The Tearful Hippie


50 years ago today, this natural amphitheater farmland turned into one of the most historic concert events ever.

My Dad loved listening to the Woodstock recording. I grew up on it. He taught me to love it. However, I haven't ever been able to identify why that event was so cool. Why did it hold everyone's attention? Why was my dad so enamored by it? Why didn't he just attend, if he loved the music so much?

In June, I had trainings at camps in the area & had a day off. The Museum at Bethel Woods was excellent. It answered my life long questions by telling not only the story of the event, but also how Woodstock fit within the timeline of other movements throughout the world.

Surprisingly, walking through my parents' high school years made me miss my dad so much. I would have loved to have gone through that museum with him.

One of the crappy things about being on the road alone is that you have to be a sightseer on your own (for the most part). By the end of my museum visit I was holding back tears. I hurried to my rental car. On the way there, I passed two burly biker men who I estimated were around Dad's age. I contemplated stopping them, asking their ages & explaining I why I desperately needed a hug. Instead, that silly little part of me that isn't a hippie took over. I wasn't sure I would actually be able to get the words out to explain my feelings. So, I behaved like a good little non-hippie. I didn't bother them with my silly emotions. I ducked my head, kept my sunglasses on & walked even quicker to my car. The millisecond my door closed, I burst into tears.

Looking back, I know without a doubt that those bikers would have had no problem with my emotions. We were literally standing on hippie hallowed grounds, where the motto "Peace, Love & Music" still hangs in the air. Those big, burly, bikers were there to relive their hippie years, to celebrate their beloved hippie history. Most likely, even if my tears had washed away my words, those biker hippies would have understood. They probably would have given me some of the best stand-in-dad hugs ever. @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

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