Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh

Sixty summers ago, one of the most unlikely songs ever to make #2 on the Billboard charts was a comedy parody called CAMP GRANADA, which chronicled the laments of a city kid who was sent away to a remote summer camp and began to methodically run off a list of all of the diseases and tragedies he and his fellow campmates were enduring as he was apparently suffering through yet another rainy day.   Since its author and singer Allan Sherman looked an awful lot like my dad, and shared the same-spelled first name, and since tomorrow will be nine years since my Dad left this mortal coil, it’s on my mind today.  Allan’s son Robert, reportedly the inspiration for the song  when he wrote some similar correspondences from Camp Champlain, is a friend of mine, so the Shermans have an even deeper connection to my heart on days like this.

Now you or  may not be of a vintage where a salute to unlikely summer camp attendees means a darn thing to you, but I know plenty of the people who will be attending–and, certainly, many of the people running–the annual Allen and Compant Sun Valley Investor Conference  which kicks off tomorrow in Idaho do remember the song, and many feel as much like a fish out of water as did young Mr. Sherman.  As THE OBSERVER’s Sissi Cao explains, people who often wouldn’t be caught dead in a location like that come together in such an atypical environment to get away from the pressures of their normal lives and, perhaps, create an environment where history could be made:

Every July, dozens of tech moguls, finance barons and Hollywood A-listers fly in from around the world to a mountain resort in Sun Valley, Idaho for the annual Allen & Company conference, dubbed the “summer camp for billionaires.” The highly private annual gathering is known not only as a retreat for industry power players to mix work with pleasure but also as a seedbed for mega business deals, such as Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post and the merger between Disney (DIS) and ABC.

It’s a week later than usual this year, what with the event normally starting on the Tuesday after Juky 4th but with this year’s Independence Day actually falling on a Tuesday, it was delayed accordingly.  Bezos won’t attend this year, nor will Elon Musk, who is more than a little busy trying to figure out ways to keep his social media company relevant and solvent.  But his potential future cage fight opponent Mark Zuckerberg will be there, in an environment where depending upon the weather his hoodies will actually fit in style-wise.

Zuck may be alphabetically last on the list of those who are invited, but if you take a glance at who else will be there, you might be wise to anticipate that something involving a few of these companies might at least be discussed, if not get executed, in the next few months.  Per Brent Lang and Rebecca Rubin of VARIETY!:


Media and Entertainment


Sports and food



No, they aren’t going to be separated into boys’ and girls’ bunks, and the food will likely be slightly better quality than the slop young Robert Sherman had to eat.  Hey, if nothing else, the yogurt and hamburgers should be pretty darn tasty,

Tastier still will be the rumors and rumblings that may emerge.  Those that are golfers or tennis players will have the ability to work out their aggression and ideas in a paparazzi-free environment, and those a bit more sedentary will at least be able to enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery to decide if and how the stock market and, potentially, the shape of the next round of elections may evolve.

Or, perhaps, some of those ideas just get forgotten amidst the camaraderie or, perhaps, petty arguments that often occur at retreats.  If nothing else, maybe some of the elder statespeople can teach the younger turks this salute the way my dad taught it to me. :

Until next time….

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