Tuesday, August 20, 2019

My Woodstock

A  L  O  H  A !

I made some leather macrame belts
and sold them to a shop.
Then I bought the tickets above.
It was the Summer I turned 16
and I bought my first motorcycle. 

2005 Ford GT
 "2005 Ford GT" by marco_ely is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0  

Thursday night we drove up to 
New York State from southeast Pennsylvania
in an older friend's car that I remember 
as a low slung, white Ford GT40 Link  
very like photo above. Wow! My life at 
that time sounds exciting! 
It was. 1969.

 We woke up surrounded by thousands of friends, reports of closed highways, and no fences. Tucked the tickets in my pocket and lingered till saturday when it was just too much. 

We hadn't bought food, intending to buy at the concessions. Apparently most others thought the same. People shared what meagre provisions they happened to have. I recall savoring cherry flavoured Rizzla cigarette papers. 

All was peaceful and upbeat including friendly cops directing traffic who good naturedly refused proffered joints. People all seemed relaxed 
and happy just to be there. Be cool, man. 
Who knew there were SO many freaks?! That's what we called ourselves. Hippie is an invented word by outsiders, disdainful adults, Press. Max Yasgur owner of the land summed up what many initially angry locals had to say about us:

"I’m a farmer…(interrupted by a cheer from the audience)…
I don’t know how to speak to twenty people at one time, let alone a crowd like this. But I think you people have proven something to the world — not only to the Town of Bethel, or Sullivan County, or New York State; you’ve proven something to the world. This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place. We have had no idea that there would be this size group, and because of that you’ve had quite a few inconveniences as far as water, food, and so forth. Your producers have done a mammoth job to see that you’re taken care of… they’d enjoy a vote of thanks. But above that, the important thing that you’ve proven to the world is that a half a million kids — and I call you kids because I have children that are older than you are — a half million young people can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and I – God Bless You for it!

I cry reading that now, as tears have flowed watching news about
the anniversary on TV News.

Saturday afternoon, we somehow got out on rural roads. I remember mud, and huge crowds of nice people. The performances were WAY down there and tiny. The press of the crowd any closer was too much for me despite the good vibes. I do seem to remember Richie Havens (who I had seen at the Second Fret in Philadelphia Link) kicking it off all by himself with just his guitar and great showmanship. 
Yes, I bought tickets and 
so helped pay for it all. 

to YOU!

ca 1980

No photo description available.