Home > Fifty Five Is The New, Uncategorized > Lunar Landings and Woodstock

Lunar Landings and Woodstock

We like to keep an open mind about most things. Jack and I watch a great deal of news and try to balance the interpretations between the Sacred Three (ABC, NBC, CBS), The Left (MSNBC, CNN) and The Right (FOXNews)….we even throw in NPR just round everybody out.

Now, you’d think with all this news we’d know what’s going on in the world…but we don’t.  There’s just too much information, too many interpretations…too much noise.  I am going to instigate a “No News Day” once a week so we can get away from it for a while and make some news of our own!

One reason for this move is something I heard today on the Glen Beck show.  I know, I know…some folk think he’s Satan incarnate….others that he’s the Savior on Wheels.  As for me?  I find some things he says interesting and some things he says are ridiculous.

Today he compared the Moon landing with Woodstock….intimidating that anyone who went to Woodstock or considered themselves part of that generation had “no values, no morals, no rules.”
There was more to it than that…much more!

There were 500,000 people at that festival, all there in peace.  The people at that event were just as American as the folks watching the lunar landing three weeks previous.  Many of them were just as mesmerized as their crew-cut, white t-shirted contemporaries seeing those footprints on the surface of the moon that first time.

It took a great deal of courage to do the things we did in the ’60s, and if we blew off a little steam at Woodstock, so be it! But remember, there were no homicides, robberies, rapes or violent rages….there were births, music, art and camaraderie.  There was a message….bring our soldiers home.

If Mr. Beck wanted to produce a condemnation of the Hippie movement, he could still have selected the Summer of 1969…that was the year of the Manson Family murders.  Now THAT’s a good example of bad juju!

Personally, I didn’t get to Woodstock…closest I got to it were the local rock festivals and Be-Ins… in 1973 my then-fiance and I went to a “Jesus Fest,”  a 3 day camp-out on a farm in Morgantown, PA.
It was kind of okay….lots of bibles, bible studies and baptisms….music on the big stage at night, mainly folk stuff but on Saturday Night they had some band that kept singing “Jesus Is Just Alright With Me,”
and “Spirit In the Sky.”  Not much of a sex, drugs, rock & roll gig….we smuggled in some cannabis and smoked it in our tent.

One interesting thing happened on Saturday (Day 2) of the Fest…a storm picked up and, shades of Woodstock, the announcements came across the speakers sitting high on the towers “Everybody stay calm….here comes the rain…”  Then “Everybody get down off the towers, get down off the hills…funnel cloud!”  Whoa!

My fiance and I looked over and sure enough, coming down over the ridge was a decent sized funnel cloud, heading right for our Jesus Fest….making ready to touch down!  I gotta give that announcer stripes for the balls he was showing as he stayed at that microphone, making announcements and praying….he had us praying and clapping and hitting soda bottles with sticks (again, shades of Woodstock)….he had us raising our hands to the heavens and calling on all the powers that be to send that funnel cloud back to the Hell from whence it came.

And you know what?   The damned thing did just that!  It spun close enough to scare the Bejezus out of everybody, then turned around and spun back up over the hill and disappeared. For several moments everyone was quiet…..then all heck broke loose!  Hallelujahs, Yahoos, Amens and Ye Haws rose up from every corner of the Fest site.  It was really amazing…..really something.

Anyway, I am sensitive when it comes to just how much condemnation gets hurled on the Woodstock Generation….so sue me!  We didn’t all end up wasted droids….we didn’t curl up and die.  We helped change things for the better….civil rights, getting out of Vietnam, the Women’s movement, the Environmental movement.

I know some of these movements are being condemned by the “Right.”  They think what we did back then has led to the trouble we’re having now.  I don’t agree.  I believe the abuses of those in power brought us to where we are right now, and I also believe that we can work our way through these hard times if we start working together.

Just like we did with that funnel cloud back in 1973….it was a very dangerous situation, I’m not exaggerating at all!  But we remained calm, huddled together in the low depression in front of the stage with the rain and wind whipping around us….we stayed and stood firm, and didn’t back down.   And I believe that our combined consciousness along with the energies of the Cosmos helped force that funnel cloud away.

I believe we can do that now.

P.S. The video was taken at Caffe Greco here in San Francisco. The song is one of our originals, “If The People Lead, The Leaders Will Follow”

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