jueves, 29 de agosto de 2013

Del blog Woodstock.com

This is part of a continuing series of then and now interviews by Woodstock Ventures intern Scarlet Disko. Design by Emma Blackwell.
Scarlet Disko: How old were you during Woodstock?
Ann Park: I was 18.

SD: Where were you living at the time? What were you doing?
AP: I had been working at a bank, living in a cottage in Connecticut. I was living with a group of friends who were from Boston that were all pretty good musicians. The man (who later on introduced me to my husband) came to my cottage with news of a really big concert with many great musicians, more than ever before. My friends and I got super excited and pumped. We began saving money for it since we’d never heard of something quite like it before, it seemed like an experience we didn’t want to miss.

S: Were your parents/family aware of you going to Woodstock? If so, did they allow it?
A: No, they were not because I’d been living on my own. If they’d known they probably wouldn’t want me to go since they would think it was a waste of money and time.

S: How did you get to Woodstock?
A: We all piled into a VW bug going down the freeway, singing and havin’ a good time. The first sign that told me that Woodstock was going to be something different and new was when the traffic slowed down and then stopped completely. The traffic didn’t matter; every car was full of happy, peaceful hippies who were just havin’ a good time.

S: Did you go to Woodstock with friends or alone?
A: I went with my friends from Connecticut and Boston, there were about ten of us.

S: What did you think you were going to exactly?
A: I thought I was going to one hell of a concert with all the greatest musicians of the time, though I was dying to see the Beatles, it didn’t matter because we were going to see The Who and other incredible artists! We had wanted to first get there and establish our seats, and then set up a campsite. However we found that there was no way we could set up a campsite, so we stayed glued to our seats for the entire 3 days.

S: Why did you decide to go to Woodstock?
A: I was just soooo excited to hear and see the music, because my life revolved around music at the time. I was excited for this once in a lifetime experience, and getting to say that I saw all these guys. It just seemed like the greatest thing to ever do! Seeing all these people there who, like me, were constantly listening to music. I listened 24/7, I never watched the T.V. The only exception was for the moon-landing. Other than that I was always listening to music with my friends.
S: When did you arrive at Woodstock?
A: We left the day before the show started, and were there by late afternoon due to the crazy traffic. I was used to the typical angry traffic of New York, but this traffic was different because everyone was happy and sharing, no one was afraid of getting busted for smoking dope and drinking since cops didn’t seem to care and there were so many of us.

S: Did you buy a ticket, or did you get into the festival for free?
A: We bought tickets far in advanced.

S: Where were you during the duration of the festival/how did you spend your time at the festival? Could you see the stage?
A: We stayed at our seats most of the time. We could see the stage, our seats were in the middle close to the stage.  I liked that the folk mellow music was Friday. On Friday night I did mescaline for the mellowness of it. On Saturday night, the head-banging rock music I took LSD. Through the duration of the show I smoked dope off and on, but I didn’t drink much. On Sunday a friend and I decided to walk around a bit and look at all the concession stands by the stage, the signs to buy acid for $5, and seeing the naked people sliding down the muddy hill. I just had never seen such things before and thought it was amazing how no one seemed to be offended.

S: Who were your favorite performer/performers?
A: Country Joe and the Fish, the Who, most of the Friday night performers since I loved folk music, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane. All of it was just amazing though.

S: What were some of your other memories about the music, the crowd, and the overall atmosphere?
A: The announcers were asking for our help to help and care for the others around us who were on bad trips or were hurt. The announcers spoke of what a wonderful thing Woodstock was and what the news was saying about us. At one point I went walking to the little river/lake. On my way I came across two guys who were coming at each other to fight, but just before they started to fight, another man comes in between them saying “peace, peace man, what do we got to fight about here? Peace brother.” And they stopped fighting. This was the only flare of temper that I saw over the entire weekend. Everyone was just chill. The announcers had us all light a candle or lighter and I had never seen anything quite as magical and beautiful like it before. It looked beautiful and it looked like millions of stars. It was a glorious firmament in the sky. It gave me an idea of how many people were really there. We didn’t leave till the very last minute of the show, because we loved the music so much.
S: Did you ever stop and think about the importance of Woodstock during the festival?
A: Yes, right away! This was because of people continuously saying how this had never happened before, and it was all just peace and love. Nothing bad was happening and we were all just rejoicing about it. We hoped it could lead to possibilities for a real change in American culture and the lives of people. I mean why can’t we love everyone and care for everyone? Woodstock was a possibility and a hope for changes, we were all together living a change, we wanted to show the world that we could live differently instead of living a life of hate and war. We wanted to show a life of living in peace and love…plus there was some awesome music. We hoped for out lights that we lit to sparkle on the world and grow in the world, to one day light up the entire world not just that field.

S: Do you have any bad memories of the festival?
A: NO! It was startling that I only knew of one fight that didn’t even happen since there was half a million people there. Nothing bad happened whatsoever.

S: What did you take away from the festival?
A: It was a great experience with friends and the music was phenomenal. I enjoyed getting to share with total strangers. I took away that it was just a wonderful moment in my life, I knew I’d never experience something so magical again. I came away so content and happy with my life and future. I felt good and peaceful and grateful and I’d felt that I’d just been there with every freak in the world. I felt that I wasn’t alone, that us freaks were taking over the planet, and I felt so lucky to have been a part of such a life-changing experience.

S: What did you do after Woodstock? Was it hard going back to the real world?
A: It was OK to go back, I had been there long enough and the ride back was as fun as the ride there. My real world had changed, it was getting pretty altered because of my frequent use of drugs and music was always a part of my every day. I soon left my job and found that my real world was lining up with my Woodstock experience. I was in a time of progression. Going back to the real world wasn’t a shock because I had already left the real world. Woodstock was kind of a confirmation of my leaving of the real world and descending into a world of peace, love, and understanding, and I continued this life forever.

S: If you could, would you go back to Woodstock?
A: Yes. I would love to return to my friends, and to experience the land again, and to experience every single little thing again for the first time.

Ann Park is married, retired from the healthcare field, lives on the west coast and is a mother to three children, and a grandmother to three.

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