Every Thanksgiving, radio stations around the country play “Alice’s Restaurant,” an 18-minute-and-20-second talking blues satirical tour de force by folk singer Arlo Guthrie, about, among other things, his arrest for illegally dumping garbage and his subsequent rejection for service in Vietnam because of it.
In fact, there actually was an Alice and she did actually own a restaurant. But at the time the song was written in 1967 she served her famous Thanksgiving dinners at the former church in Great Barrington  where she lived and where much of the drama of the song takes place.
Years later, in 1991, Guthrie purchased the very same church to create the Guthrie Center (4 Van Deusenville Rd., 413/528-1955, www.guthriecenter.org ), a performance space that draws folkies from far and away for appearances by Arlo Guthrie himself as well as regular open-mic “hootenannies.” The lobby of the center has photos and paintings of three generations of musical Guthries—Woody, Arlo, and Arlo’s daughter Sarah Lee.
Incidentally, the “Group W Bench” where Guthrie said he was banished with the other criminals and disqualified from service actually never existed. Guthrie was declared fit to serve in Vietnam, but escaped the draft because his lottery number wasn’t called, not because he was arrested for illegally dumping garbage. But that song wouldn’t have been nearly as long—or as funny!