Flashback Friday - Episode 4: John Stasio's Founding Vision!
In celebration of Easton’s 15th year; on Fridays, we are looking back to Easton’s past to see where we came from! Our founding director John Stasio has been dreaming of Easton Mountain since his youth. This week, we look at two interviews with John, one from 1989, where you can hear the seeds of his passion for community and healing in his early work and another from last year that show how those seeds have born fruit today at Easton Mountain and in his work for social justice and queer spirituality. John Says: " The seeds for Easton Mountain were planted in my psyche as far back as my college years when I lived in a student community committed to social justice. Haley House was the one place on campus where it was safe and welcoming for Gay students to meet. It was in fact a sanctuary. Later in my life I was working as a massage therapist and body worker. My practice, housed in a Jesuit rectory, was largely for Gay men, many of whom were trying to stay healthy as they dealt with being either infected with or affected by HIV. As the plague of HIV continued to claim the lives of friends and loved ones, the desire for refuge grew as a need in my life. This need was echoed by the colleagues and friends whom I asked early in 1989 to plan and lead a men\s retreat with me. We planned and sponsored a retreat for men who love men and titled the experience AWWOB — A Weekend With Our Brothers. These experiences along with many others would send a small group of men in search of real estate in the summer of 1999. We visited farms, cabins and tracks of land in New England and Upstate New York and finally end up at a dilapidated ski resort in the town of Easton, NY and began what has been a 15 year experiment in creating community and offering a place of sanctuary."