Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hippies in St. George: A Photo Essay

For my birthday on May 22, I attended the annual Hippy Clambake in St. George. It's put on by Harry and Martha Bryan, a couple of generous ex-pat hippies who left the US during the Viet Nam war 40 years ago. They live completely off the grid in St. George, NB. As you might expect, they are considered the local gurus of sustainability.

Harry and Martha built this piece of paradise on the Mascarene literally with their own bare hands. Harry is a boat-builder who hand-builds his boats from wood that he cuts in his own bicycle-powered saw mill, a truly astonishing achievement. Likewise, Harry and Martha built every structure on their property themselves. And there is nothing "backwoods" about the house, woodshop, boat launch, and other buildings on their property. Like his boats, everything is finely crafted and a beautiful place to spend time in.

The annual clambake is open to anyone in St. George, but most of the clambakers were friends of Harry and Martha from the States. The photos reveal a rainbow of elder hippies and young ecologists. Many of the younger party-goers came from Nova Scotia and other parts of New Brunswick to see the first ever Clambake Concert, featuring Old Man Luedecke from Halifax and Mary Katherine from PEI, both folk artists. Speaking of rainbows, Harry and Martha graciously announced and celebrated the 40th anniversary of a lesbian couple at the evening's concert.

I met Harry personally and introduced myself as a neighbour from down the road on the Mascarene. He very kindly welcomed me, despite being incredibly busy with his guests all day, and said "we'll be getting to know you better over the years," I never felt more welcomed anywhere I've lived.

For the rest of the photo esssay, please go to
my Facebook photo album "Hippy Clambake St. George."

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