By Trish Hubschman
All of the 6th graduating Class of 1976 were going to Trail’s End Camp in the Pocono’s for a week. It was goodbye. A school tradition. A kind of gift, I’d say. Look at what we accomplished. It was the end of elementary school, hello junior high. Yippee!
“My teacher told me today that I can’t go,” I said to mom when I got home from school. I didn’t understand and I was angry. “I didn’t do anything wrong. Why am I being punished?”
Mom shook her head. “No, it’s nothing you did. It’s the school’s policy. They don’t have the insurance to take a handicapped child on the trip.”
Fury rose in me. It always came down to my vision loss. I was legally blind. “And they feel I’m more likely to have an accident because I’m me? That’s not true, Mom!” I shrieked. “I want to go and should be allowed to.”
She agreed. “Your father and I are going down to the school tonight to talk to the Principal, see what we can come up with. We want you to go too.”
Mom and Dad agreed to take full responsibility if I fell and hurt myself at Trail’s End camp. I wasn’t planning on hurting myself but I didn’t feel my folks should have had to do that. They also hired a college girl to come along on the trip as my chaperone. I kind of felt like the other kids would point at me or something.
“Don’t look at it that way,” Dad explained. “You’ll have someone there who’s just for you. She’s your friend.”
Sue was twenty-three and turned out to be really nice.
I wasn’t allowed to do about ninety percent of the things the other kids could do at camp. Hey, at least I was going! “So what aren’t I allowed to do?” I asked Sue. We sat next to each other on the bus. She looked to be about sixteen years old. That made me smile. I figured the other kids would think she was my cousin or something.
Sue held some papers. I think the Principal gave them to her. “Not much actually,” she replied. “Let me see, okay. You’re not allowed in a canoe on the lake.”
I made a face. “I like to swim. Can I do that in the lake with the other kids?”
She shook her head. “You’re not allowed near the lake at all. They’re afraid you’ll fall in.”
“But you’re here,” I protested. “You wouldn’t let me fall in.”
The first night at Trail’s End the other kids did something called human anagrams. I didn’t know what it was and wasn’t allowed to watch.“
They feel you might get knocked over and hurt if another child bumps into you, Sue explained. I wasn’t allowed to do KP duty at the dining hall and it was considered cool to do that. “They say something about you not being able to carry something up the hill.”
I didn’t understand that either.
I was told I couldn’t bring a duffel bag with my clothes and other stuff like everyone else. I had to bring a regular suitcase. I wonder if the school heads saw how difficult it was to drag that thing up the hill.
I was allowed to go on the nature hikes. I was thrilled about that. I was going to take extra care not to trip over anything in the woods.
Sue had more trouble than I did.
I was allowed to join the scavenger hunt the last day. That was a lot of fun! I got out of the cabin. I got to see and talk to other kids. I made some friends.
On the bus heading home, I passed around my pink autograph book. Sue said she’d sign it later when she thought of the perfect thing to write.
I never saw Sue again after this but I still have my sixth grade autograph book and haven’t forgotten the friend my parents hired to go with me on a school trip.
The prequel to the Tracy Gayle Mystery Series
Synopsis, Author Bio, and Dedication
by Trish Hubschman
Tidalwave’s tour bus bursts into flames while the band is relaxing on the beach. The band’s leader, Danny Tide, hires private detective Tracy Gayle to do some discreet investigation into the matter. She’s joining the band on tour as security chief. The arsonist is discovered, but much deeper, more dangerous things come to light as well: an assault, an attempted murder, and then two murders. Tracy is faced with far more than she bargained for. Her stint with the band goes further than just that summer tour. She is fully determined to protect America’s favorite rock and roll heartthrob, and they become the best of friends along the way.
About the Author
Trish Hubschman and her husband, Kevin, along with their dog, Henry, recently moved to Northern Pennsylvania. They formerly lived on Long Island, New York. Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is the author of the popular Tracy Gayle mystery series, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. Tidalwave is the eagerly awaited prequel to the series.
For more information about Trish’s books, please visit: https://www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/
To my father, Frank, who unexpectedly passed away in late January 2020. Dad loved my Tracy Gayle books.
To my husband, Kevin, whose continual support, guidance, and assistance keep me going every day.
To my mom, Ginny, who I think is an awesome mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
To my absolutely wonderful editors, David and Leonore Dvorkin of DLD Books,
and my promotional lady and dear friend, Patty Fletcher.
And to my siblings and friends. I love all of you.