Friday, August 14, 2009


Here's something I'll bet you didn't know about me, and if you did, you probably still wouldn't believe it. At least that's the look I get from most people when they find out that I was at Woodstock. Yes, the original 1969 version of Woodstock. Of course, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, that I'd be part of history in the making, but on August 15, 1969, my sister, her friend Donna, and I set off for Bethel, NY.

Now you might think, groovy, three girls on their way to a rock concert, but I have to tell you that I was only 12 years old, that's right, twelve. My sister was 16, and her friend, Donna, probably 17. After a sleepover the night before at Donna's, we set out bright and early Friday morning. We caught the MetroNorth train from South Norwalk into Grand Central. We were old pros at going to the city. I think I was about eight when I started to go on shopping trips, having lunch and riding the subway or bus with just my sister and her friend. We'd lunch at Orbach's, or Macy's luncheonette, or maybe the Automat, and we'd spend the day shopping. I remember purchases of a floppy hat one trip and some Mary Quant eye make-up crayons on another excursion. Never thought anything of it. But I digress. After arriving in New York, we found our way over to the Port of Authority and caught a bus to Bethel, NY. Now you've got to remember that this was a long time ago and I was pretty young, so my memory of this event is a little fuzzy. Anyway, later that day, we ended up in Bethel and walked on up to Yasgur's farm. I guess we arrived early because we did not get stuck in a traffic jam on our way to the event and there weren't crowds of people sitting in front of the stage yet, but just wait. We even had actual tickets that no one collected. I think we traveled pretty light. I believe we were under the impression that we would be able to get those little pup tents to sleep in or something - WRONG! I don't really remember how or where we slept, just that there were lots and lots of people all over, some with tents, sleeping bags or just blankets. I do remember standing in long lines for food and water and to use the portable restrooms (that's putting it nicely). I did not see any naked people - that I would remember! Oh, yes, the rain. Maybe that's why we didn't stay for the whole event, maybe we were running low on money, or maybe it was just too much. So we left sometime during the second day. But there was no getting a bus back, at least not for about twenty miles or so, you see, there was a huge traffic jam in every direction. So we walked and walked, and it was hot, and my feet hurt! If you're about my age, you might remember when "clogs" first made the fashion scene. Well, mine were white perforated ones with wooden soles and they were my first pair and they were brand spanking new! Ouch! But hey, who cares, my feet were cute! Eventually someone offered us a ride (I'm pretty sure it was a guy and he had a convertible and I think we sat on top of the car - actually it was more like a slow boat to China because of all the cars. Finally, we reached a bus station that had a bus going back into the city. I remember trying to clean up in the rest room of the bus station. I think we might have been a little muddy, not to mention smelly. And here I am today, blogging about it. Who would have thought.

I wish I had photos to share with you, but I don't so you'll have to settle for another song. One of my most vivid memories of the whole event was Richie Havens singing "Freedom". I'm sure we're in one of those shots somewhere. If you're looking out from the stage, we'd be about one-third of the way up and a little to the right. I'm the one with long brown hair, wearing the blue skort and white shirt (don't forget about the clogs!).


Before I forget, I want to tell you who won the "Blogiversary" giveaway. I'm very sorry it took me so long to post this, but, hey, you know. So, without further adieu, Mary Grace McNamara of Hooked On Needles, come on down!


birtyboutique0i0 said...

I love this story. Kinda hard to think my mom and aunt got muddy and stayed over night at woodstock.

PunkiePie said...

WOW Marsha! You were a part of history! That's most excellent!

Congratulations to Mary! I was wondering when it would be posted!

Melissa Baugher said...

I agree with Jenny, knowing you and Mom, this is hard to imagine, but I love hearing about it. You guys experienced so much when you were young...probably why Mom never let us do anything when we were! :)

Merci-Notes said...

What an ... adventure, is not the word. What an event in your life! I do not think there could ever be something like that again.. time and place. Can you believe the talent.

I have no big adventure.
I wonder if I had cousins that went?

Congratulations to Mary!!! VERY lucky!

Merci-Notes said...

I am back, I was sending your link to a friend... and I did LOVE Crosby Stills And Nash ( i had an older brother)
that clip was great... the first song of the venue!!! WOW

Thimbleanna said...

WOW! That's amazing! I didn't know any little kids were there -- it must have been an incredible experience!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Well, isn't this my lucky day! How exciting to be the lucky winner!

My husband's aunt was at Woodstock, but she's the only person I know personally who was there.

I'll email my address.



peter said...

marsha unreal what a great great story and memory

Red Geranium Cottage said...

OMG I cant believe you were there!! You were young. I was 9 years old then.
Congrats to your winner.