They All Got Away

Memories of Camp B in the Forties

By Dean Clark
Photos Courtesy of Dean Clark

I was raised and worked as a young man in the territory around the North Fork of the Clearwater River. I fished and swam much of the river and its tributaries.

During my twenty-year flying career in the U. S. Air Force, our growing family would frequently return to visit our folks in Lewiston and Headquarters, but in the late 1960s, an amazing change took place. Dworshak Dam was built, flooding the North Fork, and putting my early years under five hundred feet of water. Similarly, the flood of time destroys memories, while others grow dim, and some favorites are retold so many times they become distorted. My favorite memories involve semi-annual camping trips with a group of buddies with whom I grew up in the early 1940s.

We were raised in an ideal location for mature, early teens, inquisitive and adventuresome. The group included Don Chrystal, brothers Norman and Keith Vaughan, Bob Bacon, and sometimes the oldest boy among us, Gordon Hemley. As kids living in a small company town, we were aware of the war that encompassed the world at that time, but were mostly insulated from it. We rode our horses, fished, hunted, and camped during the summers. Winters were filled with ice skating, skiing, sledding, and shoveling snow for spending money. Living in the woods, we were raised around guns and sometimes took them with us on our rides, just to sharpen our aim for hunting season in the fall.

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