Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hazy, crazy memories of Woodstock

People have a fascination with landmark anniversaries, especially those falling on the decade mark. Trust me, if the Herald fails to heed a memorable military milestone on the 10-, 20-, 30- or so year mark -- above the fold on 1A, mind you -- we hear about it.

Woodstock seems like an entirely different arena, yet it really isn't that far removed. The headlines of war in 1969 stoked many of the songs and dreams and, well, hallucinations that generated from those fields in upper-state New York.

As today marks the 40th anniversary of that mudfest of a generation's coming out, you probably have been overwhelmed with reminisces. But I hope you take some time to read Jim Jones' story today with some of our local voices, and reflect back as some of our columnists and letter writers have.

Jim decided to look for locals who were there after he and I talked about where we were that summer. I probably had no clue Woodstock was happening, other than some wild songs hitting K-SHE FM in St. Louis, and my parents yelling at me for tuning in. I had just graduated from grade school in '69, and was terrified/thrilled/paralyzed that high school was on the horizon. Jim? He was getting ready for a second tour of duty in Vietnam.

Humbling perspective.

Jim's story gives a wakeup call to what our generation hoped for, and what some perceive as a letdown.

“It was the feeling like we could change the world — and then we grew up and didn’t do it,” Nancy Hartman, an artist from Sarasota, told Jim.

I'd like to put my money with Brian Finelli of Bradenton Beach, who wrote in his letter to the editor today:

"But, if I learned one lesson back then, it’s to live in the present, be there now. It’s funny how today I feel like I’m returning to the spirit of that glorious event.

"Peace on Earth."

I think I'll challenge Nancy Hartman that there's still plenty of time. And I'll also bank on Universal Desk Editor Jason Bartolone's front-page layout today, which incorporated that timeless peace sign that was a Woodstock logo:

Manatee remembers a time of peace, love and change
Peace rules.

-- Joan


Anonymous said...

The Woodstock people are in a position to extract the maximum amount of change or damage if you will right now. They have senior positions at Universities, senior positions in government. And of course, senior positions in the media. This is the areas they migrated to. They insist on Political Correctness despite what it is doing to the unique American culture. They insist on "tolerance" provided it is one of their PC subjects. If we dont agree with them they start name calling, and even resort to some nasty personal attacks. So, they have tremendous power and they cant retire soon enough in my opinion. Time to move them on.

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