2015 Gathering

The 44th annual rainbow gathering of the tribes is happening in the Black Hills of South Dakota." (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.) For posts related to the gathering location including directions and site updates, click here. For the Howdy Folks, click here. To find out specifically where the gathering will be, you need to understand how we find our "home" each year. Click here for an overview of the process. To make it into the gathering without a ticket, click here. Please ignore all rumors of cancellation. Copy and distribute this information freely.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

On Climate Change and Ride Share

As we all know, burning fossil fuels contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that over the long haul are changing weather patterns. From less rain on the west coast to more snow on the east coast, we are seeing the impacts.  This blog is dedicated to the annual 4th of July rainbow gathering and not for me to proselytise about issues with which I am actively involved. I live about ten feet above sea level along the coast so my house is going to have to be propped up on stilts like those in the Louisiana Bayou if all human beings on the globe due not get a grip on how we are treating mama earth. All that being said, this is the first of a series of blog posts on gathering related issues that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What is climate change?

I'm sure everyone reading this knows that automobile emissions are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  One of the best steps we can take to help Gaia and ourselves is to engage in ride share on our journeys to and from gatherings so that we burn less gas, burn the gas we burn in cars that get better mileage and make a friend. Every year, people without rides are trying to find rides and those with vehicles are preparing their vehicles to head home. Once we know where home is, bus information to the nearest stop will be posted.  But in the mean time, there are a number of options on hooking up those with rides, but space for a rider or two and those without rides at all

Star's Rainbow ride share board is the oldest web based rainbow ride share board.

Many people have posted on the local Craig's list board for their local city. Google your city name and Craigslist, then under the "community" section, there is a "ride share" section.

Go to your local rainbow potluck, picnic, drum circle and talk to people.

If you Facebook, visit one of the Rainbow Ride Share boards:  Rainbow Ride Share Redone or Rainbow Ride Sharing. Disclaimer: there are probably more of these on Facebook since groups seem to spin up all the time.

Once you've made a connection, take the time to visit with your potential riders at your local coffee shop, community park or co-op and discuss the ground rules. Is smoking in the car acceptable?  Is this going to be a non-stop drive from wherever to home?  Are pets allowed?  Who will be driving (someone with a driver's license and insurance)?  How much is a rider expected to chip in for expenses? Who is paying for motel rooms if that's where you plan to sleep along the way?  What is allowed in the vehicle?

Once you're on the road, be respectful, help out in anyway possible, be safe and don't rush it.

While it's important to start loving all our family en route to the gathering, if you don't feel safe sharing a ride with anyone, just say no.

If you're planning on hitchhiking, use the buddy system, only do it during the day when you can more easily see what kind of a car you're getting into.  If you have a fancy phone, take a snapshot of the license plate and send it to a friend so in case something happens, we know where you were last seen. Only take rides that your gut tells you to take. Better to take three days to make it home and be safe then risk a bad ride.  Remember it is illegal to hitchhike on the interstate in most states including Montana and position yourself where a driver can safely pull over.

Trust your instincts.  If a situation feels unsafe, get yourself to safety ASAP.  We want every belly home in one peace.

Best time to arrive home is before noon. If you're 100 miles from home at 10 PM, crash at a local campground, motel, or friend's house. Then get up at 7 AM and come home.  The last few miles into the gathering are often twisty dirt roads and you may be driving 20 miles per hour.  The hike from where the car is parked to where you decide to set up camp may take one to six hours if you know where you're heading, longer if you're trying to find that just right spot.If you don't normally live at a high elevation, it will take you a few days to get your mountain legs so you'll be moving much slower than usual.

Every year I see intimate relationships take a hit over the stress of the last fifty miles into the gathering, parking, hiking and getting set up.  Why do it when you're exhausted and you're doing it in the dark?  Arrive early in the day and then you'll be able to see where you're driving, hike your gear in more easily, see the how the gathering is disorganized and enjoy the process.  Plus if you need to make two trips to your car, a 10 AM arrival will give you plenty of time.

No matter how you're coming home, please be safe, look out for one another, and help a traveler in need.  The gathering is in your heart. Be the gathering as you travel home.

Finally, if you don't want to get a mandatory court appearance for a broken taillight, read this info on the right hand side of this blog.

Evergreen Forest (RIP)

I first meet Evergreen in the desert east of San Diego at one of those amazing 1990s regional gatherings and she was singing and playing guitar. She was like me a fan of the Wizard of Oz - the book that taught me everything I needed to know to survive in life. She hung out at Slab City with a lot of other old hippies.

She was gentle and strong at the same time and shared her music freely.  Evergreen Forest, safe journeys and happy trails on your next adventure.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scouting 101

The first Scout Rendezvous, called by Thanksgiving Council, is happening April 18 at a location to be announced shortly before hand on this blog and all the other usual places. Scout Rendezvous is generally a one day get together for people who want to go out and scout and is not generally held at a place where you could camp. 

As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary to participate and new blood is always needed provided you can be self sufficient, have a dependable car or gas money to donate to someone who does, and want to do the hard work.  The more people who come prepared with potential sites to the Rendezvous the better.  Do your homework before you come. I realize that weather conditions may preclude actual walking (Step 7 below), but map work should be done ahead of time and if you come to the Rendezvous with sites in mind, bring the topo maps and all the research you've done on the area: endangered species, first nation (tribal) land issues, grazing permits, etc. For all you know, someone else scouted that site already and found some reason why it was unworkable. It's hard to find sites for the Annual Gathering and it's important we use our collective wisdom in site selection.

If you've never been scouting, here's my short list of how to scout (based on the collective wisdom that has been shared with me and my own hands on experience).  We generally gather on lands managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) but some areas of the country do have good land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We don't gather in federally designated wilderness areas, national park, or national monuments as these areas are not compatible with our needs due to one of the following reasons:  no cars, focus on protecting wild life and land, need to preserve sensitive ecosystems, and entrance fees to name but a few.

Step 1) Pick a gathering or gatherings that you personally attended.
Step 2) Find those gathering sites on a topo map. I was taught to use 7 minute maps. Many university libraries have good collections of topo maps. Or visit topo zone maps online.
Step 3) Once you find the topo map, correlate the parking lots, kitchens, main circle, and various camps you remember with spots on the topo map so that in your head you can see a gathering on a map.
Step 4) Pick a national forest or area under BLM management that you feel would be appropriate for a gathering - if you're planning on  scouting for the annual gathering in 2014, we're looking in  Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.
Step 5) Look at the topos for that area trying to find a site that has the qualities you liked about the previous gatherings you've attended. Some of my personal favorite features are a good hike in -- at least 1 mile, closer to 2 if it's an easy hike because I feel that the harder it is to get into a site, the more committed people are to staying and creating gathering reality. For a large gathering, having a main meadow and a couple of separate smaller meadows is a good thing, water is of course necessary. Places to hike away from the main part of the gathering for people wanting to get away. Two roads in and out to the gathering site (Front Gate/Back Gate). No roads into the gathering site proper or the cops will drive into the heart of our gathering.
Step 6) Make sure the site is far away from civilization to minimize gatherer/non-gatherer conflicts and runs into town for booze.
Step 7) Go out and walk the site and see if it has what the maps showed and the above mentioned features, if it's workable and if it has the magic. In my experience, if you have done you're home work on five sites, maybe one is workable as there are always issues that don't reveal themselves until you are on the land.
Step 8) If you found a site in Step 7, research environmentally sensitive habitat in the area, endangered species, private property and water rights. Check for ranchers who may have permits for grazing during the gathering. If nothing turns up, we may have a winner. If something turns up, you'll want to bring all your info to the Scout Rendevouz and discuss further with experienced scouts.

Thanks to all my family who are spending time and money scouting for this gathering! We Love You!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carla's Gathering Basics (guest post)

Today's guest blog post was originally posted to alt.gathering.rainbow or the AGR mailman list (I think they were still linked back then) in 1996 by Carla.  I've kept it intact but removed two sentences at the end that only had relevance in 1996 so as not to confuse people.  I reread it today and feel it is just a relevant now as it was almost 20 years ago.  Carla is responding to questions from another person, which I have put into italics. In fact this person's questions may be similar to yours. Enjoy!

Carla's Gathering Basics

At 02:35 AM 7/15/96 -0700, gathering@cygnus.com wrote:

I personally have never been to a RFOLL Gathering as of yet. I do hope to to be able to attended one eventually and perhaps become one of those helpers, I do have a bellybutton. I have heard of people that promote "Gatherings", and it would seem that they have reasons, other than what I thought the RFOLL brought peoples together for. How can any one person distinguish between what one group sez is a gathering and anothers? The gathering of the vibes is a well known happening, as are many others. If someone in my area, though, sends out requests for supplies and meds and volunteers, how can I know what they are gathering for? Other than reading between the lines of the flyers, it seems that it wasn't casey at the wheel of that train that just roared thru my front yard,but it sounded good! By this I mean that I have heard of people complaining, campaigning and rasing cane because of gatherings that might or might not happen.The locale is always the neighbors concerns. How would I know if some cockroach laden,heatseeking,just crawled out of the wall group is trying to get some quick cash,saying one thing, yet meaning another? This is especially true since I rarely watch T.V. and sometimes read the newspaper, so keeping up with all the scams is indeed a difficult task.

Carla's Reply:

Good questions, all of them.

What follows is my take on it. No one put me in charge (thank goodness), so you may get other answers from other folks that add or subtract stuff - but basically I think most folks will be in agreement with what I see as being the basics for a gathering.

    It is free and non-commercial. This means no entry fee and no money charged for any service at the event (food, medical, etc.). There are people at gatherings who hang out with the barter circle and essentially have a commercial trip going either with trade or cash, but this is their own personal trip and has nothing to do with the actual set-up of a gathering. I personally consider these folks in violation of the basic spirit of the gathering and wish they would go away, or at least put away their trade goods. But since we have no cops, no courts, and no jails, they continue to do as they please, over the objections of many but also with the support also of many. Anyway, with the exception of these folks who are taking advantage of the free space, you shouldn't find any commercialism at a gathering whatsoever.

    Rainbow gatherings are non-aligned both spiritually and politically. There is no one right religious or spiritual belief; people of all faiths are welcome to come gather. Often, people from specific churches or temples come set up their own camp and feed lots of folks from their kitchens (the Krishnas and the Bread of Life Christian camp being the most notable). There are no hassles towards any church group proselytizing or trying to win converts - if people want to listen, that's their own business.

    Rainbow also does not support any specific political cause, party, issue, or candidate. Many people come to gatherings to recruit for their own specific Peace Walk, Drums around the Pentagon, environmental action, or whatever; but again, that is their own trip. They certainly have the right of free speech to spread the word about whatever event they are sponsoring. But they do not have the right to call it a Rainbow event or claim they have support of the Rainbow Family. If they do make such claims, they are ripping off the Family name. Folks involved in such actions have every right to also mention, if asked, that yes, they consider themselves to be Rainbows. No reason not to fly your colors, especially when you're doing something you consider a good cause and are proud of being involved in. You just can't say that your event (protesting logging the rainforest, for example) is a Rainbow protest as such.

    We have no leaders. We operate by consensus process. No one is in charge, we have no board of directors. For many regional events, a small circle of people often initiates the event, and the circle grows and becomes many. All the labor of getting the gathering together in a safe and healthy manner is done by volunteers.

    The only rule we have is that of peaceful respect. That actually encompasses a lot, when you stop and think about it. Sure, no one can tell anyone else what to do, but if someone builds an unsafe fire under a tree, they will hear about it (hopefully in a sweet way) from many people who are worried about the safety of the camp. We like to say that everyone is Shanti Sena (Peacekeeper). The idea is to communicate in such a way that folks doing something non-peaceful, non-respectful, unhealthy, or unsafe will see the error of their ways and choose to get with the program. When something really out of line occurs (a violent individual hitting someone with a club, for example) a Shanti Sena council (consisting in the ideal of all interested parties, as well as some experienced folks from the Shanti Sena Clan to give guidance and physical safety) forms to deal with the issue. If the victim of the violence wishes to press charges, the incident is dealt with accordinly, and the Shanti Sena folks cooperate in turning the perpetrator over to local law enforcement - a controversial move, to be sure, but in some cases unavoidable and sometimes even desirable. If no one wants to see the local authorities involved but a person is considered a danger to the safety of folks in camp, two options are commonly turned to: someone capable of handling the situation volunteers to accompany the offending person 24 hours a day around camp; or the person must leave the gathering and not come back that year.

    As per a standing consensus by the Rainbow Family Tribal Council, we don't apply for or sign permits. With the new group use regulations instituted by the Forest Service this year, this has become a difficult position to hold.One regional gathering signed a permit and gathered under a different name than Rainbow. Weird, and lot of people were angry at the folks who signed the permit,but what are ya gonna do? Take away their hippie cards? Anyway, theoretically,if a gathering has a permit, it is by definition not a Rainbow Gathering. 

    Also, by long tradition, we do not gather anywhere but public land. Occassionally there may be focussed councils (Thanksgiving Council, regional councils) that happen on private land, but gatherings themselves are always held on public land. Again, if it happens otherwise, it is by definition not a Rainbow Gathering, though the event may be very rainbow in nature otherwise.

    We take responsibility for every aspect of the gathering, from set-up to clean-up. We don't ask for help bulldozing roads, getting donations from local charities or food banks. We are self-sufficient in every aspect of our gathering, and responsible for ourselves. Most important, when the gathering is over, many people stay behind to totally clean up the site. No janitors are paid to clean up after folks. Gatherers are expected to use the recycling center set up on site and to pack out what they packed in. The clean up crew takes out all trash to recycling centers and to landfills, then restores and rehabilitates the site. This may involve scarifying the earth to loosen up compacted areas, filling in ruts caused by vehicles, water-barring hilly areas, and reseeding the ground. All shitters and camps are disappeared and naturalized. This is a lot of work folks! If you've never stayed for cleanup, you've never really done a gathering. This is not a dead lot - this is real, this is a labor of love, and it's one of the only reasons, both karmically and politically, that the powers that be haven't put the ax to us long ago.

    A Rainbow Gathering is not a rock concert or a platform for speakers. If cars are allowed in the gathering area proper, and if there is amplified music as a central theme, it most certainly is NOT a Rainbow Gathering (the drive-in gathering in Texas was an exception, as we were not allowed to close the road).

If it were up to me to define it, I would say this is the most important aspect of the Gathering: It is a free assembly of individuals who come together to practice peace. The focal point of the Annual Gathering July 1-7 is a coming together in a large circle, each person praying silently in their own way for peace. Most of the regional gatherings also set aside a day for the Silent Circle. A Rainbow Gathering is not a party, although partying certainly happens. It is not just a big hippie campout, although there are lots of counter-culture and new-age types camping in the woods. It is not just the world's largest love-in/be-in/ smoke-in, although a lot of that certainly goes on. For me, without the element of prayer we might as well not gather at all. For me, without the element of the Circle in which we participate, we mights as well have a hippie convention at the Hilton. For me, without the practice of Peaceful Respect and continuing attempts to create harmonyamong each other and all beings of the Earth, me might as well give up any pretense that the human race is evolving.

So, does that make things more clear? You'll probably get as many different answers as you will people answering. Good luck sorting it all out.

Love and Light,


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Butterfly Bill (R.I.P.)

The one and only Butterfly Bill in action: passing the hat at Dinner Circle.  His was the most unusual Magic Hat dance ever.  Every time I saw him in the Magic Hat parade, I laughed.  I never could figure out if he was acting or being himself when he did it, but it doesn't really matter.  Bill did it his way and his way enriched us all. Just thinking about it now, I'm laughing and crying.  Such a good feeling, eating dinner with my friends and laughing. I love you Bill. Safe Journeys and Happy Trails.

For those who didn't know, Bill kept meticulous notes on his gathering experiences and wrote them down in books for all to read.  You can check them out on his website as well as read many of his more detailed posts from the olden days of the internet when we used to post to a Usenet group called alt.gathering.rainbow (which you can now find on Google Groups).  He was also an accomplished musician and one of the core Info Crew at the Annual 4th of July gatherings. He also served as a Magic Hat Banker many a time and probably did 100 other things.

 Update added 2/28/15 (as copied from Facebook).

Howdy … Butterfly Bill's sister, Susan Knox has shared transcripts of two eulogies given at Bill's wake at his church in Muskogee, Oklahoma, February 14, 2015

Bob Wickizer's eulogy, minister at Grace Episcopal Church …

Andy Warhol once remarked that “In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.”  You may not know this but Bill had his fifteen minutes early in his career when as a young man serving in the army and stationed in Okinawa Japan Bob Hope visited the troops for a performance.  His sister was watching the live broadcast when the camera panned across a grinning, bearded young man standing right next to Bob Hope.  It was Bill.

Our baptismal prayer gives us a good summary of Bill’s faith where for each person baptized we ask God to“Give him an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.”

That early TV shot of Bill gives us an insight into Bill the iconoclast.  I don’t know how he managed to maintain a beard while serving in the army but I do know that he seemed to enjoy the attention of being on camera anywhere.  You will find photographs of Bill standing behind the bishop during the ground breaking ceremony here at Grace.  You can find photographs of Bill with his musical instruments at the Renaissance Festival.  You can find images of Bill on various websites.  By his very choice of clothing and demeanor he demanded that you think about what God has created.  And it is all good.

In our modern world of excess and striving after vainglory Bill carved a different path.  He lived simply.  That may sound like an ultimate compliment like comparing someone to Walden or Thoreau, but the reality of simple living can be quite different.  It meant that he was often hungry.  I cannot tell you the number of times I stood at the end of the buffet line after church when he took the last piece of chicken just ahead of me.  While that was momentarily annoying for me, it was actually a good spiritual exercise.  I needed to subsume my own desires for my parish.  I needed to recognize that Bill was in need of protein a lot more than I was.  And I needed to give him the greater glory.  These are the vows that I made as a priest and Bill helped remind me of some truly important things.

Bill adopted the nickname“Butterfly Bill” because at one of his famous Rainbow gatherings, he emerged from a sleeping bag one morning wearing his trademark colorful clothes and a friend observed that he looked like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.

Across North America the Monarch butterfly migrates 2,500 miles every year to warmer climates. While we all know the classic stages of eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly those stages may be appropriate metaphors for our own journey from birth to death to life again.  You should know that the week Bill died, his sister watched two Monarchs emerge from their cocoons.  We are here today with confidence that Bill is one of those beautiful spirits forever glorifying the Creator and resting in eternal light.


Sue Knox's eulogy, Bill's sister …

Memorial for William Smyth Hirsch
March 23, 1947 – February 10, 2015
By Susan Hirsch Knox
Presented at Bill’s memorial service Feb.14, 2015 at Grace Episcopal Church, Muscogee, OK

            Good afternoon. I’m Sue Knox, Bill’s older sister. Thank you for coming to celebrate the life of an extraordinary man, Bill Hirsch. You all have been Bill’s family for the last 10 years and I also want to thank you for that. B ill was a very special man with a brilliant mind and immense talent, especially in music. He sang, could play any instrument and composed music. Everywhere he lived he was involved with music; in Austin, it was a Tejano salsa group, in Virginia, bluegrass, here, the church choir and the Renaissance Faire.

            I want to tell you about Bill’s original family which may add some insight to Bill as an adult. Our father was a physician. When we were all born he was in the Navy. We moved a lot when we were young until 1950 when he retired from the Navy and we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we all grew up. There Dad was involved primarily with nuclear research. Dad was also a talented musician and artist. Mom had two master’s degrees, the first in chemistry and the second in Speech Therapy. She also had a doctorate in Special Education. They had four children.

            Fred was the oldest and shared our father’s and Bill’s artistic and musical talents. He graduated from the Chicago Art Institute. Our house was full of musical instruments from piano to clarinets, French horns, and sousaphones. Fred worked as a computer analyst in Los Alamos, NM until he died in his 50’s.

            I’m second. I received a BFA from the University of New Mexico. Following college, I joined the Peace Corps and went to Arequipa, Peru where I worked in a school for children with disabilities. I met my husband, Bob in Peru and we got married there 50 years ago. When we returned to California where Bob grew up, I got a master’s degree and later a PhD in Occupational Therapy. I am a pediatric occupational therapist and I am retired from the clinic but I do a lot of continuing education for therapists. I sang in choirs rather than play an instrument and I am also an artist and craftsperson, particularly in the areas of ceramics and jewelry.

            The next to come is Peter. He was diagnosed with classic autism when he was 3. After his birth, things changed and a lot of the family emphasis was on him as there were limited opportunities for training and education. My parents were fierce advocates for children with disabilities and started programs for these children wherever we lived. Peter has very limited speech but he also is a talented artist and craftsman and is savant in many ways. He works for Stride,making and packaging markers and pens. He lives in a group home (which was our family’s home) in Albuquerque.

            Last, but certainly not least is Bill. After high school he joined the Navy and was stationed in Okinawa as an electronics technician. Following the Navy he went to the University of New Mexico. It took him 10 years off and on to get a general studies degree. If he didn’t like a class he would drop it and take another. During that time he worked a variety of jobs mainly in restaurants.When he was 31 he left home in his VW van to find places he enjoyed and whatever work he could get. He traveled around the country, living out of his van or truck, doing day labor and construction work for 22 years before settling in Lawrence, KS. Bill has written that he prefers this kind of work over more permanent employment because it gives him freedom, he doesn't have to compete or supervise, and the value is in a “job well done”. He also wrote that doing something he “loves” should not be connected with making money. He stated,”If I want to do what I really love, I’ll be more able to do it if I do it only for love. I’ll obtain money by doing things that may tire my body, but don’t exhaust my spirit.” Bill bought his home here in 2004 and he spent the last 10 years fixing it up and what he has done is quality work.

            As I said in the beginning, Bill was an extraordinary man. His interests were eclectic and he had an extensive library of books about everything from World War II to different religions and cultures. He spoke and read many languages,most self-taught, such as Latin, Greek, German, Japanese, and most recent Arabic. As you know, he was a cross dresser, because he felt most comfortable in women’s clothes. He said it gave him more freedom and he liked the feel of dresses. He even liked panty hose, which is something I and many other women hate.

            Bill’s family loves were three: First, this church and its choir and it’s acceptance of him and his lifestyle. Second, the Renaissance family where he played the Celtic harp and penny whistle. Third, the Rainbow family. He has been to the Rainbow gatherings since the 60’s and has written two books about them. Bill is known as Butterfly Bill (his rainbow name). He got the name when he was emerging from his sleeping bag in his tie dye shirt and a friend stated that he looked like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. The Rainbows let him emerge and develop into the extraordinary man he was and this church and the Renaissance Faire have given him opportunities to thrive. And that I thank you for from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

On Gathering in South Dakota (Guest Post)

Today's guest blogger is Plunker - one of the earlies who has been gathering since 1972. While I don't agree with everything he says, he deserves our respect and I hope you take the time to read his words.

 Now, in Montana, 1976, up near Choteau, Montana... and, Montana Chuck and i traveled over to see the Governor, a couple more folks with us... both Montana born, bred, true (as folks say)... it seemed like a good Meeting... then we go to Radio Station... talk about it... radio station were told we got run out of the Capitol by security...

then, gets back home to the Gathering and folks had a Circle, and somehow come to a consensus, in those times, that if I wanted to go to the Border for Hands across the Border for Peace... the Feds, etc... didn't want us to go as Rainbow and, the circle of the Day... agreed... also, agreed to signing a permit -- unofficially OF course... just folks all stood up and agreed People could go, but not wearing Rainbow Colors... across Blackfeet Reservation.... when Chuck and i got Home... I asked for another circle, and, in that circle... said NO to the PERMIT (permit got signed anyway -- more folks in consensus, circle one, than in circle two... dang)...

anyways, Morning of the 4th about 150 folks... including Feather, who spoke about this at the City council... Blackfeet Tribal Council,. (still) Chief Earl Old Person.... sent Thomas Medicine Crow, B.I.A. officer, who said to me, others... "If I had been ordered to, I would have stopped you at the edge of the Reservation, but I have been ordered to escort you across the Reservation." with State Police, sheriffs, Forest Service L.E.O.s (of the time...)

Early on, before the Gathering... Montana Chuck and i traveled to Browning, Montana, knocked on Chief Earl Old Person's door.... at Tribal H.Qs.... We spoke of the Rainbow Gathering, told him all we could in the short time there.... and ASKED... said.... EVEN THOUGH STATE HIGHWAY... to Chief Mountain International Station, from Choteau, Montana... IN RESPECT, we asked as a neighboring crew of people, a small tribe of folks seeking Peace...

wanting to pass through their lands. chuck and i brought Tobacco, sage, cedar, small bundle... gave it to Chief Earl Old Person, for the Blackfeet People, etc.... (unnoticed by chuck and me, the Chief had turned on the speaker system to all the offices and places... so many, many folks heard.

blessings of the Spirit, there was opposition in "official" Browning, until July 1st.. when the Tribal Council changed.... AND, Curley Bear, friends, a young traditional with strong vibes, tad wild like in the days of long ago.. fierce, later with laughter... came, sorta on his own, with with friends and came into the Gathering... his words to the Blackfeet People were, to me, what opened the Way for an escort rather than a blockade... Traveled to the Hands across the Border for Peace, escorted through Browning, through the Blackfeet Lands (only one way... thomas and the cops all left -- no biggie) iffn they hadn't escorted the Rainbow Caravan.. it mite not have been noticed...

There was SWAT team surrounded us at the Border, as Feather said.... Garrick was on that Ride... some great folks... David.... I have always advocated, and acted on the Concept that there are many Tribes and People... it is Respect to communicate with folks before you drop in on their Homes and/or Spiritual Places.... I did that with the Hopi and Dine (Navajo) best i could when i reckoned 1st Gathering would be within a 100 miles. Wyoming 1973, Gathering was not held across the Wind River Tribal lands (reservation) some folks who advocate and acted on their beliefs, got jailed.. Rainbow was in Popo Ashie (sp), Red Canyon area...

There are hundreds of RAINBOW laundromats, in America... the color Rainbow is in the hands of the Great Spirit... there are folks who Gather in one Way, some in another... some folks even fly the Rainbow Gathering "colors" .. amazing.... a number of years ago Zeus took his "No Masturbation" msg, 1992, rolled in Black Hills area, many tribes of Sioux Lands, with a few folks.. flew Rainbow "colors" all the way in and out... still being talked about --

Iffn I was to be wanting to roll into South Dakota, with an assembly of folks i.e. a gathering.... AND, I wasn't riding choppers, heading to Sturgis.... AND, i was reckoning to be bringing in the "kind village" of Rainbow People.... to live and pray for days... to be with the (many tribes) of Sioux, and South Dakotans... etc... why,

(1) i be sure "kind village" Rainbows intended to be there

(2) are you sure a Rainbow Gathering, as is, these days, is a "kind village of folks", for these times, in those lands

(3) act with minimum respect, go there, not with thousands, but a few folks, beforehand, talk to all the different folks, in Tribal offices, in Sweat Lodges.. iffn you get close enuf... people in the streets...

at least, be strong enuf to step up to this level of minimum respect... All kinds of people travel as tourists thru these lands... this is different... iffn this is not understood... wasting my breathe...oh, yeah, take along some Tobacco, sage, cedar... etc...

(4) Gathering in Peace , clean up, please DON'T leave thousands and thousands of hospital bills for the Tribes to have to pay off.. or the small South Dakota towns... (as in Dillon, Montana 2013)... even iffn it ain't the responsibility of Rainbow, per se... understand, in Sioux Country the people is barely surviving

(5) as far as flying Rainbow Colors... anyone can fly whatever they want... lots of folks calling themselves Rainbow Family had done dumb, messed up shit hence the name Rainbow Bozos, LameBows... etc.-- the poll in Missoulian paper, is running 4 in ten against Rainbow, right now... i am amazed it ain't 6 in 10.... it mite be.

I won't be traveling to the Black Hills... or South Dakota... or East, for that matter... for me, there are a very few opportunities for some weakening, older Rainbows i been riding with, for many years, to get together.. to Gather again... most of these are on the West Coast, Northwest, Southwest...

I thought there mite have been a chance in Montana 2013.. oh well -- needed is a LOW elevation, west coast Site, either southern oregon, northern calif, accessible for the handicapped, older bunch..... last couple Gathering automatically cut all these folks OUT --

younger Gatherers.... whether they are Rainbow, or ride as as friends, neighbors, on the common ground.. can roll bout anywhere....

there are some folks who have their visions, dreams, plans and want to fly Rainbow and roll into South Dakota... AND....

there are, blessings, more than one gathering, many circles... you know the song... MAY THE CIRCLES BE UNBROKEN... by and by... so be it...

iffn i am going to put my energy into something, i am wanting to understand to where is the best place... and i don't go where i don't see to go... and where i see to go i go so i will keep on going and be in the west somewhere this year... either in such a (regional) as i describe or, if there is no event... in Montana.

Felipe, ole guy like me, and i talked about rounding up Montana Chuck traveling over to South Dakota, in Sioux lands, meet the folks like i been relating... i know folks there, he knows folks, chuck... iffn i was to go, i'd ask some of younger, now "kitchens" i.e. tribals... to make the journey..

Or, folks want to be heading that way... mite be good iffn you read this long rap, mite mean something.... i know some of the folks who are planning on South Dakota... i can't visualize them folks paying any attention to what i am writing, nor, or care one way or the other about the Sioux people or the people of South Dakota, etc.. ain't any of there concerns (far as i can tell) .... to them, they reckon they got something going and they will.... also, so be it..... each to their own path along this Trail..,

Other folks i know very sincere... mite even want to reach out, etc.. but unlikely to be in the early scouting...

i have gathered in Sioux lands, with Sioux people, and like Felipe, have long time friendships... so i hope, pray .... whoever rides and Gathers in South Dakotas or Sioux country, do so with Respect...

peace with justice,and justice comes with respect... Barry, plunkr, Montana, Rainbow Family Tribe (imagi-creed)