We didn’t think we’d make it this year, but as things developed, we had the time. CA worked all night at the Hospice House in Auburn and crashed on a pillow next to me as I drove us up to Unity to the Common Ground Country Fair a few weekends ago.

If you ever wondered where all the hippies went, wonder no more. They, their children and grandchildren gather annually at the CGCF. You don’t have to be bare foot, wallowing in loose clothing and sporting dreadlocks to fit in, but it helps.

We never quite remember exactly how to get to the fairgrounds for some reason. We had a map and a GPS, but neither did much to enhance our confidence – until we noticed the car in front of us. It was a vintage Subaru with a well worn boat rack and at least fifteen political statements on the rear end. That car had to be going to the Common Ground Fair. We were dead right.

The last time we were there there was a cutout at a junction where “Seniors” could be directed to a lot much closer to the main gate. I remember the Volunteer looking at me, nodding approvingly, and directing me to the special parking lot for older people. Hey! I put in the years. Deal with it.

Not this year. We had a good mile (it seemed) to walk but it was fun and we got in for the discounted “senior” fare. Best deal in that neck of the woods. Actually, I think it was the ONLY deal in that neck of the woods.

Our first discussion was about where we should meet if we should become separated. Why that seemed to be a problem was due to the enormous crowds. I suggested the lamb burger place or the main gate but neither were centrally located. We finally found the main building where there were restrooms, the T shirt shop next door and the exhibition hall where the best eggplant could be seen. That settled, we moved off and never became separated. Go figure.

The very first thing I noticed was what I notice each year. These are the people. The 99%. I know, there are a few trust fund hippies milling about. God love them. At least their essential values are in tact. They try to dress down but it shows through. They drive off in their Volvo wagons and Escalades.

Another thing is that except for CA’s eyeliner, there was little makeup to be seen. Natural gray seemed to be the hair color of choice and flowing diaphanous gowns seemed to be the preferred covering for many women and specially those more generously proportioned.

Over the calf rubber boots seemed to be the favorite footwear which by some strange logic harmonized perfectly with the afore mentioned diaphanous gown – pink, I remember it being. Those boots were everywhere.

I did see more dreadlocks than I ever saw even in the Old Port late of a Saturday evening. It all balances out. There were babies in carriages, babies on the hip, babies on the breast. There were old and young. I seemed to notice more benches than ever before. I sat on more of them than ever before. I wonder what that’s all about?

The Common Ground is not only an organic gathering place – it is that and then some. It is a conclave of every shade of liberal persuasion known to actual thinking humans. I felt so at home. And we got some great planting garlic as well.

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