day) where I didn’t know a soul, and I wasn’t familiar with the area.

Now my parents both asked me repeatedly if I was positive I wanted to go, and they made sure I committed before they paid their non-refundable fee. I’m sure I answered testily, snapping their heads at the very idea I might balk. (I may have even been a teenager at this point.)

I balked. Actually, balking would be a euphemism. I freaked out. I tore through the house on the morning my mother was supposed to take me to Camp Glancy. I ran through the house screaming shrilly and slamming doors, ultimately wedging myself securely between the slats under my mattress and the floor. (I have no idea why they were so eager to send me to camp.)

My mother, brother and sister each grabbed a limb and tried to pull me out from under the bed, but I held onto those slats for dear life. Finally mother lay down on the floor, her face mirroring mine, and somehow talked me out from under the bed. She ended up spending the week at Camp Glancy herself, as did my little sister and brother.

Thank goodness my mother somehow got me out from underneath that bed. I fell in love with camp. I adored everything about it, from the smell of the damp, rich earth under the hemlock-lined trails, to the lovely songs we sang around the campfire in the late afternoon, to the smell of sausage frying and biscuits baking in the morning to the singing of taps in the evening.

I went on to attend an actual overnight camp, Camp Adahi. Once again I was absolutely terrified, but loved it so much I called my parents on the very last day of camp and asked if I could stay another session. (I’m sure they would have paid double.)

I went on to work at several camps, and spent my summers in these idyllic settings until I had to get a real job, one without an extended summer vacation. Camp was an important part of my life, one I would have missed if my mother hadn’t gotten me out from under that bed.

All told, I learned about songbirds and native trees and poisonous plants. I learned three chords on the guitar, about shaving my legs and how to respect a forest.

But mostly, I learned that things usually aren’t as terrifying as I make them out to be.

And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


DPD Launching Operation Thumbs Up In October

The Dalton Police Department is turning October into “Distractober” as it launches Operation Thumbs Up, a month long education and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing distracted driving on the streets. The idea is to keep thumbs off of phones (or any other distraction) so drivers can focus on the road. During October, the agency’s Traffic Unit will be working with the patrol ... (click for more)

Golf Tournament Benefiting Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes Is Nov. 3

Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes is hosting the Coach Kerry Henley Memorial Golfers Fore Kids Golf Classic on Nov. 3 at Windstone Golf Club. All funds from this tournament go to care for  the children at the Chattanooga Campus.  There are several ways to be a part of this cause:  Gold Tee Sponsor - $4,000, Silver Tee Sponsor - $2,500, Red Tee Sponsor ... (click for more)

EPB Says Bottom Line Is It Owes City $17,049 For Street Light Billing; DePriest Says Figure Is Starting Point For Talks With City: EPB To Ask Dismissal Of "Frivolous" Lepard Lawsuit

EPB officials on Tuesday morning released a report by Mauldin & Jenkins, the independent accounting firm charged with analyzing the process errors that led to questions about billing for public street lights, that gives a bottom line figure that EPB owes the city of Chattanooga $17,049. Harold DePriest, EPB president, said that is a starting point for ongoing talks with the ... (click for more)

DA Sets Up Process To Review 120 Cold Cases Murders Dating Back 40 Years

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a morning press conference on Tuesday that he is setting up a process to review 120 cold case murders in Hamilton County dating back some 40 years. He said former city major crimes detective Mike Mathis will be working out of his office on the cases. He is familiar with most or all of the cases, it was stated. DA Pinkston said Sgt. Bill ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)