Back to the narrative: we arrived at the Crawford Peace House around noon on Friday. I had printed directions from the Internet, but they weren’t needed. Crawford is a tiny, tiny town, and when you pull in on rte 6 the Peace House is almost the first thing you encounter. Pass it and you cross a small dirt lot and some railroad tracks, and then you’re at The Yellow Rose, which served as pro-Bush headquarters during this last month.
At Peace House, we were greeted by a woman named Walking Mary, who’d been there volunteering for two weeks, she said. She immediately set us to work; I made a schedule poster for Friday’s Casey II activities. There was peacekeeper training starting at 1:00, dinner (Buffalo chili), and a Cindy interview for Real Time with Bill Maher. I can’t remember what else I put on the schedule, but I hung it by the front door so that new arrivals would have the plan.
A lovely man named Carl was driving a shuttle to Camp II, and we loaded our gear and got on. The shuttles are rented and privately owned vans with “Peace Shuttle” and various slogans painted in tempera on the windows, driven by whoever has volunteered for the day. They continually make the rounds: between Peace House and the camps, or between camps I and II. In addition to shuttles, once you’re settled in camp, you never drive anywhere without a full car. Etiquette dictates that you pull up to the shuttle stop and shout, “Anyone need a ride to Camp II?” or where ever, and there are always takers.
Our drive through Crawford was mercifully air conditioned, and we began making friends immediately with people who’d just arrived and people who’d been there a few days. Aside from the crazy décor at Yellow Rose and a couple of “We Support Our President” signs on a couple of houses, I didn’t notice too much propaganda on the road to camp. I though that it would be much more aggressive, with warring posters everywhere. That’s what it sounded like in the news, anyway. But it was just a drive down bucolic country lanes, after all.