Alice is the name of Alice Brock
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alice Brock      Two years —a long time in regard to the cultural development— before there was a Woodstock Nation, there was the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement, of which I was a citizen at its inception in 1967. In fact, a cultural eon later in 1969, I made sure to sit front-row center, literally, at the world premiere of the movie that was made to celebrate the song and the movement.
     Below is my invitation to the movie "Alice's Restaurant." People were invited to attend by folks roaming around with Polaroid cameras. They would take a snapshot of a freak ("hippie" to aliens to the Alice's Restaurant Massacree Movement) and insert the photo into a folded invitation. My picture was taken on three occasions. I declined one of the subsequent invitations and passed along another. Note that I am rolling a cigarette with the Bugle Tobacco seen in my pocket. I was living on the street at the time, and a pouch of Bugle cost only twelve cents. In the background is the south wall of Harvard Yard.
invitation to Alice's Restaurant
     In the song that has become a Thanksgiving tradition for millions, Arlo allows that "...Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song..." Well, Arlo, as you and I know and so many of us seem to forget, Alice is actually the name of the eponymous Alice Brock. She is stuck with being that icon for us, and I hereby report that she is carrying that burden with lovely noblesse oblige. I had heard a couple of years ago, from another Provincetown resident, that it was tiring for her to be that Alice. What a burden! A little like being an ex-Beatle without the half-billion dollars of padding. She has resolved to acquiesce to the inevitable and to accommodate herself to the fact that, en fin, it is not at all a bad thing that everyone smiles at the very mention of her name!
     This past Saturday I had the great good fortune of having a chat with the affable, gracious artist Alice in her studio. I was arm candy/photographer/chaffeur at a wedding in Truro this weekend, and my darling companion bought some of Alice's painted beach stones (these) for wedding favors. It was my idea; I figured that most wedding favors are disposable things that folks discard quite quickly; these wedding favors will likely be kept as little treasures. Thus, the wedding will be well remembered.
     Here is the info:

Alice Brock Studio
69 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts
Alice's studio
     Shameless plug: As a student of history, I have my own understanding, albeit often wrong, about how things work. That said, I suggest, dear and patient reader, that, if you want bang-for-buck and you want to pass along a keepsake that your heirs might actually keep, go buy something from Alice.