Walt: The quixotic urge to create a new way of living--an intentional community--is a quintissential American endeavor that's periodically surged to the surface of American life ever since the founding of the intentional communities at Plymouth and Jamestown. The most recent rush to form new communities intent on embodying new ways of living crested in the late 60's and early 70's. Few made it through their first years, but some were able to linger on and establish themselves. There are three intentional communites that selected Klickitat county as their new home: Ponderosa Village, Ekone Ranch and Windward. Ponderosa's founders, Bill and Meg Letterman, passed on a few years back, and Ray Mitchell, Ekone Ranch's founder passed last December. That pretty much leave just me, and I'm going in for a total hip replacement this fall, so gathering together the thoughts and hard won knowledge contained in all that work and achievement is on my mind a good deal these days. Last month a key founder, Kat Kincade also passed leaving behind an important body of thought on the development of egalitarian communities. She was not only a Founder of Twin Oaks, but she went on to found East Wind and Acorn. Allan Butcher, one time resident of both Twin Oaks and East Wind, has given a lot of thought to various aspects of egalitarian community, and in memory of Kat's passing, Allen has assembled some of her thoughts on her career as a community founder. I think that it's well done, and worthwhile reading for anyone thinking that they want to invest their lives, hearts and capital into creating a community. Allen has been kind enough to allow us to reprint his work here in our Notes for those who are interested in some of the behind the scene challenges that communities have to overcome, and some insight into how the process changes the people who engage in it.
Passing of the Founders
and the Communal Theoriesby
Allen Butcher, July 2008 (EW '75-'83, TO '85-'89)