It’s that time of year again; the first weekend after Independence Day is the Oregon Country Fair. It is my yearly Hajj to Eugene, where I go away to this Fantasyland summer camp that nurtures my soul. For almost 40 years the OCF Family, a combination of visionary, ecologically conscious, spiritually awakened people, gather by the thousands in a celebratory “love-in” to dream about transforming our culture in joyous and healthy ways.
Founded in the sixties, it has always been a gathering place to celebrate cooperative, artful, and authentic ways to live. It still nurtures the vision of a sustainable earth for us and those generations still to come. I am totally anonymous here; known as “T’s Father” it’s enough to get me into the place and keep me out of trouble. Here I feel free to dress up in costume and play day and night
I get into the blessing that is OCF, as soon as I get to the airport. In the waiting area, reading the morning paper with its perpetual bludgeoning of war and suffering that enrages me. I’m sitting here with a sticker on my chest that says “send me to OCF if I’m lost”. OCF is my annual fix of hope, it dispels my cynicism and reminds me that people can live together in community and appreciate the sacred.
At OCF a businessman, who wouldn’t dream of picking up garbage works on a recycling crew. He wears a mask and rubber gloves as he picks through endless pails of refuse. picking through pails wearing masks and rubber gloves. Here, lawyers direct traffic, teachers are stilt-walkers, doctors are clowns, and musicians parading everywhere. For 4 days we transform my culture in a way that lifts my spirit. I feel blessed here.
At OCF I become “The Truth Fairy”, a 6’6” fairy, dressed in pink body stocking, wig and tutu; I look like a flamingo on growth hormone. I’m accompanied by my Fair brother, “The Merry Berry” who is a retired jumbo jet pilot who’s dressed up as a blueberry and also wearing a tu-tu. The Truth Fairy answers questions that people have wondered about, but have been reluctant to ready to hear the answers to. At OCF people here will talk to a giant pink Fairy, and more impressively, they listen. I told my wife I might try it at the office, and Elaine said don’t even think about it; don’t tell anybody about it and don’t take any pictures.
The cleansing of my soul that I feel here is matched by the body cleansing. Every afternoon I take a trip to “The Ritz”. The Ritz is an enclosed area at the far end of the fairgrounds which contains three multi-tiered sauna’s, showers and sinks with running water. In the middle is a fire-pit around which we sit and cool down. Next to the pit is a baby-grand piano where musicians entertain. Sittin’ in the Ritz the Truth Fairy cleans before he beams.