First off, i want to let all of you know that the transplant was...successful! Yes, the pull cord transplant that our team of intrepid mechanical surgeons performed on the generator was pulled off.
And i learned some lessons. Come up with and communicate a Plan B BEFORE the reptilians, i mean, cops come (and i should have passed out the Know Your Rights handout early on, although no one was cited or directly harassed. Yes i know that all of this seems obvious, but really the night was rather complicated...and full of suspense, drama, tragedy and triumph, although not a second of the film was shown.
Let me begin at the beginning (and in the post before the previous one is the summer schedule).
The location, in a field that has been vacant for a very long time, expect of course for a variety of grasses, small animals and insects, had no power source for the Guerilla Drive-In (here-after referred to as GDI) equipment. So days ago we dusted off the GDI-generator (sure it runs on unleaded gasoline but don't fret, i have a can of spray paint i can apply so it will be Green. It worked for my formerly-tan shoes). i gave the GDI-generator a test and after a time it coughed to life in all it's stinking g(l)ory! Now, in the field we start up the GDI-generator again...with a bit of yanking on the pull cord (like starting a lawn mower), it does work.
"What's the time?" i ask after awhile. "8:50," is the reply. People have arrived and are strewn about the field in the dwindling light of day-to-dusk.
8:50! Time to begin the showing. My co-host goes behind the building to coax the GDI-generator to life, which had been a bit reticent an hour earlier, and involved quite a bit of yanking on the pull cord again and again.
Ah, the time just after the summer solstice when the days are still long as the darkness grows...a time of transition and sometimes challenge. Anyways, i wondered why i did not hear the roar of the GDI-generator as my co-host had been gone awhile to fire it up. Then i see him emerge from the silence with the pull cord to the generator dangling from his hand. We have a situation.
Someone from the audience leaps forward with the gumption and even more importantly, tools and a bit of know-how to assist our dauntless-GDI-co-host to attempt an exploratory look-see into the pull cord "situation". They venture off behind the building where the GDI-generator sits silent, and the audience is kept in the dark (uh, both figuratively, as i don't make a big announcement as we had yet to fully assess the "situation" and kept in the dark literally, as the sun just had set).
First two, then three, then four or more folks are huddled around the generator in the orange light that comes from above (no, nothing divine was going on, just a kind of security light installed high up on the back of the building...but it is helpful and gives us all an interesting hue, especially against the darkening purple of the sky).
Tools are being passed hand to hand. Bolts and screws removed and set aside. The front cover to the GDI-generator is removed. Fuel line removed. An autopsy is taking place with the hopes of performing a resuscitation...the pull cord transplant is underway.
Two folks also offer the possibility of using inverters to power the equipment. Others scout out the area for power outlets (alas to no avail). Two other folks go to retrieve a generator that one had been carrying around in their van for a friend for hundreds of miles, without a clear idea of its eventual destination (ah, here is a purpose for that stinking lump). We have OPTIONS.
Meanwhile the operation continues and looks possible. I inform the gathered folks and let them know about the transplant, that it is still too early to know if it will be accepted or rejected by the generator. Back under the orange glow work continues. Oh, which cliche to apply? Many hands make light work OR too many cooks in the kitchen? In some ways both are apt. One person holds the third loose screw. Another, offers suggestions from the periphery on how to install the cord. Another has her finger on the fuel line so it doesn't flow all over the grass. Two have hands on the new cord and black piece it wraps around. The showing has turned into a very collective and community endeavor (which is actually part of our intention in doing this project, beyond actually showing great films). i am also glad that others are engaged with this operation as i really have nothing to contribute.
Then i hear someone call out "5-O!" Here is something for me to do, unfortunately.
I see down the slight hill a cop emerge from his car and come towards us. He asks me "Who's the one in change around here?'
"I'll talk to you," i say (remember friends, when dealing with cops you can answer the question you wish would have been asked and not necessarily the one that was actually posed, and in this case no one is "in charge" but i took it upon myself to address the oncoming cop).
The-cop informs me that the owner of the field that has been vacant for years has complained and that we have to go. I ask questions. He answers with little room to wiggle. I say i will let folks know what is going on, and he offers to do so. No, i will do it i say...although i feel a bit deflated to have to let folks know what was going on, i don't want the-cop to be addressing the collected folks...plus, i still don't know if we would be able to get the equipment powered, oh complications coupled with uncertainty creates befuddlement in me.
I suggest to folks that they collect their belongings slowly so that we can discuss a Plan B when the-cop goes away, but he sticks around and so everyone else drifts away. Oh, the absurdity of being forced to leave from a field on a warm summer night, when no one is being harmed, and on the contrary a wonderful evening was still ahead as the operation on the GDI-generator was almost complete...the further potential of the gathering dashed, all in the name of private property backed up by the legitimized violence of the state...although it had been a beautiful evening-to-night in a lovely area with good folks up to that point. And next time? We shall see.
When we have collected all of the equipment the generator is tested. Pull once...twice...three times and more and then a roar! Yes, the GDI-generator comes to life again. Success amidst adversity. Hooray!
We will continue onward...private property?...public property? We as creatures on this planet have a need to come together and share experiences, even for brief moments, to act and transform how we relate to each other and space around us. And so we shall as our resolve is stronger than the forces that seek to control and squelch our spirit.
**the next two showings are in areas with the support of folks that have "legal" agency over the bit of earth where we will set up and gather together...and so the transformation of space will continue in the various circumstances we find ourselves.