Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What If?

Back in August of 1969, a lot of things changed in my life. Not all of these things were good changes or positive changes, but they are changes that made me the man I am today, so I would have to say that I don't believe I would change anything that I've done because it would have some adverse effect on who I am.

One of those things that happened back in August of '69 however, was not of my doing. It was the doing of both of my loving parents, God rest their souls.

Word began circulating during the summer of '69 that a large rock festival was going to be staged in rural New York, and that for three days there would be huge name rock bands performing live and that the atmosphere would be one of peace, love and music. Being a lover of all three of these things, immediately a group of us started talking about getting the cash and the transportation together and heading off to the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.

The big problem I hadn't considered was the fact that I was only 17 years old, and the chances of my folks letting me go were about as likely as discussing nuclear theory with a carrot. And try as I might, God love them both, the answer was an undiscussable "NO!"

So, as friends of mine took off the second week of August for the trip of a lifetime, yours truly sat home in boring Arlington and listened to reports on both radio and tv on the events taking place in New York. No one, including the promoters were prepared for what actually happened. As you probably know all these many years later, the expected daily crowd 50,000 turned out to be close to ten times that amount, the show became a free concert instead of a huge money maker, torrential rains turned the area into a major national disaster area, and those that attended had their lives changed forever.

So, many times over all these years I have asked myself, "What if I had gotten to go to Woodstock, where would my life be now?"

Obviously, there would be a lot of things different now, because truly, indeed, lives were changed for those who attended the largest group of people ever assembled anywhere in the world!

Would I have been one of those who partook of the infamous brown acid circulating thru the crowd, and if I had, would I have lived, been changed emotionally and spiritually, or would I have been turned into a vegetative zombie?

Would I have met new friends who would have influenced my life? Would I have simply never returned to my home and maybe took refuge against the draft in Canada like so many of us had threatened to do shortly before our 18th birthdays?

Would I have become a roadie for one of the bands that performed, because I had always wanted to be a part of music in that capacity?

Would I have met a special woman who would have become a special love interest that kept me from meeting the other women who would later become a part of my life and would I have more than my one son because of this and would he indeed not have become a living human being at all?

Would I have never met and married my wonderful wife and had this fantastic marriage I've been so blessed to have had for the past 27 and a half years?

No one can answer these questions, no one can ever tell me what would have been and what would have never been, because frankly, that seems to only happen in Frank Capra movies.

I do know, though, that as pissed as I was back in 1969 when my parents put their feet down collectively and told me that in no uncertain terms that I was not going to go to Woodstock, today I thank them both from the bottom of my heart, because, honestly, I wouldn't want my life to have taken any other direction other than the one it has taken for the past 36 years!

Thanks Mom and Dad, all these years later for being the loving, caring and wise folks you always were and for "Just saying NO!"

New Blog Coming Soon

Once again, to those of you who are my faithful readers(still can't get over that fact, but I love the thought) I just wanted to leave a quick post this evening to let you know that in the next couple of days I will be making a new entry here. Sorry again for the lengthy delay between posts, but as you are aware, there's been a lot going on here that has taken an emotional toll as well as a lot of my extra time. Hopefully this new posting will get me back in your good graces. Thanks once again for your understanding and patience.