Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY

I Didn't Go To Woodstock, But I Was There
By:  Marc A. Catone

"If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's their problem. Love and peace are eternal." - John Lennon

Forty years ago, a miracle happened on a farm. The Sixties Generation came together in a unified cosmic gathering on a pasture in Bethel NY. I wasn't one of them, but I was there in spirit.

It was mostly about music, but it wasn't just about the music. A generation, coming of age, tried to wake up their parents and grandparents from a zombie-like conformity. The young showing the old how to live, how to feel, how to be...not to settle for what was "expected" of them.

I'm sure you've heard a description of the Woodstock event as one in which hundreds of thousands of young people came together in peace, harmony, and non-violence. And that is true...that's exactly what did happen. However, that summary is usually spun by the mainstream media "conventional wisdom" as an example of the naivete, and demise of the Sixties Generation...but that's not what happened. Instead, that Woodstock spirit left an imprint in the hearts and minds of those who attended, and in some cases, in those who weren't there...something they carried with them into the lives they would lead in the coming decades.

That's what happened to me. I wasn't able to go to Woodstock, but its contagious happiness and glory found a willing 19 year old in 1969...so much to the point that I feel like I was there. It's a feeling that is always at the core of my being, even when things seem terrible...polar opposites from the Woodstock Nation...I can summon this good faith of peace, love and understanding...and it's there...like a beacon in the night...perpetually guiding me.

The cynics and naysayers think that the ideals of Woodstock disappeared the day the festival was over. How wrong they are. Many of those affected by the harmony generated in those three days used that energy in new ideas, innovations...to think globally and act locally, influencing society no matter where in the USA they lived. And that really was the whole emphasis behind the Woodstock legacy...each person is an individual, but everyone is part of a larger idea for the greater good.

The good news is that those who carry the Woodstock spirit are still very much alive, a group of aging people unlike any other older generation to come before it. They are still thriving, contributing to their communities, and becoming mentors to those born years after the bands left the stage at Yasgur's Farm.


I am the author of "The Giant's Chair", a novel for the Sixties Generation:

If you remember the Sixties...you WERE there. ;-)