I spent the night, two mornings and a day in Woodstock.
I washed my clothes there. Days later as I wore the clothes I had washed they became sour smelling. Perhaps it was the town water, it couldn't have been that I washed into my clothes the residue of all the aging Flower Children who come down to town to wash the same clothes they have been wearing for decades, using the smallest amount of soap to save the environment and certainly no bleach.
Let me call it my souvenir I took with me from Woodstock. A gift that lingers through several washings. It was pleasant, though, to talk with the elders of the town around the "wash tub". An experience I would not change, despite the olfactory surprise. It was there I met a woman who introduced me to some of her friends there at the laundry. She invited me to a poetry reading that evening and shared with me some of the rich history of Woodstock. History which reaches centuries past a concert in a field in 1969.
Then I parked in the large public parking area located just steps from the town center, with all its trendy' and nostalgic shops, mixed in with the essential business's that make up any other cozy small town in America.
I inflated the World, a walk through Woodstock was an opportunity I couldn't pass by. There I Met some of the characters on the fringe. The Rainbow Children who have made Woodstock their home and mainstay with the help of The Family who run the local half-way house. It's back entrance empties to the pubic parking area, so often the tourist's first blush is being panhandled in a nostalgic fashion in the dialect of "Peace and Love".
I walked though Woodstock to the edge of the town limits, then turned around and walked back. I met many fascinating people along the way, the old guard and the new. Many of the original flowers have given way to the next generations but they are not giving up. I met many elder-hipsters involved with the daily routine of their small community. A restaurant owner with a pony-tail and vintage sixties attire chasing his defiant son off the store property because he was smoking a cigarette, yelling to his boy from across the road that the coarse he's on will lead only to hardship or death.
We become our fathers.
We made it back to the van just in time to let the air out before a rain. Had the world become soaked I would have needed to stay there until the canvas dried. I didn't want to invade the Space for too long in The Families' back yard. I would leave Woodstock to its established "norms"...
Before I left Woodstock the next morning I picked up a newspaper. During my afternoon stroll to the edge and back. I was able to spread the message to Woodstock, a symbol of Peace and Love. The Airy-fairy message of Love yourself, go for a walk.