Woodstock New York – 46 Years after the festival

In August 1969 an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music Festival was held on Max Yagur’s 600 acre dairy farm in the Catskills in New York State. 400,000 people decided to show up much to the dismay of the organizers.

It was an event that occurred right in the middle of the Vietnam War. I had already received my draft notice and was already enlisted in the Navy and so was unable to attend. However in 2015 en route to my cousins wedding it seemed appropriate to stop into the town and take a look around.

The first thing I saw was this gentlemen who called himself “Grandpa Woodstock’ on the Village Green. He told me how he took some brown acid at the festival and never came back. He claimed he was homeless and made a living by selling hats that he created from cast off clothing. His “vehicle” had an electric sewing machine powered by a car battery and inverter.

A visit to tinker toys too! was fun, a toy store with lots of quirky toys for children of all ages (even if they are 68 like me)

This is Neil Young’s Heart of Gold

Woodstock has lots of art galleries, yoga studios, street sculptures and boutiques.

Photograph Woodstock by John Poltrack on 500px

The Woodstock Love Knot was installed on May 20, 2013

Sculptor Ze’ev Willy Neumann hopes his knots will bind Saugerties and Woodstock with love.

Using a grant from Markertek owner Mark Braunstein, Neumann transformed 40 sheets of plywood and other materials into two identical sculptures called “Love Knots.” Each red, heart-shaped sculpture, with an infinity symbol at the base and a tear drop at the apex of the heart, will be installed in the communities, and each will direct visitors to its twin. (Neumann said the tear drop shape in the sculptures represents how “there’s always a touch of sadness in every happiness.”)

Photograph Calm by John Poltrack on 500px

Photograph Woodstock Kewpie Dolls by John Poltrack on 500px

Photograph Woodstock by John Poltrack on 500px

Inner glow by John Poltrack on 500px seen at a candle shop

Photograph Woodstock Moose Sculpture by John Poltrack on 500px

Photograph Woodstock by John Poltrack on 500pxPondicherry Yoga Arts  by John Poltrack on 500px

Photograph Candlestock by John Poltrack on 500px

Candlestock by John Poltrack on 500px

This was a great candle shop which featured “Drip Mountain” the ultimate candle. In the 1960s  I would spend hours trying to get the most artistic look from candles placed  in a Chianti bottle (the type with the wicker bottom). Drip candles can be purchased at Amazon.com  if you wish to make your own drip mountain.

Photograph Drip Mountain by John Poltrack on 500px

Photograph Candlestock Mountain by John Poltrack on 500px

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the lyrics written by the great singer/poet Joni Mitchell and covered by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Joni did not appear at the festival because of scheduling conflict. This song and other music of the festival can be found on Amazon.com

Woodstock by Joni Mitchell   Printer-friendly version of this lyric

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm *
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

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4 thoughts on “Woodstock New York – 46 Years after the festival

    1. Ginny, Regina and I poked around in several shops. While they all had some retro Woodstock flavor, it was not tired or tacky – quite upscale really. We went to a flea market just off the Main Street. There was a good amount of tie dye and incense as well as interesting flea market finds. The only unpleasant smell was the wafting of a very nasty cigar! Grandpa Woodstock had told me that he found his old Singer featherweight machine at the flea market for $50! That was a find. [I have 2 that I love~ not $50 on ebay!]

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  1. Still have my ticket. Went with my brother and three other friends in my 1960 Plymouth. Spent 36 hours straight sitting in a patch of grass & mud in front of the stage . Sunday night I went back to our tent, pitched w/o permission in some poor frightened woman’s backyard, for much needed sleep. From one mile away I was awakened on Monday morning by Hendrix’s guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner.

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