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

 

11.11 Community Gathering and Benefit

I was feeling the urge to throw a benefit for a friend or cause this Fall and chose my friend, Sabby Lou. She’s a fellow gardener at the Birthday Garden and also dances with me at the various ecstatic dances around town. She’s also a committed activist who has been dedicated to protecting our amazing Portland water for years. As a fellow activist, I know that it’s not always easy to do great work to protect the environment and make ends meet. Thus, the 11.11.13 benefit for Sabby Lou was born. Here’s Sabby’s main business, Yum Food Solutions, if you’d like to know a bit more about what she does in the world.

sabby fundraiser x 4

Please print, cut into four and hand to friends!

I held my birthday party at William’s Hollywood Vintage store a few years back.  We had a blast. The set up and clean up was simple and the time was wonderful. So, I figured, let’s do it again!

We’ll gather at the store @ 28th and Sandy at 7pm – 11.11.13 – sans essential oils, sans lipstick and we’ll meet each other, mingle, sip some things, and enjoy the wonderful music of DJ Manoj and Kieran McManus‘s Cello!  Suggested donation is $11 and up.

We’ll raise some money for a friend and celebrate her. For more info, please click here!  I hope you can make it – I believe it will be a very memorable and fun night.

Albert

PS – for my thinking on how to make parties go well, read this 🙂

hv

 

 

 

Coyote Spirit Festival – Summer Lake Hot Springs, Paisley, Oregon – a review

Summer Lake Hot Springs

I made the trip through the Oregon Outback to Paisley, Oregon a couple weeks ago to attend the Coyote Spirit Festival @ Summer Lake Hot Springs. It’s a place that I’ve visited many times before – usually on my way to or from the Great Nevada Arts Festival. It’s out in the middle of nowhere – the views are spectacular – and the quiet is soothing and delicious. Over the years I’ve gotten to know the various caretakers of the sacred land – and now am friends with the owner, Duane Graham. Duane’s the friendly guy who welcomes you when you hop out after your long drive.

So, this year, I rented a car, picked up a guy who’d just flown in from Hawaii and cruised East on 84, south on 197, further south through Bend on 97 and then East on 31 for 5 and a half hours and landed in the evening. I somehow missed Cassandra Robertson and Wynter Byrnes’s set, but got to hear a lot of fantastic music for the rest of the weekend. My personal highlight was the man who played something very sitarish/dulcimerish on Sunday morning to himself – but the music traveled everywhere – it was so soothing… Also, the music in the bathhouse – crystal bowls were placed in the water and people didged, as well – very magical!

Stage and dancers at SLHS

There were food vendors – my favorites were the raw/vegan folks – I had some raw oatmeal for breakfast on Saturday which was delicious. Also, the thin-crust pizza makers forced me to give up on my wheat-free ways on Saturday night, briefly.  And, Terry’s Trading Post was fun and magical. I hope to bump into Terry at another festival this Summer – what a character – he had a little of everything – and saved my passenger’s ass by handing over blankets and pillows to him as he’d arrived from Hawaii sans gear.

Summer Lake Hot Springs is like no place I’ve ever visited on Earth. The waters are healing and plentiful and hot! The views are spectacular. The price is right – very inexpensive to camp there and easy to get a good night’s sleep as it’s extremely quiet, generally 🙂  Go Go Go 🙂

I hope to return to the Coyote Spirit Festival again next year and perhaps bring a posse. The festival had a lot of folks from Bend, there, which was great – nice to meet interesting people from other parts of the state – who knew Bend had so many cool people?  And, lucky me, I’ll probably be down soon on my way to the playa.  If you ever get a chance to visit Summer Lake Hot Springs – go – take some time – soak in the amazing waters, enjoy the magical views – enjoy the bird life and great hospitality.  And, bring a hat – it can get chilly at night!   For more photos from the festival visit SLHS on FB.

The pond at Summer Lake Hot Springs

Aging in Place: Improving our Chances

As you may know I’ve been living cellphone-free for the past 2.5 years. Just recently, I rejoined the cellphone world mostly to be better connected with my girlfriend who was tired of having a hard time reaching me. And just as I made this life change I received an invitation to review the CarelineTM Home Safety Telephone System from VTech via the BOOMbox Network, a group I’ve written for in the past.  [Read more…]

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