...forty years and counting

I am reposting this story from "The Leaves," the Twin Oak's newsletter. Enjoy!

...forty years and counting
by Valerie, aka Ultra-Violet Waterfall

Anniversary this year brought over one hundred ex-members and friends to help us celebrate this milestone. We kicked off the weekend with a live-music contra dance in the backyard of Kaweah. With Kathryn calling, and music from the Okara Mountain Jig Riggers (Ezra, Kassia, Trout and Madog, and Sky on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, bass and drums), we danced well into the evening.

The reporter from the Richmond newspaper who was covering Anniversary even joined in a for dance or two, and the weekend edition of the paper featured several Oakers in mid-twirl. Once we were tired out, Kele and Caroline treated us to a performance of middle Eastern bellydancing, complete with exotic outfits and exotic fiddling. Saturday morning arrived with a classic Ira/Velma brunch, and many people lingered and chatted, reminiscing, telling stories, recounting bygone controversies, scandals and gossip, and also catching up on the current events of everyones’ lives.

People who wanted some grounding were welcome at Anton/Vinnie’s guided meditation. Anyone who wanted a more visceral reminder of the good old days could pay a visit to TCLR, where a huge table of archival photos and a slide-show helped jog peoples’ memories. Ex-members could also sign the newly unveiled 40th Anniversary Quilt displayed on the wall.

What anniversary afternoon would be complete without gin and tonics on the courtyard lawn? There was also the requisite coffeehouse, with this year’s unofficial highlight being Matt reading his break-up story, published in a previous issue of the Leaves. For people who wanted more physical activity, a game of Ultimate Frisbee temporarily took over part of the parking field, and for those looking for more educational pursuits, Nathan/David gave a workshop on his vegetable-oil powered truck, which he had converted himself to run on “greasel” fuel.

Saturday evening started with an outdoor viewing (on the exterior north wall of Modern Times) of the classic Nova show from the 1970’s featuring Twin Oaks and BF Skinner. Several members who were featured in the episode were in attendance at the showing, and there was some good natured teasing about the changes they’d gone through in the intervening 30 years. A high-energy, low-drama dance party ended the night, featuring a performance by our own home-grown experimental dance-fusion band, Supermoon (Sky, Ezra, Promethea, and Kassia).

Sunday was lower-key, with lots of story-telling and recollecting continuing throughout the day. There was Tibetan Heart Yoga and a ritual planting of a new Peace Pole between Nashoba and Tupelo. Brenda had organized an Instrumental Recital in the Bijou, in which both current and former members shared their musical talents. Many people generously supported the event with donations towards the festivities, and we thank those people. One misfortune of the weekend was some difficulty with theft by locals. Besides at least one broken car window, we lost one of the kegs of beer we had bought for the weekend. Several weeks later, it was recovered, still full, as the thieves were underage and had
not been able to obtain a “tap” to access the ale inside! (The keg was held in reserve until Ivy and Daniel’s wedding
party in early September). The weekend also featured “$40 hammocks for 40th Anniversary”, and so some people brought a souvenir home with them.

A fine time was had by all.

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