Sunday, October 12, 2008

No, I am not making it up...

 .. I really did go to Woodstock. I had a perfectly awful time there. I didn't have actual tickets, but had heard that it was a free concert and an amazing *scene*, and because 10 hour long traffic jams were, and are, my idea of a good time, I jumped into a car with a bunch of other 18 year old freaks and headed for Bethel NY. which was fairly close to my sister's town, a fact which calmed my poor mother down considerably. 

Cast of characters:
Head-  was not called Head because of his fondness for psychedelics (although he did have quite the fondness) but because he was what would now be called a "geek".He was my boyfriend and he threw huge parties every saturday night at his house and his parents were always there.They weren't even wild crazy suburban swinger type parents - his mom wore sensible shoes. They just wanted to know where their kid was so they let everyone come to him.
Me- a very confused 18 year old girl with a taste for adventure and some things that should probably have gone untasted.
Shirley E-  pregnant by her boyfriend Dave (who I met by  responding to  some grafitti he wrote on a desk when I was in tenth grade- but that's a different story). 
Donna somebody
Margie somebody
and  some other folks whose names I have forgotten, if , in fact, I ever knew them to begin with.
       We  headed north and, just as the legend has it, found the  NY State Thruway backed up for several light years. We  had a swell time visiting  people in other cars on the way up which was easy to do as none of those cars were moving very often. We shared goodies, invited  folks over to our car, and had quite the pleasant time.  We finally pulled into the town of Bethel that night.         
        Bethel had been utterly taken over by hoards of hippie kids in tie- dye. As soon as we got into town we saw someone we knew- which seemed of course, very random and cool and cosmic -probably because by then we were all pretty baked. That person, who had a real name but was known as Ceeb for reasons I never understood, told us about this cool abandoned house where he was crashing . So, of course, we decided to crash there too. It seemed predestined (or maybe we were just all pretty baked).
                     The house was apparently a  vacation  house for some city folks and it looked like something out of a Stephen King novel. There was stuff everywhere, food still in the fridge,and the place had evidently been very abandoned rather suddenly.It reminded me of those stories where the people find out that The Apocalyptic Plague  has arrived and everyone has to drop everything and leave AT ONCE or  be killed by anthrax, or superflu, or evil aliens, or some combination thereof. 
         There were quite a lot of freaks squatting in said house, which, of course, smelled awful due to the freaks and the fact that the power had been off for months. The food in the frig was walking around and mutating into substances that could no longer be considered *food*.  Anyhow, it was a place to crash. I vaguely remember the following  events that night:

Shirley, taking every drug she could find and throwing up in the back yard.
Margie getting it on with Ceeb upstairs and being quite noisy about it.
A Bunch Of Scary Older Freaks doing hard drugs ( the kind that involved needles) in the back room. We had no idea who they were. 
Head and I decided that this was, in fact,  not the best place in the world to crash, and spent the night in the car,  his parents Nash Rambler( Nash Ramblers were  the coolest cars ever). 

      The next morning everyone except  Head and I dropped acid. We were getting some bad vibes about the whole three days of peace, love and music scene but we started up the road to the music gamely. And then the rain came. It was not normal rain ( hmmm- maybe that is why the people from the house left so quickly-maybe there was SOMETHING in the rain-that explains so much about the entire weekend). It was as if there was someone dumping a bucket of water right over your head - as if everyone had their own little water- dropping buckets magically suspended in the air right over  each person's head. It was the rainiest rain I have ever  felt. 
               After about half an hour of walking toward the field, with the weird rain and the very muddy mud , of walking past the  townspeople who were  looking shell shocked, past the little kid who was selling glasses of water for a dollar (this was back when the idea of paying money for a glass of water was really ridiculous. It still is ridiculous-Perrier mindfucked everyone), past the bikers who scared us,  past the  people falling down into the mud for no apparent reason, Head and I decided that we'd had enough of this scene and turned around and walked back to the car where we waited for our stoned buddies. We spent that time reading some love letters we had found in the abandoned house and that amused us until our friends  returned from the music scene many hours later saying that it was"cool, man" (I am almost certain that the word "cool" was always followed by the word "man"  in those days- it was a rule),but that they were ready to leave if we were. Whew. 
     The entire scene was crazy. This poor little country farm town was invaded by thousands of mostly middle class white kids who decided to "get back to the land" by doing a lot of peeing behind trees and screwing in the woods and littering. We left without even hearing any music. 

Where Are They Now?

I am here and am quite dull.
Shirley did not have that particular baby by her boyfriend Dave but did go on to have three other babies with her husband Ron and lives in SF where she teaches Psychic meditation (no, really).
Donna is also living in San Francisco and I have no idea what she is doing. 
Margie ended up marrying someone from Thailand who was supposedly descended from royalty.
Dave ( the father of the baby Shirley never had) also migrated to San Francisco and was the best housemate I ever had there. When I  would get home from my three day shift job at a residential treatment center every week, he would greet me with a a joint and lemon cookies and we would watch the first season of Saturday Night Live and yes I *am* older than dirt, thank you very much. 

 I should mention  at this juncture that none of these folks came to San Francisco together. There was a theory back then, that the continent was tilted, with the East Coast being higher than the West, and therefore everything loose rolled to California.

I have no idea who Ceeb was or if he really existed.

Head, who now goes by the name, Rich, lives in New Hampshire with his wife of 30 years and is  still as delightfully wacky as he was back then and is someone I will love for the rest of my life. He was my first *real* ( wink wink nudge nudge) lover and is my eternal friend and water brother. He writes wonderful poetry and builds sets for theatrical productions. Send him a message on Facebook ( Rich Blair) and tell him Ruth says hi. Tell him "crossings in mist". He will appreciate it. 

I do not condone any of the above activities because they are bad and wrong and wrong and bad and stuff. Do not try this at home. Children under 27 should  be  strictly supervised

[Addendum: My BFF, Nancy, informs me that Ceeb really did exist, was named Charlie and came from Verona-that would be the Verona that is in New Jersey.] 


only a movie said...

How fun to read. *Rainiest Rain Ever* is a delightful phrase. Nice to read a first hand account.

I only ever went to one of that type music event - in Reading U.K. - and it was disgusting and smelly and muddy, and even though I did hear the music, the trade-off was so not worth it.

StarbuckBitch said...

That is good stuff! Reminds me to right a little about my crazy dirtiness and getting stoned and the whatnot! love it! love you!