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Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006

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July 4th, 2006
Plymouth, MA
Parade and Festival!


April 28th - Friday night

            Peacemaker II and the Merrymaker:

The dancing and music on the promenade in Santa Monica last night was very encouraging. "Who are you people?".....crowds would form around our dance circle. (The 3rd Street promenade has hundreds, maybe thousands of people on it on Friday nights... it is a cobblestone walking street lined with fancy stores, vendors, and circus type performers and musicians. This is one of the main social/shopping scenes in Santa Monica where people look for relationships, entertainment, dinner, or hand-outs.) Some pedestrians would watch for a few minutes and wander on. Others would be intrigued, take a paper and ask more questions. The adventurous would even let us teach them some of the easier dances.

Amazingly enough we were able to park the buses within a few hundred feet of where we were.

"You are welcome to come in...... would you like to see our bus?"

"Oh, no I won't want to intrude."

"Oh, please, we would like you to come on," we would sincerely say.

"Really?" people would ask incredulously as they stepped on.

"Yes, would you like some tea?"

It seemed that people were not only enthralled with the bus but were amazed to receive such welcoming warmth (that wasn't looking for something in exchange) in this sensual metropolis.

April 29th - Saturday

The next morning we went back to the Venice boardwalk for a couple of hours and then up the coast to the 3rd Street promenade in Santa Monica for more dancing and music. We left around 7:00 in the evening to get back to the Morning Star Ranch to get ready for the Festival. We said good-bye to Los Angeles for now and headed home to the peaceful hills of Keyes Canyon.

April 30th - Festival at the Morning Star Ranch

The big day was here! The morning haze burned off by noon and revealed a warm, cloudless California day. The sweet, tropical smell of grapefruit blossoms filled the air. It's too bad there isn't an equivalent to a 'scratch and sniff' device on computers because the aroma was something wonderful to experience.

  The yard was full of people setting up booths, washing buses, tuning instruments on the stage in the courtyard, stringing banners and on and on. The women had made gallons and gallons of guacamole and other delicious foods set up on huge serving tables. Not only was the Mate' booth set up but the cider press also.....it was a perfect "family" festival complete with a booth where children learned how to "throw" clay on a wheel or make their own little sculptures.

The day was filled with music and song. The children had prepared songs they not only sang, but played with their child-size instruments. We had some lively discussions around the 'Open Forum' table about any topics people wanted to bring up; (i.e. 'Is your life sustainable?' ..... 'Is your religion genetically modified?')


  Mini-seminars were held in the school house where one especially animated 'audience participation' skit was performed. Our good-natured guests performed parts from Matthew 25:31-46 concerning the Three Eternal Destinies. It was quite enlightening for all!


The wonderful day ended with everyone (including the 30 or so remaining guests) gathered together for song. Most were visibly affected when we sang a special song to them. No official tally was taken, but the general opinion was we had over 100 people come to the festival. We were so thankful so many friends we met were able to experience a taste and be affected by our life.

May 1st - Monday

We said our farewells to our friends at the Morning Star Ranch and headed to Santa Barbara as a caravan....this is the first time all four buses are together! As we slowly wound our way out of the beautiful, springtime- green canyon, we turned quite a few heads as each bus filed past.   People raking in their yards paused, leaning on their rake handles ....."Yes, you did just see four unusual looking buses pass by".....

UCSB (University of California at Santa Barbara).... The question is where do you park this caravan? Well, as the kind university police said, "Not here." They helpfully directed us to the beach parking area a few minute walk away from where the dancers and musicians were set up. We are thankful we can anticipate help along the way up the coast. Kindness usually responds to kindness.

We left the college at suppertime and headed to downtown Santa Barbara....

  Because we can't possibly park these four buses on the main street, a brother went ahead to a parking lot along the beach.

"Can we park four buses in here?" he asked.

"No, sorry - this parking lot is only for cars."

"Oh, really....."

"Yeah, .....but hey, my supervisor isn't here...come on in." he replied.

"Well, you know these are really big buses."

"Really... big buses? I'd like to see them. Tell your friends to come on over."

And we did. What did he charge us? Nothing.


The buses are lined up together and people start coming over to the parking lot. We are meeting so many wonderful people and having some great conversations!

Next... San Luis Obispo and then on to Santa Cruz.

Merrymakers\' Caravan

For more information contact info@merrymakerscaravan.org