DAY 7 - Monday, March 26th 2012 - Seale, Alabama
SIGH. I would have loved to have slept in much much longer since I had been sick since I left Portland, but I was just to anxious to see my uncle Butch and to see his place in day light. When you pull up to his place off of Poorhouse Rd., there is a long dirt road, passing a small little lake on either side, then up past The Museum of Wonder and Butch’s workshop, past my grandfather Bishop’s house and through the woods to Butch’s. I didn’t really get around to taking many photos of his place, but you can see an article the New York Times did on him and the Doonanny a few years back. His home is even more amazing in person.
While Sarah slept, Butch and I strolled down to the portion of his property where the Doonanny is held. There is a small dirt road with a few scattered permanent booth displays already built and waiting for the regular/returning artist to show up and fill them with art. I was so amazed to see this and made a note to convince Sarah that we needed a permanent structure of our own. At the end of the road it is like a little town of folk artist. There is an outdoor kitchen, roughly 50-75 feet in length, 25 feet wide, with about a 20 foot ceiling. There is the “gourmet” kitchen that is for cooking food to sell to the general public on the actual day of the event (Saturday) and the community kitchen, which is for the artist to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Two huge fridges, two gas stoves, sinks for washing up, a hibachi style “social” grill, and a 10x10 foot grill. Also in the kitchen area, but not under cover, are about 6 or 7 permanent tables with permanent stools. During the first few days we were there, Rob7 built a community coffee hut, with a two pot coffee maker, lots and lots of coffee grounds, and flavoring station with liquors, sugars, sweet mixes like nutmeg, cayenne and cacao (that is the only mixture I can remember). Oh yeah, there was also a double decker bus that was gutted and turned into a dining hall.
For keeping clean, there was the spa. One private shower, three community showers that were each just separated with a sheet. Two bath tubs, also separated by a sheet, but both structures completely surrounded with a permanent wooden structure. The showers had 5 gallon buckets overhead with shower spouts affixed to the bottom. The water for the showers are heated by wood fire and either hand pumped into each bucket (by you or a friend) or if you find the pump isn’t working, which it never was each time I went to shower, you fill up a one gallon bucket, climb a ladder and slowly fill up your shower bucket. I must say, this is a pretty amazing way to shower. I just wish I had gotten a chance to shower at night with the stars overhead. Next year.
On the lower level of the property, down by the lake, there is a music stage, for the many DooNanny bands to play, with a small wooden dance floor in front. Further out in the field is a giant fire pit, surrounded by chairs and couches. This is were we spent most of our nights. When Sarah woke up, our first task was to help haul and stack wood to the pit. Across the lake is the camping area, with a giant tee-pee and about 20 or so other camp areas.
Sadly, I only took a few pictures the entire time we were in Alabama, but I will make sure to post links to other peoples photos in another post, that way you get a real feel for the event. That said, isn’t this the most precious kitty ever. This is my uncles cat who lives in the woods around his house. He has one fucked up eye and one of the mornings he was meowing for food, I came out to find he had been in a fight with some other creature, but he could care less. He just wanted a scratch behind his ears and a bowl full of food. -misha