Saturday, September 26, 2009

1969

Seems this week is destined to be a walk down memory lane. I never expected the stroll to be so intense-in mostly good ways.

Summer of 1969. Little catholic school girl gets moved from Long Island to a remote town in the Catskills. She leaves behind her first boyfriend of any significance, (though not her first crush), who is good at marketing and selling her handmade things door to door in the neighborhood. She leaves behind a handful of "approved" friends, and a whole neighborhood of constant entertainment in her micro managed world.

1969. The summer I left behind my innocence, as a new world slowly yet steadily unfolded itself to me from that point forth. It was a summer of change.

I was a clean slate. Innocent. Sheltered. Controlled. Monitored. Again, so innocent and unworldly.

What my father couldn't control was that we had moved below a large commune called The Children of God. The people walking down the road and the music which played into all hours of the night, became my new little world of entertainment and wonder as a 12 year old girl. It was much different than the world I had just left.

I reveled in the moments of stolen music. I was not allowed to play music/rock and roll, so the band practice was my intro to the music of the 60's. I would stand in the yard, a lanky and awkward skinny-legged kid, and watch the "hippies" walk down the street, many of them stoned on one thing or another. They were kind and said hi, and I would say hi back, but I knew I was not allowed to talk to them.

I had a rough entry into a school where I knew no one, a city kid doing battle with the country kids. I had to fight a few times, making sure at the very least that I did something to make the kids talk about the fight..even if I got the raw end of the deal. A skirt got ripped off, or I bloodied the bully's nose. In the end it was my art that earned some respect.

Flash forward to 40 years later, Jay asks me if I want to see WOODSTOCK, the original movie. I was solo for the evening, so it took all of 30 seconds for me to say SURE.

For three and a half hours I was mesmerized by the hugeness of the concert, and by the genius of the musicians playing at an amazing point in American History. I had seen snippets of it on TV or in the papers, but until last night, I did not realize the vastness of it. Tears came to my eyes during Hendrix's performance, and marveled how he evoked such emotion out of his guitar.
I transposed the Vietnam War with the current wars, and my heart ached for those who are thrust into such wars and shake my head in disbelief...wondering "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn..."

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