I think it is a sure sign of old age that upon thinking of the Woodstock Music Festival your thoughts always turn to the idea of how difficult it must have been to find someplace to go to the bathroom and that there would have been no way to grab even a few good hours of sleep during those hectic three days. Of course, this is not to trivialize what a truly cool event the festival must have been, only to say that it’s been a really long time since I thought of it as “cool”.
The massive gathering took place over forty years ago, kicking off on this date way back in 1969 (well, it was August 15; an unexpected snooze means I’ll be posting today’s entry after midnight). I was just about to turn six, and though I’m certain the event must have garnered all sorts of attention from the national news, I have zero recollection of hearing about it. But as I was growing up, the name Woodstock got tossed around frequently, whispered like kids were talking about the Promised Land. You see, back in my youth, the idea of Woodstock conjured much more pleasant thoughts than huge crowds and limited facilities. Even though the musicians that made up the festival were not so much my cup of tea—then or now—I still could appreciate the idea of such rock royalty appearing out in the middle of a field, performing for the masses, really bringing people together. And that part of it really is still cool, even as old as I am.
Today’s counterpart is, I guess, the Bonnaroo festival that goes on every year out in Tennessee. My son has always wanted to go, and I hope he’ll get the opportunity to do that sometime before all he can worry about is how he’ll be able to go to the bathroom or grab a few winks during the weekend. But me, I’ll be staying home.