Woodstock 1969, Still an unrepentant hippie
The Summer of Love
I sit here writing wearing my rainbow sandals with peace-sign clasps. Yes, I am an old unrepentant hippie. But it all began that summer of love, 1969.
I was 17 and just finished high school, a shy, fat bookworm. In September I would be heading to a local nursing school. But my quiet, introvert soul was hoping
for more, hoping for romance and adventure, however unlikely that seemed.
I worked night shift at a local coffee and donut shop. That wasn't helping my weight much but I was earning money for nursing school and saving everything else for
my "big adventure". I might have been plump and shy, but I could drive a stick shift and owned a beat up 1953 4-door Chevy 105.
Lots of kids from the college nearby came to the donut shop late at night and they were all talking about a fabulous music festival that was going to take place in
August. I lived in northeast Pennsylvania and the drive there would not be impossible. But I looked at my dumpy, chunky body--I couldn't even find a pair of jeans
in my size. How could I go to a festival? But it was June, and I had till August. I was determined to make this my adventure.
The Stihlman diet, way before Atkins and keto or paleo was all the rage. So I boiled dozens of eggs, consumed burgers without buns or fries, and plain boiled
hot dogs without mustard or ketchup. I drank gallons of black coffee from Mr. Donut. The pounds peeled off and I could finally squeeze my butt into a pair of size 12
bell bottoms. I let my hair grow long and gave up sleeping with hair rollers. My hair was wild and unruly, not sleek and straight like Michelle and Mama Cass but
it was OK.
I had never done anything more than just kiss a boy, but I made an appointment with the OB-GYN and got a prescription for THE PILL.
At the local headshop I bought a Boho fanny pack and a sleeping bag at the Army Navy store. I bought bags of apples and oranges and made up baggies of GORP.
I figured that would be enough to sustain me.
My parents were told I was going for an orientation for the nursing school. Me and my turquoise 150 were ready to pull out.
I made the trip to Yaezger's farm in 24 hours of non-stop driving.
That blissful week-end I lost my shyness, my virginity, and my body shame, not necessarily in that order.
I returned dazed and changed.
That Summer of Love has lasted well into this autumn now of my life.