Tuesday, August 17, 2010

By the time we got to Woodstock


By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere was a song
And a celebration

And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes
Riding shotgun in the sky
Turning into butterflies
Above our nation.

From WoodstockLyrics by Joni Mitchell

On this day in 1969, the Woodstock music festival was in full swing and the Age of Aquarius had reached its apex. The festival was billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.” It was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel is 69 km (43 miles) southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York.

During this somewhat rainy August weekend, Yasgur’s 600-acre farm became a hippie’s paradise and a rock and roll heaven. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors and entertained 500,000 concert-goers. The Woodstock festival was one of the defining events of the 1960s and Rolling Stone listed it as one of the "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll."

Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock" commemorated the event and became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. Whatever happened to Max Yasgur? Well, In 1971 Yasgur sold his farm and moved to Florida. A year and a half later, on February 9, 1973, he died there of a heart attack at the age of 53.

Forty-one years have passed since Woodstock and I was reminded of this fact by a Six Chix cartoon that I read this past weekend. In the comic, two bespectacled older women are standing on the site of Yasgur’s farm. One of the women looks at a sign and informs the other woman that this year’s Woodstock Reunion will be held on Facebook. The other woman replies, “Bummer.”


The Blue Jays keep rolling along. Last night, they defeated the Oakland A's and Shaun Marcum pitched a gem of a game. He had a one-hitter. Jose Bautista hit his 37th home run, but he didn't slug it over the fence. It was an inside-the-park homer.

NOTE : Tomorrow I will head to Erie Pennsylvania where I will stay until Sunday. I'll report to you from there.

- Joanne