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.