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We heard some great memories from iReporters who went to Woodstock, the legendary music festival that took place in Bethel, New York, 40 years ago this weekend. But some of the best stories came from those who never made it there.
Rhonda Jo Brady was six months pregnant in August 1969 and decided to skip out on the long drive from San Jose, California, to upstate New York. Despite Woodstock’s historical significance, she doesn’t regret missing it. Brady gave birth to a beautiful girl who found her own spot in rock history – she married Collective Soul’s lead guitarist in 2007.
Jeff Pickens was 12 when his family got stuck on the New York Thruway on August 16, 1969, due to Woodstock traffic. Pickens laughs when he remembers that summer vacation, the fact that he and his younger brother were "blissfully unaware that the seminal cultural event of the decade was happening 200 miles south of us."
And although she begged and pleaded with her parents, Janie Lambert, then 17, wasn’t allowed to go to Woodstock. She instead spent the summer working at a general store and “grooving to the Beatles, Creedence … Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull” and other artists. Lambert says the closest event to Woodstock these days is Bonnaroo, a festival her son has attended several years in a row.
Katie my son went to Lollapalooza last weekend.
He just sent me an email about it today.
I quote a line from his email
"I was at Lollapalooza in Chicago last weekend. (Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella are the recognized well adjusted children of Woodstock -- a lot of the same spirit, definitely the same drugs, but with more portapotties and tons of good food".)
Lol he never asks Mom to go!! Brat!
Return of the Woodstock Generation
From what I've seen on news reports, many of the town hall audiences are comprised of people over 55. It seems to me that generally the folks caught on camera complaining the loudest appear to be people of my generation: aka babyboomers. Ah hah! Hasn't anybody else figured it out yet? It's the return of The Woodstock Generation! And we're worried as hell.
After a relative calm of nearly 40 years, we realize it's time to come out of the closet. I don't mean the gay closet. I mean the gray closet. Gone are the long locks growing down to our knees, the hippie duds, the bell bottoms and leather vests, the flowers in our hair, love beads, pot parties and psychedelic posters. (Well for most of us, that's all over.) We've traded those things in for silver hair, hearing devices, knee replacements. We're downsizing, moving to condos and drooling over grandchildren. Some of us are just plain drooling. And yes we're still doing drugs but this time it's prescription stuff. Granted, we weren't all Vietnam protesters. We weren't all bra burners or flower children or free love fanatics. A lot of us even missed the Woodstock festival. Amazingly, some of us never did drugs. Even so, right now we're all sharing the same basic life experience: Aging. We are getting older. We're living longer but we're getting tired. We're having health problems. And we're worried about how we can afford to survive the upcoming years in good health. It's a very legitimate concern, not just for us but for all Americans.
During the Woodstock era, I held a respectable job during the week and was a hippie on the weekends. Back then, I was liberal leaning but I married a man who served in Vietnam. I tremendously respect his service to our country and the service of the millions of other men and women who fought and died in Vietnam.
So when I hear somebody like Nancy Pelosi and others like her, complain that town hall protesters are Nazi's and anti-American, it makes my blood boil. I firmly believe it was the shed blood of our young patriotic military men and women in Vietnam and the rebellion of our patriotic boomer generation, the marching in the streets, the protests and dissention that ultimately ended the Vietnam War. I believe we have a right to question the authority of the government on something that affects us as personally as health care.
So I say: Rise up boomers. (Or at least sit up straight.) Question those arrogant politicians. Be kind but be firm. Be aggressive. Be scrappy. Be informed. Be organized. Years ago, we used to think that we could never trust the government. Honestly, do you really think Washington is anymore trustworthy today? Now we hear they've got an enemies list and a snitch-on-your-neighbor program. Let's face it, Congress seldom has our best interests at heart. I don't know the answers. I don't even know all the right questions. But I do know that we are not anti-American, malcontent mobs, fiendish extremists or terrorist thugs. I don't even like Rush Limbaugh and at my age, I couldn't thug anybody even if I wanted to. We're seniors for God's sake. We've got arthritis. Yet as evidenced by the town hall crowds, we've still got spirit and spunk. The Woodstock nation is still hanging in there---as long as they don't start euthenizing grandma. Right on, brother, right on.
I wish I was born back then to go but the memories that I don´t have I have learn so much here Katie that is like I have been there love the music and the spirit of peace and love thanks so much Katie
My father was in Viet-Nam at the time and I was living in Old Greenwich CT. That weekend the town cleared out. I was in 7th grade and wanted to go so bad I even thought about "running away". But, I didnt want to give my mother a heart attack. But I regret NOT going!