The Land Community
Gathering Again
June 6th, 7th & 8th 2008

Donald Eldridge - Llido

(photo by juanita)

Thank you Donald Eldridge for providing us a space back in the 1970's on this sacred and beautiful piece of property that we called "The Land". It allowed a community to grow that is still very much alive today. Born out of the Peace movement with Joan Baez and her "Institute for the Study of Non-Violence"; and David Harris and all the war resisters that came to help and started the move into what we later called the "backlands".
Without this piece of property this wonderful community of people would never have found each other. For that we give thanks.
So glad you were able to join with us once again as we gathered together in the name of Peace and Love. - Patsy

Joan Baez and David Harris - Tefft

(photo by Court Tefft)

Joan and David at Struggle Mountain on the morning of our Reunion, June 06, 2008. They were up with a film crew
for a documentary (American Master), honoring Joan's eventful and possitively impactful life on planet earth.
Thank you Joan and David for planting the seed of this loving community of people called "The Land". Also for your
never ending dedication to Peace. We need Davids words, and your songs more than ever. - Patsy

(photo by Court)

photo by Marilyn Fils

Comments and pictures from the Reunion
link to Songs
link to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday stories and photos

It's June 9 2008 and I'm at the rent-a-computer place at the airport in Washington DC with 3 hours on my hands so I thought I'd edit my page.
Suddenly people are walking by me from many countries, lots of languages.
I remember at the land thinking in 1977 thinking, these are people I will know all my life. Since then, I have often seen that as a jaded fantasy.
So imagine my surprise this weekend of the reunion to discover the closeness that is still there between us all -- it feels almost on a cellular level... is it because of how young we were, that those memories have been inscribed in our tissues. People may look a little older now, I know we have all changed, why does it still feel the same, the same souls. Am I just so doubly jet lagged from being flung across the country twice in a few days, sandwiched around the emotional and physical overwhelm of the reunion.
Well my half hour is almost up, I've started writing some more history maybe I'll finish when i get home--
The inflight magazine ralked about the social change potential of wiki spaces and gave me some dreams of how we could use this for collective action..
Mecca and Dianne 2008

(photo by Patsy)

I am still integrating. The things that are most real are those that came through my senses; the dancing, the music,
leaning into one another,Judy laying down on me, looking into Rio's eyes, the dancing grasses on lone oak, reliving the Easter Bunny, Dianne's ashes dusting my forehead. The words have not yet come to rest.
Jody, that set was inspired, thank you for being available to be so moved as to transmit such a thing of beauty.
A Few Days Down the Road
I read the posts and see that we are all speaking to the same thing...something about being recognized and recognizng. The Land was a process of unavoidable recognition. Now, these many years later we know our place in the tribe and are visible, like it or not, and mostly loving the joy of naming the connection.

photo by Neil

I had a great time at the reunion. Really glad I went. Thanks for all your hard work to bring things to fruition.
Yours, Dean

photo by Neil

That's right.... I remember being in a deep conversation with someone, and all of a sudden all I heard was..."blah blah blah" because I was looking out of the corner of my eye, thinking..... isn't that Judy....
laying on top of Clare???

Jody using the pay phone

(photo by Patsy)

Some personal favorite things (in no order)
  • How stunningly beautiful everyone is now.
  • In particular the extraordinary and gorgeous young women of the next generation. They truly filled me with hope. (and with my own children 3000 miles away I could fully enjoy the mother-daughter dramatics, I mean dynamics, you know who you are)
  • Jody's embracing music. He planned it so thoughtfully and stayed so generous and calm. The soulful magic of singing Boulder to Birmingham with him; and his cool international T-shirts.
  • Neil's magnificent slide show, telling the big story, every single miraculous image, but esp. the birth photos which brought us all to tears. Such joy and confidence in bringing babies into the world. We may think our lives now are Real Life compared to what we were doing back then, but Neil's photos show that that life was as real as it gets. We were stripping away all the non-essentials, all the old cluttered layers of life, to find what was truly essential. That included firewood, food, water, and each other. And because we were confident in ourselves and our future, people had babies. As real as it gets.
  • Ann's incredible black-and-whites, true poetry. What an eye that girl had.
  • Seeing Josh (David) and his beautiful wife and little boy, and then dinner at their house Monday night. That whole re-connection was incredibly meaningful and moving for me.
  • The kindness of Bob, Rene, Janelle, and Randy.
  • Solving the world's problems in the hot tub under the stars.
  • The Angel Band's singing rehearsal Sat. morning, and our "performance" of our 3 best songs later, even more hilarious than I could ever have hoped for. A proud moment.
  • Tom Smith's music threading through the weekend and stitching it all together, and the beauty of his hands moving over the guitar and banjo. Who knew the banjo could be so eloquent.
  • The memorial service, the roses, people's words and songs, which opened my heart and kept it open.
  • Talking with Donald and Barbara Eldridge. His quiet reflections on his opposition to the Vietnam War. Her guffaw when Brett showed up and proclaimed, right in front of her, "Tommy we never paid you, but you got one of the queens of the Land."
  • Seeing Norton (who said he wished he'd come for the entire weekend) and Carol
  • Singing in the kitchen over dishes Sat. night and over the omelet pans of Mark's Sun. breakfast. The heavenly acoustics that kitchen had. Could've sung there forever.
  • Amazing Grace on Lone Oak Hill, with ashes and seeds in our hands and pockets, the sacred circle of life. Dianne's regal, beautiful daughters, like two young queens of the new generation.
  • The flowering dogwood tree that will always remind us of this time.
  • Throughout, the unending stream of hilarity, hugs, tears, joy, music, deep connection among these new found brothers and sisters. Still amazed at how happy I feel in this Land community after all these years.
  • And key to it all for me, working on our fabulous plannning commission which made it a 6-month rollercoaster ride instead of just 3 days.
Love Rio
PS: I still say this experiment in how you can live is as important in its way as the techno advances down in the flatlands. In an alternate universe that would be obvious. In an alternate universe it would go without saying that there should be little houses and people and kids and babies, gardens and schools and workshops, tucked in the shady groves on that rolling golden Land.


(photo by Patsy)

Just wanted to say thanks! I can't tell you how great the whole event turned out. I would be lying if I said I didn't have misgivings about going--someone said it might be like going to a High School reunion, where you don't know anyone but they're checking you out just the same!! Needless to say that feeling lasted less than 10 seconds. I have been hearing about and looking at the pictures for a few years now. I really got involved in checking the stories and photos on the wiki site (great job on that too by the way!). As a result all of you became familiar faces and friends even though I didn't know you. I appreciate how warm and welcoming and wonderful everyone was not only to me but to each other. You are all still a wonderful community and I'm so grateful in a small way to be part of it.
With love and appreciation, Marilyn

Marilyn and Maria

(photo by Patsy)

Mecca's words from her airport perch so perfectly described my feelings, it is almost as if she were living inside my heart instead of her own. From the moment Asa and I arrived, it felt as if I were wrapped in a coccoon of warm honey. The sweetness of watching all of those re-connections being made was sometimes overwhelming, always beautiful. I expected to "catch-up" with the small subset of people whose lives intersected mine back in 1979. I certainly did that. What I did not expect, were the new friendships born through working and singing in the kitchen together, small spontaneous sofa groups; sharing a spot in the sun with others gathered to hear Tom Smith's unique banjo compositions. I haven't had that many hugs or gentle touches of recognition since...well 1979. Until I can put a finer point on my thoughts as I sift through the moments of the weekend, (and I will) I want to echo the THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! Those of you who poured yourselves into making this beautiful event. GREAT JOB! With too much love to describe,

Norma, also Jim Fredricks, Asa Lee,Christopher Jones and Edie

(photo by Patsy)

It was such a wonderful weekend, I didn't want it to end. The sense of connection and rekindling in some ways of the light we shared in those truly kinder, gentler days, will remain with us for the rest of ours. It simple wasn't enough time to speak with everyone and, as Leslie said, hug enough.

I drove Mecca to the airport after we planted the dogwood tree at Struggle. It was good to have time for a conversation. I hope we do the next one by 2010 and may we all gather around the growing dogwood tree many times after.

Thank you Patsy (Seriously, marry me!) and all who organized and volunteered. The committee did a lot of the heavy lifting to make it happen, and I appreciated getting to be our MC for story telling. Michael E, remember when you borrowed my tent and it blew over with you inside during a storm?
Hope you can find a way to travel to be with us, although you were truly there in our hearts and in the slide shows that Ann and Neil put together.

Finally, to see all the kids grown up, and bringing grandkids. Having none of my own, I could see the people that were raised around us all, and think they are a legacy we all share. Zem is a media star as an environmentalist and her does fantastic work.

Blessing to all.

Paul "The Lobster" Wells

"The Lobster"

(photo by Court)

From Sara Allen (Zara Tom):
1. Playing music again with Kevin and Mecca (and Jody)
2. Neil’s Slide Shows
3. Sunday Morning Longhall Breakfast – Thanks Mark!
4. Ann’s Slide Show
5. Memorial and Remembrance gathering
6. Saturday Night Boogie (Michael Ward breaking his lower E string and then the long intro to “Roman Holiday”)
7. Group Photo(s)
8. Sunday Morning Kitchen singing angels
9. Lone Oak Hill Gathering (Tom Smith on Banjo)
10. “The Land” - (Us)

Notable mentions – Joan Baez and David Harris at Struggle Mountain, Catered Food, Flowers in the Pool, Generations, Freezing my Tootsies, Kids drawing (and selling) their pictures, Tom Smith playing guitar and banjo throughout,

You know it is really hard to quantify all of the experience’s I had….

Yesterday I was at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (Sunday Morning) after a Saturday Night party and jam session, I made an announcement on the P.A. thanking everyone there for making it such a wonderful Sunday Morning. One of our members, Danny, leaned over to Jim and said “She’s still high from her hippy reunion…..”
Yep, I guess I am……..

Sara, Mecca and Kevin practicing at Struggle Mt. the morning of the reunion.

(photo by Court Tefft)

I had a great time at the reunion, What a wonderful
experience meeting everyone again
and getting to dance with you-all.

L. Mendel

photo by Charles Slay

photo by Neil

Pregnant, third generation coming to Struggle
How absolutely wonderful
photos by Neil

photo by Marilyn Fils

photo by Marilyn Fils

photo by Marilyn Fils

photo by Marilyn Fils

The memorial service was my favorite part. So many amazing and thought provoking things were said. Especially Katie's impassioned plea for the group to stay together, to continue to keep in touch. That it was important for her, a member of the next generation was surprising and moving. I also liked Norma's comments about ripples, noting how we affect those close to us, but we also can have subtle effects on people further away. I came away from the weekend thinking that perhaps the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Each of us is just human, with human foibles. But the group has a certain perfection.The way we laugh as a group, and forget about problems. Its all about having fun, it always was.
Sandy and Michael - photo by Patsy

(photo by Patsy)

Interwoven strands wrapped around a core feeling for life.
Interwoven flowers on a sill.
Interwoven lives over time.
Interwoven humans on a hill.

photo by Marilyn


The reunion was awesome! I was so pleased to feel the lasting connection to so many people undiminished by all that time in between. What a lovefest.
Venture was a perfect venue, the weather was great,the boogie music was rockin' thanks to Jody, Elise and Micheal and all who played, and Tom Smith your music is better than ever and was a great addition to the reunion. The food (tho I was too jazzed to eat much), the spa and hangin' out with all you lovelies made for a delicious event, a highlight of my year. Many thanks to our planning commitee- kudos to all of you, you did a terrific job of setting it all up.
I 'm definitely in for future reunions- I think we should have another in 2 years.
It also is apparent that there is a lot of creative talent in our extended community, music, writing,photography, etc.- howabout some publications,CD's,etc. besides what individuals are already putting out.
Much Love, Kim



photos by Neil

photo by Patsy

Ann on Lone Oak on Sunday

Photo by Patsy

I sure did enjoy the reunion. I was very happy that people enjoyed the photos, as I haven't had the opportunity to show a wide variety of them to Land folks before. I was very impressed by all the events that took place( thanks to the planning committee) and also by how movingly people came together as if no time had passed. All in all it was a very inspirational and fun reunion. I hope my pictures turned out well--haven't found the time to develop them because of my "day job," editing. Love, Ann Mason

Kim filming singing in the kitchen

photo by Court Tefft
Chris Story and Court Tefft

photo by Michael Lederer


(photo by Patsy)
Danny Lynch and Brett Turner

(photo by Patsy)