The Fantastic Umbrella Factory
by Eva Pasco
Where have all the Hippies
gone? A native Rhode Islander, one of my
favorite places to visit along the coast was The Fantastic Umbrella
Factory, a small farm with a cluster of drafty, dilapidated, and
musty barns owned by Hippies. Accessed from worn, torn, two-lane Rte. 1 and situated off of Post Road in
Charlestown, this attraction is definitely "far out, man"...
Those Hippies never offered much in the way of conversation, but
most times one was mesmerized by the pottery they created inside a ramshackled outpost. Further along, the
big barn was always chock full of love beads, vintage clothing from the sixties, greeting cards, signs,
toiletries, and novelty items--though I never recall any umbrellas.
Lush gardens on the wooded property provide sanctuary for
wayward travelers. Exotic emus beckon. The cafe on the premises bustles. Yet, without fail, I find myself
drawn to the abandoned Citroen resting on a laurel of weeds and the rusted carcas of a gutted pickup
Alas, the Fantastic Umbrella Factory is no longer so fantastic. The
Hippies sold the place. Though you can still purchase wares of the Sixties, you need Hippies to trip the
lights fantastic as far as I'm concerned. This prompts me to inquire if anyone has sighted any Hippies
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