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MsJimp
Expert Boarder
Posts:674
I take pictures

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11833 3 years, 3 months ago
saw some comments about phil zone badassness
zoners are truly some of the best people on the interwebs



this being said
Shortly after I met Mr Jimp on the Phil Zone our first date was 3 days at a regional rainbow gathering in Ocala Florida , and yes there
is a place for everyone to camp. We were just on the outskirts of A camp and not too far from main gate and close to an actual
bathroom so we were not all that terribly uncomfortable while we were there. We set ourselves up a nice camp site with a tent and a
screen house and we fashioned ourselves a small fire pit, and a fairly modern outdoor kitchen. Coolers with food and we were eating things
like linguine with white clam sauce and steak for dinner. We had a few bottles of wine for the 3 days as well. We also had plenty of battery operated appliances and lights so our experience was a little less than roughing it . After dinner we would walk down to main circle and enjoy some camp fires on the way back to our site , it was a good place to start and solidify a relationship i suppose just as any three day weekend in semi primitive conditions could be. We learned that we could work together well. This being said ......we have not been back. For many of the reasons that JR has stated, the i love you no i love you more stuff seemed simply something to say rather than meant , one of the shanta seena people came to talk to us there and said "I have been watching you guys all day as ive been walking on the trail and you guys are love, like a perfect picture of valentines day, and its hard to find people here who know what that means". That kind of stuck with both of us. For those that know me they know I am visually challenged to the point where I cant drive at night or in the early morning and on rainy days. We were trolled on main trail for our lanterns by people who called me unkind for sharing what I had with them even after I explained that I NEEDED those lanterns to see my way back to our camp site because my
vision is so poor. These people attempted to block our passage down main trail and prevent us from getting back to our site , this incident went on for about 20 minutes until some assistance from others finally arrived , and this did not happen in A camp. We were then alerted by the others to the existence of "trolls on main trail" . A rainbow gathering was really the last place I expected to see this kind of behavior. John i appreciate your experiences and explanation of a rainbow gathering , however there are other elements that do exist there.
Please tell Governor Christie of NJ to open the records
Lynx
Visitor

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11847 3 years, 3 months ago
Yikes. This sounds like a scary experience MsJimp. Glad it turned out OK for you and didn't escalate any further (the trolls on the trail incident that is... I'm glad your relationship escalated further!)
Last Edit: 3 years, 3 months ago by .
aliatic
Fresh Boarder
Posts:15

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11851 3 years, 3 months ago
I have been to regionals on both coasts as far back as the 80's and used to be way more into the whole thing but what I have to say about JK's post is that if I was 10-20 mile from the nearest cell tower and there were ten thousand people I would be pretty bummed.

I think its a good thing generally because there are way worse places for runaways to end up, but especially out west I don't care how much you rehab it, I don't really like to see people gathering in such large numbers in meadows and other delicate settings, especially not for weeks at a time. And even though I think its generally a good thing, after the first couple times the brother and sistering and such just struck me as extremely fake. I don't think its really any more of a family than any festival where people are chilling near each other and enjoying each other's company. Yes, its fun to camp in groups and relax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Strummer101er
MusicMagic
Junior Boarder
Posts:60
Grateful for the Music!

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11865 3 years, 3 months ago
Well Well- some heat in this stream. John's description was a great one. I went to Gatherings for many years, started in Washington State in 1981-focused a kitchen for many many years. I worked at CALM (Center for Alternative Living Medicine) a bit. I used to work in the parking lot some just so folks would be Welcomed Home by someone who was not drunk and trying to charge for parking-but those were my early days...Mostly did a kichen and LOTS and LOTS of Music.

What I often say to people who ask about Rainbow is -you are likely to see somehing that is going to piss you off very soon upon being there. It is like the dragons at the gate- need to go past them to get to the magic-if you choose.

I have dealt with stuff at Gatherings that I would rather not- fights, theft, forest fires, injuries - I have also dealt with some of that stuff in the lot on tour- people can be nasty everywhere- and people are also amazing. So for me it is that I put my energy toward and spend time with folks who have a mind and heart toward peace and peacefulness..and that is a core vibe I find at Rainbow.

And to be clear- I worked full time as a nurse (still do) and made Rainbow and Dead tour my vacation- took hot showers that we rigged up in the woods- amazingly creative people there!

For me, the best part and the reason I kept going all those years- is the spark of an idea-what if the 4th of July is treated as Interdependence Day instead of Independence Day? Shift Happens....To me, that sums the whole thing up.

If people do go- usually on the 2nd of July is an evening of storytelling and sharing the history (Hipstory) of the Gatherings- nice way to get a long view of the caravan of it all. I haven't been since Pa. in '99 so don't know if that is still a tradition or not. I remember one year we had a talent show and this magician got up and said "I've been waiting all year to do this," and proceeded to strip totally naked and say "nothing up my sleeve.." couldn't happen anywhere else ya know?
Let the Beauty We Love Be what we Do....Rumi
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colorado Greg, Abba
Strummer101er
Junior Boarder
Posts:63

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11868 3 years, 3 months ago
2nd of July is an evening of storytelling and sharing the history (Hipstory) of the Gatherings<<

ye gads that sounds vile. like the 'tells' scene in Beyond Thunder Dome.


"it all started in 19ought66 when Blue Boy and his old lady decided they didn't want to work for the MAN, man..."
Let fury have the hour. Anger can be power - the clash
MsJimp
Expert Boarder
Posts:674
I take pictures

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11871 3 years, 3 months ago
I am glad that the trolling incident did not escalate further as well, it is a very scary proposition to be in the dark in the woods and devoid of night vision with someone threatening to take your light from you. As for the relationship, we are still together and still just as happy as that first weekend even with the curve balls that life has thrown our way
Please tell Governor Christie of NJ to open the records
spinneresque108
Junior Boarder
Posts:71

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11872 3 years, 3 months ago
Serving the community while you are there can enrich your experience immensely. There are a thousand different ways to participate. I worked very long hours in our kitchen, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Abba
MusicMagic
Junior Boarder
Posts:60
Grateful for the Music!

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11875 3 years, 3 months ago
ye gads that sounds vile. like the 'tells' scene in Beyond Thunder Dome.

Isn't is so totally great that you don't have to go? Have fun at the shows!
Let the Beauty We Love Be what we Do....Rumi
83msg1sttyme
Platinum Boarder
Posts:5732

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#11876 3 years, 3 months ago
Strummer101er wrote:
2nd of July is an evening of storytelling and sharing the history (Hipstory) of the Gatherings<<

ye gads that sounds vile. like the 'tells' scene in Beyond Thunder Dome.


"it all started in 19ought66 when Blue Boy and his old lady decided they didn't want to work for the MAN, man..."
now that is funny i dont care who you are and the south park clip /episode is classic ,cartman blasts panterra to break up the crowd.oh yeah he locked em in the basement threwhim some joints and a guitar"that ought to hold ya"
If i told ya all that went down,it would burn off both your ears
Abba
Gold Boarder
Posts:1025
I missed Jerry!

Re: Any Rainbow Family here??

#12030 3 years, 3 months ago
Jay Kay wrote:
Thanks, y'all... funny that this would be the thread that got me to register. There is enough disinformation about Rainbow Gatherings in the corporate media that I can't bear to see it regurgitated here.

So imagine, you are in the woods, maybe 20-50 miles from the nearest cell tower, with 10-20 thousand other folks, its a couple hours after sunset, the stars are out, you are walking along a trail and stumble on a campfire where they are making popcorn in a giant wok 4 feet in diameter... someone fills your cup up with freshly popped kernels, you munch a little, taking in the scene, and continue walking... you hear a rumble ahead, which turns out to be 50 drummers and 200 dancers around the next fire, and they are "crushing it"! A little further down the trail you run into a camp with five 50-gallon barrels turned into wood-burning ovens... turns out you missed the brownies, but they have freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! A little more down the trail is another fire where someone is playing acoustic guitar & singing songs for 5 or 6 other folks... you sit down to listen for a song or two, and next thing you know, out of the darkness other musicians show up and join in... and the 5 or 6 listeners have turned in to a crowd of folks dancing and singing along...

...then, on the morning of July 4th, you wake up to the entire camp observing a silent vigil. You make your way, along with the majority of the other campers, to the "main meadow" where, still in silence, folks are sunbathing, meditating, reading, and gradually forming a hand-holding circle around the meadow 1/4 mi or more in diameter. Around noon. a parade of children, colorful floats, hippie clowns, stiltwakers, etc approaches from "kid village" and the circle begins to "Om" together... the parade reaches the totem pole at the center of the meadow, everyone breaks into a joyful shout, the drums begin thundering, and hundreds of watermelons are chopped and handed out... you look up, there's a rainbow around the sun, and you know you have just seen one of the most amazing annual events in North America, if not the world...

My first gathering was the national in Minnesota in 1990 (there are smaller regional events throughout the year, but the national event is always July 1-7, with setup starting a couple of weeks before, and cleanup running for a couple of weeks after.) I heard about it at the big Earth Day 20th anniversary celebration in Chicago that year, opted to arrive a week early, and spent my 21st birthday out in the woods with craziest melding of hippies, punk rockers, homeless Vietnam vets, new-age healers, straight rural tourists, Deadheads, pagans, radical "fairies", Jesus freaks, yoga freaks, Hare Krishnas, whole-earth-catalog-back-to-the-landers, commune members, alternative medicine practitioners, and just plain groovy folks that I have ever encountered. Attendance in Minnesota was estimated at 15,000, but its been as high as 50,000 (20th anniversary, Colorado '92.) Since my first gathering I have been to Colorado '92, Wyoming '94, New Mexico '95, Missouri '96, Oregon '97, Arizona '98, Pennsylvania '99, Montana 2000, Michigan '02, West Virginia '05, and Wyoming '08. I've also been to a handful of regionals and one Fire Tribe event (ForestDance in Mass, '09). As you can imagine, its a big part of my life.

Rainbow Gatherings are non-commercial events, and there is no admission charge. The site is always in a National Forest, which it turns out is the only place that our "right to peaceably assemble" is still in effect, just about everywhere else being technically private property. It works entirely on volunteerism and donations. Donations are taken centrally in the "magic hat" and funds are distributed by consensus committee. Typically volunteer activities are gathering firewood, hauling water, and digging shitters. There are very few "rules:" 1) Keep a cup and spoon with you at all times (food is free at kitchens, but plates/utensils are rare,) 2) cover your shit with dirt, preferably in a designated slit-trench latrine, 3) no guns/firearms, and 4) no alcohol. Food at kitchens is generally vegetarian, because its much easier to keep from spoiling without refrigeration than meat. Electricity and amplified music are frowned upon, with flashlights and lanterns tolerated. These agreements are fairly well-observed in the "main gathering site," in my experience, but there some areas outside the official site that make their own rules: "A-camp" is where alcohol is tolerated, its almost always in one of the parking lots and the unofficial agreement is that they do parking lot security, and "Bus Village," which is exactly what it sounds like, and is more like Burning Man, with generators, all-night raves, etc.

The cleanup after these events is very thorough, down to reseeding trails with local plants/wildflowers. There are multiple forest service publications documenting the benefits to a forest after hosting a gathering, especially the clearing of the downed wood and underbrush that are forest fire hazards. Local towns are mixed in their response, depending on the general level of xenophobia, but by and large they get that increased sales far, far outweigh the losses from shoplifting. There has also been a bit of a long-standing feud between Rainbows and Deadheads, with Deadheads regarding gatherings as forced work camps, and Rainbows regarding Deadheads as lazy "drainbows" that show up for the free food and contribute nothing but empty beer cans and bottles. And despite my glowing account above, there are also boring rainy days, days where everytime you get to kitchen they are between meals, days with the "rainbow runs" from drinking unfiltered water, annoying egos, loud verbal conflicts, petty thievery, L.E.O.'s throwing their weight around, and the other generally human behaviors on the "shadow side" of the coin.

Anyway, looks like I might get to go this year, something that has been a rarity since started touring as a musician, and I am pretty excited about that!

Peace, y'all!

John Kadlecik
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I'm humbled that you registered to reply to my thread. It can't be shared any better than what you just said. My wife and I met you briefly in MD at the 8x10 and you seemed shocked that we told you we drove all the way from RI to see JKB AND brought the kids ( who were babysat at the hotel). Like my wife said to you- you truely are "one of us". Family. Always have been, always will be. Call the "family" what you want, it includes us all.

It touches my heart that you took the time to offer such an eloquent and heartfelt reply. Your heart shines. One way or another, this darkness has got to give. I think alot more people are waiting to hear from you than you might believe, brother.

In true Rainbow style... "We Loooooooooooooooooove Youuuuuuuuuu!"
Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
Think for yourself, Escape the gene pools
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