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Vibrum Soul, Act One, Scene Four

NOTE: Because entries show up in reverse order, latest first, this is the last part I have of the play. Links to the earlier scenes are at the very bottom of this page under “related links.” To read about Pure Shmint, search on Pure Shmint Introduction if the various links don’t get you there–I’m not sure the tags are working correctly.

Jack’s House

(Jack is seen with a CB radio)

Jack: Yellow dog to Darth Vader, you got a copy? Yellow dog to Darth Vader, you got a copy?
Darth Vader (from offstage): This is old Darth Vader, here, Yellow dog. I gotcha five five five, now come on back.Jack: You still selling the VW bus?
Darth Vader: 10-4, good buddy.
Jack: Uh huh. Sounds really good. But the thing I don’t know about is me going back nine miles just to check the bus out. Is there a way you can bring the bus down to the end of the road, I can check on it and get back to you later?
Darth Vader: Big 10-4, Yellow Dog. I think I can slap some tread on her and roll her down to the bottom of the road today. Tell you what, you keep your ears on and I’ll get back to you.
Jack: Yeah, I’ll be 1010 on this side.
(Enter Larry)
Larry: Hi, Jack
Jack: Hey, how ya doin’ Larry. What’s happening?
Larry: Hey, you wanna play some ping pong?
Jack: No. I got no time. Hey, anyway, you got the time?
Larry: Time? You wanna know what time it is? Hey, I got a great way of finding the time. All you need is a stick.
Jack: Not another one of these stick things, again, Larry. C’mon, huh, where’s your watch?
Larry: Hey, here, hold this, Jack. That’s great. And hold that like that. No,no, no this way, like that. That’s it. Hold it up near the window, that’s right. Now lift your foot. That’s it. Lift it up, lift it up, oh, that’s great, that’s perfect. That’s it.
Jack: Oh, c’mon.
Larry: You see the sun’s rays go over the stick, hits the ping pong racket, hits your toe and forms a yin/yang mish/mash on the floor. Tells you exactly what time it is. It’s exactly, ah, four thirty one and 27 seconds.

Jack: Really? That late? How can it be that late?
Larry: 11:30 (looking at watch). Can’t understand it. I got it right out of the Idiot’s Guide to Woodsmanship.
Jack: Hey, Larry. You know what I can’t understand is the fact that there’s no water in the water tank, Larry. Three hundred gallons of water is missing.
Larry: Hey Jack, let’s go play some ping pong. Huh. What do you say? I’m really getting into it today.
Jack: You don’t understand how serious this is, Larry. The plants are drooping, do you understand what I’m saying?
Larry: Well, it’s awfully hot out. You know, maybe somebody took a shower.
Jack: What are you talking about, somebody took a shower. We just had a land group meeting yesterday. It’s drought season. You know that.
Larry: I know, but you know sometimes taking a shower is a matter of life and death. Like my grandmother. She never used to take a shower. She used to sweat all over the place. Finally nobody went to her house and she died of lonliness.
Jack: Larry, I got a feelin’, I got a funny feelin’, that you took a shower. Right?
Larry: Well, an itsy bitsy little shower, one of those little ones.
Jack: Jesus Christ! I can’t believe you. You’re up here for three years, you don’t know anything, Larry. Nothing, nothing. Three hundred gallons of water on a shower?
Larry: Hey, hey, hey Jack, wait, wait, calm down, man, calm down. I did not use three hundred gallons of water to take a shower. I attended that land meeting. And I ain’t that irresponsible. I really feel bad that you accuse me of that. I took an itsy bitsy shower. I still have soap on me, smell.
Jack: Huh. Hey, I’m sorry, I don’t know. You know….what happened to the water, Larry?
Larry: Well, the water will be back tomorrow anyway, so you shouldn’t. .  .  .
Jack: What, what did you say?

Larry:Hey, backhand, let’s practice our backhand today.
Jack: The water will be back tomorrow. What the hell are you talking about?

Larry: Well, ah, ah, I’ll level with you, Jack. I’ll level with you. You know this morning I got up, you know. I was lying in my bed and I just realized that my mattress is lumpy. Boy, it’s got these little buttons in it and it just makes you feel…you get up and you got these little marks all over your body. You feel like a radio.
Jack: Larry, what does this have to do with the water?
Larry: Well, I’m getting to that, Jack. I’m driving into town and I just realized that there was a flea market. So I went into the flea market and I’m looking around and there it was.
Jack: What Larry?
Larry: The answer to all my problems.
Jack: Larry, what. What did you see, Larry?
Larry: You’ll never guess. Wanna guess, Jack?

Jack: Larry, tell me.

Larry: Wanna guess?
Jack: No
Larry: It was a water bed.
Jack: A water bed.
Larry: Yeah, I got a water bed. Man, I’ll be the most popular guy in the hills with a water bed in my cabin.
Jack: A water bed. You took the water from the tank and put it in a water bed. Right? Right? Right? Ohh, Larry, I cannot believe…. I cannot believe…. arghh, arghh…. I’m gonna kill you, Larry.

(Jack grabs hatchet from wood stove and begins to chase Larry with it. Larry defends himself with ping pong racket. Fight moves over the room,on the bed.

shmint 5 ed 3

Finally Larry manages to get ping pong racket between Jack’s teeth. Jack bites down.)

shmint 14 ed 2

Larry: Count! One , one,

Jack: (through racket) One
Larry: Two, two, three, four

Jack: Two, three, four
Larry: Five’s next five, six

Jack: Five, six
Larry: Seven, there’s a seven in there,too

Jack: Seven, eight
(Exit Jack, counting through paddle)
Larry: I can’t understand the guy. Just a little bit of water and he gets upset. Man! He just ruined  my ping pong paddle, too. How would HE like sleeping on an empty water bed?


Sad to say, for nearly a quarter of a century, I have believed that I had a fully transcribed copy of this play in a manuscript binder, waiting for the internet to be invented so I would have some place to put it, only to find that I,  in fact, have two fully transcribed copies of most of Act One. So my promise to upload the entire play cannot be kept at this time, although in my frantic search for the rest of a transcript I was sure I had, I did discover that I have portions of other Pure Shmint plays that theoretically could be uploaded at a later time. At the end of this entry are links to audio files of the rest of the play and some rehearsals.

For now, I will post my remaining photos of the dress rehearsal of this play and explain the plot as best I can remember it. Although I am saddened by this turn of events, I will console myself with the thought that, given the climate of Shum and the vicissitudes of my personal life, involving the constant storage and restorage of my field notes, it is a miracle this much has survived.

shmint 15 ed 2

shmint 12 ed 1

The CB broadcast to “Darth Vader” about the bus is overheard through static by Larry, listening to his own CB. He then becomes convinced that it was a warning about an imminent bust. Sometime after the fight scene above, he rushes into Jack’s house with the rumor that a bust will happen any minute. Jill freaks and begins running around trying to think what to do next.

shmint 2 ed





Jack attempts to calm Jill down.


At some point, Jack is either actually dead or is dreaming he is dead. He encounters a sequence of post-death characters, including a tailor who looks and sounds like Larry. Here, set in the laundromat, this character measures Jack for either a coffin or a suit, I can’t remember which.




shmint 17 ed 2

The final act takes place at what Shummians call a “boogie.” The banner on the wall says “Harvest Boogie” and there usually actually is a Harvest Boogie sometime in the late Fall and it does look very much like this, only much more crowded and with a lot more people dancing alone, though very much together with the entire group. In the old days, there used to be a somewhat magic phenomenon at boogies, one that I noticed many and many a time, wherein a group consciousness formed that allowed dancers to be packed together very closely and yet never bump into each other.

When the current Mateel Community Center was built, it included a balcony. I used to stand on the balcony and observe a wave pattern of movement one could see in an aerial view, that was produced by the dancers, unconsciously, without changing their position on the floor. I can’t explain it, except to refer interested parties to the writings of E.T. Hall, quoted extensively in my book.  I noticed that it became less and less observable throughout the 1980s, until by the time I went to my last boogie, I could not see it at all and there were more instances of people bumping into each other. It was one of the signs that made me feel less bad about it when circumstances led me to move from the community.

rehearsal scene ed

Rehearsals and performances of  Vibram Soul took place in what was then called Fireman’s Hall and is now referred to as the “old hall.” When it burned down in an arson fire, many saw it as the end of an era. It had started out being owned by the Garberville Fire Department, whose engines were housed in the adjoining barn. It was then rented for years by Shummians for their activities and eventually bought by the Mateel Community Center organization. For some, the new hall built after the fire was never quite as homey as the funky old hall had been.

dancer gets makeup ed

One of the dancers in the dream and death sequences is made up, with the help of one of the many children to be found at any rehearsal.

Below, it is Standing Room Only in the old hall as the audience awaits opening night.

vs audience ed

vs nonie w child ed

A dancer, before dress rehearsal, the make-up artist and, I believe, her son share a moment.




Beginnings, Inc.

octagon thru trees iph

One of the earliest of Shummian organizations to form was Beginnings, Inc., a group of people who raised money and bought land communally, as a legal non-profit, then became an umbrella organization that eventually included a community center, several schools, a Tae Kwan Do dojo and, by no means least, a volunteer fire department. Beginnings grew from a smaller organization, a Montessori pre-school called Children’s House.

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Back to the Land

In spite of the logged-over nature of most of the land Shummians were able to buy to live on when they first arrived, the Land of Shum was and is still full of beautiful vistas almost anywhere you look. This fact contributed a great deal to the “spirit of place” feeling that soon became a motivating factor for the new residents.

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