arts

Woodstock Redux

woodstock posterFrom the “it seems like yesterday” department comes the news that August 15th of this year is the 39th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival.

Ah, the Summer of Love. For me it was more like the summer of moving. College was over and I had to drive from Connecticut to Maryland. Somewhere near the Saw Mill River Parkway, I started to see dozens of signs held by hitch-hikers. The signs said “White Lake” because at that point in time, that was the easiest way to describe somewhere near Woodstock/Bethel. The radio stations were crackling with the news that a massive music event was happening in the Summer of Love. Should I head North and join in on the greatest happening of my generation or head South to start a new job?

 

 

Well, at least I can get the vicarious experience of what the Three Days of Peace and Music was like by visiting what everyone calls the Woodstock Museum, but is actually the Bethel Woods Center. Besides establishing the context of the idealism and turmoil of the sixties, the museum has great musical clips and films of the festival, including some footage that you’ve never seen anywhere else. There’s also a section devoted to the legacy the 60s and Woodstock, examining the protest and civil rights movements as well as the impact it had on the music that came after the three days of peace and love.

 

kirk with phasers onDoes it seem as strange to you as it does to me, that one of the seminal events of my generation now has a museum devoted to it? Well, get over it. Next year will mark forty years, and even though I turned South instead of North, I certainly don’t think I missed the show. The Woodstock Museum just proves that the spirit of peace and love lives on for a lot of baby boomers, whether they were there to witness it or not.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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