I attended a summer camp for several years when I was in my early teens, and while I have told this story many, many times to my friends and family, I feel that it is truly blog worthy.
Murray P. was a co-camper who hailed from Montreal. he was a scrawny, quiet nobody who would have to be on fire to be noticed. Even then, I’m not so certain! Murray was somewhat of a knob, a dweeb, a nerd, a dork. He was the type of kid who never really had to do anything to piss you off to be disliked. Murray was cursed! A black cloud seemed to follow him around that summer!
It all started one stormy night, as we sat on our bunks watching the electrical storm that was so prevalent in Northern Ontario that summer. Jagged forks of lightening slashed into the trees just outside our cabin, bouncing off of the steps and ricocheting off of the door. Murray sat awe struck with his legs hung over the metal frame of his bunk. Suddenly a bolt of lightening slammed into the door, shattering the old wooden frame and slashed through the cabin. Murray lay on the floor, motionless: his bunk was hit by the lightening and the electrical force ran through the metal frame and into his body, throwing him from his bunk onto the floor. He shortly stood up, stated he was fine, and carried on as if nothing had happened.
Several nights, possibly a week later, we were in the shower house, a prefabricated metal structure that stood just beyond our cabin when another storm suddenly struck. As Murray stood on the metal floor, his hand in the metal faucet, the shower house was hit by lightening, sending Murray sailing across the building, slamming him into the floor. Although he seemed well, it was soon discovered that he had broken his arm. Poor Murray.
Some days later, some of us had left camp grounds for an outing to a secluded fresh water pool which sat at the bottom of a 20 foot waterfall. It was truly magnificent there! Anyway, as we were frolicking in the cool, clean water, Murray suddenly appeared atop the falls, his arm in cast and sling, calling out to us. It was a sight to behold, as he slipped on the wet rock, and fell head first down the falls into the pool of water. The result was a fractured collar bone and a broken leg. Murray spent the rest of the summer watching from the sidelines.
I never saw or heard from Murray after that summer. I am not certain if he survived the path that he seemed destined to walk. I do believe that there was something special about him, although I am glad that I didn’t share his gift. There are times, when I get nostalgic, times when I see his face and hear his voice as he plummeted down those falls. Thanks for the laughs Murray, wherever you are.