Sunday, August 16, 2009

missing Woodstock

So I’m missing Woodstock—again.

Forty years ago, I was the same chronological age as many of those at the hallowed festival. But in reality I was much older. I spent the time almost unaware of the goings on. You see, I was already married with an 7 month-old daughter. My choices had already constricted my life to a tiny yellow five room ranch house in Point Pleasant, NJ.

My Aunt Sally, on the other hand, summering in a nearby bungalow colony, responded to pleas for food. I did have a tenuous connection.

But as years have melted into decades, the distinction has faded. The images of the place, masses of flesh, mud and drugs, mixed with music , joy and freedom have sunk into our very souls. All of us feel we were there. (Gone, by the way, are less savory images of drug overdoses, overflowing toilet facilities and the like.)

That’s how I feel now, watching the celebration’s 40th birthday. It does, however, remind me how much of my own “era” I observed rather than participated in—such as civil rights marches and sit-ins. My only sit-ins were in the pediatrician’s office.

That child, now a 40 year-old resident of London, was certainly worth it. I would make the choice again. I would, really. I've never much cared for crowds after all.

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