country life

Went over to the swimming hole. Tasted Miss Ida's fried pies at the barrel races (Dianne? Are those quarter horses?). Set a spell with ol' Bear. Played on the Internet. Talked on the phone. Cooked up a Chinese shrimp dish.


yes, those are tiki torches

How many people do you know, really, who welcome guests the old fashioned way, with citronella-imbued tiki torches? An Entertainment was held at the Goose last night that involved catfish dinner with a smart-mouthed waitress at the cafe across the street, followed by Firedancing, which got her and all of her confreres from the River's Edge Cafe out on the street. Big Doings.
Unfortunately, during the excitement, the Baluchistan Hound ate a bunch of grapes, which are held to cause renal failure in dogs. The Situation is being monitored.


what is dianne doing?

She has horses, cows, hummingbirds, a cockatiel, dogs and cats to feed. Unsatisfied with this, she also feeds several hundred head of fish (and a score of lucky turtles) in two stocked ponds.
Apparently, one horse is still feeling a trifle peckish. . .



OK, so there's a ways to go. But we know one thing, the Goose can fit three people if they have no privacy issues.


we done made it

Dawn in Thomasville. OK, so we got here late last night, spent some time today getting the internet together and cleaning up the bugs, mopping up the floors and freeing up the doors.
If y'all want to call, the no. is 764-3083. I think.


what's in the truck this time

OK, besides the hula dancer, the dragon eyes (like litchees), the paper map and the Animal, what do you think might be in the truck?
Hint: Yes we had no bananas
Hint No. 2: There are tiki torches—I forget how many. You can guess.


and we're off!

. . .to find the end of the rainbow and the Goose that laid the golden egg. Tomorrow: The Ozarks.


cognative dissonance

She calls this her Patti Smith look. Does anyone seem less likely to be hosting a party for an uberWASP sportswear company? B there or B square. What should I wear?



As the evening wore on, things got pro- gressively wilder, music- wise, weather- wise and every- other- wise.


gig alert

This evening the Talented Miss Mock appears in a showcase as she prepares for next year's Metro World Tour.
In an evening billed as "old favorites for old friends," Mock, known as "Kitty" to intimates, will unleash her silverene voice after an extended absence from the New York stage.
Makeup begins at 3 pm; the show promptly at 7:30.

Zeitgeist - A night of women's music
7:30 at The Delancey
168 Delancey - (between Clinton and Attorney, wherever the hey that is)

For more information sign up on her Facebook fan page or at Kathleen Mock, music included.


no pow wow

OK, no one wants to talk. Here's a picture of my secret hideout in Block Island, used for the last turnaraound of the summer.


woodstock, 40 years later

I couldn’t find my boyfriend.
Bill said to meet at the first tree to the left of the stage.
As far as I could figure out, the first tree to the left of the stage was right by the freak-out tent. I mean, the medical tent, where everyone who didn’t have their meds—or had taken some they shouldn’t have, like, specifically, the brown acid—or who had gashed themselves or broken something or were going into labor were screaming.
This may have colored my experience.
But apparently, I was parking at the wrong tree. We never did meet. Bill later said that there were so many girls there who looked just like me with long blond hair and wire-rimmed glasses and work shirts or black T-shirts and jeans that he started seizing their wrists to see if they had a mole on their forearms.
When I was going through the LIFE photographs of Woodstock to do a where-are-they-now issue for the 20th anniversary issue, for the life of me I couldn’t tell myself whether I was the girl in some of the pictures or not. I was 18 and going into my sophomore year at Vassar. (I can’t say I’ve changed my look much since. Other than what 60 pounds and 40 years will do to you.)
Does anyone remember how paranoid we were then? Leading up to the date there was a whole school of thought that held that the Woodstock festival was a government conspiracy to corral all the freaks in the area and let them drug themselves to death behind barbed wire. This may partly account for the trampling of the fences and the reaction to the helicopters that were airlifting in the talent. Hey, Bob Dylan who lived right nearby didn’t go, man. He might’ve known something.
Or maybe he just didn’t like crowds. I sure didn’t. Before it rained, people were lighting little bonfires in the field all over the place. I could just picture them escaping—I mean, people were so stoned—and the crowd stampeding. I couldn’t hear the music worth a damn (see the column by Gail Collins), and my back hurt. It looked like rain.
Freaked out by the freakout tent and my failure to meet Bill, I convinced my high school friends, sisters, to depart. They’re probably still mad about it—I’ll have to ask them—cause they were having a petty good time. I was the bummer.
The Corvair convertible was parked in the middle of the highway what seemed like miles away along with all the other cars that got stuck. We wiggled out onto the verge and into a dirt road. There we drove around until we could get back on the highway and to our safe and privileged homes in Westchester. I went back for the sleeping bag I had stashed behind a bush a week later. Yes it was still there. The whole place was trashed. Another boyfriend who was hired for cleanup detail told me he scored a lot of drugs and money. I have heard he later went completely crazy and died.
Most of the folks at Woodstock seemed like kids who scored some dope and knotted ties around their heads and took a weekend off from their suburban homes and exclusive colleges. Only, like, the older hippies like Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm seemed like they really had their trip together. I mean, they were far out, right?
My boyfriend Bill became a salmon fisherman and then a lawyer and married my best friend from college. He’s a judge, and she’s a museum docent now. Sometimes I see them.
I would keep trying to be a real hippy. I got pretty close in Hawaii in 1973 (snapshot with another boyfriend). Maybe I’m still trying. What is a real hippy anyway?


woodstock 20 years later

Here is a piece I wrote for LIFE magazine 20 years after the fact—20 years ago. My next post will tell what really happened—as best I can recall.

It’s raining—again—and the meadow in Bethel, N.Y., is empty except for what looks like a gravestone marked with the names of the fated (Janis and Jimi), the famous and the forgotten. From the tape deck in our rented Lincoln booms the soundtrack of Woodstock. “The brown acid is not too good, “ echoes Chip Monck’s voice. I heard him say that 20 years ago right here. But the grass has grown up now, and so have I.
Remembrances of things past are as tricky as our President was in that year, 1969. Revisionism about Woodstock is rampant—and not only by all the people who claim to have been there and weren’t. Robin Williams suggested a bumper sticker: “If u can remember Woodstock than u weren’t there.” I called up a college friend to ask if he had been there. He said, “What do you mean was I there—I was with you!”
Well, he wasn’t. I drove up in a Corvair with some high school friends. I have the reality check: An interview I gave my hometown paper dated Monday, August 18, 1969. But I was already editing my recollection. I didn’t tell the reporter (or my mother) about the guy, high on horse tranquilizers, who held out a handful of pills and said, “I feel really bad, man. Should I take one of the yellow ones?”
Most Woodstock alumni mention unity, love and mud. You are not the only one to still treasure your ticket. And I am not the only one to have a lasting distaste for crowds. But there were maybe half a million tales in that naked-to-the-elements city and there is unanimity about only one fact: It did rain.
Down where the stage was, the trees have drawn closer round the waterfall. When I watched the video, I could hear Richie Havens much more clearly than I could when he sat on that stage. As he sang, “Look there’s handsome Johnny with a gun in his hand marchin’ to the Vietnam war,” I found myself crying. I know now how it came out: How we blew our minds and died in Vietnam. How we wed, found success and grew away from our green years. I look at the photographs of those kids—us—and we look so young and joyful, with fringes flying free. But if I learned one thing back then, it was, as Baba Ram Dass says, Be Here Now.


welcome to madison

The town Sherman said was too beautiful to burn, according to local legend—Madison, Georgia—has been made more beautiful still with the addition of a $5 million park with classical structures having mysterious functions.

CBA is fortunate enough to live across the street from said beautification, hard by the railroad tracks. On Sunday and Monday, she and a selection of furry friends, alive and stuffed, feted me in Southern comfort.


the long way home

A 12-hour ride will take you from the Smoky Mountains to New York City, from one life to another. It's a leap of imagination to visualize yourself in New York from the Smokies (and vice versa), and yet there they were yesterday, on either end of a continuum.
As for Donna, clearly you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl.


at the pool

Pool time—over. The Southland Express is headed north. Anon.

land of boiled peanuts

"You wanted for anything?" I asked, as I snapped his picture.
"Not that I know of," he responded.
Boiled peanuts are hard to eat while driving, and the steering wheel gets pretty sticky. But yes, I'm in Georgia, having spent quality time with my old dad and now spending the night with CBA. I'll look for more peanuts on the way to North Carolina today. Also local tomatoes. Also cigarettes for the smokers who want to pay less than $9 a pack. Tomorrow New York City.
And for those of you counting the days til my Woodstock reminiscences, they'll be coming up around the anniversary date.


the stars fall

The sun set on the Smokies, but tomorrow the stars will fall on Alabama.

great smokies

Even with a tailgate party at Dairy Queen before the thunderstorms, we made it from NY, NY, to the Smoky Mountains outside of Asheville, N.C., in 12 hours. Now we are staying at an enchanted cottage overlooking the mountains with the sound of the creek and the looming rhododendrons. And BTW, the smokies is an appropriate designation. I'm in them and with them.


dreaming cats and dogs

If all else fails—post an animal picture. It seems like animals have been the default setting for my psyche these last weeks—every dream seems to have cats or dogs or, in one case, dormice. (What's a dormouse? Just ask Alice; I think she'll know.)
Gotta go buy a new road atlas. Heading off to the Smoky Mountains and points south tomorrow with ma Donna and Fenella in the rental Behemoth. Will be posting as regularly as possible—which is to say, maybe not often.


verbal bouquet

The party's over—Kathleen's 50th—but the roses are still blooming. And as I look at that picture, I realize that the stickie on my computer is trying to remind me of something besides "Move Truck."

The other evening, Ed got into word coinages and came up with:
joie de visa compulsive spending
songheimers the inability to remember lyrics
and the self explanatory crystal methodist.
Anything I forgot?
For a blog that does this all the time, check out Schott's.


the eyes have it

The democratization of photography continues apace—look at me. I don't know my ass from an f-stop and yet, if I take enough pix with my digital camera on auto, I can get something decent. And publish it. OK, so I won't get any money for it unless it's the arrest of the guy they thought had the bomb in LaGuardia this morning. That's the access thing, which really is all about being there and getting it up (on line) (also courage).
But I can tell the difference between a picture made by someone who does nothing else like my friends Chien-Chi or Donna and a picture made by, for instance, me. It's the eye. And sometimes the ear. Check out Chien-Chi's Escape from North Korea.