Summer 61, On The Last Leg Of The Journey

Ed Fingerhood
Camp wittatinny
Dingman's Ferry

Dear Ed... (from one camp to another), You once wrote me in a letter while in Berlin (how dramatic that sounds), something about what life isn't without one's creating, and I kinda knew that you were right, but didn't want to look at it. Now I know YOU ARE RIGHT. I try to think of something to mold my life and everything not connected with dance seems dull, barren and just something to fill a life without purpose.

I think, hope, that perhaps, I've learned just what it means to create, not the quick success pill bit, nor all shiny, shiny, but grind, grind but loving the grind, self-discipline, self-realization, PATIENCE, and all those qualities that drive one mad but are the necessary ingredients. We drive ourselves almost to the point of insanity, but can you think of any other way? I can't! Thankfully, we're caught. I've told no one, not even myself, but I have to dance, there is no life without it!

The wind blows through the trees, tra la, making a wonderful breeze, tra la, oh how I live the trees, the breeze, the eas, tral la, … sick of that one .. what else in the mind today. M in different mood from when I wrote the above, tra la…Tink, got to take a shower … can't stand the smell… shall return ... oh, so much better… the sun is like claustrophobia… the sound of the sea is the sound of the train, but never fading in the distance, I keep waiting , but the sea has time … (so do I).

 How does one get rid of shadows on the stage? We had a farctival here last night with plsy, modern dance, singing, ect. The director came from another Kibbutz… he took a three month's course in directions and is now learning the hard way with no one to watch and learn from. But it's amazing just how much one can pull from people who have never been on the stage before. These people were working in the fields all day, and coming to rehearsals at night. A girl from the next door Kibbutz (we are grandkids of the same grandmother, Wigman) did the dancing, and naturally speaking it was not hot, but considering that on one had ever dance before, it was marvelous, especially the men.. so good to see real men dancing with masculinity!

Your life seems very full, Ed (probably too much so) and I would love to see your work. Have you been accepted by the kids and do you have free reins to do what you like?

I have to dance, there is no life without it!

My life is now a period of waiting, and thankfully, I'm on the last leg of the journey. It's like a bad joke from Ripley's "believe it or not" and still I feel like in a confused dream. In Sept. , I'll be a mother, no joke although I have to lough feeling you read this. I look like a walrus walking backwards. But it's amazing to feel life moving in my stomach. Do you realize that you'll be an uncle soon? There have been many, many problems involved, but now almost everything has been settled, and the only one remaining is the adoption. Have arranged for that also through Hadassah, but if I can go through with it one gets rather attached…(pun).

"hey kid,  stop pulling the cord, what'd ya think this is a trolley". If it  (usually I say she) is healthy and all is well, when the hospitalization period is over, I have to carry it personally to the lawyer. Jesus, will that be difficult. Truthfully, I would like to keep it because I don't trust anyone else with its raising (corrupted by society) but I know that my life will stop here and I would probably hate it for this. (always me, me, I, I, I, oh my gosh die, die, die) so that's my life for now, and I'm extremely anxious to get the hell out of this intensified community.. there is golden valley… tra la… jaks… 

P.S. only you, Sue and Paula know about this………

Israel is now in the period of the sun flower harvest… it reminds me of you… riding past acres and acres of them. Now that they are ripe, they no longer stand tall and proud, but hang their heads, sorry that life is over.

No, I have not seen your "Shabbath" would very much like to…. When I think of where you are, can't help picturing the "Wood". 

Let me know how things work out. Hey, we need good play writes in Israel. What a funny land this is… If I can clear my conscience of my social obligation here, we may be chatting over coffee come Nov. The horn is pupping for the theater. Mary Stewart in Tel Aviv. Imagine going to the theatre in the city by cattle truck wearing slacks. The casualness is good.

30 August 1961.


Ed (Edward) Fingerhood was the individual who was responsible for the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Pennsylvania. It was Ed who called Frank and Barb Haas one evening in the early 1980s and suggested that Pennsylvania birders do an atlas. A few weeks later, Ed, Barb and Frank met with Frank Gill from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences to discuss the possibilities and the atlas was born. The atlas project not only created the atlas, but along with the founding of Pennsylvania Birds, created the organizational framework for the founding of the PSO.

Atlas of Breeding Birds of Pennsylvania
In addition to his interest in the atlas project, Ed was extremely active in the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club. One of his primary contributions to that organization was as chairman of the Ornithological Studies committee, in which role he presented sometimes new and sometimes old presentations about interesting tidbits in the field of ornithology. One example concerned a species of bird that had been recorded almost annually at Tinicum Nature Reserve up until the 1960s, but then was rarely recorded after that. What had happened? Was it habitat changes? Was it pollution? Was it hunting? It was none of these. It was "lumped." The bird in question was "Common" Teal! His point being that races, subspecies, and forms should be studied and reported as much as "full" species. It was this kind of detail that epitomized Ed's approach to birding. Unfortunately for the birding world, Ed died in 1998, so the Poole Award was presented posthumously.

Ed (Edward) Fingerhood