To the editor,

I just finished a book by local author, Jim Farfaglia: “Oswego’s Camp Hollis, Haven by the Lake.” It is an accurate portrayal of the evolution of the camp through its first 75 years.

I was director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau from its inception through my retirement in 1980. Our agency had responsibility for Camp Hollis and it is in that role that I first came to know Jim, who oversaw operations at the camp.

We have stayed in touch, I knew about the book he was working on, and I was anxious to get my own copy and start through it. That brings me to why I’m sharing this.

As a piece of Oswego County history, the events and milestones that shaped the camp’s development are thoroughly researched and well chronicled. If only as a relatable example of local lore, I heartily recommend it to all persons with interest in Oswego County history.

But it’s so much more than that.

It’s a must read for anybody who has ever been personally connected to the camp. If you worked there as a counselor or stayed there as a young camper, you will feel a strong nostalgic pull as you move across the pages. You’ll recognize names and characters, events and scenes and activities. Quite likely, your own camp memories will come flooding back and they will warm you. You’ll want to talk about it, to tell your kids about it. But most of all, I think, you’ll first sit back, close your eyes and for a few wonderful moments, wander back to a magical time in your life.

I have no financial interest in Jim Farfaglia or his Camp Hollis book; I just want to say that for the record. I am a grateful citizen of this community and proud of its heritage. If you had the camp experience, this book will be a treasure for you. Buy it, borrow it, but somehow get yourself a copy. It’s genuinely wonderful.

If you’re just a history buff, it ain’t bad either.

Steve McDonough