“By the time we got to Woodstock,” Joni Mitchell sang, “we were half a million strong…”
I was supposed to be 1 of those half million.
I had my ticket. A buddy and I were all set to go to Woodstock, or whatever they called the town where the festival was held many miles from there. We were 16, and all set for god knows what kind of adventure.
Two weeks before liftoff, I biffed my parents’ station wagon into a tree. For the rest of the summer, I had as much freedom as the dangerous dog down at Old Mill. I spent Woodstock Weekend reading about how much fun everyone had. Then I heard stories from all my friends who were there. A few months later, I watched the movie.
Several years passed. Cleaning stuff out of my parents’ house, I found my unused ticket. “That’s interesting,” I thought. And then, deeming it as worthless as it had been for the people who paid $18 for the “free concert, man,” I tossed it in the trash.
How was I to know that something called eBay would soon emerge, creating a vehicle for me to sell that collector’s item for a sum that would have allowed me to retire in comfort, until of course I would have lost it all in the current economic meltdown.
So I never went to Woodstock. I have no nostalgia-exaggerated memories of discovering world peace through rain, mud and Jimi Hendrix’s music.
All that remains of my Woodstock era is a photo (below), of me as a 16-year-old boy.
I think it’s way cooler than any unused ticket could ever be.