Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl
A View From My Hill
Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl
By Linda Martin
Happy Camp is a small town and there’s no bad side of town. Every side is just about like any other. And this causes some people discomfort.
You see, if you’re used to being able to live on the good side of town in a larger community, it is a step down to come to a place like Happy Camp where we’re all together – the good, the imperfect, and whoever comes to live with us.
We’re deep inside the Klamath National Forest – a group of less than 1500 souls. Some were born here. Some have had family here for many centuries and others for more than one century. But many of us have no idea where our ancestors came from. We were born in this country which is not our ancestors’ native land, and we struggle to find a place we can call home. We’ve been drawn to this remote mountain community either by the hand of fate or the will of God, where we learn that Happy Campers are all like one big extended family. We’re together here, deep in the most remote part of the forest, trying to make the best of it.
So if you’re reading this website thinking you might want to move here as many have done before you, consider this. In Happy Camp we’re not just talking about the unity of mankind. We’re living it. There are no bad people here, but there are plenty of imperfect ones and if we’re going to be honest we’ll admit that everyone is imperfect. There are those who let it show and those who try to hide their imperfections, but in general we’re all pretty much alike.
Though there are no bad people here, there are bad drugs that cause some of our citizens to act in ways others consider to be irresponsible and immature. And in a larger town most of those people would be living on ‘the other side of town’ – forced by economic necessity to rent places that we can not see or be bothered by because we never go there.
Well in Happy Camp, we don’t have that type of luxury. There’s no bad neighborhood. All neighborhoods are pretty much alike with both good and troubled people in them. And though we may complain about our neighbors, they are still like our cousins, brothers and sisters, and they’re probably not going away any time soon. So like any big family there are sometimes petty arguments, then we usually get over them because that’s what people in families do.
So if you’re used to luxury living, it is possible Happy Camp isn’t the place for you. True, you could buy a home outside of town and only drive into town to get your mail and groceries, but then you’d miss the true beauty of Happy Camp. By true beauty I mean the friendships and comaraderie you find by associating with all classes of people here. Yet this apparently is not for everyone.
As editor of this news site I have met people who learned about the town from this site and came here to buy property. Please consider this your warning. Though Happy Camp is a beautiful and isolated community in the middle of a gorgeous national forest, we’re not all upscale and if you find that bothersome, you may want to look for other lodging.
However if you love humanity, care about people, and want to join together with all classes to help and find new kinds of friends, this is a great fishbowl to be in.
Linda Martin is the editor and publisher of Happy Camp News. She writes novels in her spare time. Her writing website is at http://www.lindajomartin.com.
I read your Happy camp is a fish Bowl.Nice artical.
I’m not certain if you remember, but my sister (Gwen Ferguson-Kirby) wrote and article you published a couple years ago. It was about the Crab Shack that my grandparents used to own and run and some history.
I’m sad to say Gwen has passed away 4/07/08, and I was hoping to recover that story and provide it within her on-line Guest Book obituary and perhaps in combo with her previous story you may be kind enough to post along with it her passing.
Please let me know what if anything you can find or do.
Her obit is located:
Yvonne (Daughter of Chuck Kirby raised in Happy Camp)
I also lived there in 78′ and went to HC high.
I’m 45 and have been a resident of Arkansas since childhood. My lifelong passion and dream has been to be a laid back gold prospector but alas there is very little gold here and fewer places to find it. For the past few years I have really studied your area well and have been undecided as to where I would like to relocate when the time comes. This article has clinched it. Happy Camp will be my future home. I can’t wait!