Becky Calvert Tribute
GOODBYE DEAR CiC
Camp Delusia, by the Gods, it has been a long time since I have
been back here. I think it was two summers ago when I was
looking for my crazy brother. Camp Delusia was created by CiC
and Sidekick many years ago. It was a safe haven for many of us,
a place where we could be who we wanted to be, with no
boundaries and no judgments. Not everyone was invited to the
camp, but those of us that were fortunate enough to be invited
always felt the warmth of the place and of its people. One thing
that always made it special was arriving to camp and seeing the
smiling faces of CiC and her Sidekick. They always sat in front
of their tent, smiling and letting us know that it was ok to be
After some years of absence I have come back to the camp.
However, my return is marked by a very sad occasion: CiC has
lost her last battle and the Gods are calling her to the
heavens. And so like the great warrior she had always been, we
will gather here today to pay tribute to such a great Lady and
Like always, Iím the last one to get here. I can smell MamaLynís
nutbread muffins from miles away; a great reminder of some
really great times. I knew that Bardy would be taking care of
every single last detail for the ceremony.
As a pull up to my tent on Mellow Yellow, I see that Nan, my
tent mate, has already arrived. Everything in the tent has been
organized, put in its place and cleaned. She does that when she
is worried or sad. I can hear the rest of the group in the
distance going about what they need to get done.
I park Mellow Yellow by my tent and look around me. I know that
I have to see Bardy and get my marching orders from her, but
first things first. As the Enforcer, I have a duty to perform, a
duty that today is the hardest I have had to do in a long time,
a task to which I am really not looking forward, but it has to
be done. So, with a heavy heart, I go to one of my saddle bags
and very carefully take out the camps flag, then very slowly, as
if my feet were made of lead, I walk to the center of camp to
hoist the colors.
Nan heard me arrive and came out of our tent. As she saw me get
the flag she went back in got her guitar and followed me to the
flag pole, all the while playing Amazing Grace. Then MamaLyn
joins us. She left her kitchen and put on the pink leather
gauntlets that the CiC had given her some years back. Lida, our
dear photographer, also joins us with her camera. From the
corner of my eye, I can see Bardy heading toward us, books in
hand, to make sure we do things the right way. Then Mel,
LisaJain and S Singer also join us. The rest of the troops just
stood by at the entrance of their tents and watched.
As I was getting ready to hoist the flag, Bardy stops me. Shirl
was walking toward us, her pace slow but determined, her pain
visible. We all stand in silence as she gets to us. No one knows
what to say or do. When she finally gets to where I stand, I
offer her the flag and ask her if she wants to do the honors.
She says it is my job as the Enforcer (really Master at Arms) to
do this. I hook the flag up. She stands next to Bardy and
watches as our flag is hoisted to half mast.
We all stand there looking at the flag and listen to Nan as she
plays her guitar. This was the first time in the history of our
camp that our flag has ever been hoisted to half mast.
During the years the camp has been in existence, we all have had
to face some really trying times, but the thought of our camp as
a safe haven for those times has been the consoling aspect;
especially the fact of seeing our CiC and Sidekick always
together, always welcoming us back to camp, made those trying
moments easier to deal with.
Sidekick stood there looking at the flag as if froze in time. So
did the rest of us. No one knows what to do, what to say, we all
just stare at the flag as if waiting for CiC to dictate an
order. So after a few minutes, Bardy takes the lead and hugs
Sidekick, then in her very official voice says, ďGuys, itís time
to get this ceremony on its way. Everyone needs to go back and
finish the things that need to be finished. Come on guys, back
to work. Beboman, I need you in my tent ASAPĒ and with those
words she starts to head back to her tent.
In mid-stride, she is stopped by Shirl, who takes her hand. They
walk together toward the main tent, gradually one by one we all
follow. Shirl and Bardy stand at the entrance of the main tent
and as we enter every one gives Sidekick a hug. I am the last
one left standing by the flag pole and the last one to arrive at
the tent. I feel the need to give her a big hug and tell her
that I will always be there for her and that CiC will be miss
dearly. But how can I do that; I am not known to be a hugging
person. I really have I hard times with words. I am much better
at the enforcing of orders and decrees.
Sidekick and I look at each other. I see in her eyes her pain
and I gradually pull her toward me and hug her. She was not
really expecting that from me, but she lets herself be
overpowered by my hug. I can feel her tears rolling down her
checks. After a few minutes, she breaks the embrace and tells me
to go in. We all sit around and start talking about the first
time we met CiC and Sidekick. We remember all the great moments
we all have had at camp. MamaLyn takes a few minutes to go and
get the nutbread from her kitchen, Nan goes for the wine in our
tent, Bardy put her books away and Lida starts taking pictures.
Lisa shares with us one of her great poems and time passes by.
Then, as if drawn by a magnet, I stand silently and, unnoticed,
I walk to the entrance of the tent. I look up to the sky and
there I see a chariot of gold drawn by a Pegasus. I see our dear
CiC heading to the Gods with a big smile on her face. Then I go
back to my place and continue to share stories and memories with
the rest. I know the CiC would enjoy this moment of love and
sharing. It would have made her very happy and proud.