Baloney, Bourbon, and Breakfast -- that's the signature of the wildly popular Kentucky Fried Camp (KFC) at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black Rock desert. It's a moveable feast with a lot of moving parts (a geodesic dome, bikes, costumes, glowing cotillion hoopskirts, high heels for the "Whore Shoe Derby," custom-smoked baloney, bourbon, a disco chandelier, and so on), involving two constituencies -- a California contingent and a Kentucky crew. The 2013 camp is expected to swell to 70 dusty souls, the biggest yet.
Then came the stricken facebook posting from Lexingtonian Heather Auman (who'd convened with Lexpatriates Guy and Ashley Shochat in the Bay area to get the west coast half of the camp on the road). The almost fully-packed 17' U-Haul and the auto-trailer had been hot-wired and stolen.
"Our truck and trailer packed for Burning Man got stolen last night in Berkeley. Any of you going to BRC, if you have extra items, bikes, tents, water, tables, generator, anything you would take to BRC, we may need your generous help."
The U-Haul, license plate AB-89694, is still missing. Though there is a hashtag on Twitter: #KFCTheft.
"I was nearly in tears this AM when our entire camp belongings for 69 people were gone. Our baloney stand, giant geo. dome, shade structures to support our camp...so many items are gone. I'm nearly in tears again with gratitude and the outpouring of love, support, and ways to help our camp get the basic items needed to run the camp. We're set with water, shade, chairs, stoves, tents and tarps. We even have the basics to run our baloney stand and still pass health code. Someone even donated a dome and a trailer for our art car! Burners, hashers, and strangers came out in full force for us in just a few hours! We're ready to hit the road with (another) U-Haul tomorrow morning!"
Kentucky burner Mick Jeffries, who's carted his fair share of moonshine and Ale 8 to the Camp says:
"The Spirit of The Man happened. We've been inundated with offers of help, with sympathetic tidings, with genuine material goods … from all over Burnerland. I've shed tears of gratitude several times today — and not just the two times my phone rang and a burner I'd never met was on the other end of the line offering assistance. A special nod of gratitude goes to Love Nation camp who seem to have made it their mission to help us.
We're piecing our camp — over 60 strong this year, from across the country — back together and, amazingly? This might just be the best Burning Man ever for our camp. We've sure made some new friends this year … and not a one of us is even on the playa yet.
Hope that anybody who wants to, will stop by Kentucky Fried Camp — on the Burning Man 3:00 Sector Plaza for the fourth year in a row — and join us for an especially gratitude-filled week of fried-baloney-sandwiches and bourbon-shots breakfast service … 9-11am daily."
He is no stranger to tough times on the trail to Burning Man. In 2010, everyone was enjoying his twitter dispatches and photos from “Camp Marge” (his brother's legendary Airstream) when word began to filter back that he and his co-pilots (Farhad Rezaei and brother Chris Jeffries) had had a terrible crash in Gillette, Wyoming. Miraculously, the guys and the dogs (Homer and Max) were all ok, and continued on to Burning Man 2010. (Sadly, Homer passed recently.)
As Kentucky Fried Camp perspective goes, this year's theft is a relatively small hiccup.
To help out financially, paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bikes and costumes can be delivered on the Playa.
Photos 2010 Burning Man, Kentucky Fried Camp: Mick Jeffries.
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