Last week I mentioned the Woodstock Festival as High Holy Days, celebrated here at 116 Sundown Way, and now those days are upon us. We are in Day Two of the festivities, the day it began to rain. And it’s thundering, and about to rain. Right here. Right now. Seems fitting somehow.
Musically, at Woodstock, yesterday was Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, and Joan Baez, among others. Today features Country Joe McDonald (“Gimme an F!”), Santana, Canned Heat, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, and CCR .
Here are some festival facts I thought you might enjoy:
- 1 Diabetic coma
- 2 Festival births
- 3 Tracheotomies performed
- 6 Months preparation time before the festival
- 15 Price for an ounce of marijuana (in dollars)
- 18 Price of admission for three days (in dollars)
- 18 Number of doctors who treated 6,000 patients
- 20 Amount of bail bond for those held in possession of LSD (in THOUSANDS of dollars) DAY-UM!!!
- 40 Shortest waiting time between acts (in minutes)
- 80 Width of the stage (in feet)
- 90 Percentage of festival attendees smoking marijuana
- 346 Number of New York City off-duty policemen hired, joined by 100 local sheriffs, several hundred State Troopers and deputies from 12 counties
- 346 Number of cops who walked off their jobs on the first day of the festival
- 450 cows unfenced for three days with the campers (Mooooooo)
- 2,500 1989 price of posters used to advertise the original event (in dollars)
- 8,000 Price paid in 1989 for an uncollected festival ticket
- 30,000 Number of sandwiches prepared by the Women’s Group of the Jewish Community Center of Monticello and distributed by the Sisters of the Convent of St. Thomas
- 186,000 tickets sold
- 250,000 Number of people who never made it to the site
- 500,000 Frankfurters and hamburgers consumed on the first day
There’s more but you get the gist of it.
Impact of the festival… immeasurable.
I just returned home from running a couple of errands. Picked up a James Lee Burke novel. I don’t read a lot of fiction, but I stumbled upon his work a couple of years ago and I really loved it. Louisiana guy. This one, as were the other two I read, are from a series centered around a detective named Dave Robicheaux. Very intense stuff and written with equal parts beauty and horror.
The one I got today, with store credit, is entitled ‘The Tin Roof Blowdown’. It’s set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Can’t wait to jump right in! The previous two I read were ‘Neon Rain’ and ‘Heaven’s Prisoners’.
I haven’t been to NOLA since the 2005 Sugar Bowl. It’s been far too long.
My bride and I have attended all of the Sugar Bowls our Auburn Tigers have participated in except the one following the 1971 season, when Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley were seniors. Oklahoma, under head coach Chuck Fairbanks, whipped us like a red-headed stepchild. Glad I missed that one.
It would be great if Auburn made that New Year’s Six game this year, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. On the other hand, don’t count us out. You never know.
Truck Drivin’ Classics playing on Apple Music as we ramble along. Six Days On the Road, Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses, East Bound and Down, and Guitar Town, to name a few of ’em.
My favorite truck drivin’ song is ‘Willin’, by Little Feat. Linda Ronstadt did a great cover of that one.
A quick ‘Willin’ story. I was at a Pak Mail store, about eleven years ago, near our house with some files to ship to a colleague of mine, Alice Vargas. I began to quietly sing a line from the words to ‘Willin’, “Dallas, Dallas Alice…” The lovely and spirited brunette, Carmen Park, who was preparing my package blurted out, “A Little Feat song!” And we connected. From that day to this, we have been fast friends. Even though she moved to Los Angeles, we remain in touch. We’ve tried to figure out past lives we might have shared and the forces of God and nature that brought us together. One of our best theories is a life as French peasants.
The last time I saw her was when Auburn played Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game. Melodye, Me and Paul, spent an entire afternoon and evening with Carmen as our tour guide to LA. When we went out to the Rose Bowl, she exclaimed, “Y’all are family!”, after a few exchanges of ‘War Eagle!” with Tiger fans. We ate Thai food. We also drove by the Whiskey A Go Go, the Rainbow Room, the Chateau Marmont, and detoured into Laurel Canyon. A great day! I miss you, c!
Friends like this are rare, people. I hope every one of you has at least one, and that you treasure them dearly.
“I been warped by the rain
Driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty, don’t ya know
And I’m still, willin’
Out on the road late at night
Seen my pretty Alice in every headlight
Alice, Dallas Alice
I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I’ll be willin’ to be movin’…”
This old, retired road warrior will see y’all again soon.
Grace and peace. (Patti Smith sings us out)