The Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup was outstanding. To tell you the truth, I was a bit leery. The Green Festival, which I’ve attended over the last 5 years, has seemed increasingly weak. Sorry to say so, but true, and I feared the same might be true here in Puyallup, Washington. But Cheryl Long, Mother Earth News editor-in-chief and my buddy, talked me into coming, and am I glad she did. If I’d known how good it woud be, I’d have hung around for the 2nd day, instead of flying to NYC Sunday.
There were animals: chickens, goats sheep, pygmy pigs, small-scale cattle, alpacas. A great selection of electric vehicles. There were all kinds of things that interested me in contrast to the same-old, same-old Green Festival stuff. Demos of shake-splitting and log-squaring-off, a completely different type of composting toilet, soapstone woodstoves, roofing materials, a beautiful copper still made in Portugal, a complete building dedicated to fiber arts, an array of solar devices, the Emmrod compact fishing rods…
A guy had a tattered copy of an early printing of Shelter and opened to the last page, where there’s a picture of a hobo/buddha Jack and I ran into in the Nevada desert in 1972, and said, “I think about him every day.”
I had several hundred people at my presentation, and it was a sympatico crowd. They were with me. Plus, Mother Earth announced they were giving me a lifetime achievement award. Ulp! It went well and afterwards I signed books for about an hour. A nice looking couple, surfers, came up and told me they read my blog daily, and said, “We came from Hawaii to hear you talk.” Wow.