Month: September 2019

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.