THE ROYAL WEDDING: Perspective From A Fan of The Food Network

ON MARRIAGE & FOOD

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of..”

I don’t know about you but whenever I am romantically involved, food and the sharing of great food and wine is a great part of the relationship. My romantic memory banks are filled with decadent nights sharing tasty delights, across a table or seated next to one another, staring into each others eyes, sharing a smile and a gentle caress or two in the ambient light of a glorious space….all with our clothes on.  Today’s Royal Wedding of the eldest son of Princess Diana, the distinguished gentleman, Prince William to the stupendously endowed with feminine beauty Kate Middleton got me thinking, first about her photos in a bathing suit and what a lucky chap is Prince William and then I got around to the food.

Why do so many modern marriages start out like a night of exquisite dining at Daniel Bolud’s DANIEL on the Upper East Side but all to often end up with someone walking down Lexington Avenue by themselves ducking into a  Five Guys Burgers, like David Hasselhoff on the floor groping for french fries or in Chelsea at the Trailer Park Lounge & Grill knoshing on some cheep mac & cheese in a booth alone in the corner? And even still I remain the eternal optimist.

I guess it could be worse.

It could end with one individual holed up in his abode with two goddesses half his age while broadcasting to the nation about “Winning, Warlocks and more”, all while your lovely former spouse and children watch an extension of your 15 Minutes of fame/disintegration live on the 6 O’Clock News.

I do,  most certainly however,  wish the new Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge a toast towards the dream of a perfectly imperfect marriage but one that is nevertheless ever lasting.  Despite my cynicism of  the British Monarachy as an institution,  monarchs in general and the continuing relevance of Kings & Queens in a modern more egalitarian society, on this day, I choose to put those thoughts aside.  In the end, in our time on this planet, stripped to the bare essentials of who we are and what we have, we are merely people who hope to find true love, happiness, prosperity and security. Must we not thus root for love before anything else?  After all,  “what the world needs now is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there is just to little of.” The Royal Wedding is a symbol of that hope for many of us.

In these times,  the events of this day, however over hyped are a welcome distraction.

Signed,

A (former) King of Queens (but not “The King of Queens”)

On Senator Scott Brown: Hitting the PAUSE Button

Former Camper may have pictures of Scott Brown at Camp Good News: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Former Camper may have pictures of Scott Brown at Camp Good News: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Long Time

It’s been such a long time
I think I should be goin’, yeah
And time doesn’t wait for me, it keeps on rollin’
Sail on, on a distant highway
I’ve got to keep on chasin’ a dream
I’ve gotta be on my way
Wish there was something I could say

Well I’m takin’ my time, I’m just movin’ along
You’ll forget about me after I’ve been gone

-Boston (1976)

Dateline: Morningside Heights, New York City, April 18, 2011

Ronnie May’s interview this past week with the Boston Globe and the earnest disclosures therein about his sexual abuse suffered at the hands of Ernie Milnes, a former counselor at Camp Good News is in my estimation is a game changer. Tonight in a telephone interview with Fox News in Boston, after a brief interview with the Boston Globe news desk,  I acknowledged such.  May’s account rings true.  His recollection of the circumstances of his abuse jibe with the uncertain, uncomfortable, but nevertheless kind and considerate kid I remember from my days as his cabin mate at Camp Good News. Recent events jarred my memory, forcing me to take a look at photos from my days at Camp Good News from over 30 years ago and thinking about the times I spent in his company as well as the company of an individual who I now believe to be the current Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. These photos were posted in a blog on Sunday night on Cape Cod Today, a site singled out by  in the Columbia Journalism Review as a “local news pioneer.” See:  http://www.capecodtoday.com/

Likewise, given what I can actually remember from over 30 years ago, and having my memory jarred by current events and a review of photos from Camp Good News during that time period, I am more than willing to suggest that we in fact hit a PAUSE button on Scott Brown given the convincing interview given by Ronnie May to the Boston Globe and my recollection of the uncertain, tense, somewhat withdrawn quiet kid who may have been battling issues I was unaware of as a teenager at that time. Nevertheless, it is my belief that the popular and powerful United States Senator from the  Commonwealth of Massachusetts can still play a valuable role in helping to alleviate the pain and suffering for others by not remaining on the sidelines of the debate and the investigation. He also can help to alleviate concerns of parents in the Commonwealth that a sexual predator is not still at large by naming his alleged abuser.  Should he do so, I will be the first to back him up and support him. My only remaining point of contention is that Ernie Milnes, who is the alleged sexual abuser of Ronnie May, does not fit (according to my memory) the description given by Scott Brown in his book, “Against All Odds”, a quote of which is below:

“I can remember how he looked, every inch of him: his long sandy, light brown hair; his long, full mustache; the beads he wore; the tie-dyed T-shirts and the cutoff jeans, which gave him the look of a hippie,” Brown writes in the book,

To date, my critique and hesitance to accept Scott Brown’s allegations as made in his book Against All Odds, was in part based on the following:

a)      A genuine disbelief based upon perhaps my own perhaps idealized experience, one that that was completely free from sexual abuse;

b)      Brown’s unwillingness to name his alleged abuser and my belief that the deceased Ernie Milnes does not fit the description given by Brown as his abuser but may in fact of another counselor;

c)      A sense of nostalgia for some of the lessons I learned about matters beyond my own childish self indulgence, community and civic responsibility. In my heart I have wanted to believe that the lessons I learned at CGN served me well in my life when the lessons of far too many other experiences had not;

d)      Perhaps I overlooked the excessive focus on biblical matters, which may have been out of balance with what a child’s youthful experience should be about even at a religious camp. The excessive daily and weekly doses of religious and spiritual teaching could often be overwhelming to the point of being interpreted as cult like. Truth is that there were times I wondered whether there was a certain hypocrisy at play, preaching “do as I say and not as I do.” And the danger in perpetuating such a system is that maybe you begin to believe all of your own branding and make judgment calls about what needs to be investigated and what does not need to be investigated to preserve your “important work” on behalf of children which may lead at minimum to negligent decisions about the lives entrusted to your organization and placed under your care.

Summer in the 1970’s: My days on Cape Cod at Camp Good News

The quiet of the night, the darkness of the woods


Top Standing L-R Anthony DeFelice (Counselor), Scott Brown?, Chris Mejia London, ? ?, Rob Lane, a Russian Kid, Ron May. (Photo: personal files of Chistopher London.)


Anthony DeFelice, Rob Lane, Russian Kid, Chris Mejia-London, Charles, French Canadian Kid, Scott Brown? (Photo personal files of  Christopher London.)

My summers with Scott Brown and Ron May

More Than A Feeling

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

So many people have come and gone
Their faces fade as the years go by
Yet I still recall as I wander on
As clear as the sun in the summer sky

-Boston (1976)

By Christoher London, Esq.

The 1970’s on tranquil Cape Cod, the quaint Village of Forestdale in the Town of Sandwich, on the grounds of rustic Camp Good News (‘CGN’), seems now like a million years ago. Yet it is a place and time forever etched in my mind.

With growing anticipation I waited for the end of the school year, wondering whether my mom’s financial situation would allow her to send us to camp again.  With systematic efficiency we gathered summer clothes, making sure to have extra underwear and socks, not forgetting to have a sweatshirt and a heavy sweater or two for chilly nights on the Cape and sewed labels with our names into the clothes for identification.

It is hard to have a precise memory for people, places and things that happened over thirty plus ago. And in truth I cannot recall if the individual in those photos with me is Scott Brown. But nevertheless I do recall that said individual, though possessing most of the physical attributes of the classic mesomorph male, had a quiet withdrawn disposition evidencing perhaps a discomfort with his surroundings.


Scott at 10 and 13 ? at Camp Good News above.

Scott as a model in the 1980s.

Before I knew it that day would come when the pilgrimage to CGN would begin. From Penn Stationin the heart of New York City we would board a train headed toProvidence, Rhode Island where we were greeted by more camp staff and taken by bus to the camp.

Excitement was tempered with a degree of anxiety about the coming summer. Assorted questions ran through my mind: Would I get along with my bunkmates? Would I be well liked and fit in?  Would I distinguish my self in athletics on the Camp’s ‘A Field’?

It was not until we made that right turn off Route 130 and head down the road past the gate and the Camp Good News signthat it hit me that I would not be seeing my mom and dad for at least a few weeks. For a brief moment I wondered how they could send me away. Before I could get too sad about that there was a welcoming committee of smiling faces as the bus stopped and we were greeted by counselors and campers who had already arrived. The summer began.

And then, in the blink of an eye or so it seemed, we were heading back down that road in the reverse direction, waving goodbye, sometimes with tears in our eyes leaving behind folks who were like family for 8 weeks.

You swore you would never forget them, ever.

You swore you would never forget them, ever. That was when I began to realize I had the capacity to love and miss other people, people that were outside my own family, people from all different socioeconomic backgrounds and nationalities, people who were different in many ways than kids in my neighborhood.

It was also during this time away from the city, where my only close family member was my little brother Gregory who was at camp with me that I realized how much I really loved him. Whereas we lived in apartments in Queens and Brooklyn, some kids I met lived in the comfort of suburban affluence, had clothes with labels I had never seen before. Preppy is a word that now comes to mind, but I did not even know what that meant back then.

Oblivious to things that may have gone on there

Even though each summer seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, what fills the spaces of the time between are snapshots and snippets of life before innocence was lost. I was oblivious to things that may have gone on the Camp’s grounds and impacted selected individuals who are in the news these days;  much in the same way that similar things have gone on in the shadows of society for so long while others remained oblivious.

To a kid from the boroughs of New York City, the quiet of the night, the darkness of the woods, sounds of only frogs and crickets were eerily haunting; even more haunting in many ways than the sounds of the Mean Streets of 1970’s New York City up through the Summer of Sam. I was far more used to loud and consistent rumble of urban life.  Disturbances throughout the night, including the sound of police cars and  sanitation trucks comforted me.

Singing Christian songs I had never heard of before, making up dirty and disrespectful lyrics in the company of my more devious and irreverent new friends to get a laugh are things I can recall.

The mere idea of having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the woods was terrifying. Ten year old machismo went out the window when you head out of your cabin with a flash light in the middle of the night to go pee pee. Maybe that is the reason why some of my cabin mates wet the bed.

Memories of morning chapel, singing Christian songs I had never heard of before and then making up dirty and disrespectful lyrics in the company of my more devious and irreverent new friends to get a laugh are things I can recall.  Chow time was like being in a lunch room at school, only slightly better, although we could serve ourselves extra portions. Kool Aid was called “bug juice”. That frankly creeped me out, especially on the days that the juice was red or green. I wondered whether there was actually a reason that bug was associated with juice.

The daily ritual of chapel followed by breakfast, mandatory athletic training, swimming lessons, lunch, rest period with a brief bible reading, followed by free sports and free swim and then dinner time are a fading memory. After dinner, sometimes we had snack bar night or would sing camp songs by a fire and roast marshmallows. The routine made the days and nights pass with a blur. But when in Rome do as the Romans do. The highlights were for me were excelling in swimming, softball and archery. In your adolescence and teens these are the kinds of things that open doors socially and make one popular with one’s peers. Whether it was my own egocentric view of the world at that age, I knew I stood out.

The faces change as the years go by. But I do recall vividly being taught how to play defense and field my position more aggressively by counselor Tom Donahue who treated me like a prodigy. He would hit hard grounders at me repeatedly until I developed a proficiency that made me feel like Cincinnati Red Shortstop, Dave Concepcion. It may sound insignificant but it made me feel like a stud fielder when I came back to play in the Forest Hills Little League in Queens. My shyness in talking to folks was overcome by a confidence that I excelled at a number of things and that there were others who were clearly less confident and secure than me.

Meeting and sharing a cabin with Ron May and Ernest “Ernie” Milnes

I never had any idea anything more was going on, despite the fact that campers had contentious relations with Ernie Milnes.

The name Ron May comes to mind. Ron was a young, studious, intellectual type with a proficiency in Chess, although he was somewhat unsettled, quirky and even combative at times. That is my recollection, 30 years or so later. Like me Ron was also from Queens, New York.  In retrospect one can see that maybe perhaps he was dealing with issues, ones that fall outside the grasp or comprehension of an adolescent or teenager.

We shared in common that Ernest “Ernie” Milnes, was also my counselor. Ernie had also visited me in New York City at my parents apartment in Queens. I recall him having Thanksgiving dinner with us, perhaps on one of his visits to Ron May, but he never stayed over. I never had any idea anything more was going on, even despite the fact that it was also true like Ron said in his interview with the Boston Globe that campers had contentious relations with Ernie Milnes. I just assumed it was because he seemed to be a regimented and difficult sonofabitch.

I recall friendly banter and exchanges with now Dr. Steve Brooks, now the assistant President of Camp Good News. Brooks was an avid Philadelphia Phillies fan while I was more enamored with the Big Red Machine. We would argue about Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Steve Carlton vs. my idol Johnny Bench and his teammates Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez,Don Gullet and company. He would often share the sports section of his newspaper and review the standings and statistics with me.

The Six Inch Rule

In my teen years at the Camp the “six inch rule” was in effect. At the teen level there was more interaction between the boys and girls camp. The penalty for getting caught too close in proximity with a girl was, having to wear a life preserver to meals so that every one in the entire mess hall knew the two people who were caught violating said rule.

Her strawberry kiss was a drug. And I was hooked.

The rule got violated relatively infrequently as the counselors seemed pretty aware of who the violators or potential violators were. When I was 14 and the girl I had a crush on the entire prior summer decided she liked me, I was finally able to learn what making out with a girl was really all about.

How fantastic was the taste of her strawberry lip gloss, which she later sealed her letters with. Her kiss was a drug. And I was hooked. I knew that this was something I was going to have happen very often.  With the acuity and precision of a highly skilled surgeon combined with New York City street smarts, I made sure it did and often avoided detection. I rarely wore a life preserver. ;-)

Odie Baloney Let’s Go! Time for Color War at Camp Good News

Color War was an event where the camp was divided in two teams to compete in sports, spirit, and sportsmanship tests over the course of several days, culminating in an awards ceremony. We never knew precisely what day it would begin. The exact date was kept a secret but we were advised that it would begin with a bell being rung followed by the nd before the crack of dawn. We stumbled out of our bunks, cabins emptied and ran to the rallying cry ”Odie Baloney let’s go” on a loudspeaker by our Head Counselor who was known as “Oakie” for obvious reasons. Let’s just say he was not a New Yorker. I can still remember went that bell first went off. It was approximately 4:30 a.m. areporting line in PJ’s, shorts and t’s, sweats. When everyone finally made it to the line, the team that got its whole team together first was awarded the first points and got to give their rallying cry. One year when my little brother was on the winning team, theirs went a little like this.  ”Give me an L, give me a yell, give me a good successful yelland when we yell we yell like a bell and this is what the heck we yell aleman aleman alemande agle sandy eagle….baby in a high chair, who put him up there…  ma…pa sis boom ba. Iguana’s, Iguana’s rah rah rah. ”

How The Other Half Lives at nearvy Camp Bournedale

A trip to Camp Bournedale and another luxury camp for an inter camp softball game, opened my eyes to how the other half lived. In a scene reminiscent to The Bad News Bears, we arrived in our rag tag outfits, jeans and CGN t-shirts at a camp with facilities, including a softball field that resembled Fenway Park, minus the Green Monster. The A Field at Good News was nice, but we did not have professionally drawn chalk lines, overhead lights and grass manicured to resemble that of a Major League Baseball Team.  Everything from their gear and swagger reeked of professionals, at least from the perspective of a 12 year old.

As one of the team’s stud performers, it would be humiliating to be run off the field without much of a fight. In my first at bat, I recall refilng a line drive over second base and jogging to first base only to realize that the short center fielder was trying to throw me out at first. I barely beat the throw or at least the umpire said I did. We eventually lost and most of us could not wait to get back on the bus, all maybe except John Freeman, who attended Fordham Prep in the Bronx and though small in stature he was big in heart and he would walk with his chest out and a stern look on his face promising to exact revenge.  As I had not a chest to speak of and pretty skinny arms, that seemed pointless.

Humble or rustic Camp Good News

My confidence was hardly undermined. If anything I was just curious about these different worlds, different people and opportunities.  I liked everything about New England, from the people  to the clam chowder.  I realized how humble or rustic were CGN’s facilities and yet I was more than fine with that because I sensed that I was part of something special. Even though much of the Christian under current did not always entirely resonate with me, being there made me more confident about my place in the universe. I was developing more than athletic skills while recognizing the importance of community values, developing a sense of humility and learning that there were in fact greater pursuits in life than my own ego and self indulgence. On work days when we engaged in charitable works or painted a church, I complained but had a feeling that maybe someday I would look back on this differently. Or maybe that was what my counselors told me.

Bournedale made me realize now that my parents did not send me to a luxury camp and that Willard-Brooks clan were not in this business for the dough. Although $800-1,000 for the summer seemed like a lot a million dollars to me back then. I was always grateful my parents and then after divorce, my mother came up with the funds.

Camp Good News later served as a caricature of my naivete. To even mention the name Camp Good News, referencing the Good News of the Bible, would always extract a chuckle the few times I mentioned attending such a place among my more secular friends. And that was back in the 1980’s when I was in college at Boston University and subsequently in law school at the University of Pennsylvania.  Maybe even as a city boy, I was  more naïve, for if the current headlines are correct in their suggestion that there was a dark undercurrent that I was completely and totally unaware of.   While I am no Senator’s son, maybe that nevertheless makes me the fortunate one. My youthful innocence was not lost on the Cape but it is becoming increasingly clear that for others it certainly was. To the contrary, my respect for community, our maker and a love for humanity in all its forms was only beginning to develop. Camp Good News was for me thus, more than a feeling.

Chris London, Esg. is a New York City based lawyer, activist, writer and founder of ManhattanSociety.com, a 501 (c) (3) conduit; a free press vehicle for essential New York Charity and Culture. Sheepshead Bay High School 1980. Boston University, B.A., Economics with High Honors, 1984. University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1987.

NOTE: This blog was published initially on the Cape Cod Today news site, resulting in a follow up interview with FOX News in Boston.  See: “Former Camper May Have Pictures of Scott Brown at Camp Good News”

The KOCH-iuzsko & Other Political Bridges to Nowhere

Bloomberg’s Political Follies Continue

The Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, in New York City. Photo by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, Dec. 2, 2007

The Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, in New York City. Photo by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, Dec. 2, 2007

The Bloomberg follies continue. On the heels of the administration’s bungling of the Snowstorm of 2010, the questionable appointment of Cathie Black to New York City Schools Chancellor, replacing Joel Klein,  the subsequent removal of Ms. Black and the installation of deputy mayor, Dennis Walcott, Bloomberg was not done.

In  an effort perhaps to dig himself out of a Cathie “Black-hole” and bolster his own legacy, the Mayor now seems equally committed to is enhancing the legacy of those helped dig the hole for his third term shoveling dirt over the will of the people. The Queensboro Bridge often referred to as the 59th Street Bridge by many life long Bridge & Tunnel New Yorkers like myself, has been renamed the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, after former three term Mayor and outspoken Bloomberg loyalist, Ed Koch.

At a ceremony signing the renaming legislation into law on Monday, the Mayor praised Ed Koch as the quintessential New Yorker, and stated as follows:

“He’s tough, outspoken and passionate about our city. It was his resiliency that made Ed Koch such a great Mayor. And it was under his leadership that New York City rebounded from the depths of fiscal crisis in the 1970s.” said Mayor Bloomberg.”

See also: Ed Koch and The Rebuilding of New York City

An acquaintance stated a view with which I concur:

“I am not against memorials just don’t think we should memorialize bridges until people have been dead for at least 20 years. It took us 50 years to build a National WW II Memorial for Pete’s sake.”

Unless I am mistaken, Edward I. Koch is very much still alive.  And while he may certainly otherwise be a decent human being and an interesting New York character, the timing of Bloomberg’s re-naming the Queensboro Bridge reeks of political patronage. And I say this with all due respect as someone who has not contempt or distaste for either Koch or Mike Bloomberg.

To quote Bugs Bunny, this is not about “dog piling on the rabbit” and joining the chorus of critics like Crains who have referenced Bloomberg’s Third Term Blues or The New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica who stated that “Bloomberg’s third term a Dud” and accuses him of ‘wandering through his third term as Cathie Black hiring backfires.’

The timing of the memorialization of the Queensboro Bridge simply illustrates how out of touch are both men with the citizens of the wider metropolitan area. If you know anything at all about Queens, you will know that nobody living there will ever refer to this as ‘The KOCH’.  To date nobody I know or grew up with even refers to the Triborough Bridge as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Triborough Bridge after the late Senator of New York. But maybe in time more folks will.  The late U.S. Senator and former United States attorney general in his brother  John F. Kennedy’s administration, at least earned it with historic work during the Civil Rights era, profound visionary speeches, a revolutionary spirit and paid a very dear price with his life for ‘Speaking Truth to Power’, when even few will today.  Hell, you even “tweak” power now and it makes you an outcast.  Furthermore,  quite notably the memorialization of that bridge was done four decades since his passing,  not while he was still alive.

The Koch or KOCH-iuzsko

At this juncture it is hard to see how political patronage is even necessary, useful or constructive. Nevertheless, Mayor Bloomberg may have instead and more wisely chosen to attach Koch’s name to a tired old bridge which has been in the headlines in recent years, like  the Kociuzsko Bridge and renamed it the KOCH-iuszko or simply shortened it to the Koch, because at least then in a dumb down society, one that no longer has any appreciation for history or tradition, would ever have known the difference or its roots to the Polish-Lithuanian volunteer who was a General in the Revolutionary War.

Mayor Mike, you see while I still do love you on many levels and appreciate very much what you bring to the table for the city, specifically your most charitable nature, administrative expertise,  doing this on the heels of Cathie Black fiasco, you exhibit to the masses in the boroughs that are not on the Upper East Side that maybe you don’t get it, them or REAL New Yorkers, outside your enclave of elites.  And even so, I am still pulling for your Mayor Mike because we are living in surreal times and to rip you to shreds while we are mired in some of the worst economic times in American history will not put people back to work, help them pay their rent, avoid the growing homelessness problem or put food on the table

So, Mayor Mike, how about the Giuliani Expressway? Why? Because without the support and endorsement of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, shortly after 9/11 you might never have been have been on the fast track to Mayor, your candidacy derailed by Mark Green of all people and New York City might no longer be worth living in, unless you were in a Brownstone on 79th Street that is.  Now that type of patronage makes more sense. To honor Koch before Giuliani may be kind as he is getting on in years but it is less symbolic of your comprehension of the roots of transformation of New York City or the recognition that memorials are best made once folks are long deceased and viewed in the proper historical context.

Bloomberg Legacy: Is There Anything Left in the Tank?

Finally, on the often discussed  Presidential candidacy of the Medford, Massachusetts product who seems to have the perfect resume to steward America in these times, while I would still never count him out, despite the mediocre field of Republican candidates poised to challenge President Obama, it is truly now hard to see a legitimate path for Bloomberg to the White House.  From humble beginnings in Medford, Massachusetts, Michael R.  Bloomberg has grown to become a titan of Wall Street,  Billionaire CEO of Bloomberg LP,  a historical philanthropist, the first and still only Mayor  elected in Post 9/11 New York City and a respected world figure.  In the end, whether his legacy has him mired in the muck of local politics or he somehow rises above it all in a broad brush stroke is yet to be determined.

U.S. SENATOR SCOTT BROWN: “Now More Than Ever.”

Senator Scott Brown Has A Duty to Come Forth In Support of Parents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

NO, I did not just attach Richard Nixon’s campaign slogan to the title of this blog as a statement in support of Scott Brown’s candidacy for re-election as Senator of Massachusetts. Read on patriots of truth, justice and  the American way for more about this Tricky Dicky and why it is more than just a political sideshow playing out in New England.

The Associated Press has reported that Camp Good News (CGN), a Christian summer camp based in Sandwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod has been closed pending investigation, after numerous allegations of child sexual abuse and the suicide of long time CGN employee and suspected pedophile Charles “Chuck”  DeVita on the camp’s grounds this past week.

SANDWICH, Mass. (AP) — The national accreditation of a Massachusetts summer camp attended by a young U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has been revoked while state authorities investigate allegations of child sex abuse.

The American Camp Association says Camp Good News in Sandwich can reapply if the allegations are proven false. The camp said Friday it “understands and respects” the decision and won’t open this summer. Read more here

I have been taken to task by some friends on the right for the blogs I have written, which were republished on Cape Cod Today, questioning the veracity, truthfulness and character Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. The ‘Fairy Tales’ in his book, his posture in his 60 Minutes interview and his unwillingness to subject himself to any legitimate or thoughtful inquiry about the nature, extent and identity of his alleged sexual molestation at CGN, in my estimation, exhibit a profound insincerity and opportunism, the effect of which I surmised would likely be the writing of his own ‘Political Obituary’. I may have, however, underestimated the power of a mainstream media which refrains from asking questions during his Harper Collins fueled campaign run. Lest there be no doubt, this is no critique of Harper Collins as they are in the business of selling books.

Whether the latest news vindicates Scott Brown, allowing him to continue to “Enjoy the Silence” and absolving him of the duty of any further inquiry regarding his claimed sexual molestation and the identity of his abuser will be determined in the court of public opinion if not the subpoena power of investigators.

Cosmo Poster Boy to GOP Poster Boy

There is something so Julian Kaye about the American Gigolo like swagger of the Massachusetts Senator’s political re-rebranding effort. As stated by a reader on the Cape Cod Today (Richard) news site:

There’s an interesting parallel here, between Brown’s early success as boy-toy for the coke-snorting New York City glitteratti [at Studi0 54], based on youthful erotic glamour while posing in varying states of deshabille, and his present-day appeal to the GOP faithful based on ruggedly mature, macho handsomeness while posing in off-the rack work clothes.

In both cases, it’s obviously just a pose, but it raises the question whether there is really anything of substance beneath the image. As Gertrude Stein observed about L.A., it doesn’t seem as if there is any there, there.

Camp Good News Faces the Music

My experience as a camper at Camp Good News in the 1970’s was largely a positive one from a developmental standpoint. I found the Willard-Brooks clan, descendants of founder WW II HeroW. Wyeth Willard, Chaplain 8th Marines, to be a wonderful, salt of the earth people, dedicated to their Christian beliefs and otherwise truly committed to serving the Cape Cod community and much wider community at large. Their Christian beliefs maybe to some that makes them ‘weird’ or more easy to target as hypocrites if child sexual abuse went on at their Christian Camp and even more so if they had knowledge or were otherwise complicit or negligent in covering it up. Given the service of their family to this country, however, I say they are entitled to their days in court(s) before we stain the entire clan with the actions of some rogue characters who may have operated in silence or in a manner which was not clearly understood at the time.

Have no doubts, the legal process will ultimately determine their criminal culpability and civil liability, especially given the track record of victim’s rights attorney Mitchell Garabedian in holding sexual abusers accountable. To quote or paraphrase CCT reader (sandyshoes):

“If there are molesters within the CGN organization I say seek them out, prosecute them to the fullest and impose the most severe sanctions upon those who knew and turned away. But don’t condemn the Brooks family with a wide brush”

The Willard-Brooks clan ought to be afforded an opportunity to defend themselves after a full and fair accounting of the facts is brought forth in a public forum.

Child Sexual Abuse: The Popular & Powerful Must Assist In Its Eradication

Child sexual abuse is a serious issue that occurs in the shadows of society, often going on undetected for years with many pedophiles living successful lives without ever being brought to justice.  Scott Brown’s testimony and agreement to assist in the criminal and civil investigation of Camp Good News and abusers who may remain at large is absolutely necessary.  This is true now more than ever, given that ordinary citizens, those with little power and standing but the wisdom and experience of their counselor victim’s rights attorney Mitchell Garabedian to pursue the truth and hold accountable those who were complicit or negligent, in what appears to be a  pattern of sexual abuse, are coming forward.

What kind of example does a powerful and popular sitting United States Senator set for his fellow citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when he will not assist in making parents of children more secure from a risk which may still exist and supporting the damage already caused to his fellow citizens? Senator Scott Brown, ought to take a break from his book tour and come forth with fuller details of his sexual abuse and the identity of his sexual abuser as that will likely lead to a broader and more conclusive analysis of what went on at CGN and for how long.

You will have to excuse me if I vomit just a little bit when I read the statement of Boston attorney  Mitchell Garabedian that “Senator Scott Brown’s admission has helped other victims step forward.” As if that somehow alleviates Scott Brown from any further responsibility to citizens of the Commonwealth.  Really?  Given his stature, power and popularity and that he is an officer of the court and Lt. Colonel, Army JAG Corps.,  does not Scott Brown not owe something more to the other victims and to the parents of children in the Commonwealth?  If he does not come forth in support of ongoing investigations, and revealing the identity of his alleged his abuser, but  seeks only to capitalize on this scandal for his own personal political gain and selling his Horatio Alger story, whether he gets re-elected or not, he is in effect, the new ‘Tricky Dicky’ and far from heroic.

If Scott Brown continues to  ‘enjoy the silence’, then this all seems rather convenient.  I will want to know, and many other citizens should want to know, whether  Scott Brown had a close personal relationship with anyone at the Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian or otherwise received  ’inside information’ from other source(s) about brewing investigations or complaints made to the District Attorney’s office against CGN and potential civil suits being pursued by Garabedian’s office when he ultimately decided to include the sexual abuse allegations in his book.  If so,  then you can place this scandal somewhere between Watergate and Chappaquiddick, making  Scott Brown a straight up American Gangster.