Woodstock, I didn't make it

In August of 1969, I was getting ready for military school.

Joe Cocker

My parents, immigrants who had recently purchased their first home, awkwardly tried to fit into suburbia. Me, I was having a great time, I was out and about from morning’s first light till my stomach reminded me of dinner.

My friends and I were everywhere, riding bikes all over our Long Island neighborhood doing what teenagers do at that age, find mischief. We were successful in that regard and where their parents grounded them, my parents shipped me off to a boarding school.

Mom and dad were not about to let their son become a hippie, what would the neighbors think or worse yet, what bad things must their friends be saying behind their backs? My catholic guilt ridden upbringing didn’t help matters, I could swear that the saints adorning my mom’s dresser were frowning at me.

When I arrived at my new barracks, the first thing someone asked me was if I was related to Jerry Garcia, followed by a mention of how wasted the band was at Woodstock. Cool wasn’t it? I said to my new friend.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends