Advise to a Mom...(re-post)

Peter Fraterdeus (
Thu, 08 Jul 1993 15:35:17 -0700 (PDT)


A number of folks have asked for a re-post of this !

Hope you all had a GREAT gathering!

I'm off to Ireland on the 21st!

Love and Light!



Thanks for writing!

I have passed your letter on to the Gathering Office in Kentucky.

I can also give you my personal point of view, which is that the Gathering is
always a learning experience for folks that come with an open mind...and even
for those that don't!

The opportunity to participate in >making< the gathering is the high point of
the gathering! It's not a cliche to say that without the free contribution of
time and energy on the part of each participant, the Gathering would not have
continued for the last 20 years.

Young people are particularly welcome.In the exuberance of youth, they are
ready to throw themselves into it, if it looks like fun!

They way I see the Gathering is that we try to make "doing the right thing"
look like fun! The Kitchens are my favorite places. In a good rainbow kitchen
during the full swing gathering, there may be 3000 people fed a day.
Learning about cooking over wood for 100, playing music late into the night
under the stars, dawn yoga and meditation circles, working at the info tent, or
CALM, the Center for Alternative Live Medicine. Re-seeding and restoring the
site before the last rainbow leaves. All this and .... it's Free!

As a rule, a true Rainbow Gathering may not charge any admission or limit the
attendence of any person who is peaceful. However, common expenses, (mostly for
food and supplies, sometimes including trucked well water) are met through the
"Magic Hat." This is a large Hat that makes the rounds of the whole gathering,
into which everyone may contribute what they can. At dinner circles, one might
throw 25 cents or $20 dollars. Nobody's counting. However, the 'bank' keeps
open books showing how and where.

The final cleanup is often just finished as the contributions dwindle and
people go on to the next scene.

The opportunities to serve and to learn are enormous. But it's also important
for people to have their wits about them. Naivete makes one an easy mark, and
this is not Disneyland... However the Vermont Sheriff, commenting on the 1991
Gathering in the Green Mtns., said they had more trouble in one weekend during
"Fair Week" than he'd seen the whole time the Rainbows were in town....

Security is as close as those same Kitchens. If you make yourself part of the
crew, or at least a regular helper, then people will get to know your name.
This is the way to "plug-in" to a good scene. Many kitchens have long running
reputations for special goodies, like Lovin' Ovens, where ovens are fashioned
in the hillside out of oildrums and Popcorn Palace, with popcorn popping up to
24 hours a day.

If your daughter and her friends are good common-sensical young women with a
good sense of "direction", I would think they would have an excellent

Another thing to keep in mind, though, is that the Gatherings are sometimes

The Federal Forest Service has tried twice to block a Gathering from happening.
They have lost their case twice in Federal District court.

The case is based on the First Amendment, Freedom to Peacably Assemble clause.
While many of the people that come to a gathering don't realize it, their
rights are being protected by the Gathering taking place!

None-the-less, there are sometimes local people who feel that they are being
invaded by funny looking people "like out of the 60's or something." This can
sometimes take a good bit of fancy talking and hard work at making new friends,
but the gathering has gone on, not once having been successfully delayed by the
Forest Service. In any case, it is an instructive experience of dealing with
real Constitutional history in real life!


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