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Monday, June 29, 2015

You can't get anything at Alice's Restaurant !!!!

Now I'm sure many of you have heard of the famous "Thanksgiving Day Massacree" that occurred just outside of Stockbridge, MA around 1965 and was chronicled by Arlo Guthrie in the song Alice's Restaurant. For those of you who may have still been in a haze around then, Arlo is the son of Woody Guthrie.

So, to give you a little background here is the opening to the song:
This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,that's just the name of the song, and that's why I called the song Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Walk right in it's around the back. Just a half a mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
Now as the song says, the restaurant isn't named Alice's. In fact, it is named "Teresa's Stockbridge Cafe." And yes, it is around the back, just a half mile from the railroad tracks, just off Main St. in Stockbridge MA. 

Having heard this song many times over the years, and being in the area of Stockbridge, we had to search it out.



There was just one small problem with this. After walking round the back, half mile from the railroad tracks, we came to find out that the cafe was closed. We couldn't get anything at Alice's. BUT since we had grown up with this great story, we decided that the pilgrimage here was worth it.

But wait folks, that's not the end of the original story, or our story.
Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of room downstairs where the pews used to be in.   
 So of course we had to drive over to the church. BUT Alice and Ray and Fasha don't live there anymore. In fact, we don't really know where they live now. BUT, they sold the church to Arlo. It is now the Guthrie Center. Home to many traveling folk singers both old and young.
Now, Arlo wasn't home that day but we talked to some nice folks that let us roam around the place, except for the bell tower which we really did want to see. BUT, we were glad that we got to see where the fabled "Thanksgiving Day Massacre" had occurred. And do you know what folks????? They still celebrate Thanksgiving there in the church 50 years after the first one.

Now for those of you who may not have heard the whole, entire, and complete story of that first ever Thanksgiving Massacree, and the half ton of garbage, and the 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with arrows and circles and a paragraph on the back, then you have three choices.
 1. You can download the lyrics of Alice's Restaurant by googling it.
 2. You can hop over to iTunes or Amazon and listen to the song. All 18 minutes of it.  YES, it is 18 minutes long, which is probably why it never made it into the top 40 list.
3. OR you can go to YouTube and watch the movie version. BUT we have to warn you ahead of time..... It is one of the worst movies we have ever seen.
Grenville

14 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

A fun trip, been a few years since I saw the movie

Latane Barton said...

You two aren't right, you know that don't you? hehe. What a search party you kids went on. Fun, for sure.

Sandra said...

I am not familiar with the song or the massacre. i was 19 and pregnant with my first son and remember nothing in the first five years of my marriage...

Anvilcloud said...

Interesting post, but I will have to pass on further exploration. :)

Michelle said...

Might have to investigate that song a bit more!

gigihawaii said...

Well, you love to persevere, don't you? Lol.

Emma Springfield said...

Arlo Guthrie and his family have done so much good in the church. They feed and in other ways assist people who need a little help. I listen to that song and several others by Arlo often. I love his sense of humor. I once read that he did not know until he was in school singing This Land Is Your Land that his father wrote it. He was so embarrassed about knowing that he cried. Now I do not know if that is a true story or not. Anyway I admire Arlo Guthrie because he has quietly done good things that others make a show of paying money to have good things done.

William Kendall said...

The church interior fascinates me. Now I'll have to check out the lyrics. I think I'll stay safe and skip the movie.

Lady Jane said...

Interesting trip. I do remember the song. I will have to check out the lyrics again, it has been years since I listened to it. LJ

Daisy said...

Sounds like that was quite a trip. I remember the song but didn't know much about the story behind it.

diane b said...

It is fun seeking out places in songs , movies or TV shows. It is sad that the cafe was closed and Alice doesn't live there any more and the song writer wasn't home. Better luck next time.

NCmountainwoman said...

Love the post! Now I've got to get that song out of my head. I've heard that anagrams will do it.

thecottagebythecranelakethree said...

I've never heard of anything of this before :-) But the church is beautiful and it all sounds interesting :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

DeniseinVA said...

A very interesting post indeed. That would certainly be a fascinating place to visit. Thanks for the links. Great catching up with you both yesterday.

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