Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, 1969

Aloha!
Welcome to. . .

click on photos to enlarge


Can't believe I saved them
 all these years.


(Disclaimer: I was underage
 though somewhat emancipated)


I remember selling macrame` belts

 to boutiques for my ticket money.


I remember the BUZZ 

that THIS was gonna be a

 "gathering of the tribes" 

and a do NOT miss event!




Arriving at the site late on

 Thursday night 

it was too dark to see much.

We slept on the ground.





But Friday morning

 was a bursting, bustling SEA of cars

 and humanity.









I'd never seen so many people in one place

but certainly never so many freaks!




(Only Time magazine,

 and news people,
 and the 'out of it'
 called us hippies)






Bob Seger struck a chord 

that still resonates

 down the corridor of years:

"Always seem outnumbered,
 don't dare make a stand,
Same old cliches:
 'Is that a woman or a man?"
Turn The Page by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet on Grooveshark

It took real courage 

to let your freak flag fly.







But this was freak utopia.

The few cops looked surrendered and happy

 and just kept the cars safely flowing 

even as random people (like me)

 hitched rides on hoods and trunks

 along the slow moving line of cars.

 Joints were smoked freely 
under the open sky,

 even sincerely offered to cops 

who declined smiling. 

Some people were topless, 

others muddy, and/or nude. 

Everyone looked HAPPY!


The cops acted like real peace officers.

 Locals told the press:
 "They're good kids." 

The cops treated us like citizens 
(instead of prey) for once. 

What else could they do, but still.

It was a peaceful metropolis

 under the sky,

 no fights, no attitude,

 just unbelieving bliss.

Everybody got along.





The radios in the cars

 reported that the

 New York State Thruway

 was closed!




"We closed the highway, man!"




"Maybe
 they got us all together 
in one place
 to bomb us."







It looked like the end of the world
 as we knew it 
and it felt fine indeed!






The disorientation and sensory overload 

of being amidst so many folks in quasi-

disaster conditions

 made me feel high,

plus we hadn't brought food 

in expectation of buying it.

But fences were flat,

 services overwhelmed

 and not set up.

We sucked on those English

 flavored cigarette papers 

popular back then.

Rizzla.





Campers shared food. We got by somehow.

I still have my tickets

 because no one needed one.

 Free show, Man!

Free was a big concept then: bartering,

Whole Earth Catalogue self-sufficiency, 

communes....


A shop in West Philly at the time 

was called 

"The Free People's Store" 

which had a " free shelf" to challenge 

the whole idea of consumerism. 

Those folks were interesting

 and later morphed into

 Urban Outfitters,

 right Richard?





I can still see that ocean of people,

 and "feel" that ride

 on the snaking line of cars

 as the cops directed traffic

 good-naturedly.





I remember meeting people
 from all over the country.





I remember seeing my first
 Hawaii License plate. 
(Hawaii!)





I remember the music 
way way WAY
 over the sea of people,
and the helicoptered bands landing.





I remember me and my friends
 being overwhelmed by the throng
 and leaving on Saturday...
but I never tell that part.....




Thanks for reminiscing with me! cloudia

20 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i laughed at your last part. i'm glad you enjoyed the unbelievable experience with good memories.

Teresa said...

A lot of great memories...

DeniseinVA said...

I have never known anyone who was at Woodstock. How cool that you saved those tickets and I enjoyed your amazing experiences and memories. Thank you Flower Child of the 60s, great to know you.

Cloudia said...

Thanks!

Can't believe I'm the same person!

That would make me, let's see. . . .OLD! Yikes! LOL

Oakland Daily Photo said...

All I can say is, "Far out!" Fabulous experience and memories. Hold onto those tickets, they're probably worth something.

magiceye said...

Wow! Would love to meet up with you and sit listening to stories of those 3 glorious days of peace, love and music!

Namaste /\ from Mumbai
Aloha!

Cloudia said...

Back in the olden times, children. . . .


Thanks!

LOLfromPasa said...

Wonderful memory, beautifully shared. In 1969 I was living in Hawaii. I have a vivid memory of going to a concert inside Diamond Head crater, nothing like Woodstock & not sure of the year. You jogged a memory :).

Ercotravels said...

What the long time memories, amazing! such brilliant mind.

rupam sarma said...

Great to read your post.

Karen S. said...

Wow, that is so amazing that you were a part of all that. If ever there could be another anything as close to that today, I'd break every rule or anything to get me there! Although, in today's world technology would get in the way of what Woodstock was, sadly.

Adam said...

that's a piece of history

Hilary said...

I didn't want this post to end. You were a part of an amazing piece of history. I always felt bad about leaving early from my first time viewng The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Leaving Woodstock early surely has that beat. ;)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

You were at Woodstock ??? How mega cool is that Cloudia..by all accounts (and yours) a legendary 'happening' :)

Elephant's Child said...

Ooooh. What memories to hug to yourself. Wow. Many times wow.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are such a cool chickie! I love you!

Kay said...

This is just so cool! You really are the first person I know who was actually there also. Have a great weekend, Cloudia.

Indrani said...

That is more than 4 decades. Great memories indeed.

TexWisGirl said...

congrats on your POTW!

Sandi McBride said...

Oh my, to listen to Turn the Page again...my favorite from Bob and the Silver Bullet Band...I used to listen to it as I went to sleep each night...it was my mantra...thank you
congratulations on Post of the Week...great choices from Hilary
Sandi