With the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival only a couple of years off, I got to wondering how some veterans of that iconic event might be celebrating Christmas. In their song Old Hippie Christmas, the Bellamy Brothers give us one possible answer:
All the kids made up their wish lists, Sunshine wants the A-bomb banned
Rainbow wants to go to ‘Frisco in an old Volkswagen van,
And the black lights and the lava lamps are flashin’ all about
And Santa in his sandals leaves us little doubt
That Christmas time is almost here and it’s gonna be far out
Some younger folks may not be clear on the reference to black lights and lava lamps, and the mention of banning the A-bomb is somewhat dated, but those of us who were around the 60’s and 70’s get it. And as the song suggests Christmas, without a doubt, is going to be “Far Out.”
If you are looking for that last minute gift for an aging Hippie (or a Hippie “wannabe”), our latest book Dear Hippie … We Met at Woodstock might be a good choice. The paperback version is in stock and can be received by Christmas, and the Kindle version is currently being offered at a reduced price. Both are available at Amazon.com. Simply type Dear Hippie in the Amazon search box and it appears instantly.
Our pre-Christmas book signing events were lots of fun, with many folks stopping by to share their recollections of the 60’s and 70’s. For many, the memories and images of Woodstock remain vivid. And while nobody adorned themselves in tie-dyed clothing and sandals, the conversations included a fair number of Woodstock-era phrases like “Far Out”, “Groovy” and “I’m Digging It!”
Perhaps there is more than a little truth in the popular saying: “Old hippies never die … they just flashback!”
Over the past two weeks, two very interesting phone conversations with old friends (both male) has revealed – once again – something that, according to the statistics, should not be surprising. Each of these conversations started with the caller telling me how much he has enjoyed reading my latest book Dear Hippie … We Met at Woodstock, but then going on to point out that in tracking down that publication, they learned that I had written an earlier one on the subject of Prostate Cancer.
My two friends then went on to tell me that they, too, had recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, undergone treatment, and were now pleased to describe themselves as cancer-free. Each described the journey they had taken, and the gratitude they felt toward the medical professionals who caught the disease in its early stages and then provided the treatment and care that has allowed them to continue on with their lives. In listening to these fellow I was struck by how similar their experience was to my own, and I celebrated with each of them.
The buzz associated with my Woodstock book has been uplifting and exciting, but hearing stories like those shared by these two men reminded me that, according to the numbers, approximately 1 in 7 men will confront prostate cancer over the course of their lives. It is fortunate that, when detected in its early stages, this type of cancer can be treated effectively, and a man can expect to live a full and satisfying life.
Thanks, Robert and John, for taking the time to share your stories with me … you made my day. You also reminded me of the importance of keeping men vigilant about being tested regularly and, as the saying goes, giving “the finger” to Prostate Cancer.