Gayle's Memory

Subject: Woodstock memories
From: Gayle Nourse <>

    Well, I did make it. My friends and I - long separated, but hopefully not forgotten (they aren't) - were going to music festivals that summer. We lived outside of D.C. they had a commune in Arlington, Va and I lived across the city in Bethesda, MD.
    We thought this Woodstock music and arts festival sounded like "fun" - lots great music, altho' nothing seemed firmed up. So off we went, one carload of us leaving Thursday evening and the others planned to leave Friday morning. By the time we got up there, we had to leave the car
and walk in, but not too far.
    We hung out by the roadside, amazed at the people - just like us! Happy, joyous, peaceful, and free....yeah, that is what it was all about. Surprisingly, our friends joined us (I knew about 15 other people who went, too, but somehow missed them...there was this crowd....). One of our group had brought a nylon surplus cargo parachute. We draped it over some trees - home! It looked great, real Arabian Nights stuff. We were hanging out, trying to decide whether to go on down to the site -
and it started raining. Pouring! Our lovely tent was soon decimated. We gathered what we could and hiked over to the site, in the rain. We parked, just above the mid-way point, and hunkered down for the next few days.
    In spite of it all, we had a wonderful time. The music was (mostly) fantastic. Poor Janis was on her last legs. Grace Slick was a little too high, but hung on. My favorite group was Saturday night - Sly and the Family Stone had everybody rockin'. (and where are they now? Mostly dead, I think) Waking up to Jimi Hendrix was totally surreal - the sun was just barely up, the sky was bluer than blue and the birds were singing. Then we hear our National Anthem - and oh! say, can we
sing?!!! Sure 'nuff.
    Its almost 30 years later. I've found myself in Paradise Valley, in the Pacific Northwest, and have been here for 13 years. But, I'm going back east this mid-August. In 1969 I had the world's biggest and best 19th birthday party: Woodstock! Turning 49 there won't be the same, of course, but I feel the need.... Maybe I'll see ya there!

Peace and love -
Gayle Nourse

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