The lyrics “Wild women don’t worry. Wild women don’t ever get the blues.” were running through my mind as we started our revisiting week with the 50th Anniversary Santana concert in Virginia. It was a sultry summer night with hot Latin licks that made me want to rip off clothes and rhythmically sway in a gentle breeze.
The sort of sensory evening that teaches one why fifty years ago they celebrated their freedom stripped to their essence, open to the elements and world as they came into it, experiencing moments of rapture with a half million like-minded souls. As Santana dispensed pearls of wisdom from his 50-year career, we appreciated both his artistry and his relevance. “Three things – your spirit, your soul and your heart. If you find those, and you REALLY find them, you’re going to realize that innocence. Those things don’t leave you, and you don’t misplace them or lose them. Those are the ingredients for you to have a glorious existence.”
For me, another lyric. “I was a child of the sixties when dreams could be held on tv. There was Disney and Cronkite and Martin Luther and I believed, I believed, I believed.” I wasn’t old enough to have experienced Woodstock and the hippie revolution in real time. It would be almost a decade before I would understand and only now, with reminiscent documentaries readily available, appreciate the entire scope.
Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t the beneficiary of junior high crushed velvet hip huggers and gauzy midriff-baring tops. Let’s just say my age made me sheltered from the roughness and indulgence of the era.
The journey through music and geographic time for the 50th Anniversary seemed both educational and entertaining. With Santana on tour with my era Doobie Brothers, it was a natural to start on the home-front knowing his next concert would be the Bethel Woods original Woodstock site and we left his concert truly primed for a weekend to be open and “realize that innocence” from the soundtrack of our lives.
We headed into a New York state of mind with the Take it Easy by the Eagles and then “Sweet summer sweat. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.” The guy at the NJ Turnpike rest stop complimented my Woodstock shirt and told us we should try to go to the Bethel Town Hall on Monday for their great display of original tickets and posters, etc which the museum doesn’t have. “I wish I was going with ya. I love that place.”
We put the psychedelic Beatles LOVE cd in as we moved northward and backward through memories. We were not disappointed with the Quickway Diner welcome to the Catskills with crooked letter specials board and a friendly waitress conversing with “Cookie” sitting on a stool at the original counter with homemade pies and a soda machine and faded Pepsi tumblers stacked to the ceiling. Ask for mayo and it will come in a squeeze bottle while the sugar sits in pourable towers snuggled next to napkin dispensers and s&p shakers. The chatty waitress flipped to Spanish for one set of customers, flirted with another, helped a kid play the NY lottery keno option and deftly served six booths and the counter with a compliment to everyone. The inexpensive burger was exactly what you would want from such a place – authentic.
Our preparations included my old-enough-to-have-tried-to-hitchhike-to-Woodstock-the-first-time husband and I opting in for tie dye and began the prep at home by studying techniques and plotting our pieces. By the time we were joined by friends in the Bethel area, we were all ready to dye and be merry on the back porch of our farmhouse accommodations complete with freshly laid eggs by our backyard chicken neighbors. Perfect!
“Take another little piece of my heart now baby” was cranked as we were stoked and tanked with the pig game tempting us to risk all while we wait for the tie dye to be rinsed and revealed.
Woodstock Revisited will be continued next week with our day at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts!
By all means, contact us for tips and details if you’re planning a trip to the region. We’re always happy to share our travel knowledge. www.facebook.com/SueHendersonPhotography/