I am a 36 year old woman who may not live in "The Big City" but I like the little city I live in and there is a lot that goes on around here too! This is a place where anything can happen..or be written about!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peace, Love, and now some more Understanding!

I know my posts/ interviews have to do with "My" City, but sometimes a woman needs to get out on the open road and that is what this woman did this past weekend! I went and celebrated the 41st Annual Yasgur Road Music Festival in Bethel NY! I made one music pilgrimage in the late 90's when I went to see Graceland (So Awesome...The Jungle Room was the best ;) ), and this past weekend (as you can see on the picture on the left) I placed my feet on the grass of Yasgur's Farm the original Site of The 1969 Woodstock Music Festival...if this pic was taken 41 years ago I would have been in the front row, and there would have been 499,999 other people with me...I think it was probably a little more peaceful when I was there, but then again maybe it wasn't ;).

The Music Festival I attended didn't take place at the "Woodstock" site, but just down the road on Yasgur Road in the woods...hippies/ and non hippies from all over took over for a weekend of free music , peace, and love, and this one I was alive for and attended!
The reason I was attending this event was "D" was asked to play there on Saturday night. So we got in the car and headed down to Bethel  for the weekend to see what all this hype was about .
Both D and I are huge fans of music, but I wouldn't describe either one of us as a hippie, so we had no idea what would be in store for us in Bethel!

We got there late Friday afternoon, and as we approached the town things were just different from back at home. Farm stands were on every corner instead of a starbucks. There were farms and land every which way, and definitely less houses and buildings, and definitely no malls just quaint little shops. We didn't even have cell phone reception...maybe we were back in 1969 without even knowing it. We pulled into our hotel which was straight out of the 1960's (I am still not sure if that was a good or bad thing ;) ) unloaded our luggage and change our clothes. "D" eyed my tie -dye t-shirt peaking out from my suitcase. I told him it was from L.A., a gift from my mom (now she is the queen hippie), and it had a guitar tie- dyed on it. In a moment I thought I would never see ,"D" put down his black T-shirt, and threw on my tie- dye, and out the door we went...hmmmmm I thought things were starting to getting a little "far out" ;)

Since I am still on a cane (recovering from my hip surgery) I didn't have to do a mile trek into the woods from the car (I got dropped off pretty much by the side of the stage), but on the way in I saw tents everywhere, people setting up stands to sell tie- dyed t -shirts, glow in the dark headbands, bouny balls, etc. A tractor driving around bringing people to different places, people walking without their shirts on (men only), people everywhere coming out of the woods, walking on the road, getting out of their cars. Even when we were driving down the road a 4 year old boy said to me through the window.."Peace out dude"..with the peace sign fingers and all! Where am I????   D set up our chairs next to our friends the J's (I will call them that for short) and we watched some very talented live music...FOR FREE!!! D also went to the "grill master" in the woods  (near the drum circle) and came back with some fresh corn on the cob, cherry tomatoes, and baked potatoes...all for FREE! So we sat,  laughed, listened, grooved, drank, and ate into the night!
Talk about people watching! There were people there from all walks of life. There was even someone who came here from Australia just for this event,( and we thought our 5 hour drive was a hike). There were the musicians, the lovers of music, the hippies, the druggies, the families, the curious, the neighbors and community, there were just people from all over.  This was the first time I have spent a large amount of time in the woods with a bunch of strangers (which some were highly intoxicated and not just on the music) and some actually down right frightened me at first. I am also technically "disabled" at the moment due to my surgery so navigating around strangers in the dark woods with a cane was "interesting". I have been to many concerts, bars, and places with lots of strangers, but this "group" had some of the strangest strangers ever, but never once did I feel unsafe, actually I felt the opposite. Unlike going to a local bar no one grabbed at me when they got drunk, there were no fights. Unlike the concerts I have been too everyone wanted to give me stuff for free; free food, free drinks, free pot if I wanted it (but I said no..just not my thing man)  It was just full of peole who wanted to listen to music and be peaceful. One guy asked me if I had an ashtray...he didn't want to liter the woods. I really loved all those crazy cats and chicks! So this is what peace feels like...its strange that I had to go to the woods in Bethel NY to find it, but it dose exist!

Night two: More of the same thing, but even more people!  D and one of the J's also grooved out that night. We also saw a Jimi Hendrix cover band and with Jimi grooving out in the background on a screen made out of a sheet , I am telling you, if you closed your eyes and listened.... I was transported back...I could see what my Dad saw at Woodstock 41 years ago...I was really truly getting it and it was "outta sight"!
My friend J who is an artist made these cool posters for the event, and I voluntereed to sell them, because A. I thought they were great, and that everyone should buy one (very cheap too... only $5) and..
                                                      B. It gave me a job at the festival since I wasn't allowed to sing on stage (which to me is totally crazy...I rock! ;) ), and it also gave me a chance to meet a lot of interesting people at the same time and truly take part in the festival! It's also how I got my official Woodstock nickname "Poster Girl" ;) (This is truly understood by The Miner, The Provider, and Cherry Tomato ;) )

I have heard about Woodstock all my life, I have seen the movie, heard my dad's stories, listen to the music, watch many clips about it, but just like when I first saw the Eiffel Tower, or the Colosseum..I didn't really get it until I saw it with my own eyes! This is what Peace and Love felt like. This is what life can be like if we were all a little less stressed out, and we all could" hang loose", and maybe just be a little kinder to one another. I am not saying that I dislike the life I have now and being in 2010, but there was something magical about being transported back to the 1960's for a weekend, and maybe if everyone got a chance to feel it, we would all be a lot more PEACEful!

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