Re: [sixties-l] Vermont communes

From: robert (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 17:48:22 EST

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    Re SNCC people in Vermont communes, a group including Casey Hayden and
    others, came up to live at the Hugg's Family near Bennington. 1966? It was
    levelled in a fire started by a vietnam vet who went beserk with a

    Another place for SNCC people was an obscure commune in New Haven, I
    believe, called Toad Hall.

    You can get some of this background in a recent book, "Deep in Our Hearts:
    Nine White Women in the Southern Freedom Movement." (2000, University of
    Georgia Press.)

    Three of the contributors have long standing Vermont connections and live
    here, Penny Patch in Lyndonville, Theresa Del Pozzo, Bennington, and Emmie
    Schroeder Adams, Barnet.

    I'm working on a review and will post it here soon.

    Robert Houriet
    Getting Back Together (1971) covers some of this background. But generally
    most commentators on communal history history -- see Tim Miller's
    comprehensive book just out - ignore the pre-figurative influence of
    freedom houses on many communes that got started mostly in the east, and
    didn't get all the glitzy media attention from journalists like me. And
    didn't want it.

    At 04:48 PM 1/23/01 -0500, you wrote:
    >The book by Barry Laffin is about the Johnson Pasture, an open land commune
    >of the 1970s.
    >I lived up the road at the Total Loss Farm (Packer Corner) commune. The J.P.
    >had no one
    >from SNCC, that I can remember. Packer Corner, founded by Ray Mungo, myself,
    >and others, was an
    >offshoot of Liberation News Service, The Resistance, and other anti-war
    >groups. I came to it from the
    >Win Magazine/War Resisters League/Yippie/Resistance orbit. In addition to
    >Mungo's books, "Famous Long Ago"
    >and "Total Loss Farm," Peter Gould, another member, wrote the novel "Burnt
    >Toast" and the commune itself collaborated on
    >"Home Comfort: Life on Total Loss Farm." We were better at producing books
    >than we were producing farm products, but we tried! In the same town was
    >another commune, Mayday Farm, which included as early members Andy Kopkind,
    >Ellie Langer, Larry Bensky and other political writers and activists, but no
    >SNCC members. Red Clover in Putney was more overtly political and had a lot
    >of SDS people.
    >The Laffin book in an excellent sociological study. He was one of the few,
    >if the only, writers on communes to deal with the issue of class. The
    >conventional wisdom was that communards were all middle-class kids living
    >off their parents money. Untrue.In addition, as Laffin points out, class had
    >a lot to do with how the communes evolved.
    >Marty Jezer
    >Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words
    >Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel
    >Rachel Carson: Author, Biologist
    >The Dark Ages: Life in the USA, 1945-1960
    >Visit my web site
    >Subscribe to my Friday commentary (by reply e-mail). It's free
    >Original Message -----
    >From: radman <>
    >To: <>
    >Cc: <>;
    >Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 9:57 PM
    >Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Vermont communes
    >> Phyl,
    >> The book is "Communal Organization and Social Transition: A Case Study
    >> the Counterculture of the Sixties and Seventies" by Barry Laffan. Perhaps
    >> other list members can help with the rest of your inquiry? Are you
    >> familiar with Ray Mungo's books?
    >> =============================================
    >> At 02:29 PM 1/22/01 -0500, you wrote:
    >> >Back in April 1998, Marty Jezer mentioned a book by Barry Laffin on the
    >> >Johnson Pasture commune. At the time, he had loaned out the book and was
    >> >unsure of the title. I have been trying to find this book and any others
    >> >about communes in Vermont. In particular, I am interested in learning
    >> >about the communes populated by former SNCC workers. Any and all
    >> >assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    >> >
    >> >-Phyl

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