Sunday, March 13, 2005

I miss hippies. There are no real hippies in VA.

I think I’ve mentioned here before that prior to moving to Virginia, Penny and I lived in Eugene, OR. We met there, actually. I am really missing Eugene today. So for my entry tonight I thought I’d take you all there for a little tour. It’s really an amazing place.

Clink on the links to see detour through some cool Eugene sites.

If you really love being in nature, Oregon, as a whole, is beautiful. I’m not really an outdoorsy sort of girl. I mostly miss the people, most of whom ARE outdoorsy, and the places in Eugene. The thing I miss about Eugene the most is the Saturday Market. It’s this very cool outdoor market.

“Yeah whatever,” you say, “my town has one of those too. Every town has a saturday market.”

Not like this they don’t. Eugene’s Saturday Market is the oldest outdoor market in the country. It takes up three full city blocks with some spill over from the drum circles and food vendors. The rows of booths are packed tight and narrow and there are hippies everywhere. And I’m not talking about the kind of hippies they have in your town. I’m talking about REAL hippies. I’m serious. Before I moved to Eugene, I didn’t think people like this really existed. Didn’t they all turn into lawyers and then raise materialistic kids in the 80s? No. They moved to Eugene. All of them.

Let’s check out some of the vendors.

There’s these guys. They sell clothes and art and stickers and other hippie artsy stuff. Check out these pictures of their bus.

“ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh!” I say and clap my hands in front of my chest like a delighted child. “You have got to see these. These are So Eugene!” Like these Earth Mama Moon Pads, many things at the Saturday market are made of hemp. Including the cookies Earth Mama, herself made and will sell to you if know to ask.

We stop to read the directions for using Mama’s Moon Pads.
As we move on I tell you about this I know a girl in Eugene who used a menstrual cup. “What the hell?. How do you catch it in a cup? Why would you want to? And isn’t the cup likely to spill while you’re putting new paper in drawer 3 of your office’s copy machine?”

Still discussing alternative means of dealing with our monthly flows, we move on. Let’s stop to look at some local art.

While we’re looking at these,the guy behind the boothgreets us. He’d overheard our conversation at Earth Mamas, and starts talking about how his wife uses a menstrual cup too and how each Spring Equinox they collect her menses and plant it at intervals around their home and garden and ask the Goddess to bless both his wife’s womb and the fields. I glance behind him and make eye contact with a woman sitting on the ground amidst 8 children. He follows my gaze and introducing me to his wife and 8 of his children. The other three, he says, are older and out perusing their own “life adventures.” She Whose Womb is Blessed, is sitting barefoot on the ground, knitting whilst the eldest of the 8 children, a dreadlocked girl, 16 or 17 years in age, rubs her feet. Two pre-adolescent, budding Anarchist boys are identified by She of the Blessed Womb, as their middle children. And running around the general vicinity of the booth, are five Naked Heathens all under the age of 7. While we’re chatting with the proprietor, a customer buys a beautiful glass plate with dragonflies crafted into the rim and some wind chimes. The proprietor addresses the oldest of the Naked Heathens, a tow-haired boy about 7, as “Dakota,” and asks, “What’s the total price for the Dragonflies in Flight plate and a set of large windchimes. The child answers automatically, “Eighty-seven dollars and ninety-three cents.” 7 of his 11 children, the proprietor informs us, are members of Mensa. Blessed Womb adds, “and they were all home-schooled.”

Mud Mom’s is the next booth on this aisle. As you can tell, the mama theme is prevalent here. Eugene is obsessively earth mama, moon goddess. In Eugene it is perfectly legal for a woman to walk around bare-chested. It doesn’t really happen that much, but it is legal. Usually the only time you see it is when they’re mowing a lawn. And then, it’s not real pretty. At drum circles and bigger outside concerts, there are usually a couple of dozen shirtless, hippie women dancing in a circle with glitter and henna liberally painted on their breasts.

Posted by Hello

HHmmm, I think I'll leave you with that image. It's actually from the Oregon Country Fair, which only happens once a year. But that sound's like an entry for another day.


Anonymous Earth Mama said...

Hey there! I just love your blog on Eugene arts and crafts culture at the Saturday Market. I am so glad you found my website about my cloth menstrual pads. We've got to get more sisters turned on to the cloth pad consciousness! Especially the young girls just coming on their moons.

I just read in an old Eugene Weekly archive about a "Stitch and Bitch" party where women get together and sew moon pads. This is such a great idea! I have put together an instruction booklet on how to sew cloth menstrual pads for a few bucks (Check out my website Pass the word and host a "Stitch and Bitch" party in Virginia. Then you can have a taste of Eugene out east. Blessings!

4:36 PM  
Blogger the Tattooed Social Worker said...

That's awesome! I am SO gonna hold a stitch and bitch party. who's coming?

5:27 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I almost cried out of nostalgia for Eugene. I seriously don't think most of my friends here "Back East" could ever understand it. My mother, however, compares all Pad Thai to the booth at the Saturday Market.

Oh! Remember the conversation between my parents at 5th Street Market when we took them for Yum!?

8:56 PM  
Blogger the Tattooed Social Worker said...

I almost cried writing it. Did you see Earth Mama wrote me? Amazing!

Remind me of the conversation with your parents at YUM! I don't remember. But I sure miss YUM!

5:51 PM  
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