At the simple mention of Randy’s name, a flood of memories come back to mind. Now, I guess I should clear things up really quickly. Randy IS NOT dead. However, Randy and Lois Stone have moved to south Florida. Randy took a job at a Christian school in Port St. Lucie, FL, and his relocation sparks this blog. Randy comes to mind today for a strange reason. About 6 or 7 years ago, High Point Camp came up with a video to give all of the camp rules to the summer campers. In the video, all of the actors (staff members) are acting as news reporters in the field and Randy’s role was the “weatherman.” At one point in the video, Randy addresses me (Tom), the news anchor in the studio, and says “It’s raining out here, Tom!” This little quote has turned into somewhat of a catchphrase around High Point as I received two texts and one Facebook message this week that all contained Randy’s exact utterance.
This all comes to mind today, because Mr. Lee (Tropical Storm Lee) is choosing to drop loads of rain on the camp. As I sit at my desk right now, the roof above me is reverberating the thunderous roar of the deluge. I think that the real weatherman has called for us to get something like five inches of rain in the next few days. This is no surprise since High Point Camp’s Men’s Retreat is this weekend and it ALWAYS rains leading up to and during Men’s Retreat.
So, take the five inches that we are supposed to get and add them with the five to six inches we got during Hurricane Irene and then add the sum of that to the already high water table (due to record rainfalls in August), this all equals a great, resounding “It’s raining out here, Tom!”
Ok, so, back to Randy. Randy was on staff at High Point’s Christian school. But, for most of those years, Randy spent his summers back at High Point Camp doing the behind the scenes stuff that no one ever saw but absolutely had to be done. On top of all the hidden work, Randy spent countless hours talking with homesick campers. Somewhere in Randy’s life, he picked up a knack for convincing otherwise inconsolable kids to stay for “just one more day” until by the end of the week, they couldn’t wait to come back the next summer. Randy also specialized in High Point’s famous “Pool Games.” For years, Randy controlled the bull horn at pool games and, in turn, controlled the attention of hundreds of campers and the fate of a few goldfish and eels. (Rumor has it that one of the eels still lives in the lake is reportedly over five feet long.) But most of all, Randy will be ETERNALLY remembered for “Mail Call.” Everyday at camp, during lunch, Randy would dispatch hundreds of letters and packages to campers eagerly awaiting news from home. His unique humor and memorizing voice kept campers on the edge of their seats hoping to hear their name. “S.W.A.K.” (Sealed With A Kiss) and “XOXO” were frequently heard and were only two of many celebrated phrases Randy often used. In fact, Randy is the ONLY High Point Camp staff member, past or present, to ever have a t-shirt made with his face on it for campers to take home as a camp souvenir. On the front was a giant picture of Randy’s face and “Randy Is My Homeboy” in bold letters. On the back was a “Top Ten” List of Randy’s favorite mail call sayings. I still have this shirt tucked away in my t-shirt drawer and it even still gets worn on occasion.
All in all, Randy will be missed around here. He put in more than 25 years of summers well spent at High Point Camp, and I think I can say with some certainty, that he will be not soon forgotten. So, in honor of Randy and all he means to the history of High Point Camp, and as the rain outside my office gets heavier, I say one more time, “It’s raining out here, Tom!”
Randy – you will be missed!