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Newport, RI — July 10th
We were thankful to rest up this morning after a long and fruitful week meeting so many wonderful people. After we drove to Newport Beach, we stopped briefly downtown but had to move on, yet not before befriending a group of "Goths" - young people dressed in black, with metal piercing their faces in various patterns and, in general, quite deliberately outside of "accepted norms" of society. Someone in the park asked what they were doing and one of them leaned out the window and said, "Hey! We're making friends!"
We stopped at a park on the outskirts of town. There we met a man named Del driving his motor scooter who told us he would devote the rest of his day to helping us find a place to park, play our music, and dance. We met another man there named Steve, who had once had a health food store in California. A generation ago, a caravan of buses stopped outside his store whose leader was Stephen Gaskin. Their message affected him so much he got on one of their buses for the next six weeks before returning home. There are many, many people we met who once dared to hope that life could be different, better, meaningful, un-materialistic who come face to face with that hope upon meeting us. Can it rise again?
Eventually, we ended up at a public beach with lots of parking. There we met a man from one of the neighboring large houses who opened up to us in a way that he hadn't been able to with anyone since a personal tragedy struck his life a year ago. Beniah, our farmer from Vermont, had a lot of hope for him.
A policeman, as they have throughout our East Coast Merrymakers Tour, stopped to "check us out" immediately upon our arrival at the beach. He spent a long time talking with Nehemiah, saying he wanted to come to our festival and leaving us with the parting words, "If anyone gives you any trouble, here is my cell phone number - have them call me."
We pulled into the Holiday Campground a half hour from Providence,
turned the bench seats into bunk beds, and slept peacefully in the quiet
stillness of the countryside.
More coming soon!!!