Forty years ago this weekend thousands of people flooded the roadways of what would be my home (once I was born). The traffic was backed up for miles and people began to offer their front yards as parking lots so that these crowds of people could continue on with their journey.
Rooms were rented out and tents pitched. People were drinking water from hoses and traveling barefoot. Friends and neighbors all gathering for three days of peace and love.
The farm where they traveled was on a gentle yet steep hill nestled in the mountains. Trees outlining the cleared land and at the very base of the hill a large wooden structure was formed. A stage.
Crowding the field more and more people came. Eventually so many people had arrived that the lines of where the attendees were and ended had disappeared. All that one could see were people. The flood of people were triple the amount of citizens who lived in the town.
Music played for three days straight through lightning and thunder. The fields became mud covered as did the people and yet they stayed to dazzle to the music. To be 'grooving to the sounds'.
This was Woodstock. The 1969 concert that occurred only mere
miles from where I called home for the first 21 years of my life. I grew up in the aftershock of that concert. Hippies who had attended Woodstock stayed behind, making homes, or frequenting the concert site to tell visitors about 'the big concert' that had occurred there. Still they would jam out to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana, Sweetwater, Joe Cocker, and The Grateful Dead.
Today the crowds taking over Route 17 aren't there anymore. T
he 'unwashed hippies' that the town were worried about are... mainly... departed. But there is still an energy at that site. A buzz in the air as if the very land itself knows that something huge went down there. Something historical.
You can still find peace signs in some front yards. Murals of Janis and Jimi on the side of a barn and the 'Woodstock bird' sits merrily on the light poles.
If it's possible to have former lives then I think I was at Woodstock. I have always been fascinated with the music and clothing of that period. I have always found it to seem comforting. So on this, the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, I thank that time period because without it I wouldn't have so many albums and artists that I love today.