Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Thursday, June 2, 2011

YMCA Indian Guides, Lightning Bolt remembers

When I was a boy some of my friends were in the Boy Scouts. I was one of the lucky ones. I was an Indian Brave in the YMCA Indian Guides. This organization was great as it wasn't used as a babysitter for boys. Fathers actively participated in activities with their sons. It was a great memory builder.

As you can see from the pics above, we got to wear our Indian outfits and had a great time at the meetings. Yes, that's me ("Lighting Bolt") on the left circa 1974-75 with my mustachioed dad ("Thunder Cloud") and younger bro Kurt ("North Wind") at one of the lodge campouts.

Recently I posed with my Pa (yes that's us almost 40 years later) in our Indian Guides vests. As you can see there were plenty of patches on them....which meant we spent a lot of quality time together doing various things from campouts to road rallies to rocket derby competitions. Pa received several awards from the YMCA for his contribution to the Indian Guides. I've scanned a few of the plaques above.

The motto of the Indian Guides is "Father And Son, Pals Forever" and the purpose: to foster companionship of father and son. When we got too old for the Indian Guides we didn't want it to end. Luckily we continued on in a club for older boys called the Trailblazers.

The YMCA (Young Men's Christian Associations) of yesteryear has undergone a lot of changes. Its mission then (as stated in the Indian Guide manual) was "to achieve its Christian purpose by interpreting moral and spiritual values in all relationships and activities....based on the teachings and examples of Jesus."

Unfortunately today the YMCA is simply known as "The Y" and the Indian Guides have been disbanded in many states due to Native Americans balking at the perceived stereotype. I say "perceived" as the Indian Guides manual tells the true story. It uses "the high standard of relationship between fathers and sons among early Indian sets as an example for fathers to follow. The Indian father was responsible for his son's ethics, physical development and attitudes toward others."

If only this would be used as an example today. Luckily it still is in some localities. The Indian Guides haven't vanished altogether and I found several websites of "tribes" still enjoying and promoting father and son companionship like we did back in the 1970s with campouts, fishing trips, and bonfires.

With Father's Day this month it is nice to be able to recall the time spent growing up in the YMCA Indian Guides. Thanks Pa!

(Last pic above was found in my photo album, I think it is of Mike, Tim and Robby Miller, who were members of our Indian Guides Cree Tribe in the Detroit, MI area in the early 1970s....wonder whatever happened to them....)


  1. This is fantastic, Jeff; I had to ask my wife what Indian Guides were; she said pre boy scouts. Well I vaguely remember taking our two oldest sons, Paul and Mark to Indian Guides. I remember the scouting experiences best: all three of our boys were Senior Patol Leaders, one by one. And their subsequent lives have certainly expressed the leadership skills they developed --- back there is the oh so distant past.

  2. Thank you Larry! Actually the Indian Guides had nothing to do with Boy Scouts. They were two different programs, but both very worthwhile. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Funny, I was Lightning Bolt, and my Dad as Thundercloud too! We were founding members of the Hopi tribe, out of the Downriver (Wyandotte) YMCA, starting in 1973. We also went on to form the "Wagonmasters", the only Trailblazer group at the Downriver Y. Thanks for posting.

  4. Funny, I was Lightning Bolt, and my Dad as Thundercloud too! We were founding members of the Hopi tribe, out of the Downriver (Wyandotte) YMCA, starting in 1973. We also went on to form the "Wagonmasters", the only Trailblazer group at the Downriver Y. Thanks for posting.