esterday, in the late afternoon, we stopped by Willson Park adjacent to the Capitol building of the state of Oregon, where the Occupy Salem people are camped. We dropped off some coolers as they do have a tent for a food center but don't have refrigeration. Or water. The coolers were greeted with thanks. People were very friendly and we were offered a tour:
First the publicity and media communication tent. Then the medical. Then the communication tent where they've established contact with other Occupy cities not only in America.
Our guide, an easy going and voluble man with long graying hair, showed us around and brought us up to speed, telling us that Governor Kitzhaber was not being cooperative with the group. Even though Kitz is a liberal. I found this news a hard to take betrayal. I voted for the man and cheered when he won. But on second thought it is just another nail in the coffin of liberalism.
"Did you know," he said. As he spoke he waved his hand in the direction of about 20 tents of different colors and sizes; housing for committed people who were there for the long haul. "There are 1700 cities, in America alone, who are doing this. We are expecting to be joined by a delegation from Occupy Portland this very evening."
A tall, handsome young man came up to us. He turned out to be part of the medical team. "You probably won't be reading in the main stream media about what I am about to tell you," he said. "In Iraq," he said, "a huge group of American soldiers have taken a park in downtown Falugia. They are calling themselves Occupy Falugia. And they are refusing to carry out their missions. The command has tried to arrest them--- but had to give up. How do you arrest a hundred thousand armed soldiers?
We got to the big board which spells out the groups intentions. Prominent in the list is the label, Spirituality--- and next to it our pastor's name, Rick Davis, was displayed.
Improbable Coincidence Control (ICC) suddenly went into operation and as we spoke his name 3 times, exclaiming that we, and therefore, Rick, are Unitarian-Universalists, here came Rick strolling into view. As he approached Rick announced that he was organizing all the leaders of the entire religious community of Salem to take part there. Rick embraced Marian and then turned to me and opened his arms to hug me.
It seemed an auspicious meeting.
Our tour guide, a sympatico sort of man, the sort of person you would hope to encounter in such a place, at such a time, introduced himself, when Marian and I arrived earlier, with the name of Sarah.
I'd felt it discourteous to ask him to spell it--- so on my mental blackboard I envisioned his name being spelled "Serra" or some such.
Rick was under no such apprehension. "Spell it." Rick said.
"S," Sarah said.
That was fine.
I was fine with "S."
And then he went on. "a-r-a-h."
The feminine spelling. And yet there was nothing feminine about the fellow. Grey hair, shoulder length, well trimmed beard, wire frame glasses, plaid shirt, worn jeans --- you know--- the usual aging hippie.
"Sarah," Sarah said, "was Jesus sister."
Either it was the work of hippie parents or else it was his own hippie affectation. Nevertheless, Sarah was a most accomodating fellow. He took us to the wonderful huge Douglas Fir tree, very near the white marble Capitol, which grows in the center of a deep, luxurious carpet of faded evergreen needles.
Lovely spot for a service.
Rick and Sarah went on and I turned back to Marian and the car, as I had reached my limit for walking. Even though my heart surgery was a full 7 months ago, I still am not yet back up to full speed and endurance. As we backed the Volvo away from the curb we saw them in the distance--- Rick hugging most everyone he met.
We drove over to the Salem Film Festival. Caught the second showing of the festival film, The Truth Is Out There. One of the film's interviews was with a Dr. Monteith, who was full of deep, dark, hidden truths about America. He came right out and said that the artificial sweetener aspartame is poisonous and causes cancer; and that the placing of so much of it out there is not for profit merely but also that it is a large part of the power elite's plan to murder a very large portion of the population because the elite are angry and fearful that common folk will consume all of their natural resources. The gloomy interview with Dr. Monteith wound up with him saying that if America doesn't awaken--- and very soon--- it will be too late. And all Freedom and Democracy will be lost forever. I flashed on the Occupy Salem camp and thanked the Universe for what appears to be a true awakening.
But after we finished a lite supper of spare ribs, fries and a cold pounder of micro-brewed Hefeveisen beer, we decided to swing by the camp on the way home. I was disheartened to see that all the housing tents were gone, and only two structures remained. One was the Food Center. The other was the media communication center, which, as we pulled up was being removed by we don't know who.◘