1999 Pennsylvania Rainbow Gathering Photo Page 18

Photos from Seed Camp Journal: Notes from the 1999 Pennsylvania Rainbow Gathering

Participants from this year's Cyber Council, which was held July 3rd behind Bliss Kitchen. "Region 17" (i.e. cyberspace) is the fastest growing region in the Rainbow Family. Hundreds of people actively participate (and many more look on) in alt.gathering.rainbow, the unofficial Rainbow newsgroup.

Mike Oehler is the author of The Hippy Survival Guide to Y2K. He is a back-to-the-lander who has been living out of his underground house in northern Idaho since 1971. Oehler's house has no running water. He hunts and fishes, chops his own wood and raises his own food. He believes that government and industry are unprepared for Y2K and are hoping to wing their way through whatever computer glitches occur.

"I think in March the government and business decided to downplay Y2K," he says. "But, the same problem is going to be there. Only now, no one will be prepared for it."

Nick is a 43 year-old diabetic with swollen ankles and a painful limp. He lives in Ithica, N.Y. and works for the Central New York Food Bank. He brought large quantities of surplus food into this his first Gathering. He also became a source of much controversy.

Working with a cavernous U-Haul truck and a cel phone, Nick was able to conjure up cases and cases of food just before they were to be thrown in the dumpster. He made deliveries every few days throughout Seed Camp. Each time, he had to venture through the A-Camp gauntlet on FS Road 161 before arriving at the supply depot. Disgusted by the threats, the brutality and the general sleaziness of the A-Camp scene and physically unable to walk into the main part of the Gathering to see what else was happening, Nick quickly became disillusioned.

He vented his frustration by posting long, scathing reports to the Rainbow newsgroup. Confusing the usual A-Camp chaos with the rest of the Gathering, he became a regular source of misinformation. He relied on his first impressions without investigating further.