I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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“It’s not the hurdles that hurt horses,” a friend once said. “It’s the hammer, hammer, hammer of the hard highway.” And that’s kind of the way it is these days at Chapel Hill’s oldest and largest food cooperative.
The flash of those beginning days — three years ago, more? — is gone. The controversy, the newspaper articles, the excitement of all those young (and old) Chapel Hill socialists, a rare and special breed with “my country tis of thee” on their lips and flags on their bumpers, coming out of academic dungeons, blinking in the glare of public exposure. . . . All that’s gone now, the long homemade scarves, and army coats, and red-lipped cheerleaders who led us on with veiled promises. Che Guevera and Madam LeFarge knitting and rocking to Frank Zappa and the Mothers. Yes it was REVOLUTION. REVOLUTION ALL OVER THE TOWN. And when the dust settled, Ken Kesey said that we had won. Hooray. Clap Clap. And now we’re stuck with the work. Somehow, it’s not quite the same. . . .
The Chapel Hill Food Co-op supplies food for over 100 families at near wholesale prices. And with joy and grumbling the members do all the work themselves. Fruits and vegetables come from the Farmers Market in Raleigh. Natural foods come from Laurelbrook Farms in Raleigh and Baltimore. Cheese, honey, fish and beef are also supplied. The co-op charges wholesale price plus a 10 percent surcharge which covers costs, including the 4 percent state sales tax. The normal retail mark-up for food is about 50 percent.
At present, the co-op is not looking for new members, but if you are interested in seeing the co-op in action come over to the Baptist Student Union on the UNC Campus any Wednesday between 3 and 6 P.M.