June 1, 2010

Making the Amish look like Menonites.

Once a year the Baskin farm shears their alpacas. They invite everyone they know to shear all 15 in one day. They hire out a professional shearer; a soft spoken man named Vic who has worked with them from the beginning. He was thorough, knowledgeable, tolerant of mistakes and quick with encouragement when we got it right and a joke to relieve the tension when we didn't.

The rest of us filled out the crew holding legs, the head, administering shots and weighing them in before and after their haircuts.

I spent the day prior helping clean the space and prep. Day-of about 20 people showed up and saw the whole thing through. To complete the event, I drank a bear with every break and a snus in the afternoon and after the job was done.

Aside from Vic we all went unpaid; a real community coming together and a genuine slice of culture and o'hana.  I got to see my good friend, his wife and their son. I drank their beer, ate their food and took their poison ivy.

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