Still Have My Ticket!

I read about this “Three days of music and peace” concert while in Harvard Square one day and thought it would be the perfect gift for my first anniversary! We were 20 yrs old.

I was so excited when the tickets arrived!

As we set out on our VW Bug, we were packed up and off in ample time to go to Woodstock a few states away. I was planning on meeting my brother there who had left a few days earlier.

It seemed that as soon as reached Connecticut, every other car was headed to Woodstock! Happy faces and two-finger peace signs peeking through open car windows accompanied by “hey mans” were everywhere! Remember, there was no air conditioning in our cars in those days and it was the dead of summer.

The closer you travelled, the thicker the traffic, the louder car radios got and there was more interaction and chatter among Woodstock goers along the highway. That undoubtedly started to build the excitement and was the first realization that this was going to be big.

As we arrived in Woodstock, I remember turning on this street, lined with large old houses. It was the road to the Woodstock Concert entrance.

Once there, we were told that we could go no further and the gates were closed! They said, that we would have to wait until some people left before we could be let in, tickets or not. We were basically stuck on this road. So, like everyone else, we hunkered down right then and there. I guess we were about a mile away from the concert at that point and the concert sounds were muffled by the mobs around us.

By nightfall we all unpacked, set up camp and cooked out on the front lawns of those big old houses. All of us having our own mini Woodstock right then and there. We made friends and had a party until it was time to close the flaps of our pup tents. Those of us that were lucky enough to have a tent or sleeping bag, that is!

I remember the sound of the rain and waking up first thing in the morning with a very wet pair of legs hanging outside the tent! I had been camped on a hillside lawn and slid out of the tent. Me and a few hundred others. I also remember that the neighborhood people bringing us water, letting us use restrooms, and being rather congenial. Despite the circumstances.

Morning coffee under the pitter patter of that continual drizzle brought along more chatter and the vision of the hoards of muddy disheveled people exiting the concert. All saying “Man, it’s a mud bath in there”. And as time went on it was apparent that it was near impossible to get in and impossible to get out.

We never got in.

Sadly, we headed home disappointed to have missed the concert but grateful to have been spared being stuck in some nightmare. We must have had an adventure or two along the way, but nothing sticks in my mind. Nothing as memorable as the prior days events, anyway!

My brother, a musician, arrived home a week later. He had been stuck inside the concert! He and his buddies arrived three days earlier than the concert’s opening day. They did not have tickets nor ever have to buy them. They were parked in front of the stage , alongside those who also arrived early. He was there a week or more and had the time of his life!

If one of us had to make it inside, I was always happy it was him. The music was instrumental in his life.

My brother is not with us anymore, but he lives on in the Woodstock movie, and forever in my heart!

I have since lost track of the tickets and the husband. But I have never lost the memory of my three days of love, peace and no music!

judith g