Downtown Country Fair

On 2 October 2005, I will be the Master of Ceremonies at the Dowtown Country Fair in Willimantic, Connecticut, sponsored by the Willimantic Food Co-Op. This is an unusual job, and a real first for me, but I’m really looking forward to getting up on stage, introducing bands and trying to keep things moving along, from 11am to 5pm. Please feel free to come on down or up and have a good time. I hear that most of the music is folk, and folk rock, with some bluegrass. Maybe I can work some poets into the line-up, but I’m not going to worry about that right now.

It looks like the Empty Bowl project I’d hoped to get off the ground is going to be a bust. The School doesn’t want to interfere with its own fund-raising activities, the Church will be in the middle of its annual pledge drive, and no one wants to commit. They’re finding all sorts of reasons not to hold the gathering, and there’s little recognition or acknowledgement of how the outpouring of support for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita has left local social services strapped.

This is the downside of all the publicity which follows in the aftermath of great disasters. The tsunami victims and the hurricane victims are desperately needy, for sure — but what about the homeless and the hungry who live down the street? The local homeless shelter, and the local soup kitchen, are already open only a few days a week, and strapped to provide enough services this autumn. It’s going to get worse.

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