Woodstock Memories

It has been a delightful labor of love getting to this point, and I am pleased to announce that our latest book Dear Hippie … We Met at Woodstock has been published and is now available in paperback through Amazon.  Subtitled One Cop’s Memories of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, the digital/Kindle version will also be on Amazon within the next two weeks.


Though the event took place almost fifty years ago (August 15-17, 1969), writing about my time there as a police officer brought back a number of fond memories, many of which I included in the book.  For example, while the organizers of Woodstock only planned for a crowd of about 50,000 people, an estimated half million actually found their way to Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in bucolic Bethel, New York.  Fun fact: when the “official” tally of attendees was noted, that colossal number  made the little town of Bethel – at that moment in time – the second largest community in New York State!

Needless to say, concert organizers and government entities quickly were  overwhelmed.  With chaos seeming inevitable, catastrophe was averted through a grassroots spirit of cooperation and collaboration between Hippies and cops.  Though the few police officers assigned to work at Woodstock did a commendable job of providing essential services under very difficult circumstances, the young concert-goers, themselves, were remarkably cooperative, kind and generous.

The iconic images of Woodstock are ordinarily those of crowds, traffic jams, rain, mud … and did I mention traffic jams?  When all was said and done, though, thousands of Hippies and a handful of cops had worked together – and succeeded – in keeping things relatively calm … and peace, love and music prevailed.




The Road to Woodstock

Just finished reading Michael Lang’s book titled “The Road to Woodstock.”  Lang was one of the organizers of the 1969 Festival, and his book gave an excellent overview of all the highs (no pun intended) and lows of putting on this iconic event.  I had the good fortune to be assigned there as a member of the Dutchess County (NY) Sheriff’s Office, and it was a remarkable experience!  In his book Lang focused, primarily, on the work of contracting the bands and the plethora of other services that would be required for a gathering of this magnitude.  He also wrote of the crush of people, the traffic, the mud and a number of other things that I remember very well.  This was a good read which provided an excellent refresher on some of the details that have faded over the years.