Friday

Friday --- Day 1. Reunion setup and kickoff


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“What the world needs now, is love sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just
too little of.”—Dusty Springfield

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From The San Mateo Times

The Beginning:


The reunion actually started Thursday night for us with people starting to gather at Struggle as they came into town. Tom Smith had come in from Nashville, Mecca from Virginia, Sara Allen from Florida, Kevin Freeman from Chico, and Neil Reichline from L.A.. and Will Linguist from Oregon. We also had a group of 30 artists from around the world staying on the property that night. They were working a festival in San Jose the next day and didn’t want to stay down in the city. They created a very festive atmosphere for the kick off to our own gathering taking place the next day.
The hillside at Struggle was lined with dome tents.
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photo by Court

They showed up in a big purple school bus that they all traveled in.” The Free Soil Bus Tour. When Joan and Gail came up the hill on the morning of our reunion and saw the “Bus”, they said, “We’re here”. David later said “that’s not the first bus to park there,”
In the Free Soil Bus Tour No. 2 paper they put out they say they “take inspiration from the spirit of counter cultural activities prevalent in this region in the late 1960’s, namely the activities of the Mid-Peninsula Free University, draft-resisters, and the back- to –landers”, so they fit right in with our celebration. We gave that paper to Joan and David when they left. David also was given some of the home made Struggle Mt. labeled beer they made, and some of our lavender to Joan.
The bus people cooked food for everyone, played music into the night and even put on a shadow puppet show for everyone. They are a very wonderful and welcoming addition to our growing family of friends and loved ones.
They were leaving to head down to Caesar Chavez Park for their festival, when Joan Baez and David Harris were arriving to do some filming for a documentary for WNET Public Television on Joan’s life, directed by Mary Wharton... It was a one hr. interview held on the back deck that was laid by some of the bus people, Amy, Bridget and Hope a week before. (This is now out. It was shown on American Masters recently and is for sale in stores PBS_10-14-09 - American Masters: Joan Baez, How Sweet the Sound (What’s not spelled out in the film is that the scene was shot at Struggle Mountain, the northern California commune where Joan and David lived together while they were married. It’s hard to say if the conversation would have been different if we had shot it somewhere else, but I believe that the immediacy of the location allowed a certain openness in the conversation that would have felt stilted and false in a television studio or some other hired location. --- Filmmaker Mary Wharton)
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photo by Court

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photo by Court

(Mark and Gail on the deck )


What a fitting time for Joan and David to be here. Our community was started with them and the reunion was started by them.
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photo by Court Tefft

I left Joan and David here filming and headed over to Venture Retreat in Pescadero where we were holding our gathering. People had started to arrive by the time I got there. My sister Alice was setting up as “The Gate Keeper”. Everybody that came through had to make it by Alice and hope they were on the list. Hats off to Alice for sitting out there for two full days so they rest of us could enjoy the reunion. Thank you.
The tables, chairs and porta potties had been delivered, we were ready.

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photo by Court

We had people coming from far and wide for the weekend.
They would be camping, bringing campers, or rooming in the main house for those that wanted beds.

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photo by Court

Folks spent time that first afternoon getting settled in and re-connecting with each other. It had been 30 years for many.\
Venture was a perfect spot for gathering with a living room very similar to the one at Struggle Mt., where we still gather for parties, but Venture also had a pool and hot tub.

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photo by Court


Jim Kerr’s son Andy showed up both afternoons with Burgers and garden burgers, and all the fixings and barbequed for us A big Thank You! Andy and his brother Jamie own Alice’s restaurant on Skyline. Many from the land community had worked there at one time. (We counted 17) They also donated a case of wine for the Saturday night dinner.


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photo by Court

Susie rings the bell for dinner


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photos by Neil


We had catered meals through Gazo Creek Restaurant in Pescadero. They set up a lovely dinner outside that first night with two soups, spanapita, and salad.
Next we headed in to the house for a spectacular slide show.
We first viewed Ann Masons black and white slides from the Land. Ann had just returned from filming in Nepal. She brought along the same camera she used at the land. Black and whites with no flash, it will be a continuation of what she took at the land.. Her show was fabulous and brought back many memories. It was the perfect way to begin the reunion. Then, when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Neil stepped up to the projector. He had produced an amazing show set to music that had everyone laughing and crying.
Next all the music started that lasted into the night. From Jody and Elize, to the Summary Judgment band with Mecca, Kevin, Sara, Tom Smith, many wonderful singers, like Rio and Norma that set the tone and kicked off the music that was in abundance the rest of the reunion. I went sleep listening once again to Danny’s wonderful piano playing and beautiful angelic singing , that was just a taste of what was to come in the weekend ahead.
Much love,
Patsy