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Saturday, August 15, 2009


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I'm still laughing over your postscript---your mom getting mad all over again. Times were different then, weren't they?

In 1969 my parents were young marrieds with a toddler (me), working hard and just getting by---they missed the whole 1960s thing, including the music. I discovered your generation's music in college, by which time it was labeled "classic rock." Funny to think that I was grooving to that music at the same stage of my life, though 20 years later.

Lisa at Greeenbow

Moms can't help but to be Moms. I remember wishing I could go to Woodstock. You have written a wonderful account of that time.


What a priviledge, and since you didn't do the drugs you can actually have memories of it. I was only 9 at the time and my first memory of it was seeing the movie at a midnight showing about 10 years later. I think it is great that you were still able to annoy your mother, I guess some sores never heal. I really enjoyed reading this, thank you!


LOL @ your mom! I am still mad at my mother for not letting me go - I was only 14 but I has spent the summer biking on an AYH trip from Orleans MA to Halifax Nova Scotia with 9 other New Yorkers and one "leader" - we were 7 guys and 3 girls and one male leader. I returned to NYC early August and was ready to go to Woodstock with AYH but mom wouldn't let me go. Others from the trip did, so we lived through their memories and stories. I did see most the musicians over the years, going to my first concert at Madison Square Garden with a friend from the trip on Nov 28, 1969. I still have my $8 orchestra seat tickets (7th row) & program from the Rolling Stones concert(Ike & Tina opened).


Thanks for all your comments. I just read an article in the NYT that said that there is not as big a gap in the generations now as there was at the time. And one of the reasons, it noted, is that they share much of the same music. And even if they are not listening to the same musicians, parents and kids are both listening to rock 'n roll.

Mary Risseeuw

This is a delightful reminder of our conversations about your being there and my attempt to go. I was in New Jersey that summer and a friend and I decided to go, but discovered that the interstate was backed up into NJ and we feared we'd never get there in time. I still regret not making the attempt!


What a wonderful article Linda, about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I spent most of my early teen years wishing I'd been just a few years older and could have personally experienced some of those late '60s music festivals and other such culturally-defining moments. Instead they were enjoyed vicariously through the news and documentaries.

I believe there's something to that NYT article. I had a young mom who was very 'hip' by typical '60's mom standards. She had eclectic musical tastes running from classical and opera to jazz, hard rock, and pop. She grooved right along to the music with my siblings and me. I'm sure that drew us closer and had some impact on all of our values as well, and we didn't feel much of the fabled generation gap of our generation with our mom.

Still, even if I'd been old enough I'm not sure she would have been cool with me going to Woodstock. ;)


Mary! My old favorite flame Charlie was just in town and took me to lunch. So between that and the Woodstock stuff, I have been thinking a lot about the old days. Was just telling someone about you and me moving in together. A lot of water under the bridge!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter

That must have been amazing, one of those transcendent life experiences. At the time, I couldn't understand all the talk about Woodstock; after all, he was just a little yellow bird.


My mom probably would not have let me go either. But I was six at the time. She's such a killjoy. Nice remembrances. Good to hear one from someone that was actually there.


Well, darn it--I wrote this wonderful comment and forgot to wait for the word verification:) I think I said this...

Thanks for the great memories, Linda! I didn't go to Woodstock--old enough, but my parents certainly wouldn't have let me go, even though I doubt they knew what it was:) Like you, I wasn't part of the "hippie" culture, but the music of that time continues to move me like no other. It's true that music transcends times and cultures. Looking forward to seeing the new Ang Lee movie!

Linda Lehmusvirta

Thank you so much for this story! Too wonderful. Wish I'd been there to hear Tommy live in person.


If I knew I'd be writing about this 40 years later, I'd have taken notes or something!

Matt Mattus

Amazing and moving story. I remember my brothers and sisters going, I was far too young ( I am 50 now). Thanks for commenting on my blog, I am going to go up to my bedroom into the air conditioning and read yours as if it's a book.


You've jarred all kinds of memories loose with this wonderful essay Linda! Just a year or two too young to make it to Woodstock, though college friends who attended had great stories...Thanks, gail


Matt — I've been reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time, so it's nice to have you stop by.

Gail — lots of memories around this event, whether you attended or not!

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