Three Days of Peace and Music

Woodstock

Woodstock

From August 15 – 18 in 1969, on a 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskills, there was a little music festival called Woodstock (“3 days of Peace & Music”). Around 400,000 people attended (talk about an event going viral). Tickets for the three-day event cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate.

[this from Wikipedia]: “Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities: one from what was believed to be a heroin overdose and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield. There also were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages. Oral testimony in the film supports the overdose and run-over deaths and at least one birth, along with many logistical headaches.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. There was a sense of social harmony, which, with the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes helped to make it one of the enduring events of the century.”

This is where Kellie Blunt was conceived. Kellie is the central character in my new novel, “Bits of Broken Glass.” Her mother, Barbara Campbell, then a sophomore in college, defied her parents and hitched a ride with some classmates to Bethel, New York, where she met Arthur Blunt. They were together for the entire weekend, stoned and wet and muddy. When the concert ended, Arthur decided to stay in Bethel, working on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. Barbara returned home, to face her parents’ anger, and, weeks later, the discovery that she was carrying Arthur’s child. Barbara was forever stuck in a time warp, never wanting to let go of 1969, and Kellie learned she was conceived in a mud puddle, but she knew nothing about the man whose name she carried.

Here’s a clip from the concert:

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8 Comments

Sounds like an intriguing origin for a character – the kind of ‘dimensional detail’ that gives the story depth. Cool..

Woodstock was always legendary – even Kiwi youth talked of it, though none had been. I did go to the New Zealand equivalent, ‘Nambassa’, in 1978 (we always lagged a bit behind US trends…). For me, not life-changing. But definitely an experience.

kathryn sternfels :) August 17, 2013 at 7:36 am

can’t wait! sounds intriguing. all i have to do is look around me geographically and i’ll be right in the middle of your novel…..50 years later however. 🙂 xo

Enjoyed reading this and definitely looking forward to the release of your next book.

    Thanks, Janet. This is Kellie’s 25-year high school reunion (she was born in 1970, class of ’88). I went back and decided to have her be conceived at Woodstock, but it doesn’t play into the book that much, other than the fact that her mom is still a hippie!

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