My lovely bride is at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon for the weekend, leaving all things domestic behind for four days of spinning and natural fiber exuberance. God speed Mrs., and PLEASE do not bring home an actual sheep. If you think I’m kidding, you must not be a regular reader. The over and under is about 50/50. As I sip my coffee in her absence (thank you summer vacation!) I reflect that Eugene is the perfect place for such an event. For those of you who don’t reside in our fair, extremely BLUE state…Eugene, right or wrong, is still perceived as hippie central. When I tell my friends that Mary is at a spinning festival in Eugene, many of them honestly think it’s a gathering of Grateful Dead/Phish concert goers (some folks simply twirl to the music, it is quite a sight).
Years ago, I took my girlfriend (now the author of this blog) to her first Grateful Dead concert. We drove the 100 miles to Eugene in her 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, which seemed appropriate. Upon arrival, we were pulled over by one of Eugene’s finest, whose first question was “What are you in town for?” There we were in an old bug, decked out in tie-dye (at least I was). I know that if I said Dead Show, they’re searching every inch of the car for contraband that we don't have. It’s late, and I’m tired, and I don’t want to go through the hassle. In spite of all the revenue the Dead concerts brought to Eugene, many of the locals were HIGHLY annoyed by their followers, the DeadHeads. I clear my throat, and tell the officer we’re staying with my brother, a college student at the Universtiy of Oregon (which was true). My conservative brother placed himself in the "highly annoyed" category when it came to the Dead and their followers. The officer looked us over, told us our tail light was out and let us go. I know if it had been just me he would’ve taken the car apart looking for weed. So, thank you, future wife, for lending me your credibility that time. We had a great two days (apart from some unsold hats, but Mary can tell that story another time) and left Eugene late Sunday evening.
About 45 miles from home, the old Beetle finally gave out and died. Like elephants knowing where to go to die, the old beast had succumbed to the hippie car graveyard after taking in one final Dead show. It wasn't too long after that Jerry Garcia passed away, changing things for the hippies of Eugene and their highly annoyed brethren forever.
Here’s hoping for happy experiences on her current trip. We hope she has a great time, and anxiously wait her return to domestic bliss…without a sheep. Please.
The following phrase was uttered during the whirlwind which was my wife packing for her trip: “I’ll call you on Friday from the festival to give you the instructions on how to post to the blog.” She said this while staring intently at her spinning wheel, trying to calculate how that would fit into our little Honda, along with all of her other belongings. (No, I didn't’t help with the packing. I have serious spatial issues (the “It-will-all-fit-despite-the-basic-laws-of-physics” syndrome), so I was asked to stay out of this one. Fair enough.) I knew this wasn't going to happen. Once she became enthralled with all things ovine, she wasn’t calling with any instructions. She did call, late (9pm +) to say good night to the smallies and tell me about her wondrous time in Eugene, but she forgot to tell me how to post my entry to the blog. By that time I wasn’t thinking about the blog instructions either, hence the appearance of Friday's post, here on Monday.
To my admitted surprise, she did not bring home a sheep.