Periodically, my fab friend Stacey at Vertigo Music needs to make some space in her store, so she has these awesome “Buy 1, Get 11 Free” sales for the dollar bins. I went in and the pickins were GOOD. So good I bought 2 and got 22 free! Wheeee!
I really have Woodstock on the brain. The town, not the festival. I like the festival, too, but not as much as I like the town. I first went up there a few days before Christmas in 1997 and I’ve been there many times since. I’ve seen every season and met lots of people. I’ve stayed lots of places (my favorite being the Village Green B&B, right on the Village Green. I used to like to crawl out the window onto the roof and people watch) and I’ve bought lots of things and taken lots of pictures. Below are some favorites. Some of the pics may be repeats from other blog posts, and some are sights from around town…but oh well.
I have the negatives of a roll of b/w film from my first trip up there. I must get it developed and uploaded so I can tell you the story and show the pic of how I bumped into Michael Lang on Tinker Street about 1/2 hour after deciding on a whim to go to the festival site for the first time. Crazy, right? But Woodstock is just that kinda place.
I love a lot of things. Very high on the list of those things include Woodstock, NY, The Band, Levon Helm, and Rick Danko. Tonight we are going to see Ain’t In It For My Health, the movie about Levon. I am prepared to bawl my eyes out.
In August of 2000, literally immediately after my sweet Granny’s funeral, I booked it up to Woodstock (something I did quite often back then). I went to the now-defunct Joyous Lake bar (not nearly as good as the sadly long-defunct Tinker Street Cafe, former Cafe Espresso and downstairs neighbor to Bob Dylan. Now THAT was a bar). There I saw Levon drum with his band at the time, The Barn Burners. I went up to him during a break, giddy and nervous and probably a little drunk, and said hi and how much I dug the band and blah blah blah. He was SO nice. I asked if we could get a picture and I can still hear his voice to this day: “Why, SURE!” (But “sure” sounded like “shore.”) So we took the pic and he said, “Now, how ’bout a kiss for good luck?” He went in for a kiss on the lips and I was so nervous and dumbstruck that I moved my face away. He said, “Now, let’s try that again.” And I kissed Levon Helm. It was a sweet peck on the lips and he KNEW he just rocked my world. He made me feel like I was the only chick in the room. Oh, Levon. I love you. I just remembered that the next night I saw Garth Hudson playat the same bar. Epic weekend, man.
When he passed away, I wept. I truly did. I loved him. He was just an awesome, awesome guy and fantastic musician. I expect to do some weeping tonight as well.
I went up to Woodstock in October to see Levon again. I also said hello to the lovely and amazing Rick Danko, whom we also lost too soon.
I’ll let you all know how many boxes of tissues my Band friend Shari and I go through tonight. There is also a producer Q & A, so it should be really amazing.
On one of the pics of Levon’s resting place you will see a green little girl’s hair clippie. Hazel took that out of her hair and left it for Levon, unprompted. It was magical. Not that she knew what she was doing…I think she saw all the other trinkets on the ground and wanted to leave something, too. Hazel. Named not only after Chris’ great aunt Hazel, but also this Hazel.
It seems like everyone and their mother makes jewelry, and I am no exception. My friend Lisa taught me when I was working with her at the Lotus Boutique in West Reading about 10 years ago (RIP Lotus), and I fell in love with everything about the process. I ended up selling my stuff all over Penn Avenue and also online and at craft shows. It was a good thing. I guess it kind of goes without saying that I have been taking a jewelry-making hiatus ever since the kids were born. But now I am ready to get back into it. SO ready. Here are some pics of my work. I’m hoping to scrounge enough dough together to get some new and different materials, because I have a lot of ideas. You can see larger, more detailed images of these pieces here.. Please enjoy.
Fun fact: that piece of slate that I used for these photos was snagged from the road in front of Big Pink
I would like to tell you about the weirdest thing I ever saw. It certainly trumped the previous weirdest thing I ever saw, which was in the woods at 5th grade camp. We were doing a scavenger hunt and I was looking for pinecones and I saw this…this THING on the ground. I remember thinking it looked like a bloated, severed ear. Now, I’m quite sure there wasn’t a bloated, severed ear at the 5th grade camp; it wasn’t Camp Crystal Lake. But what I found on the ground that day was definitely pinkish and flesh-colored with blood and bugs on it and in my 5th-grade mind it looked like an ear! I ran away and told the next person I saw (which was another 5th grader) that they had to follow me! I found a bloated severed ear or something!!! She followed me and, of course, I couldn’t find it and she accused me of lying. Sigh.
But this thing…this thing I’m about to tell you is just the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Like, David Lynch-level weird. And hey, maybe it’s NOT that weird…maybe I just stumbled upon some performance art or something. Anyway. The story:
Picture it: New York City, 2007. I was in the city all day with my husband and some friends. We took the bus, and it was dark when we left. I was taking a bunch of cool pictures from the bus…since we were so high up and there was a window to distort the lights, I got some really cool shots. I put my camera away (typical, since I was about to see the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life) and just stared out the window for a while. It was a Saturday night at probably 10 pm in NYC. Traffic was heavy and we were moving pretty slow.
The bus turned a corner onto some street; not sure which. Midtown somewhere. Lots of businesses and restaurants and stores and whatnot. I looked down as the bus was stopped, and one of the storefronts (or whatever it was) was all glass and brightly lit. There was a silver, shimmery, glittery curtain hanging across the length of the whole room. There was a guy in a tacky, green, possibly velvet leisure suit, a white wig (think Beastie Boys “Sabotage” video – ill-fitting and 70’s-looking), and a microphone. There was another guy sitting in front of him in a folding metal chair, facing Leisure Suit Guy, and it looked like Leisure Suit Guy was screaming in this guy’s face. They were the only 2 people in the room, doing this in front of this huge window in midtown Manhattan. I just stared for a minute and then nudged Chris to show him this weird and awesome sight…but, of course, the bus pulled away before he could see it.
The moral of the story: never put your camera away in New York City. Even on the bus on the way home. And if you see a bloated, severed ear in the woods, just move along. Nobody is going to believe you.