Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

THE WOODSTOCK SITE
Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY


 

MEMORIES OF WOODSTOCK AND 1969
MEMORIES ARE ALWAYS WELCOME HERE.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOURS INCLUDED, PLEASE EMAIL  JOANNE

Date:  11/17/2005

Time:  11:46:47 PM

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Me and my best friend were new comers to this country, we both came to the State of MD in 1966. We new very little about woodstock festival. Our only dream was to hear Hendrix play his guitar, an instrument that we both play a little since we are Hispanics, we also like the music of Crosby, Still, Nash and young and of course our idol Carlos Santana. Never imagin that simple us at that time were small part of such big unforgetable festival that made history........Yes we remember exactly what was happening in the USA and the world in 1969. seeking the peace and love as we still strive for, ever since, and today. This memory will always bring a tear to our eyes........of joy and sadness. keep up the good work and make it a great day!!! my email is ecastellanos48@hotmail.com my name is enrique castellanos

 

Date:  2/7/2006

Time:  5:44:09 AM

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The time was 1969...Love was in the air...A people came together at a gathering..through rain and cold...endured..For the love of peace and music..It was our time...It was beautiful..Everyone was beautiful to each other..As the crowds listened to the bands ...Never knowing it would go down in history/ as a concert of love and peace...We were free.....Anyone who has seen the film Woodstock can tell how much love feeled the air..And so it was Bunsmac

 

Date:  2/7/2006

Time:  12:02:52 PM

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The summer of 69 was special... Four friends from Westchester Miami. Bob Del Pozo, Mike Lawson, Skip Hitt & Ross Bloomfield traveled from Miami Fla. to New York to see and experiance the music that made those three day's a life time memory. Again in 1998 I traveled to revisit the site... A Day In The Garden. My family along with stage manager Mitch ( Londo ) Fennell who was a stage hand @ the 69 festival.We spent three day's on site listening to a new generation of Musicains along with some of the original Musicians.. Ten Years After, Peter Townshend & Joni Mitchel performed. Thank you & keep up the great work.....Yes it was special for those of us that attended in 69.

 

Date:  2/10/2006

Time:  12:36:02 AM

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Wow , Im 56 years old now and tears come to my eyes as I looked over some of these pictures. The summer of 69 I was 20 and it was such a wonderful time in life. Dear God, Please make it all go away now and bring back the good times. Times of love times of laughter times not to ever be forgotten, and I haven't. I hope some day that God will bring us all together again for those good times once more. Music , it is a wonderful thing, lets not ever forget Woodstock .....Peace , .....jimbo

 

Date:  3/27/2006

Time:  8:50:58 PM

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It is unfortunate that i was born many years after Woodstock took place, i'm only 16 and look at pictures my uncle George has from the event. I wish I could have been there.john rio

 

Date:  5/17/2006

Time:  11:15:48 AM

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Peace and love. What a wonderful link, I will pass it on too. It's refreshing to see that there are people keeing the 60's alive. I still wear my Levi 501's and peace signs. My personal email is thelilacflower@yahoo.com Donna Any vegetarians out there come and see us. We have recipes for you. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vegetarian_group/

 

Date:  5/23/2006

Time:  9:24:14 AM

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I heard mitch passed...is this true? We were friends in Miami... Many good times together...great guy...

 

Date:  6/9/2006

Time:  10:40:05 PM

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I went to woodstock with two wonderful ladies. We had made explicit arrangements to hook up with with a bunch of friends when we got there. Needless to say, those arrangements to park at a specified place at the "official parking lot" listed in the info you got when you bought tickets (yes we really bought tickets) were useless. The only person I ran into while at the festival was the father of some friends of mine. He had gone up several days in advance and parked his pick up camper near the pond where folks were skinny dippin'. He had come equiped with plenty of food and a case of wine. He was having the time of his life. I have so many incredible memories of an event that was and is one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. I turned 18 on Sunday August 18th, 1969. What a birthday! Peace, Edwin 2Trees

 

Date:  8/3/2006

Time:  1:11:42 PM

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The calendar's pages is flipped to August so we are rolling up to the 37th anniversary, insert one cosmic "Wow!" I still have my 3 day ticket, now under glass, with a reprinted poster, and the official festival program, which I fished out of the mud on the long trek out of the festival grounds, Monday, August 18. It still is stained with the muck, mire, and mud of that legendary weekend.. And I still retain my memories of it,too. I went with three friends from our itlle Mass. hometown, driven into the fesitval site by another pal in a borrowed Pontiac Firebird. He turned around and drove against all that traffic to return the car before it was missed. We switched from hitching east back into Mass to heading south to NYC as so much traffic went that way. It still tokk us an extra day of walking & thumbing to make the short trip into the city and a bus ride home. My major memories are: Going to sleep that Friday night, in the open air ina sleeping bag, having made the comment, "This'll be fun, if it doesn't rain". I was there to see Cocker, the Band, the Dead, and Jeff Beck. Beck was billed but didn't play. And of course Dylan, who wasn't billed, but we all knew he would play since we were in his backyard The mud, the rain, the mud. Woodstock, the Movie, was better than the concert beacuse it was less crowded, and drier.....but Sly and Santana got us ALL dancing. Two weeks later, to the day, I was having my long hair shaved off,and I was inducted into the US Air Force, where I eventually fought the Hash Wars in Germany..and saw Jeff Beck. Peace to all in the Woodstock Noation, may your lives be full of that ineffable joy we experienced in '69 when we realised there were an awful lot of "us". And may your clothes be dry. Craig Roche mrkite1@cox.net

 

Date:  8/3/2006

Time:  10:50:28 PM

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Afterward, we walked a few hours to find my VW bug. It had been pushed down toward a ravine, apparently to make room for another parker. A bunch of guys and one really beautiful girl that I still dream about actually lifted and moved my VW up to the road's shoulder. Everything beforehand is kinda too difficult to describe, except .... We made it home to West Virginia and everybody, all six of us in the bug, graduated from college. A couple of years later, the bug rotted down, but I still feel guilty about not saving it. I wanted a VW bus at the time and an artist friend had painted one for me that I couldn't refuse. It had an eyeball on the front and Sgt. Pepper everyplace else. My first novel was published in June, 2006 -- took a while. If you went to Woodstock or appreciate its heritage, I'm confident that "Rarity from the Hollow"will help you get off. Robert Eggleton

 

Date:  8/5/2006

Time:  11:58:10 AM

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I am looking to find some original woodstockers for some like minded e mailing, and also I am interested in going back to the farm in 09' and will gladly join in lending a hand if any reunion is planned. This is important to me - any info will be appreciated. thanks- anita aandkinfla@earthlink.net

 

Date:  8/30/2006

Time:  8:30:40 PM

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A painted VW bus, not much food, but plenty of grass-so many friends new and otherwise-it was an experience of a lifetime-something we will never see the likes of again-I am glad I was there-I am glad I have the memories-Diana-diana.drugas@comcast.net

 

Date:  9/3/2006

Time:  5:54:59 PM

Remote User:

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Hi.....My roommates and I got to the end of the driveway and the van broke. We wouldn't have made it anyway. But for the rest of my life (some still to come I hope) Woodstock has been a touchstone, an inspiration and the source of fabulous music memories. A part of me will always be there...even if I didn't physically make it. It remains a living, breathing part of my generation.... cheers...don murray...london, canada.

 

Subj: Guest book
Date: 12/2/2006 11:03:04 PM Eastern Standard Time

I was 16 and fast coming of age. Living at home in a very protected and emotionally barren environment, eager for a taste of the world. I knew the world around me was changing and that school was just the same old narrow road my two older brothers had unthinkingly and unconsciously trudged before me with likely no other intention but to go on to college and become like everyone else. I knew I was going to turn out differently. I did. I never got to Woodstock but I know, now, that Woodstock represented then, as it does today, the possibility that we could live as one, that music was that timeless and limitless in its power to bring people together and, yes, even change the world. I am 53 year old today and Woodstock is in every living cell in my body in every iota of me being in what it has become to me. Woodstock is gone but our efforts to change the world and make it a safe and sane place for those after us has become our responsibility and shall be our living legacy in the work we do now, or fail to based on our intentions and mindfullness to the importance of change and the perpetuation of the light of pure love.

Brian Reis
Foster City, CA

BR
"Egy Az Isten"

 

Subj: Long Live The Spirit of Woodstock
Date: 12/14/2006 5:02:55 PM Eastern Standard Time

I will forever cherish the sights, sounds, spirit and love that Woodstock
generated for myself and my generation until I leave this earth. No other
generation held peace up for the world to see than ours. We should remain
proud of our efforts and never give up on spreading the spirit of Woodstock
to all we touch in life. ­ Jeri Boucher, Ramona, CA

Subj: A poem for the 40th ann. of THE SUMMER OF LOVE
Date: 6/21/2007 7:04:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Hello everybody,
I wanted to share my latest poem with you all in honor of the 40th anniversary of the SUMMER OF LOVE. Not all of you were there, but I'm sure you can grasp the feeling which was in the air.
Have a great summer may all good things happen to you and yours, peace,love,music,TommyPurpleHaze

Flashing back to the Summer of Love

Do you remember 1967, the summer of love?
The peace sign was more than a symbol, a dove.
The 60’s movement was becoming clear.
Freedom of speech was in full gear.
Far out, groovy and freaky were part of our lingo.
With a little help from my friends was good for Ringo.
Sgt. Pepper told the band to play.
Tune in, turn on, and drop out were the way.
Monterey Pop festival was the first of it’s kind.
A variety of drugs just blew your mind.
Jimi Hendrix created Purple Haze.
Timothy Leary tripped on acid for days.
Haight Ashbury had such a scene.
The Vietnam war was so very mean.
Psychedelic music put us in the groove.
Anyone stone free, till you could not move?
Tye dye clothing was very cool.
Long haired hippies were the rule.
Fancy colored artwork was vivid and real.
Be-in’s and Love-in’s were all around.
Progressive rock became the sound.
Flower power made us smile.
Free love was fun for a while.
As we flash back to 40 years in rhyme,
Peace, love and music should be in our time.

By TommyPurpleHaze, June 21, 2007


Subj: Woodstock
Date: 7/12/2007 12:20:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time


I tried to attend, but the New York thruway was closed. My buddies and I ended up at Geneva at the Lake. JME

 

Subj: woodstock
Date: 7/29/2007 9:19:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time



Hitch hiked there as a 15 year old with my friend Bob W from Kearny,NJ,we got there 2 days before festival watched them build the stage etc. One of my favorite memories was 1st night when Sly & the Family Stone were playing & I remeber evertbody up & dancing & I could've sworn I could feel the ground shake. Biggest regret was leaving early Sunday afternoon & missing the Band & Crosby Stills & Nash. Keep up the good work
Greg H

 

Subj: A WOODSTOCK poem
Date: 8/15/2007 1:35:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time


This is a poem defining the true Woodstock spirit. It was 38 years ago today Woodstock happened.

LOVE IS...

Love is...
Thinking of someone and caring,
Being with someone and sharing.
Love is...
Keeping close when times are sad,
Forgiving when things are really bad.
Love is...
Laughing and enjoying all the fun,
Smiling and feeling the rays of the sun.
Love is...
Crying and weeping about things that are dear,
Holding and hugging, going on without fear.
Love is...
Going to your favorite places,
Seeing each other with happy faces.
Love is...
Never walking around with a frown,
Or ever feeling to blue or down.
Love is...
Hearing what those near to you say,
Understanding rewards you in every way.
Love is...
Not letting yourselves grow far apart,
Staying friendly with all of your heart.
Love is...
Gathering around the garden of peace,
The Woodstock spirit will never cease.

TommyPurpleHaze

 

Subj: 38 yrs ago today!
Date: 8/15/2007 9:12:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Tomorrow afternoon (the 15th of August) is the 38th anniversary of the downbeat of a mythical concert at White Lake in Bethel. We all know that it was a legendary financial failure. Other than the sheer size of the crowd, it was not unprecedented. The Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 laid the foundation for Woodstock with many of the same performers, including Hendrix, The Who and all those joplin and dead-like airplane bands from Frisco. Four ambitious, opportunistic young men hoped to have some fun and make a little bread for a studio they wanted to build in Woodstock. Little did they know how much opposition they'd face from town fathers who feared being inundated by America's passionate young people. A renegade dairy farmer named Max Yasgar opened up his land for the event just as the moon felt its first human footprint. There was less than a month to build a stage and put up the fences. They didn't get around to the latter. It was a mess! When the rains came everyone was covered in mud. The promoters took a beating and the crowd got soaked. What's the big deal about this festival?
Well, for a multitude of reasons, we, and the press who printed the words and pictures, chose to give it significance. Start with the music. The line-up was mind-boggling. It was peaceful, but that should have been expected. It was, after all, a peace festival. The four hundred thousand that attended the 4 day event was the same number as our combined troop strength, our friends and young contemporaries, who were serving in Viet Nam. Our hats were off to them and we wanted them home! We had an unusually unified set of values, and needed somewhere to wave that flag together and celebrate our cause. We knew there was strength in numbers and we had the numbers. And the volume.
Now it's all myth, memories, and subjective historical fabrications. Let me add to that soup of truth and misinformation my own emotion-laden observations. I didn't attend, but part of me is still there. It was an amazing time, we stood for something, and we made a difference. Period!

Jim Ratts
http://www.runawayexpress.com

Subj: Woodstock memories
Date: 8/17/2007 10:12:28 AM Eastern Daylight Time

My brother Gene (Rick) Barnes and his classmate Tom Mucceri ( my appologies to Tom if I mispelled his name, ) having just graduated that year from The Stony Brook School, decided to go to the concert. Tom's father worked in NYC for an advertising firm that was handling the concert. He got them tickets and this poster. They left from our house in Fanwood, NJ in Tom's Triumph Spitfire. I begged to go but since the car was a 2 seater there wasn't much chance of my going from the start. Rick is 2 years older and sometimes little brothers are left behind. The memory of what day they left and how they went or the details are gone from my memory, (as are a lot of things from that time frame, too many dead brain cells). I knew that it was going to be a great concert but spent the weekend watching the news about what went on in NY. On the NBC News one day, they had pictures of the traffic jam and mud and there on the screen was Rick and Tom in his Spitfire, stuck in the mud with people sitting all over the car. I yelled for my parents to come see and just that fast, it was gone. In the day long before VCRs or Tivo, the image was lost forever, except in my memory. When Rick and Tom got back a few days later they seemed a little shell shocked. I can't remember Rick talking about the details of what they experienced. It was as if they were reluctant to talk about the experience. It was as if , "you weren't there so you wouldn't understand." I guess I can know what they meant.

Through the years after I seemed to have been affected by the Woodstock experience as much as one can be , from afar. The next year I couldn't wait for the album to come out. I listened to it until I knew ever nuance of the sound-track by heart. I saw the movie at least 3 times. I always remember how I missed the bus by not going. In 1970 I went to school in Britian. At Christmas I went on a ski trip to Austria. On New Year's Day, 1971, while stumbling down the snow covered road of the town after the bar my friends and I were celebrating in, closed. We were singing the "Fixing to Die Rag" that Country Joe and the Fish sang. (Being 18 yrs old and 1-A , I wasn't a supporter of the VietNam war. ) . So my friends and I were stumbling down the road, slipping, holding on to each other, having had a few beers, singing at the top of our lungs..."

One...Two..Three..Four... What are we fighting for?.". A voice in the distance, another group of revelers yelled.... Ya.. Voodstock...Voodstock!! Ya Ya!! They were speaking German, and none of could speak more than enough to find the bathroom or order a beer. But there we were singing together in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night about something that had happened a year and a half ago. I was toasted but I will remember that time for all of my life.


I made a point to try to go to as many of Rock festivals that I could over the next few years. His included the one in 1972 at the Pocono Raceway with JGiles, Edgar Winter and Humble Pie and many others that I can't remember. I went to the Watkins Glen concert in 1973, which they say ,was a larger crowd than Woodstock. We got stuck in tremendous traffic jams, camped in people's yards ,met many beautiful people (ah ,the girl in the Daisy Dukes, what was your name?) and of course it rained on both concerts. I'm sure that the attempt to recreate the feeling that was at Woodstock, was a dream that was never fully realized.

Well , thanks for all of the neat pictures on your web site. Lot's of luck on your task to preserve the conert site. It has as much historical value as any in the country. For the millions of our generation , who attended, or just wanted to, the Woodstock nation still lives.

Larry Barnes

 

Subj: sign my name in your guest book
Date: 8/18/2007 10:34:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time

domenick nuzzi dob 10/19/1947 we were on our way ,
but turned back, and never made it there! i visited
two years ago and felt that i was there anyway!

 

Subj: I was there.
Date: 10/8/2007 1:10:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Hey man,

I was there in 69. we has "ALL AREA" security badges so I was backstage alot. Also helped out in the trip tent some.

Be cool, Michael

 

Subject: woodstock memories

Date: 11/23/2007 11:31:25 A.M. Pacific Standard Time

I, of course, being born in 1960, don't have a memory of Woodstock. I turned 9 years old 2 months after the fact. But, by happenstance, soon afterward, I have a memory from those turbulent times.

First, a little background. At the time, I was beginning to listen to rock music, starting with the Beatles and the Jackson 5 and other pop groups on AM radio. Then I heard Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and from about the age of 10 or 11 I was a dedicated music fan for the rest of my life. I have an enormous music collection that began in 1969. I was also born with the name of a famous rock star, several years before anyone had heard of him, no relation, but it influenced my life greatly.

As you already know, 1969 was a fractious time in these United States, with war, poverty, and racism pulling our nation in many directions. In December 1969 was the tragic killing at Altamont Speedway Rock Festival that kind of put a cap on the 60's. With the anti-war movement growing, a protest the following spring turned tragic when the National Guard shot and killed 4 unarmed students on a university campus. I, of course, being 9, was oblivious to most of this. But, events were about to occur to change all that for me.

In the summer of 1970 my father packed the family into our Ford station wagon and headed south from where we lived in Connecticut to the beaches of Virginia and South Carolina for a 2 and a half week vacation. I was the oldest of 4 kids. There were my two sisters and my brother, who was the youngest at age 4. It was July 2nd when we left and my parents wanted to spend 2 days at our nations' capital first before continuing with our vacation. The next day was spent visiting the Capital Building, the Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy's Grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery and, being Irish Catholic, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The day after that was July 4th, our nation's birthday, and a large music festival was going on at the Washington Monument Mall, which included, if I remember right, Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell. July 4th, 1970 was also the 2 month anniversary of the Kent State killings and my father had inadvertently introduced us all to world politics and into the heart of our national angst. He wanted to get us into the mall to see the festival, but it was so crowded and I guess he didn't plan it very well, so he tried to bring us all in at the back, near the monument. We soon discovered a large anti-war protest march in this very spot. The marchers were also trying to get into the festival, but the police had forced them to this back area and then, I guess, things must have got out of hand, because tear gas grenades began to explode all around us. I was fascinated and in shock at the same time. My parents were freaking out, trying to keep us all together, and escape the ensuing riot at the same time. They each grabbed us by the shirt collars, two at a time, and ran back to the parking area. I remember hacking and coughing with my eyes and nostrils burning, fluid pouring out of both. My sisters were vomiting and my mother was screaming. To us, it seemed like the world had gone insane, but it turned out it was only a storm in a teacup as the festival continued. My father drove out of there, across the Potomac, to a rest area where we parked to catch our breath. By then, the sun had set, and we could see the lit up Washington Monument where a stage light had cast Glen Campbell's shadow as we listened to a simulcast on the car radio. The only proof we have is a few short seconds on Super 8 film that my father took of the protest marchers. Of course, he stopped filming when the melee began.

I know this isn't a story you wanted to hear, but it's the closest one I could tell of those times and I felt it had some relevancy.

j lennon

 

Subject: Hi

Date: 6/15/2008 9:45:08 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Being a musician, my most memorable moments about Woodstock are all about
the music...

First and foremost, I remember somehow wandering "backstage" and seeing and
hearing Jimi Hendrix playing acoustic guitar with some other musicians whom
I can't seem to remember...alhough I had heard him many times before in San
Francisco, it was only after hearing him work out acoustically that I
realized what a truly great guitarist and musician he was... Take away all
the gimmicks, etc.. and what you had left was consummate know-how and pure
genius.

Second, the wonderful, revalatory harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash---

My biggest disappointment: enduring the audience ignore one of my favorite
artists of the generation: Tim Hardin. His gentle strains were too subtle
for the crowd==too bad really. I don¹t think he had much longer to live at
that point.

Larry

 

Subject:

Date 7/8/2008 1:54:13 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

WHAT A GREAT SITE. IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE TO MY CHILDREN WHO ARE IN EARLY 30’S WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP IN THE SIXTIES. JUST THE MUSIC ALONE. CAN YOU IMAGINE 500,000 TODAY IN MUD. GOD BLESS YOU FOR KEEPING THE DREAMS AND HOPES ALIVE. I WATCHED AN ANTI-WAR PROTEST IN WASHINGTON D.C. NO CROWDS AT ALL. LOOK AT THE PROTEST OF THE 60’S, THEY WERE PROTEST. THANK-YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR EFFORTS.

RICK. W. KOSTRUB

RIVERSIDE, NJ 08075

 

Subject: 1969

Date: 7/28/2008 10:41:56 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

I went to woodstock from boston, ma. a 17 year old who hung out in the boston common. to this day i'll never want to forget the people and the experience of woodstock. are there any people out there who hung around boston common and or cambridge common? if so contact me at paul_dzine@verizon.net

 

Subject: Guest Book

Date: 8/3/2008 8:22:45 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

I was listening to XM Radio (we've came a long way since '69) and heard the great Richie Havens song "Freedom" and I was instantly at the farm with chills and the hair standing up on my arms........again. I think the preservation is a great thing and will hopefully preserve the farm so future generations will know what our generation stood for, peace, love, and brotherhood. I am 56 now but the spirit's still here. Peace be with you. Dan

 

Subject: Woodstock '69

Date: 9/27/2008 9:01:48 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Greetings to all! On Sept. 6th 2008, I returned to the site after 39years. I was 17 then (1969), just out of high-school. I attended the Atlantic City Rock Fest two weeks before Woodstock and thought that was a big concert! I am proud to have been a part of something so historical. We knew it would be so, even then. As for the site now.... the region itself hasn't really changed much. If it wasn't for the 1969 festival that place wouldn't even be on the map! The Bethel Country Store looks the same but is now closed. The Bethel Woods complex is ironically where the "capitalistic" vendors sold burgers and cokes at the gig originally. Even though the site has been "tampered" with, it is far better than a Mall or a sub-division with yuppies living on it! At least it will be there undisturbed for future generations to see and feel it's ambiance. I plan on being there next August 15 2009 to make a nuisence of myself in the spirit of those pschedelic days. We need a renaissance to the days of free-thought and reasoning. In 1958 Aldous Huxley published Brave New World Revisited warning us of the future, which is NOW! He was at Berkeley in the 60's lecturing on implanted micro-chips! When the C.I.A. put LSD( MKULTRA) on the street little did they know what would happen. Was it John Lennon who said something like..." they thought they were going to control our minds, instead they set us free."..! Other people warning us of the "future" were Arthur Koestler "The Ghost in the Machine", 1967. Zbigniew Brezezinski "Between Two Ages" 1970. and Bertrand Russell even earlier in his book "The Impact of Science on Society" (1952). We are living in that future time now! We need to get back to the garden in our minds and take control of our own thoughts. Turn off the boob-tube and hit the REAL history books! Lets make history again, be the free-willed warriors we were back then. Woodstock was a big poke in the eye to that Brave New World. But here we are still fighting the same Boogie-man "terrorists" and sending our youth off to die in this same brave new world! "Gimmie an F"! The times they haven't changed much either. However, never under-estimate the free-will of the human Spirit, the same power we felt in Max's field those heady days in 1969! My LOVE to all of you!

Scott A. Munroe

samosam@comcast.net

 

Subject: Woodstock Memories

Date: 9/21/2008 11:21:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

In the summer of 1969 I was working as a programmer, writing COBOL
instructions for a computer that occupied about as much space as my
current kitchen and probably had about as much processing power as my
current cell phone.

After hours I wrote music reviews for my hometown newspaper, and
when we heard about Woodstock I obtained some newspaper stationery and
wrote away to ask for press credentials. I got the credentials, much to
the envy of my buddies who had spent good money getting their own
tickets. This got much, much worse when we arrived at Woodstock and
they discovered that they could have gotten in without tickets, no
questions asked. I loved it.

I realized very quickly that I wouldn't be able to see or hear much of anything, meals
were going to be iffy at best, I wouldn't have a chance to sleep for
three days, and I probably wasn't going to wind up bathing in a creek
with free-spirited hippie chicks.


I also remember throngs of music lovers walking from who-knows-where
to who-knows-where-else. Unlike the shoals of tourists drifting
aimlessly at Niagara Falls or Wisconsin Dells, pedestrian traffic flowed
smoothly in spontaneously organized lanes. I was walking one way when a
young woman walking the other way called out "hello, Roy Goodman!" and
then she was gone. I never did find out who she was or where she knew
me from.

Roy Goodman

 

Subject: Woodstock memory

Date: 11/15/2008 4:20:19 A.M. Eastern Standard Time

I went with my girlfriend Michelle and another couple Tom & Pam. We started from our hometown of Oil City Pa., about 5:00am and drove PA Route 6 across northern PA and through the Wilkes-Barre area to NY state. I remember driving by a small lake and being unable to find the festival. We drove around using a map and directions but to no avail. While driving on a small road in a wooded area we came upon a guy driving a farm tractor and asked directions. The guy said that we will “never make it there” but IF you drive ‘here then there and then this other where and someplace else’ you might be able to get there. He informed us that the New York Thruway was shut down.

We followed his directions and eventually found ourselves at an intersection with a road (17) backed up as far as we could see. We eventually got our car in the stream of vehicles and flowed as the traffic flowed. It was amazing seeing all that humanity and all those vehicles. The fields were filling with cars and tents even miles from Bethel. Our car was eventually filled to the brim with people. There were people on the roof and even on the hood. It was a party just traveling on the road. As we got close to Bethel somebody said that if we turn left at the next cross street, we can get to the festival site. It was a paved street which eventually became a dirt road which eventually became a tractor path into a cow pasture. There was already a couple of cars parked there so we got out locked up and followed the knowledgeable guy.

He led us across the cow pasture (with cows), along a field stone fence-wall, across a concrete damn, on a path along a pond, through a wooded area with dope vendor stands, across an inclined field. As we crested the field and could see farther …. There was this giant stage looking at us. WOW!!

It was Friday around noon and we made our way to the area where people were sitting and set out a blanket as a home base. We then returned to the car to get the camping gear. Being an old Boy Scout, I had made sure we came well equipped with tent, food, and more than enough accessories. We found an approximately 10 foot long piece of wood and draped the canvas cabin tent over it and hauled as much gear as possible to the small flat area at the top of the hill just outside the chain-link fence. There were a couple of tents already there, we were the third tent at that spot. That area shortly became a small semi-circle of maybe five or six tents. By nightfall that whole hillside sweeping to our right and below was covered with tents and campfires. From that vantage point, tents and fires could be seen as far as you could see in all directions. It reminded me of movies with vast ancient armies camped, the movie El Cid comes to mind.

I had eaten a handful of diet pills during the camp setup; so when the sound shut down that night; I was not sleepy. So …. I spent a few hours going all around with a canvas tent peg bag gather stones for a fire pit. I made a 5 foot diameter fire ring about a foot high with small stones wedged in between larger stones. It was quite the thing!! It became the center point of our small tent village.

The next day, as we got to know all the neighbors, I found out that a guy in the tent to out left was a chef (or so he said). He even had a set of large camp pots. We pooled our food and had community meals. We even had electric spaghetti … I think mescaline!!!

We could sit around the fire and look down on the stage. It was such a choice spot!!! We could even see the stage from inside the tent through the tent door. I had binoculars so we could see on to the stage. I bet we were some of the very few that could be as comfortable as we were and still see what was happening on stage.

When the storm came!!!! Our tent filled with about a dozen people. I pulled down the door canopy and tied the canvas ties as tight as I could. It felt as though the wind was going to blow the tent apart so I grabbed the edge of the tent wall and the door and squeezed tightly. I pushed my shoulder into the tent wall as hard as I could and still could not push the canvass out very far. After the storm, we discovered the tent next door was blown away with about a dozen people still standing on the tent floor. What a rush that was!!! And the chain link fence was now a wall of fabric and debris.

Hearing the announcer tell people to do your stuff here and don’t carry any dope off site, I was believing that the festival was probably circled by ‘God knows what’. The outside world seemed to be so far away, so forbidding. So, in the distance, beyond the stage, up in the sky, I saw helicopters getting larger and larger. As they flew directly over our tent circle, the tents flapped in their whirlwind. I was in shock …. Holy Fuck, the army is coming in …. OH NO!!!! I was thinking that all hell was going to happen. THEN I heard people yelling “FOOD FOOD FOOD” and a mad rush to the field behind us was starting as the copters settled close to the ground. Caught up in the excitement, I ran back to the copters (even though we had plenty of food). As I got close, the doors were slid open and bags and boxes of food were being pushed out as a soldier was making exaggerated motions with his arms for people to stay low. I grabbed a few oranges and stepped back as that copter started to lift. The wind blew me onto my ass!! Oh, what a memory. I heard it was West Point that sent the food. How COOL!!

I have more interesting memories of Woodstock. 1969 and 1989.

1989:

Liz Story was performing at the Chautauqua Amphitheater at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York the night of a lunar eclipse. The daylight full moon was clearly visible as I walked from my car to the gate. During her show, she talked about various things and her music. She stated that her boy friend had recently proposed marriage and was still awaiting her answer; and he was in the audience. She then dedicated the next song to him and accepted his marriage proposal. It was a stunning performance that night. Upon exiting the Amphitheater, the moon was now becoming a thin crescent. I got in my car loaded with camping gear and headed east on the New York Southern Tier Expressway. As I drove listening to old Woodstock music, the moon slowly reappeared from behind beautiful fluffy clouds that drifted by. Almost as though they were playing tag. It was a very emotional drive as this would be my first return to Woodstock. When I arrived at the original Festival site about dawn, there was a hillside covered with tents and wisps of campfire smoke rising into the morning mists. It was magical!!!! I parked my car, grabbed my camera and walked about as the Woodstock Festival Village came to life.

I have many photos of ’89 as I worked as a color darkroom tech at that time.

Tom Wilkinson

wilkie453@verizon.net

Erie, PA

 

Subject: Woodstock 1969

Date: 1/12/2009 6:25:01 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

I was born in 1957. In August of 1969 I was living on an Army base in Brooklyn, New York. (Fort Hamilton) My Dad was a career soldier. On August 27 my mom decided to take me and my little brother who was 7 at the time along with her two best friends on a "ride " upstate. We arrived at 11:00 at night and till this day I could not believe my eyes. Just people everywhere. Now I didn't know much about the music at that time, I've since learned to love it all. But the people, that's what really sticks in my mind. Now when I tell my kids about the concert they laugh and ask me if I tried the acid. Well at Woodstock I did'nt get the acid but i've tripped a few times since then. Anyways, stay cool and happy.

Joe

 

Subject : Sharing a Memory!

Date: 1/16/2009 10:06:58 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

Well, I missed it. I was as close as the NYC Port Authority Terminal where all these strange looking people were getting on buses headed for “some sort of music festival”. I had just been discharged from the Army in June of 69, and had been working on the Jersey shore until I could find some permanent employment. One of those job-hunting trips took me to New York City on August 14, 1969. Since I had taken a bus to NYC, I ended up in the Port Authority Bus Terminal………….and my introduction to what were called hippies. Now, just getting out of the Army, I didn’t quite know what to make of all this…………….especially all those pretty girls waiting to board buses, with nothing more than a bandana tied around their breasts. At the time, I had no idea what was unfolding…………..and neither did the world. It wasn’t until three days later that I realized what I had missed. I could have just jumped on one of those buses heading toward Bethel………..

Fast forward to the 30th Anniversary of Woodstock in August of 1999: This was the year that a large anniversary concert was being planned in Saugerties, NY. Reading about that event did nothing to excite me, and I (at age 57) was not about to travel from Pittsburgh, PA to mingle with the Pepsi generation. I was not aware of it at the time, but apparently some folks were trying to put together a Reunion Concert on the original site of Yasgur’s farm. Then, the last thing I heard was that those plans fell through, and it was cancelled.

Now, here’s where the Spirit of Woodstock transcends human understanding. About a week before the Anniversary weekend, I told my wife that I got a wild hair up my butt……………and I’m going to drive to the original site that weekend…………….just to see if anybody shows up at the original site to commemorate the event. I set out on my adventure, not even knowing exactly where I was heading. I had no idea where the site was located. I wasn’t even sure of the name of the closest town……….but I set out none-the-less. As I drove across the state of Pennsylvania, I was thinking…………..even if I find the original site, I’m going to feel like a damn fool if I’m the only soul in that natural amphitheatre. But onward I went. As fate would have it, as I was approaching the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, I stopped for gas at a country convenience store/gas station. Inside on the newspaper rack was some sort of local paper with a front page commemorative article about Woodstock. And as the spirit would have it, there was a map of the festival site, including the intersection of 17b & Hurd Road. Now I knew where I was going…………..if there were only some other people that had the same idea……….

Well, I got to the intersection where you turn right onto Hurd Rd, and lo and behold…………….a State Police car was parked there…………………and I thought “:this is a good sign”. Turned into Hurd, then turned left and up a hill. At the top of the hill, looking down the other side, I couldn’t believe my eyes, There were tepees, tents, and people………….hundreds of people (it was only early afternoon on Friday, so the crowds were yet to come). Drove down to the intersection past a small stage made up of 2 X 4’s and plastic tarp……………and heard a female voice singing to the crowd. (Turned out to be Melanie). Tuned left again & up the hill to pitch my tent while I could find space to do so, then settled in for three days of a most wonderful experience………….probably enjoying it more that if I had been to the original. Without the influence of any drugs or alcohol, I was able to take it all in and keep it.

As it turned out, the next day (Sat) someone brought in three of four flatbed trailers and parked them side by side to make an even larger stage. Then came the sound system with speaker banks on both sides of the flatbeds. This was another one of those instances where, “ if we build it, they will come” spiritual journeys……………and come they did. Friday night after dark, there were endless lines of automobile headlights backed up over the hills. For a “non-event”, about 100,000 people came to remember, celebrate, and listen to music. There were six of seven of the original Woodstock acts that showed up and played for free………….Arlo Guthrie, Melanie, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Mountain, etc Oh yeah, we had our rain & mud too…………….just like the Heavens “knew” what to do and when to do it.

That trip will be a lasting memory for me. I was moved beyond words. I now know the Spirit of Woodstock …………….and it does live !

 

Subject: woodstock the real '69

Date: 4/7/2009 8:22:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

I am from Baltimore Maryland and my boyfriend and girlfiend and graduated in 68and spent the summer in Hyannis Mass. We hear about a concert and it was time to leave this rental anyway, so I had all my possessions w/ me like school ring and yearbook and just my jean, a head scarf and 2 tops and 1 pr of shoes. So we started to hitch to Woodstock New York. We met a lot of really nice people along the way, we were hippies, and some shady people as well. Traveling in different cars, at one point in time a bunch of people we meet said “they change the concert to Beth El”, so we diverted our trip towards Beth El. We arrived 2 days early and had no idea what we were getting into, which was cool for us. When we got there it was night time, and their were not a lot of people. Some scattered on hill tops here and there, small fires going and nice people. The next morning I remember waking up and seeing a sea of people coming in from all points of the land...it was a wow...we watched and partied as the day and night went on seeing more and more very cool, nice, generous people pile in the vibs were great!!! Everyone had a smile on their face and everyone shared everything they had including us!!! Too many great memories...the night Crosby stills and nash played and we all lite matches and could not believe how many lights that were lite...and Hendrix waking me up, and I was in the front row doing his wonderful rendition of the “star spangled”. Once my boyfriend and I got lost in the wood’s and we did take a bath in the lake, we just loved the vibs and was inspired that their were so many people that were just like us from all over the country!!!It will go down as one of my most favorite experiences...i was never the same, it freed my soul. I think I’m on the album cover....i was in music after that and for yrs had a music store, and it was Woodstock everyday!!! I still say hello to people, like it’s Woodstock everyday!!! Peace and Love!!!

Aileen Braverman Miller

ambraverman@comcast.net

(410)365.1732

 

Subject: Memories to last a lifetime

Date: 4/27/2009 10:54:09 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

In the summer of 1969 I was only 19 years old but I had all ready been married for 3 years. I heard of the concert from a young man who happen to have worked with my husband at that time. He came by our home and told us (me and my husband) about planning on going with a group of people to New York to a Rock Concert. He was trying to get my husband to take off from work and go with him. I was fascinated at listening to him speak of New York. I had never been out of the state of Kentucky until I married and moved to Indiana, but I loved all the bands he was speaking of that were planning on attending this concert. We also were friends with another couple who were in their mid 20's and the wife also expressed her desire to go. Since our men would be working and it was only going to be a "nice" concert with "some" bands we convinced them that it would give us something to do and to consider it our vacation. I really think they were glad that we were going to be away for several days so they could go and do whatever it was they wanted to with us gone.

I can not remember the other girl's name but I remember she was the first girl/woman I had ever saw drink a beer. (That is how naive I was.) She and I with the young man that worked with our husbands got in a van with about 5 other people and off we went. And I suppose you could
say.........."The rest was history."

I am now 59 and lately have been remembering and thinking of Woodstock so very much. Maybe it is because it is approaching the 40 year mark..........or maybe it is because I am now 59 and a widow. All I know is when I think of all that happened during those 3 days it is amazing. From the first band to the last (Jimmy Hendrix), from the tents, sleeping bags, the torrential rain, the mud, running out of food, to it being
brought in by helicopter, to the running naked, experimenting with the drugs and last but not least...........the feeling of being alive, free and loved. Just wish I knew then what I know now and could do it all over again.

Linda Isaacs

 

Subject: 1969 Woodstock Festival

Date: 5/2/2009 5:06:42 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

Our Health Dept. Office was in Monticello,I was checking out on Friday afternoon, when Gerry Leiber ,the chief Health Officer of Sullivan county called me in. Informed me that there was a SMALL music festival on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel and would I like to make some extra money and work the Weekend. I said yes. A state car picked me up at home and brought me close to the site, as 17B was jammed bumper to bumper with cars going to Woodstock. As I walked in I was shocked to see thousands of people.

You have to picture this ,I had a crew cut ,white shirt ,black pants a clip board and an ID tag identifying me as a representative of Sullivan County Health Dept. I was in charge of Porta-Sans, Water and Food Venders. As I walked in I almost levitated as the smoke of Pot wafted though the air.

My first vender was dressed with a cooks hat, love beads, shoulder length hair, beard, ear rings ,cowboy boots and a loin cloth. he was selling grilled hamburgers. I sternly admonished him that he was in violation of many basic health codes, unsafe food handling ,possible pubic hairs in the food and that he should stop selling the hamburgers until he cleans up these violations. A crowd of "Hippies" began to gather around us, shouting ,"we're hungry man, get lost!" He said ,"fuck off and stick that clip board up your ass" It became instantly clear to me that my safety depended on a quick retreat, mumbling to my self," what am I am doing here?".

I was now joined by another health inspector a young man out of college carrying bags of Silver Cup bread and bottles of water and he put them in our small office trailer. I asked him was this for us, he said "see all those naked girls ,they are going to get hungry and thirsty!" My sleeping arrangements became chaotic and you can guess who had a better satisfying experience.

The health and sanitary conditions rapidly deteriorated ,the Porta-Sans over flowed, water and food were becoming very scarce. Hippies were squatting by bushes to relieve themselves .The rains came and human wastes were mixed with the every present mud and a shallow pond became a communal bath.To quote the Catskill Shoppers Guide of August 1994 in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock, "...A music festival where the medical caseload numbers 5,162, drug overdoses are 2, drug related abuses total 797, accidental death 1, 3 miscarriages and a birth"

I did enjoy the great musical acts such as Hendrix, Joplin, Dylan, Guthrie and many more. I finally got home Monday and my Wife Rita took a garden hose to clean the caked mud off my cloths.

In retrospect I began to realize what an historic moment that was .Thousands of young people, with the banner of love, music and peace protesting the despicable war of the Nixon, Agnew's corrupt Administration.

I was there!!

Martin J.Cohen

 

Subj: re Woodstock

Sent: 8/19/2009 3:26:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Hi...I was at woodstock with my friend pat...she is american and i am canadian. omg..what to say...40 years ago...wow! i am so happy that there is this site and to be able to read about woodstock. it means so much...i remember the mud, the bad water, the best damn acid trip i was ever on...green speckled acid from anna arbor michigan, i remember when we left- jimmy hendrix was playing the star spangled banner and it seemed to go on for ever....one day while at the festival we went to town with some friends we finally met up with that are from canada too and we couldn't believe the hostility that was thrown at us...none the less.... so many great memories....i just wish i could have kept in touch with all the great people i met....at atlantic city music festival and then they showed up again at woodstock. other than my friend pat..we parted ways over the years, i have never met anyone else who was there and it breaks my heart..i get so excited when i talk about it. i would love to one of these days go back to bethel and see the site....i can hear the music now!!!it's so great that this site has been created tho and i look foreward to seeing and reading what i can.

i heard that it was the 40th anniversary and thought my god i was a kid, so i had to go searching for something on woodstock and this is how i found you all.

good luck and thanks for letting me ramble on about my memories! peace! and hugs to you all.

Guyrene Johnson- Vancouver Canada

 

Subj: Memory of Woodstock 1969

Sent: 8/27/2009 2:17:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

My brother and I went to Woodstock for three days and enjoyed the community of so many people who came together for love and peace and music. It was glorious. I remember the wonderful sharing of the music and the food and the good times and the joyous fun. We were able to prove that you can gather together in large numbers and get along. All ages, races, religions, political views, stages in life and travelers on the journey of life. It was. It is. It can be.

John Powell

Pennsylvania

 

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