This is the church where all the curiousnesses in Arlo Guthrie's song, ALICE'S RESTAURANT, took place. Great Barrington, MA. And every detail in the song is true, including Arlo's being rejected by the military for littering. "I'm sitting here on the Group W bench cause you want to know if I am moral enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after being a litterbug."
There I am getting ready to make my way inside. Photo by Pete Murray
But first, a view from the front.
This is what it looked like in September '72 when I first visited. It wasn't the Guthrie Center then. Arlo did not buy it until 1991.
And here I am on that September day standing in front of the open doorway to the art gallery it was then. A lady, don't know who, was comfortably sitting knitting and welcoming all visitors. I went in. Photo by Gloria Murray.
Through the stained glass windows sprinkles of colors spreading into and onto the floor accompanying the art work.
Turn directly around with those window at your back and, "Living in the bell tower like that they got a lot of room where the pews used to be in. Having all that room seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn't have to take out their garbage for a long time." The bell tower is up the stairs, across the room, and then up another set of stairs to the right. Where I am standing next to the wonderful lady, Rebecca, who showed us around, is where that pile of garbage was that started the whole massacre. Then, through those red doors, is the entryway coming in though the front door . . .
. . . and just inside that front door, when you look up on your left, once you are inside that front door, there is the famous Alice's Restaurant poster. This, and the previous photo by Pete Murray.
And there I am next to that poster on that wall. Photo by Pete Murray
Back outside again. There is Pete getting ready to get into the car. Almost too far away to see him, but there he is.
The bell tower where Alice and Ray and Voucher the dog lived.
"Remember Alice? Song about Alice."
For those of you who have not heard the song, Alice's Restaurant, yeah, there might be one or two of you out there, or who have heard the song and want to hear it again, here it is for you. And don't forget to see the movie, same name.