Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rainbow family drifters on Hawthorne

Rainbow family refugees
I chanced upon two drifters on Hawthorne Boulevard the other day.  They were sitting on the sidewalk in front of Fred Meyer.  The barefoot, dread-locked fellow with the outlandish cap held a cardboard sign informing passers-by that the pair were "4:20 short of a Taco."  The young woman (also dread-locked) was at work making friendship bracelets from twine and beads, which she offered in exchange for food, money, or other supplies.

I simply had to stop and talk.  Turns out they were in Portland for a court date.  They had passed through Portland earlier in the summer, on their way to the Rainbow Family gathering (which was in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, up in Washington state), and they'd run afoul of a city ordinance about alcohol in a public park.  Indeed, the police had issued them a citation for having opened a can of beer in Mount Tabor park!

So they were in town long enough for their appointment with the judge and then were off to wherever life took them next.  She mentioned family in Wisconsin.

My reward may await me in Heaven, but for now, I'll take the friendship bracelet.
I'll confess to an inclination toward hippies generally, but especially peace-loving Rainbow Family drifters. And as I said, these two were bartering friendship bracelets for food, money, or other supplies.  Well, I didn't have any food or money to give, but seeing as they were only 4:20 short of a taco, I found a way to help them out.

And I'm still wearing the friendship bracelet.


jeanne said...

and that was how?  You are such a sweet boy Dade.  I love you!

Karlwayneroman said...

Dade strikes again. Nice piece. It's kind of nice there are new hippies 50 years after we began doing it. The philosophy and lifestyle is not 50 years old though. I read an article about hippies in a 1880 English Encyclopedia. The article was in the V volume. They were called Vagrants then, but the description perfectly fit that of the '60's and now. Looking at mainstream society, being a misfit or living a fringe lifestyle can be a positive thing that still makes sense.