Memories from the Crowd. Best of 2014

Posted on Jan 2, 2015


Throughout 2014, in Celebration of Woodstock’s 45th Anniversary, we asked our fans to share their memories, photos and stories from the timeless gathering back in ’69. Among the the many gems we received, here are some of our favorites:

 

“Considering that we actually were ‘half a million strong’, it was quite a statement of my generation’s frame of mind (with or without drugs) that so very few incidents occurred during those wonderful 3 days. So happy I got to be there…changed my life forever. Still a hippie at 63!”– Lenore Madden

 

“My friend Bob and I drove through mobs of traffic on Friday to park within a few miles of the festival grounds. We trekked in by foot. By the time we made it, the fences were down, our tickets were unnecessary, and the music was on. But what stopped us in our tracks was the massive size of the crowd, with all its energy and makeshift madness. Through thirst, hunger, rain and song, we bonded as one huge organism. Three days later, after Jimi brought those of us who stayed to a rousing finale, we drove home to lives that would never be the same again.” – John Bowman

 

“My ride was a vintage VW Bug. The one shown in this picture, and the little umbrella tent, just to the right of it, in front of the red VW Micro Bus, was our home away from home… ” Will Smith

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“My family had a summer home in Kauneonga Lake, White Lake Homes. We heard there was a concert to be held up the road from us. We were told 50,000 would show up. 500,000 actually did. Although we didn’t have tickets we were able to easily attend. Roads were jammed. The town ran out of food. Having a home there, we were in luck. We had food, and could bathe. The rain turned everything into a muddy mess but what an event. Glad to have attended.” – Elliot Brender

 

“Glad I stayed to say the least” John Chappina

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“I was their with my dear belated brother Robert Howard and I was 17 at that time and he was 21 in his then brand new VW Bug . What great memories…” – Joseph Howard

 

“My press pass”  Alain Pierre Persico

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“I remember the calm voice of the announcer…he was our only source of news, information, lost children, bad drugs, towers in danger of falling because of high winds. He was so calm and steady–I was only 16 and was never afraid.”– Lorraine Gerbino

 

Sylvain Wojak (below)

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“For those of us who were there, I don’t think it’s possible to pick a most memorable moment. those moments just kept happening, one after another. however, I will say that when Eddie Applespeed and I woke one morning (thankfully, we arrived days ahead) we were blown away by how MANY brothers and sisters had arrived over night! STUNNED!”

– Holly Smith Randall

 

“That’s me in the lower right hand corner” – Jay Dubner

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“I remember walking away from the stage area… hearing Joe start the fish cheer and running back to scream with everyone else!!!” – Janice D’Huyvetter

 

 

 

“My Dad- Woodstock original” – Lindsay Weiss-Hilton

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“We walked the last few miles, carrying our camping equipment, Wasn’t too bad, cuz it hadn’t started raining yet. AFTER the rains began, I ditched the tent and slept under an empty trash can. Best memories of my life so far.” Bruce Lorenzana

 

 

My friend Dottie And I were in Atlanta up on the strip. I was a 16 year old run away. We were going to hitch hike to the Woodstock festival. This was right after the first Atlanta Pop festival held on the 4th of July for three days. That’s where we heard about Woodstock Pop festival . We met this guy named Van, who had a van. The next thing I know the three of us and 4 of Vans friends are off on a long road trip. We went to Washington DC, then Philli., then Atlantic City and went to their Pop festival for 3 days, then went to New York City, then we finally made it to the town of Woodstock and found out that it was canceled there but moved to Bethel and White Lake. When we finally made it we were there before the Hog Farmers. We camped until the Hog Farmers got there and we were invited to camp with them. I got a job there with Food for Love. My picture was in the special edition of Life Mag. I stayed until everyone left and met an artist in Monticello N.Y. And stayed with Bill, Connie and their baby Patrick. Everyone I came with went back to Atlanta but me. I stayed until the end of Oct. then I took a bus back to Atlanta. If you see the Life mag. I am the young blond headed soaking wet girl with a big wine bottle in my hand looking all spaced out with the fringe Indian print dress on with jeans on under the dress. Bare footed and had my sandals in my other hand. I have never been the same. I was known as Atlanta’s Peter Pan. I did grow up though and raised my three grown kids now, been married for 40 years and sell RealEstate in Panama City, Florida. I am the girl with the wine bottle (below).” –  Jeannie Whitworth

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“I turned 14 in July of 1969 and my family and I lived on Briscoe Lake which is 2-3 miles further down Hurd Road from where the stage had been. My friends and myself (who lived on the lake) watched the stage being built as it was a short bike ride over the hill to where it was. It changed the way we viewed the world, having been in the middle of everything, just because we lived so close to the center of it all. I also remember my mother letting 8-9 kids sleep on our porch so they could get out of the rain.”  Craig Rodger Hathaway

“Thanks for posting this pic that shows me so prominently! For once I don’t havta go crazy looking for myself!” – Chayala Davis

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“My lifetime sister Diane Turpin Winter at Woodstock.” – Susan Sarra Kelly

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“It was the BEST party I ever went to!” – Leslie Aday

“My girlfriends and I purchased our concert tickets in advance (I still have them). We took a bus up from NYC. The bus left us off miles from the site, after being stuck in traffic for hours. We walked and walked and walked. A river of people flowing in the same direction. One of my special memories of the event were the ‘locals’…people whose homes lines the main road on the way to the festival grounds. Familes put out tables and were giving away sandwiches and drinks to whoever passed by. Children were running up to us insisting that we take something to eat and drink. Today I revel in the fact that there was no fear that drinks were laced, or tainted sandwiches were handed out. Finally reaching the concert site was a mixed emotion. It was AWESOME to see so many kids like us, but by the time we got there..we were so far from the stage it looked like a pinpoint in the distance. I have speakers in my home today that I could swear are more powerful than the ones they had on stage. Could barely distinguish who was singing…but it didn’t matter. The atsmosphere, the exictement and the experience were worth it all.”Eileen Mamanov

“1969 festival still lives in me and you.” –Bob Orenstein

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“It changed my life forever also. Still a hippie at 67. Loved the music, the people, the whole festival. It made me think all these years, we are all brothers and sisters, peace be with you all…” Al Conforti

 

Thanks to everyone for sharing their memories and photos! Happy Holidays!