Monday, July 1, 2013

On Rainbow Gatherings and the 70s Thing

After the 1978 apple picking season I drove my hippy van up to Ione, Washington to a relatively new phenomenum called a barter fair. Kind of a twin to the Rainbow Gatherings that sprang from that same era and demographic. Lots of young folks like myself as well as a fair amount of what we called middle-aged folks at the time (mid thirties). Big party out in a wide open meadow surrounded by mountains, is what I remember, which is a good thing, considering. 

The organizers, probably the owners of the land, had set up a few “squat pits” for people to use in place of communing with the surrounding woods, which many people did anyway, and so you had to literally thread through the toilet-paper blossoms if you wanted to take a walk outside of camp. Made the saunters more adventurous, if nothing else.

I of course wanted to do the right thing and when my time drew near I headed for the pit, which as far as I could see from the outside consisted of a makeshift wooden privacy wall with a long co-ed line outside, to which I attached myself and waited as best I could. For twenty minutes I stood in front of a very cute and stoned flower girl in a tie-dyed granny skirt and even though I wanted to think of something witty to say to her, I didn't, because I was single and shy, and she was very cute.

It finally got to be my turn to go “behind the wall” and there I found myself standing on an open-air rough wood platform with two openings in the boards five feet apart. I hadn’t known until this critical moment that it was a “two-squatter” and that if I wanted to do my business in private, which I think most people prefer, I’d better hurry up which, everything being equal, is neither natural nor preferable. Nevertheless, there it was, I had to go, and I fell to in as speedy a fashion as I could, hoping the next person in line was too stoned to move in too quick, which I thought she was.

I was about halfway through when in she came, lifted her skirt, and joined me. This not only didn’t help my flirting skills, it seized me up. I shut down on my appreciation of the scenery. What else could I do? I continued squatting, red-faced, she finished and left with a brush of a tie-dye skirt and a smile, and I was constipated for the next two days. I figured I had been some kind of smitten, but to this day I’m not sure what kind it was, or if I ever recovered from it. I did recover from the constipation after two days of eating one Red Delicious apple from a box I had stashed under the bed of my hippy van every two hours, and this is a cure I would still recommend to alleviate the symptoms of various conditions, such as constipation, stomach pains and precipitous declines in self-confidence associated with Failed Flirting Fatigue (FFF).

Regarding the Rainbow Gathering in the Big Hole this week: I think most young people have experiences that seem incredibly adventurous at the time and that play havoc with their self-esteem and upbringing. I just want to let them know that we all go through that stuff, whether we admit it or not, and that it's generally all right if you keep in mind that the main object is to stay in one piece. We elders should all wish you youngsters the best, and I do.

Have fun, and play safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment