I never got to Woodstock but a friend of mine did, his story and mine is below
I am 58 now and looking back at my life, the old friends that I have lost and those I have just lost touch with.
I’m from England and in the summer of 69 I was 16 years, still at school my friend Vic and me where in his mother’s garage working on the motor bikes we raced and as usual we had the radio on full blast playing The Beatles, The Stones and Jimi Hendrix.
Vic was a year older than me and his parents had split-up the year before. He lived with his mother in the north of England and his farther who was an English Literature lecturer at the local university moved to the USA to take a post at Western New England College. His father had asked him if he would like to go to stay with him for the summer and I could go as well if I wanted to. He asked me to go with him but I had a choose one or the other I could got to the US or I could work all summer to pay for my bike racing the next season. With hindsight I made the wrong decision I choose to race my bike.
He went over to see his dad the first week of July and made friends with some people over there and they asked him if he would go to a Music and Arts Fair at White Lake New York State. He had a few arguments with his dad and decided to go and had the time of his life. He called me at 3 am when he got back to his dad’s place and me what a great time he had and I should have gone with him.
When he got back home he could not stop talking about the great time he had. He said it was the best music, the best atmosphere and the ladies liked his English accent.
We would go racing over the weekend I was dating Vic’s sister Pat by then and Vic was dating Suzi, We would all travelled in Vic’s camper van with a trailer for the bikes. We had had a good season did a bit of smoking and had a great time but in the second to last race of the season Vic’s bike was taken out by someone else and was killed instantly when he hit a barrier. I never raced or rode a bike again.
I am still married to his sister and I think of my old friend every time I hear a bike but I have one memory of what he said when he came back from Woodstock, He said “that he could die now as he had had the best time of his life”. I only wish I could have been there with him.