Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat

Up until about 10 years ago, I still owned the vinyl record shown below:

Since my Dual turntable hadn’t worked for years, it seemed to be a good time to clean out the balance of my record albums and the non-functioning record player, all of which were happily purchased by a baby boomer that we knew in Wisconsin.

I was still in college when Arlo Guthrie played the song in front of a live audience for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival in 1967, and I’ve listened to it hundreds of times since them.

Since I was stationed on the East Coast for basic training and A.I.T, I took the opportunity to travel through Stockbridge, Massachusetts on my way back home to Minnesota.

I took pictures of the church and its bell tower, the original location of Alice Restaurant, and the police station, but decided to not visit the town dump.

The original location of the restaurant is STILL a restaurant, and it’s now known as the Stockbridge Café. The restaurant has gotten good reviews, and has a fairly extensive menu, but you can no longer get whatever you want when you walk in the door.

Alice Brock, who had been the librarian at Arlo’s boarding school in Stockbridge before opening her restaurant, now owns an art studio in Princetown, Massachusetts.

The church and its bell tower where purchased by Arlo Guthrie in 1991, and converted to the Guthrie Center, an interfaith meeting center. The center provides free weekly lunches for families living with AIDS/HIV, and hosts an annual "Thanksgiving Dinner that Can’t be Beat” to raise money to cure Huntington’s disease (which was the disease that killed Arlos’s father, Woody.)

Arlo still sings the song today, and still has a moderately active tour schedule, which you can view at his website below. Like most of us, he’s a lot grayer, and more wrinkled, than he used to be, but he’s still fun to listen to.

Arlo’s website

Like his dad, he often sings songs against social injustice, and actively campaigned for George McGovern in 1984. Since then, he’s become a registered Republican (gasp!) , based on the theory that “We had enough good Democrats. We need a few more good Republicans”. In view of the fact that a lot of folks today view the Republican Party of today through the prism of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, his current position actually makes some sense.

If you’re in the mood for a little nostalgia, you can listen to the entire album again by clicking on the link below. If it doesn’t come on right away, just wait a minute, and it will come around again.

do you remember Group W?

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