Then & Now: Barbara Moore
Scarlet Disko: How old were you during Woodstock?
Barbara Moore: I was 19.
S: What were you doing at the time?
B: I was living at home in Long Island and working at a finance company, doing clerical work, to make some money to go back to school at the community college where I was studying business at.
S: Were your parents aware that you were going to Woodstock?
B: My parents didn’t know I was going to the festival. They thought I was just going out with some girlfriends for the weekend to hear some music and would be back Sunday night.
S:Did you go to Woodstock with friends or alone?
B: There was four of us. I had never gone camping, growing up on Long Island, and hadn’t really gone anywhere in general since my family didn’t have a lot of money. We decided it’d be a good idea to rent a tent since none of us had one.
S: What did you think you were going to exactly?
B: All I was to assume was that there would be some very cool music. But, I had no idea that people were actually going and knew of the festival’s existence.
S: Why did you go?
B: As I was working, most of my friends were at college. So, I was around a different crowd of people that I worked with. These friends who wanted me to go to Woodstock with them weren’t the college type. I was told I should go since I like concerts and music. The difficulty was making it work with my schedule as I had recently started working with this company.
S: Did you buy a ticket, or did you get into the festival for free?
B: Yeah, we wanted to be sure to get in, so we bought them.
S: What was your most favorite memory of the festival?
B: That the tractors didn’t run us over when we were in our tent during the rain. We were lucky to have the tent as I’d never slept in an open field like that before. It was also really shocking because I had never been around that many people. I’d never been around people on drugs before, I had never seen people tripping on acid or smoking pot. It was all a whole new experience. The music was fabulous and the people were interesting. I hadn’t seen any of it before but it was all a thrilling experience.
S: Who were your favorite performer/performers?
B: I was most excited to see Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and I also enjoyed Joe Cocker. Since we were working, we left Sunday morning to be back Monday. When my friends dropped me off, my parents came out of the house and asked me, “So, how did you like being a hippie?” They had seen it on TV, and I had no idea that they had been watching.
S: What were some of your other memories about the music, the crowd, and the overall atmosphere?
B: People were really nice and relaxed and everyone was enjoying the music. No one was really mean. I didn’t feel pressure to do any drugs or anything. I was just interested to see and observe since I didn’t know what they were doing.
S: Are there any life-changing words of advice or inspiration that you discovered before, during, or after Woodstock?
B: I grew to be a person who didn’t need anything. When driving from New York to college in Colorado, I stuck to the philosophy that I didn’t need anything that wouldn’t fit in my MG. I bought all my things from used stores and only when necessary.
S: What did you do after Woodstock?
B: I graduated from University of Boulder CO. I then became a high school business teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the world and help people and figured that was a good way to do so. I taught in Australia for a couple years where most of the students came from wealthy families. They told me that I shouldn’t be a teacher since teachers don’t make a lot of money. Then they told me I should go into business since I’d make a lot more money. I came from a poor family and figured I wouldn’t mind making a little extra money. I applied to the American Graduate School of International Business School of Arizona, a top school, and found I could make so much more money. So, I decided I wanted to be somebody. In the 80s, I was making $100,000 a year which was a lot for a woman at the time. I went from being a hippie, not needing anything, to being quite wealthy and “sophisticated.” In my early forties I had an experience with Jesus that really changed me. It brought me back to the morals I once had of not needing money and having a passion to help others.
S: What do you do now?
B: I run a nonprofit urban farming program that helps to teach kids about eating healthy and being involved in organic farms. I’m also a pastor (without a church) where I run a group with college kids called Spiritual Discoveries that gives kids the opportunity to come together for an hour long meeting and ask questions, discuss, and think through what they believe.
S: If you could, would you go back to Woodstock?
B: I would. I would love to go back to Woodstock. I would have such an appreciation for loving and honoring those people that were there. And there is so much joy in music. Music is worship in a way. Its really wonderful and difficult to put into words how great it can be.
S: Is there anything you would like to share with us that you haven’t shared yet?
B: I’m curious to know what other Christians that were at Woodstock thought of it.