The doors to our future swing on hinges of the past. Take time to acknowledge what was.

Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival


The Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival occurs mostly in the village of Arroyo Grande. But the Saturday morning parade begins at Halcyon and Grand, and I arrived there to photograph some of the parade staging activities. There were bands, trucks, tractors, horses, and dancers. I made a few photographs, but better opportunities came later in the day.

The six photographs here at the top of this page are representative of events of the day. With Snap and Flag Girl are from the parade staging area. Clemens (John Clemo) is a Mark Twain impersonator who told the story of the Celebrated Jumping Frog and other anecdotal events and opinions of Mr. Clemens. The girl of Icebox stands in the kitchen of a home restored and preserved by the local historical society. At top right is George Walker as Woody, giving an excellent presentation of songs and tales by Woody Guthrie. Below him is Dance! photographed during a stage performance. These were not the only events and activities during the Harvest Festival. They are the ones that I saw and photographed during the day on Saturday. The event began Friday evening and continued through Saturday afternoon. It is a local event. You won't see rows of national vendors, and entertainment is comprised of local talent within the area.

George Walker did a very enjoyable impression of Woody Guthrie. He sang songs and told stories of Woody in a relaxed manner as though they were his own. His demeanor, cap and overalls produced the desired effect. I don't know how Woody Guthrie dressed, but the stories and songs we heard suggested that what we saw was not far from the truth. Well done! I'm pleased to have caught a few representative moments on film. I especially like Stories and With Feelin' because of the expression and emotion they reveal. There should have been more people there to see him perform. The location was good for him, and for photography, but I think it was easily missed.

When I photographed Icebox, above, the girl's mother said that she would soon be doing a butter churning demonstration on the back porch. She was joined by another and they went about "doing chores" together. She looks very natural in Grace of Another Time, as though she were doing something she does once a week. I enjoyed the opportunity to photograph them engaged in activities of earlier times. Hangin' Out (circa. 1800?) seems very natural. It is a photograph of a mundane event, but the sense of an earlier time is strong enough to make the photo fresh and interesting. This one is not about the girls; it is about a lifestyle.

The Harvest Festival was a success, with something to offer people of all ages. That is a community event. Credit goes to Vivian Krug (whom I met during the event), co-chair and publicity director for the Harvest Festival. Congratulations to her and others who made it happen!

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
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