Of Woodstock, the Man on the Moon, and my summer in the Catskill Mountains, Parksville NY

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Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) DRE# 00809499
http://actvra.in/4m5C

I turned 18 the summer of '69... the summer of Woodstock and the Moon Landing.  And I got to see both.  Sort of.

I worked as a maid that summer at the Spring Lake Hotel, up in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, in Parksville. Being a long blonde-haired California girl at a Jewish resort I was quite the novelty.  They all asked if I surfed to school.  Yeah, behind my Mom's Rambler. The owners were too cheap to hire real talent for the evening shows, so one of the acts was me... dancing.  Exotic?... no.  Ballet??... no.  Lifted up into the air by Patrick Swayze, like in Dirty Dancing???... yeah... uh, well... no.  Actually it was just me and some guy, in bell-bottom corduroys and a t-shirt, dancing to Jefferson Airplane. Right foot cross over left foot, left foot cross over right foot.... Pretty dorky, but California was a novelty, I guess.

Landing on the moonThe night America landed on the moon, July 16th, was quite the night.  The black and white TV was blaring in the lobby with the rabbit ear antennas twisted into the best position - the only TV around.  The guests and workers were all gathered round the tube, aware this was pretty damned significant.  I was also aware that the bitchin guy from housekeeping had a cute smile.  Lunar module... can I catch his eye... One giant step...he's so cool...  The only photos I have from that night are in a little plastic key chain thingy, pink, about 1-1/2 inches long.  You hold it into the light, peek into it, and there is the picture at the end.  Pretty corny, but we sucked them up at a buck a whack from some guy who came around once a week.... who the heck had a camera those days?

I cleaned rooms every morning, then swam all afternoon.  I became a pro at the jack-knife, and mastered a perfect 180 spin dive by summer's end. I remember climbing over a bed once, to get away from a dirty old man. And I mean OLD... with a hunchback and a shuffle so slow I admired his belief he could pull it off! He didn't. 

By night, I snuck into the kitchen and stole Napoleons off the tray in the refer.  Every Friday night the international group of workers went into town to eat strawberry waffles, with tons of whipped cream. The group of guys from Scotland led us in singing filthy little ditties... I can't believe they didn't throw us out.  "Roll me ooooo-ver in the clooo-ver, roll me over, turn me 'round, and do it again...."  I can still sing them in my sleep. (Crap, I hope I don't).

woodstock PosterAugust came, and we heard there was a big concert coming a few miles away. A bunch of us took off for Woodstock, needing to be back for work the following morning.  As we got closer, the traffic became a nightmare... cars parked along side the road. Then just parked... IN the road.  We knew that if we got in, we would never get out.  And if any of you think 18 year olds don't have a sense of duty to their jobs, I'm here to tell you different.  We did. So we turned around.  We CAN't miss work... they'll fire us.  What a cock-a-mamie idea THAT was!  To turn around, I mean.

Did I ever get to claim I had been to Woodstock? Here's where the "sort of" part comes in.  I went on the fourth day.  It was a 3 day concert.  But the action kind of spilled over to the 4th day.  We wandered around amid the piles of garbage... soaked sleeping bags, squished old shoes, torn blankets, pants, diapers... you name it, it was there in a heap.  It always has reminded me of what a battle field must look like the day after.  Groups of people were congregated playing music. Was Richie Havens still there?  It felt like it.  I chose to remember that he was.  Just don't confirm it with him.

richie HavensIt was raining, as I recall.  The massive stages were still set up.  We crawled all over them, amazed, for some reason, that the colored gels used for lighting effects had just been left in the light modules.  All that stuff looked expensive.... and it was just left out in the rain.  Later, when I watched the Woodstock movie, I marveled that I had been on that light tower. Admittedly, after the bands were there, after the people were there... well after the concert of a lifetime, that I missed because I was so damned responsible.

So kids, next time you have the chance to go to a concert, but have a job to attend to... screw the job.  It might turn out to be the concert of the century.  The one that changes the history of rock and roll.  And your job?  You got your whole life to work. 

Peace. Love. Understanding. 

It 's all good.

 

flickr photos by Mountain_man_ny_2, toptechwriter.us, cielchen

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Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

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More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at www.sallydunbar.com to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.

 

 

 

Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, SDunbar@GoLyon.com "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"

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Rainmaker
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Cathy McAlister
Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento DRE#00648507

Sally,

You are too funny - I just finished posting a comment on another blog and used the word cockamamie.    What were the odds of that one.   Enjoyed your post - takes me back to the day - my favorite act was Crosby Stills & Nash.  Still have the album on Vinyl.

Thank you for sharing.

 

Jul 14, 2009 05:27 PM #1
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Sally, I do remember these events very well myself. Wow! Time flies when we are having fun... We are having fun aren't we...

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Jul 14, 2009 08:35 PM #2
Rainer
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Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Loved your reminisces about one historic summer, Sally!

Jul 15, 2009 12:28 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Cathy - that's funny.  First I had Hair-brained..... but cockamamie just fit better.  Not sure how to spell it tho!

Michael... We ARE still having fun.  It's better than ever!

Irene... You got it, girl.  Course when you are in the middle of history, you have no idea of the significance.  Who knew the summer of 69 would be so memorialized... it even has it's own song.

Jul 15, 2009 12:58 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Sally - Anytime anyone asks me if I have regrets, I always say not many. . .However, I do REGRET that I missed Woodstock.  To me it will always be one of those events that was imprinted on the collective memory of mankind. . .That's if anyone remembers anything at all from the 1960s:-)

Jul 19, 2009 11:20 AM #5
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Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Myrl... me too.  I regret not sloggin it out on that muddy road to go into Woodstock, instead of turning around so I wasn't late for work.  As if that old geezer couldn't have cleaned his own room if I hadn't shown up!  Life would have gone on!

Jul 19, 2009 04:15 PM #6
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I'm with you there, Sally. Screw the job. Go to the concert. I'm also with Myrl in that I missed Woodstock. I was so bummed about not being able to go (hey, I was 17) that I instead went to the 3-day festival that following spring in Bloomington, Illinois. Thought it would be the same. It was but it never got the headlines years later like Woodstock.

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Jul 20, 2009 03:07 AM #7
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Sally - in the Summer of 1969, I was in between the births of my 3rd and 4th children.  I should have been granted a "breather" just so I could now say I packed it all in:-)  Let's you, Elizabeth and I make a pact. . .If there is ever another Woodstock - We will attend!  If not, we can always do Burning Man, but a farmer's muddy field seens a whole lot more comfortable than a desert:-)

Jul 20, 2009 09:42 AM #8
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Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

E & M - you two are funny.  Burning Man sounds like a trip.  I have a friend who has gone a few times and shown me pictures.... pretty wild.  I'm looking forward to the remake of the Woodstock movie that is comming out later this year... or maybe it already has.  I've seen the first one so many times, it's practically memorized.

So when's that next lunch planned for?

Jul 20, 2009 10:05 AM #9
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Sally Dunbar

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