Alabama Mike among the Rainbow People

Alabama Mike’s love cakes are one of creation’s most temptable zoo-zoo’s and it took the entire clean up crew to coax them out of legend.

Now Alabama’s job may have looked like the easy part to a bystander who might find themselves unfamiliar with Rainbow “politics”. The Rainbow Family is considered by many of its “members” to be some sort of social disorganization. An exercise in peaceful anarchy. The energy involved in bringing together family members in the Kicyapoo region is minimal in comparison to the effort that must be expended to bringing the “disorganization” into blossoming productivity.

Brother Alabama is a shaggy, joyfully childlike smile of a man whom one would swear on all that is high and holy is Jim Henson’s creation “Floyd” from the “Electric Mahem” breathed into laughing life. To watch the orchestration of the mythological Love Cakes is almost as fun as it is to participate.

Brother Morgan accidentally leads the small ring of drummers, echoing all of the rhythm of the earthshaking circle that was gathered in 200-300 strong throng 1/4 mile away at the “main circle” (now “disappeared”) by the clean-up crew. The eyes of the drummers gaze from skyward to the night sky full of stars, to the fire of the “bliss-pit”, a necessary part of any functioning kitchen where musicians, dogs, observers (affectionately termed “brass-ninny’s”) may coagulate without disturbing the functions of sanitation of the kitchen proper. Sparrowhawk adds another vital ingredient by eliciting a small river of melody from his beloved travel companion, a six-stringed twelve string guitar.

Eyes widen with astonishment as Alabama holds skyward his booty, no doubt traded from kindhearted local visitors. Probably traded away with no idea of its value, for crystals or semi-precious stones which Alabama had stumbled over on his morning hike. In unison a gasp escapes the lips of all present.

“Zoo-zoos!” In the silence that follows mouths can be heard to drip saliva and suddenly Alabama booms in his tobacco-raspy baritone,

“Brothers and Sisters….let there be Love Cakes tonight!” Exultation resounds from the valley walls, and the fastest runners are immediately dispatched to bring forth honey, sugar, and flour from the nearby Agape Tea kitchen and The Stone Me Lazy Donut Grove. These items will join the box of Snickers bars miraculously preserved until the Cleanup. Suddenly out of the apparent chaos there arises a strange and beautiful congruity. Right on family, tonight we share Love Cakes!

The music around the bliss-pit strikes back up with redoubled tempo matching the chop chop chop and stir stir mix of the kitchen crew endowed with the vital ingredient of focus. As the runners return rejoicing with supplies from the nearby kitchens, Sister Silent stands and urges,

“Shhhh – what is that?”

Now one may suspect that out of such cacophony as was pervading the valley at that time, originating from the primal jubilation of this motley crue that some may call the Rainbow Family, difficulty would most probably arise in trying to evoke a moment of silence.

There are a few things that warriors of the tribe of all colors love to share even the most lovingly prepared pastries and that is respect. Even for the smallest voice.

Not another hand fell to another makeshift drum. Of the twenty-odd heads present, forty- or fifty-some ears could be heard to listen loudly.

“It’s a whipper-will.” someone offered. Though a whipper-will had only announced the middle of the starshow, Silent said,

“No, not that….”

Out of the shadows of the forest towards Bus Village, now front gate of the gathering, closest camp to the road, dwindled an eerie coyote call.

Now any mildly superstitious warrior would quickly enlighten you to the fact that this is an omen of some sort. Most probably that there will soon follow a lesson of disruptive origin. As hearkeners then hearkened harder, the silence then issued another similar omen. The dreadful distand sound of human voices raised anger.

Over the Bridge of Love the warrior sped. The bridge they had fashioned from fallen trees offered by the Mother Earth to help bring the two halves of the gathering closer together. At night the crossing without the bridge would be far too dangerous for the children of Kid Village to hear the storytellers on the Cosmic Outback sing of Atlantis and the Fall of Babylon. Good things cleanup council had decided not to disappear the bridge until all had crossed back to Bus Village and Everybody’s Kitchen for the final disappear.

Now over the river the warriors could hear without pausing that the sound of distress was definitely coming from Bus Village at the top of the valley.

Finally the brothers came towards Bus Village. They circled the fire with a silent prayer and stepped as one into the light and with one voice shouted,


The two me fighting fell away from each other and stood in shameful silence.

“Crackle-pop!” said the fire.

“Peep-peep chirrup” said the crickets.

“Ow-ow” said the frogs.

“Oh-who” said the owl.

The coyotes howled once more,

“Well done this time Brothers Twolegs.”

Brothers and Sisters, tell me did you hear?

Were they laughing or crying?