Well, in the summation of 2012, besides the re-election of Barrack Obama, the fabulous 2012 Oregon Country Fair is the highlight without end. It was so much – in every way. For starters, as you approach the front entrance to the fair -- what do you find but Ken Kesey's colorful LSD experimental bus -- "Further"! . . . It was poignant to say goodbye to our Zumwalt Park Oregon Country Fair camping buddies, the nighttime bonfires, the drumming, the dancing, the sing-alongs -- and the occasional "au natural" morning and evening skinny dipper refresher by some of our more uninhibited spirit nature and fair companions. . . . For music, we took in the Poetry of the Flow power hip-hop group, the Eugene slam poets, the talented and iconoclastic "Shovel Man" on his electric pick-up grain "scoop shovel" -- with its guitar, sitar, synthesizer, cross-over music. But the one that stole our hearts was the inimitable Cassandra Robertson – the one that made your heart sing -- shades of Joan Baez, only taller, willowy, and gorgeously lithe and melodic in a way only Sher in her prime and her youth could have rivaled. And even Sher would have killed for her hair. She sang of the man she lost but never stopped loving -- and towards the end -- of cowboys -- easy to love but hard to hold -- a little like our own loves -- and a lot like our own lives. . . And there was of course the requisite compliment of nubile maidens in their full nymphet primes -- so robustly proud of the good Lord's endowments (and well they should have been) -- some presenting confidently in their own natural colors and natural resiliency and some painted like ice cream, snow cones, may day streamers -- and one in particular that would have dropped the jaw of gargantua --from incredulity as to size -- and slight envy -- all very feminine, all beautiful, and all energetically and forward-lookingly optimistically -- so full of invocation and invitation. The after-glow still feeds the grand and peaceful satisfaction in the contemplation of life's procreative energy and promise -- may it stay with us forever -- and god bless them for their great gift of sharing and love and joy. . . The many quixotic and seemingly spontaneously erupting parades, often reminiscent of the best musical pageantries of the classic film, "King of Hearts", a humanizing and joyous testimonial to the resilience and infinite adaptability of the human spirit. . . The mind-boggling array of shop booths festooned with the artistry and crafts of our friends, associates and neighbors -- and wandering minstrels of music perfecting their craft in the laboratory of human levity, passion and commitment -- right before our eyes. Marvelous! Wonderful. Uplifting. Spiritual. Beautiful. Poignant and memorable. . . The water mist-ers from above, the food courts of kings, the flower-nozzle- sprinkling-human-dust-control-teams, happily humming their way through the crowds and playfully dousing happily complicit sandal and flip-flop footed children, teenagers, and adults alike. A crash life course in turning your work into your play and your communion with nature – and with life – and each other. . . A gentle pageantry of dress and make-over unrivaled anywhere -- and heretofore unimaginable -- until its magical appearance before your eyes. Every second -- a never-before-conceived, joyous expression of all humans could -- and probably would -- be -- left to their own devices. . . And then there -- at the end -- the sense of sadness and loss -- that it ever had to end. Wishing it wouldn't and wanting it not to. And the ever ebullient and irrepressible commitment and proclamations to each other -- to come every year, arrive earlier, come stronger, stay longer -- live larger -- and to bring more people -- all the people we know -- to set up our own - "Camp Democracy" -- to bring everyone -- include all those we know and love -- leave no one behind -- permit no one to miss out on the experience. . . Yes. There it is -- there it was. It was all that and more. Promise to go next year. And you will promise yourself to never stop going – and to never stop living life fully. Live large -- and live joyously. – forever.
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