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Big Chuck

April 21, 2014

Woodstock continues to provide memories

(Continued)

In 1969, all of my friends planned on attending the Woodstock concert. My brother, Jim, and I each wanted to go, but we were both working at my Dad’s grocery store in Sidney at the time and the old man said only one of us could go. We flipped a coin for it.

Jim had a great time at the concert.

The Woodstock concert site is still there, maintained beautifully as a touchstone to the past for a whole generation. As you peer out from the viewing area, it is not hard to imagine an army of young people all bunched together in a sea of mud and patchy grass, row after row as far as the eye can see. The stage area is still there, and on a calm afternoon you can almost hear Jimi Hendrix whining away on his electric guitar or Richie Havens exhorting the masses to channel “freedom … freedom … freedom.”

Oh, and over there is the stream where hundreds shed their clothes and inhibitions and participated in the world’s largest skinny-dipping party. And off to one side, Max Yasgur’s old barn still chaperones this hallowed, venerable place and all who visit (or re-visit) here.

When my friend from Scotland came to America 18 years ago to live, I asked him where he wanted to go visiting first. Cameron unhesitatingly said, “Woodstock.” It is just that kind of a place.

In 1994, Woodstock 25 was held in Saugerties. My older sister Fran and I went, finally making our bid for the Woodstock experience. Five years later, my daughter, Katie, and I drove all the way to Rome, N.Y. to attend Woodstock 30.

Both were pale horsemen trying to catch the original Woodstock mystique, but I am glad that a D’Imperio has now attended each official Woodstock concert milestone.

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