Hub Baehr was a DL staff member in 1933 when Deerfoot Lodge moved from its location on the Kunjamuck River to Whitaker Lake. That summer Hub arrived before camp began, riding in his brother Conrad’s 1922 Buick open touring car – “a heavily built vehicle with a strong frame, a powerful engine, a tough transmission and clutch, and 21” wood spoke wheels”. The car was loaded with all manner of stuff needed for the new facility: coils of wire, hanks of rope, picks, shovels, pails, step ladders – and Connie’s “custom made” wheels –rims to which were welded pieces of angle iron. The road into camp was almost non-existent – it took 2 ½ days to go the 2 ½ miles.
Hub helped to create the ball field – an open area used for a saw mill many years before. Hundreds of trees, 2” to 6” in diameter were cut off at about 4’. A chain was wrapped around the stump, fastened to the Buick, and yank…That summer he also milked the camp’s two cows, drove the horse team, and carried water from the spring, up the hill to the kitchen located in Old Hardwood.
Dad Kunz chose Hub and nine others to begin the Lone Eagle program in 1935. These were men who had excellent camping skills and were “well qualified in the areas of cooperation, initiative, spiritual maturity, leadership ability, and physical ability.”
In 1982, when I became the Director of DL, Hub was a member of the Board of Directors. At age 70 Hub moved to senior status. Those in senior status served in the same manner as did regular Board Members, except that they were not expected at every meeting. Hub continued to attend every meeting, a consistently warm, supportive, encouraging man. Occasionally he would make a brief comment, or ask a thought provoking question, often opening up new avenues of thinking. He was the man who challenged the assumption that Sunday at DL should look like Sunday at home. He was the catalyst for having the DL 75th reunion at DL in 2004, when over 500 came for the weekend. After two years of tentative discussion to change/clarify the DL doctrinal statement, Hub quietly said “I worked with Dad Kunz on the original – I think he would be pleased.” Approved unanimously.
When Herb was about 78, he returned home from a Gideon meeting to find his wife, Lilly, dead on the laundry room floor. She had been stabbed. Three weeks later Hub went through with previously scheduled triple by-pass heart surgery. A few weeks after the surgery, Sally Jo and I went to Hub’s home to visit him. His preparation for our coming included pre-heating the tea pot and placing slices of pound cake on a beautiful plate.
We were having a wonderful visit with this gentle giant of a man when he asked if we had the Deerfoot slide show with us. As we watched the slides together he would frequently tell a brief story. Sometimes we would laugh together, and at other times, through tears he would quietly say “The Lord is Good, the Lord is Good”. We looked, laughed and cried together for a couple hours.
Recently Sally Jo and I attended Hub’s memorial service. His family was there, and I think every male in the family had been a Deerfoot Lodge camper, most had been staff members. The majority of those present I did not know. These were people who knew Hub in the context of his church, the Gideon’s, and from his years as the Assistant Superintendent of a large school district. Many of these people gave testimony to confirm that Hub was the same quiet, steady man I had known. Hub consistently lived his life as God’s man.
I have often thought of Hub as my Abraham – tested, and found trustworthy.
He lived In Partnership With God.