Monday, June 27, 2011

Oregon Country Fair

For the past two years Anthony has had the privilege of working on the recycling crew at the Oregon Country Fair, and this will be the first year I will get to join him.

“Getting” to work a volunteer position that routinely means lifting barrels of waste onto the back of a truck, climbing on rusty cylinders and (as it did last weekend) dumping out foul-smelling food remnants into a pile of slimy goo may not seem like a privilege to most people. But idle hands are the devil’s play-thing, and apart from that working hard for a few hours a day means we’ll have the sort of experience at a fair that only those back stage can have. Twenty-four hour access, camping for a week, hanging out with a downright muppety group of hippies, outlaws, refugees and pirates. Good stuff for an illustrator.

So far I’ve only been privy to “pre-Fair”, and even that has been a treat. The O.C.F. has been going on for forty-two years, and we live in an area where severe weather is rare, so most of the booths are permanent (or semi-permanent) structures built out of scrap timber; as aged and weathered as the trees themselves. It reminds me of my elementary school’s playground, which was made of logs bolted together to make climbable pyramids and balance beams. Before the O.C.F. booth-ers arrive to set up shop the forest appears to host some sort of elven ghost town. Empty scaffolding, stairs, and lofts hint deliciously at what was (and will be) there come next week. So many wonderful lines.

Oregon Country Fair

When I was last there I didn’t have time to sit with my drawing board, but I hope to this coming weekend. I am wrapping myself up in a tight curl, pushing out the very, very last pictures for the big Cyborg Anthropology book, and I hope to be finished by the time we leave for the week. I think the fair would be a wonderful pallet cleanser.