Stories From Woodstock 1969
12:16:55 PM 08.02.09


I rarely talk about Woodstock 1969 much less set out to pin down in print an event made threadbare by time. Somehow the airing might oxidize the doing.
I've kept Woodstock pocketed along with other fine memories acculated along the way. I like to reach into that same pocket now and then to touch the glad-stash the way I did as a kid pocketing precious items such as a smooth pebble or an old soda pop bottle cap.

When I have told old pals that I attended Woodstock-and have to add 'the original,' they ask alike-what was it like? My answer never varies. Undescribable as are, for me, all unique experiences.
Even the hearing about the occasion feels like a fluke. My then husband and I were college students in NYC at the time. I was studying with an R&R radio station playing in the background. A dejay caught my attention when he promoted a concert in New York state. He rattled off the musicians signed on. The list was endless. That's what peeked my interest.
I sent away for three sets of weekend only tickets as we, plus a friend, had to attend classes that first friday. The radio station sent us the tickets tucked inside a Woodstock envelope which I penciled on the back the name "Bethel."
We took off via automobile early Saturday morn. I do not recall any traffic problems. I can, however, still see an unexpected, endless single file, makeshift parking lot. We followed suit. Parked and then walked along a pathway flanked by young people, a self-appointed welcoming crew some of whom punctuated the walk with offerings of "Uppers? Downers? Blackbirds? Free."
We were dressed accordingly. Jeans. T-shirts. Sandals. Long hair. Round metal-rimmed glasses. I wore a thin piece of rawhide around my forehead and tied at the back of my head.
We knew we'd arrived when all of a sudden a vast amount of people came into view upon what seemed like an endless meadow. I think it is fair to say dumbfounded sums up my thoughts at the time.
I pocketed the entry tickets once I spotted metal gates trampled into horizonal submission.
All I can recall is that we spotted an unglamorous stage yonder, music sets playing unceasingly while we squatted a long while amongst folks who offered whatever they'd brought from drugs to water. The air, redolent with the sweetness from surrounding meadows, was punctuated by P.A.'s of a bad trip being taken care of in first aid area or of someone trying to find their other somebody.
This sounds odd to say but the perpetual live music became part of the tapestry. A lively thread, obviously, but, nevertheless, just one of many.

I do not recall efforts for fare-food and water-but the latrine situation is memorable by dint of being small in numbers and huge with queues.

Sunday, late afternoon, I think, the three of us trudged to our vehicle and drove back home. I do not recall feeling sad that a burgeoning history-maker of sorts was over.

I recently secured the Woodstock 2009 tickets and accompanying envelope behind glass in a double-sided picture frame. The viewing prompted a small smile and a large sigh before I closed shut the frame.

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Anne August 5, 2009, 12:54 am
"This sounds odd to say but the perpetual live music became part of the tapestry. A lively thread, obviously, but, nevertheless, just one of many." -

I don't think that's an odd way to describe the music at all!

Your story is, of course, completely different from mine which I've not yet written, but I recognize your feel.

I was there for a week. We arrived on Tuesday, before the crowds and left on Monday after Jimi Hendrix played in the rain. I also don't try to explain my experiences at Woodstock very often. Translating any memory is complex, but Woodstock was a whole different planet.

I'm more prompted to write my story now, thanks. Anne
candace August 5, 2009, 4:39 pm
glad you feel prompted now. by all means, go for it. write down your memories.

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