Stranger On A BUS

Busking Tour Fall 2001

Columbus, Ohio

indent spacerMy first stop was in Columbus, Ohio. I wish to respect the privacy of someone I met through a Woodstock Festival re-union bulletin board, and not mention any name...Let me call her Happy...Happy had agreed  to meet me at the Columbus Greyhound Depot Sunday evening, October 7. We drove to her apartment in the 'burbs north of Columbus and talked about our mutual love the Festival and the area in which it occurred and the fellowship with others we meet this way, some of whom were not even born yet in 1969! I slept on a hide-a-bed, we went to the High Street strip along the Ohio State Campus...Happy took me to Bernie's Bagel Shop, and old haunt of hers, and we agreed to meet there at 4pm...I found my way to the Oval commons on the campus...it was very relaxing and familiar to me, even though I'd not stepped foot on that ground before...I felt like a Stranger on a BUS, yet it wasn't strange...or even "stranger than known" as Roger McGuinn of the Byrds once put it in a song (Eight Miles High).

indent spacerI now a have a clear picture of the place in my mind's photo montage of campus scenes...big old oak trees, blue spruce...ah! the groves of academe! When I found my way back to the place, it was empty...a bartender was talking to a friend in Alabama...he offered me a beer if I'd sing  her a song over the the phone...I asked could that be a bagel and a coffee...he said sure. The song I chose was Golden Dawn...it's last verse goes "We keep on keepin' on, 'til we find each other face to face. Nobody ever gets no rest, until everybody's got ample parking space..." They both were pleased. I was elated that Happy had deposited me in this vignette!

indent spacerShe came and picked me up. We spent the evening talking about the bohemian life-style, and watching some dubs of two retrospectives on the sixties, one from '89, ably narrated by Peter Coyote, once a latter day Digger, and now well known film actor. The other was from '99 and followed the winding trail of the 4 young fellows who produced the '69 extravaganza in Bethel, NY. It featured Richie Havens reflecting on the famous FREEDOM Medley, how tired he was, and how he stitched it together from fragments in a "show gotta go on" tour de force. Including a snippet of Yours Truly from the Clap your Hands audience segment spliced in to the tape each time the show cross-cut between Richie in an interview and the actual film footage. Morning came all to quickly, and I was back on the bus, Headed for Louisville, Kentucky.


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