Saturday, July 11, 2009

Woodstock, not Woodstock

The town of Woodstock seems to have a very conflicted relationship with its landmark namesake music event of 40 years ago.

The festival was not held in Woodstock but in Bethel, a good 50 miles and an hour and a half drive away. So, many visitors to the town are simply not where they thought they were going.

Even those who understand the distance are often looking for something the locals aren't sure they want to provide. There are stores which cater to the crowd seeking to recapture that weekend in 1969, with hippie clothing and "tobacco" products. But there are also stores which seem to be studiously avoiding any connection with the eponymous event.

Being one of those in the know, I inquired at the local bookstore about how far Bethel is from Woodstock and the nice woman behind the counter replied, "Well, I've never been there . . ." This was shortly after she made a comment about the troublemakers by the shelves with the Woodstock books (which kept falling to the floor through no fault of the patrons due to the poorly engineered display).

Not being one to be dissuaded by a little negativity and because of the very intriguing trailer we saw on Wednesday for Taking Woodstock, Rachel and I plan to make the hour and a half drive to Bethel tomorrow to see Max Yasgur's farm and to visit the somewhat scorned (at least by some of the residents of Woodstock) Museum at Bethel Woods.

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