Rolling Like the Stones     24 May, 2011, 04:20 pm
In an earlier blog, I wrote about Woodstock and its meaning to the arts & crafts movement in 1969. I haven’t spoken about the other music festival held that fall, the notorious Altamont concert in California, well-documented in the 1970 film “Gimme Shelter.” At the beginning of the film, the camera pans to a travel trailer that houses the Rolling Stones and out pops Mick Jagger into a crowd in the parking lot. Someone promptly sucker-punches Jagger, and that act sets the dark tone of the film about violence and the end of flower children dreams.

What interests me here is the travel trailer. There they were, the Rolling Stones, housed at that moment in a recreational vehicle just like our 2004 Trail-Lite 22’ trailer, subject of an earlier blog. Our trailer (we call it Steinbeck) often seems small compared to the 54’ luxury land yachts that you see on the road today. But in 1969, it was big enough for the Rolling Stones!

I thought about the Stones when I eased Steinbeck into a parking space reserved for Artsplosure artists at Raleigh, NC on Friday evening. Within a few minutes Susan and I set up camp and were chillin’ with a craft brew, looking across the lot towards the Artsplosure festival site. Life was sweet and there we were, enjoying the gypsy lifestyle that attracts everyone from artists, musicians to mystics and carnival barkers, or anyone with the wanderlust.

The next morning we smoothly unloaded our booth from a nearby parking garage and were ready for the 11 a.m. opening. Susan worked the booth first, and I came in about 1:30. When I went out to the van to get some catalogs, I turned the corner to find a pile of glass, shattered window, and a missing GPS system. Everyone, including Susan, told me not to leave the GPS (we called her Audrey after an old Firesign Theater routine) on the windshield. I did, and suffered the consequences.

I called the State Farm office and entered the insurance system claims system. My cell phone almost died from being on hold for so long. We didn’t want to chance driving home with no window and a van full of original watercolor paintings. This particular part of the tale ends happily however, because I did get the window fixed and back to Steinbeck (whose generator had run out of gas) in time to rescue our Bichon Frise Chloe before she wilted in the North Carolina sun.

This evening, while relaxing in Steinbeck, my thoughts turned back to Jagger and the Stones. The vandalism, violation of our personal space, and the loss of Audrey was my sucker punch.

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