At Arcosanti, I was assigned a place in Camp (the double cube, because I was there with my younger son); assigned to work in the Crafts III Gallery where I sold bells and books, sculptures and t-shirts, explained Arcosanti's intent to all comers.
While Cosanti had been Mecca for architects and planners in the 60s, to Arcosanti came visitors of many persuasions, from everywhere. A gaggle of psychotherapists gathered in Phoenix for a conference, at which practically every big name in the field was present, drove up to have a look around. A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks who'd settled in Switzerland in the wake of their homeland's having been engulfed by a tidal wave of mostly Han Chinese had put Arcosanti on their travel itinerary. There was a constant stream of individuals curious to see the "city of the future" about which they had heard so much. It was fun, for me, to see who came in the door; fun as well to help visitors appreciate and better understand what they were seeing.
What wasn't so much fun was that there was no child-care for my 4-yr old son while I was explaining. I told myself he'd be OK with the gang in Camp, pushed away my qualms as I scrambled up the hill first thing in the morning to clean the two Craft III public bathrooms, make sure the doors were open on time for the day's morning visitors. It seems unimaginable to me now, that I did that - left my little guy to the devices of others even though we were all pals come together for the common good. So we believed. What was I thinking?
Not thinking, maybe. But some kids can be remarkably resilient, and that sweet apple of mine eye managed to cope with my stress-inducing predicament. Me, I was relieved when we moved up the hill to a shared apartment in the lower level of Crafts III, although our flat-mates were a drinking lot and frankly, I'd had enough of all that. However, the kid managed to cope and I diverted stress with preoccupations I thought were or would be beneficial. One was a four-harness loom that Ms. Gilfoy and I set up in the Gallery and took turns weaving on. Another ensued after I learned that Apple wanted to give computers, software and tech support to non-profits interested in networking.
I wrote to Apple to get a copy of the grant guidelines and hied me to a typewriter. A noisy Selectric typewriter with no correction tape. After hours. In an almost windowless room that leaked when it rained,. And yes, it was the rainy season so it rained and rained. Every night.
But why let a few challenges, a few obstacles get in the way of an important idea? I had a plan - the LAN would link Camp and Up the Hill; that would be the starting point. I had a marketing bite all ready: "Think Different: Think Apple. Think Arcosanti." All I had to do was finish writing the application, get it in the mail before the deadline, and voila - there will be Apples at Arcosanti.