The tent looked like a rejected prop from an episode of M*A*S*H. No. Worse. If Charlie Brown went tent shopping, he would have walked out with this one. It was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of tents.
Last year, my mom found a photo of the tent. It’s the only evidence proving that my family’s collective memory of the relic isn’t just some sad legend that’s grown since the mid-1970s. We borrowed the tent from the family friends who had convinced my parents that we should all go camping together. Like most snapshots from the era, the photo has faded into a uniform brown-green. In it, a few trees leaning behind the tent look embarrassed, like they’re trying to duck out of the photo. The army-green tent is the classic inverted V-shape. When kids draw pictures of tents, they draw our tent.