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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Location: CT
Safely home from a 6-hour trip to share a free "Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat" at the Arlo Guthrie Center for Performing Arts in Great Barrington Mass.

The Guthrie Center was the old Trinity Church which Alice Brock (of Alice's Restaurant fame) lived in with her husband Ray (RIP) in 1965. Today it has been built into a free performing arts center for anyone needing stage time and an appreciative audience. But in 1965 (as you'll remember from the song) the bell tower served as home for the Brocks and the empty sanctuary served as their garbage dumpster.

After Thanksgiving dinner 1965, Arlo and a friend got arrested for throwing the Brocks' garbage onto private property because the local dump was closed for Thanksgiving. They each had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage in the snow on a week end. Arlo wrote the 18-minute "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" talking blues song about that experience and how the US government then considered him "not moral enough" to be drafted into the army, go to Vietnam and kill men, women, children, cattle, pigs and chickens, burn villages etc because he had once been convicted of littering. He was disqualified for the draft and would have had to apply for a waiver in order to become eligible to be drafted into the army and fight in Vietnam. ( :lol: ) Somehow he just never got around to requesting that waiver. 8) The movie "Alice's Restaurant" played continuously on several TV monitors around the church.

Anyway, several CTZCC members have visited both Alice's Restaurant (now closed) and the old Trinity Church (now the Guthrie Center) together over the years. Once we raked leaves in the front yard and got invited to attend Arlo's annual free Thanksgiving Dinner which couldn't be beat. This year I finally got around to doing that.

The doors opened at 12:30, the food was put out at 1pm and the whole massacree lasts until 4pm. Tables set up in the sanctuary can seat 121 souls, and the whole place was packed. Cloth table cloths, lighted candles, linen table napkins, folding chairs, a mixture of silverware and volunteer 60-yr-old busboys and girls clearing tables as quickly as you're done. As people finished dinner and waddled out, others quickly took their places. Many people were eating on their feet without complaint. It was a cool experience and looked a bit like the 1960s with old hippies in tie-die shirts and long grey ponytails drifting in and out of the church all day. The place was packed with interesting characters and a few people I thought I had seen on stage or record albums in the past. One guy looked for all the world like Harry Chapin, who has been dead for about 35 years. Lots of peculiar people walked out of the surrounding woods to break bread together.

Dinner was hot turkey, real mashed potatoes, hot stuffing, hot gravy, green beans, German potato salad, hot candied yams, cranberry sauce, hot dinner rolls and some kind of Soylent Green salad which I was happy I didn't have room left for on my plate, but I saw doZens of people around me eating it and nobody died while I was there. There were many different non-alcoholic drinks offered, including espresso cafe. I took both the apple and the pumpkin pie for dessert and almost needed help staggering back to the car. This is purported to be the same dinner Alice offered to her guests at Thanksgiving 1965, which Arlo called "a Thanksgiving Dinner which couldn't be beat". It still can't be, and is the best FREE Thanksgiving dinner I ever expect to get.

Out front someone had parked a red VW MicroBus on the grass (altho a much later year than the one in the song) with Arlo Guthrie Alice's Restaurant decals on it and a dash plaque explaining the bus had been donated to the Guthrie Center in memory of a dear friend. On the sign out front of the church hung two bags of trash, apparently waiting for some kind soul to carry them to the dump....if one was open on Thanksgiving.

I think I might volunteer to help out there next year. Stopped at Alice's Restaurant and at the Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge on the way home (only 7 miles from the church) but of course both were closed.
A fun trip, well worth the time up and back.

(I tried to attach some pictures, but they distorted the post so badly I took them down).

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:16 pm
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Location: Ansonia, CT
:thumbs_up:

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John Kish
1971 240Z original owner


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:15 pm 
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Location: Naugatuck CT
Frank that is awesome! And that day was a day I'll never forget as long as I live. :D

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Mike Tubiak
1978 Datsun 280Z - HLS30-438694


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:06 am 
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Location: CT
Hi Mike!
Yeah, we had a lot of fun that day. Probably one of the best times I've had with this Club. Enjoyed playing with the S30s side by side thru the Berkshires and hearing your exhaust. I missed you on this trip, buddy.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:16 am 
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Frank T wrote:
Hi Mike!
Yeah, we had a lot of fun that day. Probably one of the best times I've had with this Club. Enjoyed playing with the S30s side by side thru the Berkshires and hearing your exhaust. I missed you on this trip, buddy.



Learning to drive without a clutch... :lol: Maybe one day we will have another adventure like that. If you ever need a copilot send me a message! :D

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Mike Tubiak
1978 Datsun 280Z - HLS30-438694


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:56 am 
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If I ever need a co-pilot you'll be the first I ask.

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