Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Souvenir from Woodshuck

The weirdest thing this past weekend wasn't having to dodge all the "Woodstock" era music on the radio-heck, I own a lot of it as long-players (before compact discs, before mp3's. Look 'em up) and interviewed at various times in the ensuing decades more than half the folks who survived all of that. If I survived, why shouldn't they? (Turns out I remembered more about it than they did and I wasn't even there-what does that tell us, grasshopper?)

Hand on your heart, if you listened to the original soundtrack of Woodstock, either the two CD set or the original three record set four times in the last forty years, why? I own it, and its companion set, the one with the nude little kids on the cover, with stuff that somebody didn't think was good enough to be on the first set (and was for the most part, right) and every once in awhile I pull it out of the rack, marvel that I still have it, and put it back. And here we all are, well, some of us at least, forty years later, still being stardust, being golden, though more of us are leaning towards golden oldie than just golden I suspect.

What really convinced me that you can't go home again was a reminder that the Summer of Love was holding a memory liquidation sale. Who was released from prison last week, just in time to be a footnote to all of the hullabaloo, Squeaky Fromme. The Squeakster. Talk about a blast from the past! And just me, in the news stories broadcast over the last couple of days about her release or that ran in the print wire services and on-line, all I can remember seeing is the footage of her walking down the courthouse hallway with the other women loonies from the days of the Manson trial and/or the photo of her getting shoved into the back seat of the police cruiser after trying to take a shot at then-President Gerry Ford with a revolver that had no bullets (and how symbolic was that?).

In other words, I saw LOTS of Squeaky from then and not so much, actually not any, from now. Can't really blame anyone-I have snapshots of me from high school and they scare the stuffings out of me now. Maybe you too? Sort of like having Dorian Grey as your DMV photo, if you know what I mean. I'm framing a bad movie in my head, tooling across Yasgur's farm in a sunflower yellow and white VW micro bus-
Canned Heat blasting out of the eight-track player and Squeaky Fromme bobblehead dolls lined up on the dashboard as we gulley-whomp through every rut in the road. "They were turning into butterflies above our nation", but only if you inhaled and held it for forty years, Ichabod.
-bill kenny

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