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One Photo; One Story: Woodstock at 50

I was eight years old when Woodstock happened. August 15-18, 1969. I was a naïve kid, innocent and curious about the world. I was very shy.

We lived in a house with three apartments on Wilson Place in Belleville, New Jersey. The house was 96 miles from Woodstock in Bethel, New York.

On the top floor of the house lived a young couple with the last name Tanis. I don’t remember their first names.

They were in their early twenties. They were hippies. I thought they were the coolest people I had ever seen.

The girl was a pretty blonde haired who was very friendly to me. Her girlfriends would come to visit from time to time and they would talk to me as I played outside or waited for my friends to come outside.

They wore beads, bell bottomed jeans, bare feet, and had flowers in their hair. They were very pretty and giggled a lot. When they smiled at me I was on top of the world. They said things like “groovy, far out and outta sight”.

They were so different from my parents that I was smitten.

One summer day, I watched three girls paint flowers on a black Volkswagen Bug. With colors of pink, orange, and florescent green, they traced peace signs and feet all over the car. I asked them what they were doing and they answered “going to Woodstock”. They asked if I wanted to come along. I was eight; I wasn’t allowed to leave the block.

he man came down from his apartment several minutes later and threw a blanket in the trunk in the front and closed the lid. He looked at me and said “Peace, little man”.

One of the girls smiled at me. They drove off to Woodstock. I never saw them again.

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