Saturday, April 2, 2011

Electric Kool-Aid

I don't know about you, but I live in a really dynamic community of intellectuals, hippies, queers and weirdos.  Could be the reason that I feel so much at home in The Happy Valley. Because by nature I am a bit shy, I love to be in and among the bands of off-beats. If I'm going to be a silver-haired, lefty nerd with a married gay daughter, I'd rather blend in than stand out. If you know what I mean.  ;-)

All of this to say that occasionally I'd like to post a photo of my beloved Happy Valley that alludes to that free spirit of the Western Massachusetts that I love so much. As my mind meanders around all sorts of connections that I have yet to put into words, I want to call this feature Electric Kool-Aid (Acid Test).
Okay, so we're not quite San Francisco and the 60's are over, but we've created our own brand of pranksters. It works for me.

 In the North Quabin region of Franklin County, there is an annual Fall event that pays homage to garlic, sustainable farming and all-around wackiness - The North Quabin Garlic and Arts Festival.  Rarely timely with my news (cuz hell, I don't have to be if I don't wanna), I'm sharing with you a sampling of photos from last Fall's festival. I hope you enjoy it.

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

 We arrived in the grassy parking lot to the strains of The Beatles Drive My Car. As we were walking to queue up for the shuttle ride up to the festival, we saw that the music was blaring from this funky truck and that a peculiar yellow man was playing to the beat with a sort

Don't ask because I have no idea what any of it meant. Call it Burning Man, Western Massachusetts style! ;-)

 Peace, Love and Understanding,


  1. Wow, I mean, far out, what an awesomely cool place to live, like, I can really dig it ...

    There are many enclaves in the world, Gina, where people live with sense, sensibility and creativity. I'm glad for you you've found one such ...

  2. That is so interesting! It looks kind of "hippie" I guess because of the originality and imagination of the truck but the construction and paint show a lot of craftsmanship and thought. A far cry from the painted on peace symbols from long ago.

    Not that I know anything but it seems like "society" in general is getting more and more self selecting and there is less "mixing" of the tribes than what there used to be and a whole lot less communication and more animosity. Despite all our talk of diversity it doesn't seem to be working.

  3. Some people have way too much time on their hands.
    And I say, thank god for them!!

  4. Looks like a fun place to be!

  5. I wanna live where you live. it looks a really creative area and I'd love that. sometimes I think that cold climates contribute to stifled creativity, (the midwest) but hey, Mass. has winter too. Wisconsin has produced some creative geniuses (Wright, O'Keeffe, to name two) but this is such fun and funk. oh what a fun day this must have been. I love all the color and I'm happy you've shared. have a great weekend in Happy Valley Gina. how could you not????

  6. Francis - I grew up in the lower Pioneer Valley, which is not as "happy" but I attended college in Amherst and was very much influenced by both the 5-colleges and what they have to offer and the sort of counter-culture and fringe that surrounded me. Peace-out, man. ;-)

    Yogi - you make an excellent point. And that co-existence is exactly what goes on around here. We have college professors, the queer community, farmers, rednecks, artists and writers and we all put up with each other! Not that there isn't friction at times; especially when it comes to politics but over-all I'd say that there is a lot more tolerance here than in most places in the U.S.

    Kenju and Leslie - thanks for commenting!

  7. The nearest I got to being a hippy in the 60s was wearing a kaftan - well, I was still at school!! Super photos!

  8. This Chevy truck was designed and built in a era of heavy iron and serious function. Bland and a bit boring in its day.

    So, how about some neon hues and hippie artwork. Works for me! The corrugated metal awnings/sided add a bit of functionality to this rolling sculpture. Fascinating, and a trip down late 1960s style!

  9. Wacky and tons of fun! You'd have to really work hard to NOT have a good time. :)

  10. My first thought was to wonder if it's street legal since the canopy looks as if it could blow away at any hint of the kind of speed that truck could manage. Portland had some outrageous examples of car art including one with a working fountain but we'd see them doing slow cruises around the city center.

    I'm glad you live in such a cool place among like minded people.

  11. Looks like a fun event. Love the pics.

  12. Loved the nostalgic atmosphere mixed with 'hippie'. Makes for a very interesting photo subject.

    Monarch Butterfly Link

    Happy Sunday.

  13. Very cool subject and great photos, (My favorite is the reflection shadow on the fender). I love the paint job on the truck! You know I have relatives in Western Mass, don't you? Good stuff!


  14. I'm totally at home with this kind of scene, Gina, and this is a super post. I dig it. :-D

  15. This is MARVELOUS. I love this kind of free expression and fun. I think our capacity for this kind of crazy play is one of the pinnacles of our existence. Like crows doing barrel rolls and somersaults in updrafts, or dolphins sporting in the bow waves of ships. A recent street carnival we visited in our daughter's beloved college town (Asheville, NC - another hippie haven) was thick with this kind of zany activity, on vehicles and objects, but mostly in outrageous costumes wandering through the crowds.

    Thanks for posting so many of these photos - I really wanted to climb up inside this truck, so the many shots and closeups helped sate some of my craving.

  16. All those psychedelic colors! Wow! I'm impressed!


    Since shadows are fragments of light,
    Most gracefully they can take flight
    And soar through the air
    (They do this, I swear)
    As though they were some sort of kite.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Shadowy Gates

  17. Looks like something we'd see around my area. It sounds like you live in a great place...
    I remember the 2 or 3 "acid tests" that were in my area in 1966 (yes, I'm old). Great post!

  18. Some festival I would love to go and photograph!

  19. wow, that does look like an amazing creative adventure

  20. What, no garlic ice-cream??

    I missed it last year, maybe see you there this Autumn!

    And hey, Emmylou at the Green River Fsetival, YaaaHoooo!



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