Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard
The popular refrain is if you really lived in the 1960s, you probably
don't remember it.
Patt Kneer of Denny experienced one of the decades most well-known
milestones: Woodstock. Officially launched as the Woodstock Music and
Art Fair, it was a concert that turned upstate New York farmer Max
Yasgur's land into a cultural milestone nearly 40 years ago.
She's hoping there are others on the North Coast who'd be interested
in gathering to talk about their experiences at the event that has
become so well-entrenched in the nation's counterculture history. The
iconic event took place Aug. 15, 16 and 17, in 1969.
Kneer said she hadn't planned to attend, but her younger brother rode
his motorcycle to the Jersey Shore, where she was working, on his way
to New York.
"I said I wanted to go, got a helmet, a sleeping bag and got on the
back of his motorcycle," she recalled.
It's likely that others who attended may share some of the same
memories that Kneer recalls -- although her experience, working in
the "trip" tent with Wavy Gravy, talking folks down from LSD trips --
was a bit different. At the time, she had just recently resigned as
an occupational therapist.
One tent visitor, a 16-year-old in the midst of hallucinations, was
convinced she was giving birth. Unable to convince her otherwise,
Kneer remembers Wavy Gravy turning to her and saying, "Let's get this
And then, of course, there was the music.
"I saw almost everybody," Kneer said. "I saw Richie Havens and Ravi
Shankar. The Airplane. Country Joe McDonald -- he was just amazing.
Crosby, Stills and Nash. I didn't miss any of it."
Fred Weis of Arcata was 16 years old and living outside of
Philadelphia when he decided to travel to New York.
"As soon as I saw the line-up, I knew it was going to be great," he said.
After the three-hour journey, he discovered the New York throughway
was closed and the crowds were walking miles from where they
abandoned their cars.
When he got to the site, there were no ticket takers, no fences and,
against all odds, he ran into his best friend.
"There were people as far as you can see," he said. "It was a
Weis said he stayed the whole time and spent many an hour just 100
feet from the stage.
"There was no highlight," Weis recalled, "It was all continuously
amazing. I was tired and sleep deprived and hungry, but it didn't matter."
Anyone who was at Woodstock and has in interest in getting together
to share memories may call Kneer at (530) 629-4537.
Jessie Faulkner can be reached at 441-0517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.