“Turn Out The Lights, The Party’s Over …”
Although Willie Nelson wrote and sang those memorable words in 1966, they ring especially true today. The Woodstock 50th Anniversary hoopla has lurched to an end, festival organizers are aghast at the financial hit they endured, and the Museum at Bethel Woods is operating on its reduced winter schedule. In other words, calm has returned to that bucolic patch of hallowed ground in upstate Sullivan County, New York.
So … now what? Given the age of most Woodstock “veterans,” this recent shindig likely marked the “last hurrah” for many who would like nothing more than to continue reliving those magical days in August of 1969. But these worthies face an inescapable truth … unless marijuana, hash and LSD have some previously unreported anti-aging properties, none of those sprightly flower children who migrated to the original gathering at Yasgur’s farm will be around for the centennial.
On the other hand, being an “elder” of the original Woodstock clan provides one with a certain degree of panache. As such, members of that august-but-diminishing group are, in effect, “keepers of the flame” of hippiedom, with a duty to educate and guide those who follow. At the Baba Yaga Home for Unkempt Hippies, for example, aspirants can assume the lotus position while absorbing truths from such luminaries as Moonblossom and Zephyr.
Others, however, have decided that enough is enough. For them, the time has come to trade in the frayed “Make Love Not War” t-shirt in favor of one with a slogan more suitable to crabby and disaffected senior citizens:
We are old … we are tired … get off our lawn.