To some folks outside beautiful downtown Camp Connell, California, Donna Manning may just appear to be a normal human being, one who happens to run a store along Highway 4 on the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway.
But for the people who live here (all 105 of us) and those who visit (several thousand in a big week), they know better.
Judy Caverly, one of the more respectable residents of the area, and a real Yankee too, put her feelings about Donna into a semi-epic poem on her last birthday. It works best if you read it aloud in a Down-east accent. Pretend you are a Kennedy clan member.
ODE TO DONNA
I’m sitting here with pen in hand
Deciding how to honor Camp Connell’s lady proprietress,
The enigma we call DONNA
Surprises always lie in store when entering
Camp Connell’s door. A happy greeting? Yes! I’ll take it.
One thing’s for sure, she’ll never fake it!
The loving side we all have seen, pinch yourself,
it’s not a dream.
Gaze amongst the “artsy fartsy,” you might meet
the “Paper Nazi.”
If all you buy is black and white, you might be in for quite a fright!
The morning crew arrive in mass, tormenting our poor Donna’s ass.
No burritos to start the day?
Watch out Donna, you’re bound to pay!
People come into the store and hug her,
For they all adore
The lady with the snappy wit.
(She’s apt to call your kid a twit)!
She may not call you by your name
(Can’t remember, what a shame)!
Those of us who gather here to honor her this day will all agree,
She’s one fine dame--
We’ll take her any way.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DONNA