|INDEX||BETHEL 2000||BETHEL 2001||CLAP YER HANDS||JESSE MEETS THE ANSWER MANTHIS TIME||YASGUR'S BARN|
|Getting to My first Woodstock festival
re-union was helped along
considerably by my first return to the area the last weekend in May of
2000. That is when Paul, the fellow in
the shades in our audience response
to Richie Havens asking the crowd to clap our hands during his FREEDOM
Medley, and it first saw each other again!
Wyldflower, now a founding member of the Woodstock Preservation Alliance, had responded to my posting back then that I was looking for a ride to Bethel from NW New Jersey. After helping me meet up with Paul again and even taking some great pictures for me (shown on the pages behind the link above), she agreed to get me to Yasgur Road and back to NJ again, in August 2000. Little did we know we were in for a major historical inundation! Although it was fairly dry when we arrived on Thursday, the 12th, Friday, the most major rain I'd ever seen in one day happened! 14 inches in 12 hours as the storm cell sat over Sussex county, NJ, directly to the south. Happily, I'm proud to tell you that I was able to lend a hand to the people who loaned a stage to the proceedings. We got first a heavy canvas tent-like canopy draped over the framework visible in the picture above. Then a blue tarp on top of that.
There was one downpour where we did have to stop the music...for safety's sake. The band playing resorted to shelter inside. I was also stage door (from the inside of the barn out onto the balcony and steps plus ramp at the back of the stage) security. There was a sense of gloom which I felt I might dispell. So, I started singing, "That lucky old sun..." not knowing much more of it than that. The keyboard player for the band, sat down at a grand piano which happened to be in the barn, and in tune, and began to play the tune....he got my attention, feeding me one phrase at a time. I finished it with a big torchy crescendo of a finale, and - dare I say this - thunderous applause filled the inside of the barn. I was stunned - these were my betters and my peers, and a dream was coming true, performing at a Woodstock Re-union! It turned out to be the one chance I had to do any singing, but it was very rewarding for me, because the desired effect was achieved...worried looks were gone.
Survival was at stake....I'm sure all the people dealing with the electrical aspect of the situation were nervous about how wet everything was getting...alfalfa field re-visited.
I have had people in my life tell me they were "Trying to Survive..." My, my...my heart moaned for them...Bleak House indeed, to use a phrase Charles Dickens immortalized...Sustaining is more like it! Here's a place where people can learn to foster and practice such concepts: Ecovillage Training Center
Out in front of the stage an RV with a canopy was parked. The cd, and merchandise store for the artists was set up here, out of the torrents of cat and dog rain.I noticed a tall, thin distinguished looking fellow set up a tent...he was methodical about it the way Girl/Boy Scouts and folks in the military are...also got a beatnik (Herb Caen of the SF Chronicle, coined this - I prefer be-a-tif-ic...reminds me of Be-at-i-tude...) VIBE from him. Didn't recognize him as having "shared history" with me until I saw him inside the barn. That occured late Saturday morning.