Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Boogie Barn

In reflection, I recall the time that the Mateel Building was built. Feel free to correct me on this because I was not heavily involved in the Mateel at the time. But since the Reggae fund raising project started I have donated my time and material to a great extent, so I hope I have “talking credentials”.

Before the Mateel hall was built there was much talk in the community about the lack of direction that the Mateel had in building the much needed community center to replace the one that was eliminated by the tragic fire that consumed the old one. There was also serious talk about community members buying up memberships to bring about a take-over. The idea was presented to the Garberville Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Sorority, Soroptimist club, and the Garberville Chamber of Commerce. All very large and power clubs at the time. It was thought of as a viable plan to get a Community center built.

There was a much more clearly defined line between “them and us” in those days and most of the club members elected to have no part of belonging to the Mateel. Some members of the community at large started joining the Mateel anyway, and precipitated a mass joining of the Mateel by the “hill folks”, because they wanted to have no part of the rednecks owning their “Boogy-Barn”. Does anyone remember that?

The atmosphere at the time forced the Mateel to purchase inappropriate land, and build in an inappropriate place. The water mains were inadequate, the sewer mains were inadequate, there was no parking, the property was too small. The only thing that the land had going for it was it was for sale and it was buildable.

The straight community was shocked that the hippies would try to build a community center in such a spot, and went about trying to point out the error of their ways. That only polarized the situation. The young hippies were tired of being told what they could or couldn’t do, and they said; “NO, this is our place and we’re building it!” They became firmly resolved to build their “Boogy Barn" no matter what the reason to not, and the rest is a long, long, story of legal battles and code violations, but they built their Boogy Barn and it has been used by most of the community to their great advantage. Say what you like, ya’ gotta’ kinda’ admire folks like that! And, the Barn does have it’s own kind of charm.

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