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1997: Self-labeled hippies make plans to hold a massive Rainbow Family gathering on the Ochoco National Forest, with 25,000 people estimated to arrive

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - June 5, 1997:  A huge American flag is attached between two large pine trees at the main entrance to the Rainbow Gathering, east of Walton Lake. Tied to other trees is a bellowing blue and white sailboat spinnaker. The sailboat is permanently affixed to the top of a colorful bus owned by Mark, who didn't want to give a last name. Mark didn't offer much information about himself, other than to say his bus/sailboat is basically a '62 Chevy with a Corvette engine that he has owned for nine years. Work on the vehicle has been, he said, an 'ongoing art project.'

110 years ago

June 13, 1912

The few cases of smallpox that were developed in Burns were so completely isolated and special care taken that no new cases have developed, and this city is now entirely free from the disease. It has caused some uneasiness upon the part of some, but there is no longer any danger. The reports that have gone out respecting the disease has hurt Burns to some extent in a business way, as it was greatly exaggerated. There have been but few cases, yet the knocker has caused the general public to think a terrible epidemic has been raging, while as a matter of fact those who were afflicted had only mild cases.

75 years ago

June 12, 1947

The fire, which destroyed the three-room house belonging to Mr. Oat and Mrs. Robert Thompson about 11 p. m., Saturday, May 31, is believed to have been caused by lightning, according to Mrs. Thompson, who said, "There had been no fires burning in the house for hours."

The Thompson property is located about three miles from Prineville on the Barnes Butte Road, near the Jim Howard place. The house and all contents were completely destroyed, and they had no insurance, Mrs. Thompson said. The Thompsons have one child and are living in a tent near the site of the fire.

50 years ago

June 15, 1972 Hector Parras, who gave police his age as both 16 and 18, was arrested at 1 a.m., Wednesday morning following a chase by Prineville police officers.

Parras was charged with attempting to elude police officers, driving a motor vehicle with a .15 or higher level of alcohol in the blood and failure to leave his name at the scene of an accident.

25 years ago

June 5, 1997

Recently, groups of people that can only be described as "hippies" have been seen in Prineville. According to U.S. Forest Service official, that is exactly how they identify themselves... as hippies.

Carrie Sammons, a Forest Service public affairs specialist, has been working with the group to help them find a place to hold their Rainbow '97 Gathering. Rainbow scouts have been scouring the national forests of Washington and Oregon for a site.

The gathering is expected to bring in as many as 25,000 people for the gathering, which runs from June 28 to July 10.

According to information supplied to Sammons by the Rainbow Gathering organizers, gatherings have been held the first week of July for the past 12 years. Always on public land, Rainbow Gatherings have been organized by and for a "group of grown-up children dedicated to making visible the power of social harmony."

The events, according to the information, began in the spring of 1970 by a number of people who saw the gatherings as a means of transforming the world toward a "more peaceful, ecologically secure place." Annual gatherings have been held in Colorado, Idaho and other western national forests.

"Lots of times, a defendant will ask to serve weekends so they can keep their jobs. The fee is to pay for processing them in and out. That work takes up a lot of time, and the inmates should have to pay for that," Clark said.


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