Woodstock at 50 in a ’74 VW camper patty wagon

WOODSTOCK! A name not only representing a defining moment in music history, but a defining moment in American history. As an 11 year old, I was unaware of the moments that will forever have Americans noting 1969 as a transitional journey towards social and political change. While I was climbing “the rock” on Johnson Street and watching Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show, I was peripherally involved in these topics as I recalled adults talking with extreme passion and concern. It was a time when America was in turmoil, torn between war, peace, countercultures, and human rights. The topics ranged from civil rights, Martin Luther King Jrs memory, Racial Riots, Sam “The Falcon” Wilson in Marvel Comics breaks racial barriers, Stonewall Rebellion in NYC, gay rights, peace sit-ins, John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage a bed-in for peace, Give Peace a Chance, Vietnam War protests, Chicago Eight trial, assassinations, Sirhan Sirhan death penalty for RFK, Midnight Cowboys X rating, Beatles last public performance, Tinker vs Des Moines School District, Man on the Moon, Chappaquiddick, Rocky Marciano dies, Ho Chi Minh dies, Charles Manson/Sharon Tate, Michael Jackson on Ed Sullivan Show, and then there was Woodstock. Now I knew my cool Uncle Chip, the uncle in a band with long hair and ripped jeans in the 1960’s, who practiced in my Nana and Papa’s basement, and who gave me my first ever album, Paul McCartney and Wings in 1970, went to Woodstock, but I never really talked with him about his experience, until I went to Woodstock at 50 this August of 2019, at the original site in Bethel, NY. “Going Down to Yasgur’s Farm” on route 17B “Back to the Garden” in my 1974 VW camper feeling the vibe of what it must have been like for him, and the other 400,000 teenagers, 50 years ago; priceless. Peace On.

4 Comments

  1. Lynne Lynne

    Awesome writing job, Pat, and great video! Loved the relic pics of our hippie uncle. So glad you went on that adventure. Hope to be with you on your next one. XO

  2. Anonymous Anonymous

    Thanks sis…I’m so glad you enjoyed it …Woodstock was such a great experience; I need to get out more weekends in patty wagon. Peace On!

  3. Boy i never realized how busy a year it was, pretty bad for a history major huh? lol Being only 9 i only remember two major events. The moon landing and the hippies across the street. They had a full sized school bus in the driveway. Painted crazy with all the seats removed, it was cooler than the Apollo rocket on the news. The head hippie, Jimmy let us kids play in when they weren’t working on it. To make a long story short, The bus was Woodstock bound and then it was going to California…..Ah it seems like only yesterday see the bus drive away in a cloud of smoke and then towed back a few hours later and dropped in Jimmys fathers yard where it sat for the next 25 years LOL

  4. Anonymous Anonymous

    It’s so interesting how most people have a Woodstock story; I’m not sure how much longer that will continue, but until then, I love hearing these stories from people like you Scott.

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