Launching in Late 2022

About On the Waterfront

I was twelve years old when this story came to me, the essence of the story, anyway. I was a scout at Camp Baker staying at the Tyee campsite. One morning, I was having some intestinal issues, so I sat in a wooden outhouse on the bluff overlooking Siltcoos lake with the door open, gazing at the water.

The idea was that two boys were swimming the mile swim. An accident occurred and one boy was gravely injured, but before he died, he promised his friend he would always watch over him whenever he swam.

That was it. The story idea rattled around in my mind for the next fifty plus years. Ever since that day I thought about becoming a writer and promised myself that one day I would write this story.

The story is fiction, but many of the episodes in the story are real. If you asked me if I am Danny or Mark, I would have to say some of each.

I was a member of staff at Camp Baker for two summers in 1973 and 1974. I worked in the kitchen and on the waterfront. Brian and Molly were real people, although I don’t remember their real names. I was happy to be away from home and my bratty little brother. There were some rather gross chores I had at home involving animals, and I worked hard to make and save money.

Working on the waterfront, I swam several mile swims. One day, a storm came up suddenly and a sailboat overturned. The speedboat that went to rescue the sailboat had engine trouble, so I rowed out and pulled both boats back to shore during a violent storm. Those and many other story elements really happened, so you can see I have drawn deeply from the experiences of my youth and the wonderful times I spent at Camp Baker.

The only real boy

The one real boy in the story is Jeff, the engineer. Jeff Adams did amazing things with sticks and twine. He made gates that would open fifty feet away with a pull on a pinecone. He made crossbows with arrows that flew across camp, and more. His ingenuity fascinated me.

One day, while riding in the back seat of a car with friends, an errant bullet fired by Charles Arthur Hein, a prison escapee being chased by the police, hit Jeff in the back of the head.

Jeffery Burton Adams died instantly at sixteen years old. I believe his death was a significant loss for the world. Imagine what that boy would have created if he had lived.

I hope you enjoyed reading On the Waterfront. It’s a deeply personal story for me, one that was difficult to get down on paper, but I am happy I finally have fulfilled that boyhood promise to myself.