Summer 1970 - Weekend Planning Retreat 
San Benito County, California

Feminists from different political factions planned an impromptu retreat. So many strategy meetings had gotten bogged down over the same predictable sticking points. Maybe, with a weekend away at a remote spot, removed from our regular distractions and demands, we'd find solutions that had evaded us.  Someone knew someone with a few acres of vacant country land and a lodge. The news of the retreat spread by word-of-mouth. There was no formal announcement and no agenda.  Over 100 women from around the San Francisco Bay Area showed up, almost all carpooling with friends for the two-hour drive inland.
It was a hot morning. We gathered outside the rundown lodge and waited for the discussion to start. The feminist ethos of the time validated collective action above all else and distrusted leaders. After several long hours in the sun, it became apparent that no one was in charge. No one was going to call the meeting, and nothing was going to happen organically.
There was very little furniture in the lodge and only a few benches and tables outside. So we sat on the ground with our friends, clustering on the towels or sleeping bags we'd brought, or just lying on the ground itself. The heat rose by the hour and by mid-day it was sweltering. Friends cooled off under outside showers. Clothes became optional.  Finally, someone found a swimming hole and most everyone dove in. The next morning no one was in a hurry to leave. There had been no political discussions, but we’d all been through the same funny, odd, stress-free retreat. We'd gotten to spend time with the friends we'd come with, and somehow everyone felt more comfortable together by the time we left.

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