The Eleven – 7.11.17 The Oregon Country Fair (OCF) Revue

Greetings!

Happy 11th. I just returned from the Oregon Country Faire (OCF) and I can still feel the dust in and on me. Fairy dust. Dust of connection – dust of love. OCF is one of the most special events I participate in – it’s a chance to watch a group of humans growing; changing; aging; celebrating and coming together as a large village. I see a lot of the same faces year after year and one of my joys is spending the day wandering aimlessly until I meet a friend or make a new one. Here are some highlights from his year:

1. The little girl (3) who decided I was the right person to play a game of “fall into/onto Albert” – and her parents who graciously allowed it to unfold beautifully.

2. Hours spent in the Ritz (pictured below) – a collection of showers, saunas, a glorious fire pit and often live music – the large collection of naked people – singing together in the sauna; wandering the big open area and standing laughing in the sunshine – it’s a highlight of every day at the Fair for me. It’s also the perfect place to share village news.
3. My pals at Camp It doesn’t Matterhorn: a wonderful gaggle who come together each year to help my friend Marcia Wiley build and run a great booth at the Fair: Wileyware, booth L12.
4. Serendipity; amazing food; laughter; staying up late; trying new things; giving and getting lots of touch (this year I brought my massage table – a definite PLUS!); playing music at Otter Camp; dancing to music at nearby late night music happenings; James; fair magic; the guy who approached me with a big hug – mistaking me for someone he thought he knew and then, after some conversation inviting me back to his camp for a cold beer on tap in the middle of the woods; natural bug spray; the amazing crafts at Fair – WOW! – seeing some of my clients ‘ booths and hanging out with them; great food! – quieter music along the pathways; hanging out with friends on the sweep crew; the many ideas that came to me about how to live life fully. Getting to a place of a really quiet mind on Saturday – that was pretty interesting. Here’s a little taste via video…
5. We have a group of teens in our camp from out of town (Seattle). I met another group of Fair kids who knew their way around and sent them as a gift to our booth to take our teens out – that was a fun match-making 🙂 – watching said group walk arm in arm – giggling, back into the Fair about 5 hours after I’d set this match in motion. 
It’s important that we have these gatherings and this year’s Fair felt very important for this community. Partially to re-group given the current political climate… It’s a group that comes together to make magic. To teach each other life skills. To pass along the skills that we have around communication; organization; kindness; and long-term relationships – and practice them. And MAKE MISTAKES!
This Fair taught me once again that you just can’t help make mistakes when you are trying new things and pushing past your comfort zone. It’s just about impossible when you’re surrounded by so many people and various depths/types of relationships – not to make mistakes. I think that’s one of the challenges in our society – that’s it’s somewhat easy and safe to stay in one’s cocoon – stay behind the laptop; stay in one’s life and just get by. The Fair invites us to get out of our comfort zones (it’s probably closer to how people who live in villages live) – it presents us with the opportunity to make and test out new connections rapidly. As that’s happening we all get stressed and balls drop and balls are juggled exquisitely, too! This is how we learn. I did my fair share of magic and messes this year and I look forward to coming back next year to do it all again.
I feel so grateful and thankful that the Oregon Country Fair exists. Thank you wise and wonderful Eugenians (mostly) who spend countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, and money to make this available to people. As I heard on the path a number of times – Oregon Country Fair forever!
I received good advice from friends at the Fair to put it out to my community that I am single and seeking a partner. Here’s my OKC profile – if you know someone you think I’d be a fit with, please let me know! 
Happy 11th!  Happy Summer!
Love,
Albert
Albert

Oregon Country Fair 2014

ocf2014

Face-Painting at OCF: Photo by Nadi
Hi there,
I thought I’d send this newsletter after returning from the Oregon Country Fair. I’m glad I did. Now I know what to say 🙂  I started writing as I was heading out the door for the Fair, and could not put the words together – instead, I packed, and trucked to the Fair.
The Ritz. I really have to start here. The Ritz Sauna/Shower complex at the Fair is something really special. Here’s a picture of the entrance-way. Photos aren’t allowed inside, so it’s hard to find any on-line!  
Well, not that hard 🙂 And, to see some video of the Ritz and a current project there, visit here.
Why do I love The Ritz so much? Well, the Fair can be hot and dusty – then, for a small bit of $ you are welcomed into a world that is pretty unbelievable. Two sections of hot showers; dozens of happy, shiny naked people of all shapes, ages and sizes – add on 2 large saunas – an older one – circular on the inside – 4-5 levels of seating. And, a second, newer sauna – same height – possibly able to fit 50-75 people – imagine singing, yoga, quiet sitting and a lot of sighing – repeat, washing, rinse, – an area to brush teeth/shave and then to top it off – a lovely seating area with a fire in the middle and some seats around it – standing around a fire to dry off – add then, some of the best talent of the Fair playing music on a small stage by the fire.  Do that for a couple hours each day and you, too, will see the light 🙂  This year, a new addition was a mid-section high fire, between the changing areas which is brilliant.
If I had my way, I’d live somewhere with such a sauna/shower area available for daily use. I would never get tired of it. But OK, I’d eventually have to step outside, and when you step outside of the Ritz you are faced with so many great pathways, food booths, and smiling faces – it’s hard to figure out which way to go. And luckily, my work with Wileyware affords me a great reason to “be” at the Fair – sharing beautiful practical artistic glassware to people young and old. I realized this year that it’s a treat for people to know about Wileyware – whether they have any or not – to just see it, hold it, and learn about it is a valuable/interesting experience all on its own. And, to watch kids’ faces (young and old) as they pick up a glass and turn it around in their hands – that’s fun! 
Wileyware
Part of my Fair experience this year was coming early, setting up camp with friends and then building our booth.  Here’s what it looks like after a Winter of flooding in the area of our booth! Video by Paxton, who is an OCF Board member.
Our booth imagery starts around minute 2:40 (L12).
Left Bank Walk through
Left Bank Walk through – video by Paxton

Building our booth consists of building a floor – think boards, skill-saws, cordless drills and we build and take it down each year when the Fair is done. There is a strong Leave No Trace ethic here – the woods are turned back so it’s hard to find evidence so many people passed through (parades, marching bands, and thousands of visitors for 3 days!).

Then, there’s the music. A long-time favorite of mine is Seattle Jim Page. I’ve been seeing/hearing Jim play (often with Artis the Spoonman) over the years at Pike Place Market and OCF. Here’s a song that Jim played on the main stage that was haunting.

Jim Page - Ghost Bikes
Jim Page – Ghost Bikes Lyrics (if you want to sing along)

One great thing about the fair is that many of the artists will play shows on various stages and then play along the pathways. So, I got to see Jim with hundreds and then with just a couple people a few hours later. If Jim had great marketing and some luck, he’d be as popular as Bob Dylan. His songs are hard-hitting – and capture what’s really going on in our world. Sometimes the message is hard to hear, but it’s always right on target.

Food: oh my. So so good. From gluten-free cupcakes to falafel to amazing Get Fried Rice – the salads, and egg rolls, and tastes of friends’ choices – simply incredible. Possibly the best selection of food anywhere on the planet.  Food, music, catching up with friends – it was such a wonderful, kind reminder of the beautiful planet we live on and how it’s possible to live in harmony together.

Because, really, that’s the brilliance of the Oregon Country Fair. It’s a picture of how humans can be together – come together and harmonize – be kind to one another – take care of one another – treat each other well.
If you’re ever interested in being a part of the fair (and I mean being someone who is doing something in the Fair which leads to a wristlet allowing you to stay in the fair grounds over night) – please let me know. It’s not that hard to find a group to participate with – but planning and effort are essential.
Here are some more photos by Nadi who helped Eecole and Brian in the Energy Park face-painting booth (Grounded).
Well, there you have it – 5 days in Veneta, Oregon – a little taste. You can find tons of pictures on FB right now.  Everyone who attended is posting all of their pics on-line.
I hope your Summer is going well.  I have a couple free classes on social media/email marketing coming up – please come or spread the word. Details below!
Yellow Stripes
Take care and have fun out there!
Albert Kaufman
Portlandia!

Upcoming Events

Campaigns That Drive Action: Offers & Promotions & SEO Basics

Wednesday July 23, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM PDT
Increase & reward loyalty while driving new customers to your door. And, a special SEO session with Jesús Meca Rodríguez @ Portland Microsoft Office

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday August 20, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost effect way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location. @ Holladay Park Church of God @ 21st and Tillamook, NE

Luna Bell – Photo by Nadi

Addendum: At the Oregon Country Fair this year I saw a woman with the best t-shirt. It spelled out the word B-I-T-C-H on both sides. Here are the words that were written to spell out the word:

Beautiful Intelligent Thoughtful Caring Honest

and then on the other side

Being In Total Control of Herself

 

Oregon Country Fair 2010

Oregon Country Fair 2010

Well, that was fun!  I just got back last night from this year’s experiment in family, art, music, craft, thought, science, and transitioning to a different way of thinking and being – The Oregon Country Fair.  This year I worked in the Wileyware booth, helping Marcia Wiley show off her beautiful glasses, taking pictures, fetching lemonade and carousing with our booth mates – Michele, Lori, Dave, Nicky, Olivia, Teresa and their friends.  Lots of people stopped by to say hi, give a hug and share smiles and stories.  At night the Faire becomes a special place with little parties in booths, lots of great food, The Ritz (my favorite place at the Fair) and time to wander the pathways through the forest to the background of a variety of music and special lighting. The Fair has become a very special place for me.  One where I get to reconnect with those that I’ve known the longest out here – Todd Pawolski from Klamath Falls, Amira from Brownsville, Michael Townsend from Eugene and people who I see only at Pacific Northwest Festivals like the Summer Solstice Healing Retreat at Breitenbush, Beloved, Burning Man and Northwest Folklife.  The weather cooperated this year – hot days, and warm evenings. Even Monday’s barter fair which is a special tradition was blessed with overcast weather for much of the time, making walking amongst the various vendors easy on the skin as there’s no shade and it can get hot out in that field.  My feet hurt!  So much walking, and talking, and playing the guitar and flirting and fun!  Yeah!  Here are a few pictures from in front of our booth to whet your whistle.  Thanks to the Oregon Country Fair staff and volunteers for making this year’s Fair fantastic!  A tired, sunburnt, and happy Albert

Fair Pics #1Fair Pics #2Fair Pics #3Fair Pics #4

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