In the mid Nineties
I attended a festival called “Starwood”
located in upper state New York.
This festival is a celebration of counter cultures of all kinds,
what ever branch of tree you are up in.
They celebrate life through dance, song, drumming, body painting,
costumes or what have you,
pure fun – for most of us.
Some folks consider it a refuge for the Clueless…
One of the problems we face in our lives
is when we choose to work in environments
where people are on vacation.
I discovered this early when I worked in Yosemite in my youth:
people on vacation had spent the better part of a year
grinding away at their jobs
and finely have a week or two to blow off some steam
only to discover that when they packed their suitcase,
the usually forget their common sense.
Starwood is a prime example of this:
only to an extreme.
Perhaps it is the kind of tension we carry within ourselves
while we work so hard only to find release when we have time off.
Perhaps it is the opportunity to spend a few care-fee days
without having to punch a clock.
Perhaps it is because Starwood has a huge bar that never seems to close
(although I actually saw it closed on several occasions,
only to discover that people have bottles stashed in their tents).
Never the less
I found myself for several years running
more and more silliness occurred
in high fashion and full color.
After setting up my booth and living space
(we spent two weeks there,
attending the festival that is the week before Starwood:
Sirius Rising, more of a family event than Starwood)
only to discover that because of the contour of the field
people mistook the break between my tents
as a pathway to the restroom.
Through the day and night
folks stumbled through our encampment,
sometimes even waking through our camp fire
to find relief.
After a couple of days of this and following much debate,
M’Lady Tony decided she had had enough.
She sought out a large stick and wrote with a heavy marker
KLU by 4
and drove it into the middle of the now worn path
and glared at the first attempted trudging through our encampment.
The second attempt was made by an unwary,
yet full bladdered man
only to find M’Lady step up
and threaten him with a sound beating
with a Clue-by-four.
This did not go un-noticed.
I had tried to appease her with a few words
about the vacationing man and his lack of brains in his luggage,
but to no avail.
She was Determined!
Later she decided to post a guard at our “gate”:
a small waif of a girl in a fairy costume
planted herself across the path with the clue-by-four across her knees
and a scowl that would send most smart people running.
There were several people over the days ahead
who found themselves being herded about with the stick
(the last two days of such “coaxing”)
we were able to have a meal in our encampment
without dirt flying into our food
due to a hast trip to the lue.
I was Inspired.
I introduced to my line of Jewelry
“The Clue Fairy”
She is a tiny yet well detailed creature with tattered wings,
a baseball cap turned around on her head
and shouldering the Clue-by-Four:
ready to give you a clue!
I felt that it was not enough.
I also created the Clue Coin.
A tiny coin of some girth and a portrait of a clueless “DUDE”
(sometimes referred to as the “Dude Coin”).
Although it is only good for half a clue,
it is well worth carrying.
Many have found that by holding the clue coin on them
they are armed against their offspring:
“Dad, you simply don’t have a clue!”
but indeed they are wrong!
Present them with the coin to prove it!
If you use three coins to roll the I Ching,
you already start with a clue and a half:
fortune is already smiling on you!
Over the past fourteen years
the stories of the clue fairy have become legendary.
I have been able to offer help for the clueless
at science fiction conventions,
festivals and gatherings
through out the eastern seaboard.
Doing my part to raise the bar
or perhaps waive the clue-by-four about
for those in need!