friday feast: alice and arlo

“Don’t be intimidated by foreign cookery. Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.” ~ Alice May Brock

Photo of Alice by Howell Conant, Source:

During the holidays, I like listening to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”

The “Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat” makes me happy, along with Officer Obie, the Group W bench, and of course, those “twenty-seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us.”

Dang fine example of the talkin’ blues, a classic 60’s counterculture, anti-war/anti-draft satirical ballad that still rings true 42 years after its release. I’ve been lucky enough to hear Arlo sing it in person a couple of times, and admit to having a crush on him when I was sixteen. Sigh. I wore out the A-Side of my album (some of the best 18-minute interludes I’ve ever had). When the movie came out with Arlo starring in it, I really really wanted to become a hippie, celebrate Thanksgiving with all those people, and help dump the garbage.

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friday feast: tickle your pickle with arlo

 from dadadreams’ photostream.

So, the big question for today is: sweet or dill?

Did you know that July is National Pickle Month? What would you do without me to tell you these things? Thought I’d better slip in a sweet gherkin while I still have a few more hours to celebrate. I do like bread and butter pickles, too — but for me the ultimate pickle experience has to do with motorcycles and Arlo Guthrie. I am indebted to him for many meaningful meditations on pickles, tickles, and the distinctive sound of  Harley engines. Beautiful!

photo by DAJanzen.

I’ve had the unrivaled pleasure of seeing Arlo perform a couple of times. What a storyteller — how can anyone not love him? I’ll never forget what he said about growing up as one of Woody’s offsprings. Every evening, when the family sat down to supper, they’d go around the table and each person would say what he/she did that day to make the world a better place. Is that not the best way to raise kind, socially conscious human beings? Instead of, “what am I getting out of this,” we should be asking, “what can I do to help?”

Rolling Thunder, Washington, D.C., photo by Hiranka.

For now, kick back, rev up your engines, and enjoy a little Arlo. First video is from a 1975 benefit festival for the Worthington Clinic. Second one was recorded earlier this year in Melbourne, Florida, and features a funny, real-life motorcyle story. Full lyrics for “The Motorcycle Song,” can be found here.

Sylvia Vardell is hosting the Roundup today at Poetry for Children.

Just in case you’re feeling ambitious this weekend:

from My Fiddlestix’s photostream.

This just in: Did you know Arlo joined the Republican party several years ago? Find out why in his provocative, insightful post, “2 Cups of Coffee, or My 2 Cents.”

P.S. Are you ticklish? ☺ Coast into the weekend with this!