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Lendell purchased ten acres in the woods near Conroe , Texas in 1982. In 1983, after the Labor Day Bluegrass Festival in Kerrville one of the stage bands visited the land. That was the beginning of music (live) on the land. The band was from Kobe , Japan and called themselves the Lost City Mad Dogs. The title of their debut cassette was Thirty Seconds Over Nashville (as opposed to the book concerning the Doolittle raid in 1942 titled 30 Seconds Over Tokyo ). Also in attendance in 1983 was fiddler Malcom Smith.

In 1984, a group of Houstonians was looking for a place to continue their yearly event, having lost access to the property where they had been having their music party. The event was titled the Blue Collar Hippy Easter Picnic and was held on the Conroe land from 1984 to 1987. The Blue Collar Hippies were a band consisting of Steve & Jim Fowler, Papa Todd, Bob McFarland and others. Blair and Lendell met in February of 1985. From 1984 to 1986 the music was on the deck. For the 1987 picnic, a stage was assembled and benches were set up (using pine trees killed by the Southern Pine Beetle Ė they killed over 300 trees). A neighbor, Mr. Sunday, had a homebuilt sawmill and cut them to length and then rip sawed them in half. Some of these were also used to build a footbridge to cross over the creek.

The creek, one of the five forks of Little Egypt Creek, and is spring fed and runs year round crossing the property on the diagonal. Music that year started around noon on Saturday and continued beyond midnight in 45 minute sets. A sound/ light/ and recording remote board was set up.  The event for 1988 was named Spring Fling and operated under the guise of the Conroe Association of Live Music (aka CALM). It was held near the 1st of April (but never on Easter), and a second event, the Fall Fling, was added. The Fall Fling is always on the closest weekend to October 23rd which is Lendellís and was Renee Hortonís birthday. The stage was rebuilt in 1990 or 1991 using plywood and cinderblocks. It was 12í by 24í and was very pretty with live flowering plants across the front and the back side opening to the woods. Again, during 1987 to 1993, music was scheduled in 45 minute sets from noon till midnight on Saturday. The only other scheduled event was the Community Buffet on Saturday afternoon, where everyone brought their favorite dish to share. Usually, there was music around the campsites on Friday nights and at other times.  

            In November of 1993, our house burned to the ground due to an electrical short. Pretty much everything was destroyed by the fire or by the water from fire hoses. Two of our cocker spaniels were killed (one cocker & 2 cats survived). My guitar happened to be with me in Katy at the time. Vicki Fowler and Lendell zeroxed many of her private patients paperwork, while I sifted through the ruble for anything savable. One day it started raining, so I carried a box of papers up what was left of the steps to get it in out of the rain. As I reached for the doorknob, I realized that there wasnít a door, or even a house.

On another occasion I was collecting silver looking half circle wires, thinking that they must be part of Lendellís jewelry similar to an Egyptian necklace. Wrong! They were under wires from brasí. Out of the darkness springs the light. We moved in with Lendellís mother, Margie. We feel that having to take care of us added years to her life since her husband, Stan, had passed away in 1988.She died in 2002 at the age of 98. For the next Spring Fling (1994), we decided not to have the stage (no easy access to electrical outlets) and have the music around the campfires. This made the soundman (Bill Ward) happy because he didnít have to work, and finally got to enjoy doing the experience.

We had previously established a community circle and fire pit in the same location as where JP and Renee camped, and sometimes the musicians gather there. We had attended the Festival of the Eagle at Kerrville (1990 ?) and became Keepers of the Fire under the tutelage of Floyd (Red Crow) Westerman of Dances With Wolves fame. He played Chief Ten Bears in the movie and is a musician/activist in his own right. After the Sacred Fire at the Festival of the Eagle, I recovered some of the coals, which were used to start the next fire at Conroe , from which also I recovered some coals, and on and on: so the fire started by Red Crow 14 years ago continues to burn. I am still carrying them and when the timing is right I use those coals to start a Sacred Fire in the community fire pit in Conroe or at Camp Calm at Kerrville . This is very similar to what my tribe (Chickasaw) practiced into the 1800ís. We havenít considered bringing back the stage since the fire, much to the relief of those who volunteered their time & equipment for so long. Thanks to Dave Cox, Jack Wellman, Bob McFarland, Bill Ward, Jeff Price, and Chris Smith for all their help Ė sound/audio recording/video recording/ & lights.

             We continue to plan rebuilding the house on the same location. We built a bunkhouse to stay in occasionally and to store some things so that we donít have to carry stuff back and forth. Vandals and thieves occasionally visited the Enchanted Forest . Some of the trees were illegally logged, someone stole the water well storage tank, and 2 chain saws, painted graffiti, stripped stolen vehicles (3) and wanton destruction have befallen the land. A sturdy gate, signs, booby traps, and tracking down the vandals seem to have curtailed the negative behavior at least for the last 3 years. My motto is ďIíll fire a warning shot, but sometimes I flinch.Ē

 But all in all we have been blessed.  We have our friends, the land, the animals, great music, and important work with abused kids.   How can you ask for more than that?

We hope you find love and light in the enchanted forest.  When I came here (Lendell), I saw so much beauty an nature and I wanted to share it with you.  Later, when Blair came to the land he also wanted that dream.  We have tried to make that dream a reality. So come to CALM and enjoy the love we share here.

  Weíd love to tell the world the dates of the Flings and how to get there, but the land will only support a limited number of people and vehicles. And unfortunately, as we have found out, some people just donít know how to act. We donít want to have to deal with foul mouths, drunks, couples that want to fight each other, drug users, and the like. So we pretty much keep it word of mouth and our mailing list.  

 

 

 
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