Friday, August 14, 2009

Flower Child

I have a friend who insists I'm not funky.

It's a funny debate we have - I most certainly know I AM funky, and yet he insists I'm as preppy and conventional as they come. That he's not aware of my counterculture persona is an indication that either he doesn't know me as well as he thinks -or- I've been successful in masking this facet of my personality.

No matter.

Though seersucker, grosgrain and cotton make regular plays in my fashion set list, I have long embodied that of a social chameleon. At any given moment, I can reach in to my bag of tricks (and extensive, varied wardrobe) and pull out clubby, saucy, conservative, hipster and polished - depending on the occasion.

Crunchy is one of those facets.

Over the years, I've worn tie-dye, Birkenstocks and hemp necklaces. When I was but five years old, I carried a metal lunch box wallpapered in a Stop Acid Rain sticker. I tossed around a hacky sack or two when I was in high school.

My ambition belongs in more conservative environs, but my heart is happiest with people who are free, genuine and laid back.

I guess you could say I belonged at Woodstock.

Passion is a wonderful virtue, and no generation has better demonstrated it than the youth of the 60s. They fought against war, they fought for civil rights. The legendary music festival in upstate New York is the most significant example of this convergence of thought - free love, protest, acceptance; it was a place where a generation defined their values.

Woodstock left an indelible mark on society, and I am sorely disappointed I missed it.

I would have had to exist 25 years earlier to appreciate the experience, meaning I would be in my late 50s in present time. I'd miss out on wearing Jams, obsessing over Capri Suns. I'd miss out on singing Pearl Jam with my high school classmates at a hole in the wall bar in Hamburg.

Twitter would likely mean nothing to me.

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. It was a weekend when hundreds of thousands of people joined hands and hearts on a stretch of green, rolling farmland to share a collective thought and feeling of peace. The musical acts that hit the stage are now featured in any soundtrack defining that era. CCR's Bad Moon Rising, Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart, Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love. The Who, Joe Cocker, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Sha Na Na (aside: I am told I had a crush on Sha Na Na's Bowser when I was little), Jimi Hendrix - this music, though not in my iPod's Top 25 Played playlist, it certainly inspires nostalgic thoughts of my youth.

This weekend, join me in breaking out the tie dye, hemp and sandals. Crank up your Anthem Rock (whether it be on vinyl, CD or iPod), and do whatever you think best honors a generation of peace, love and happiness.

Just don't call me if you need to post bail - I will be back to my Preppy Handbook-sanctioned wardrobe by Monday.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

HippieLunatic said...

One of my favorite songs is by Sandi Thom, "I Wish I was a Punk Rocker."

"I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair. In 77 and 69, revolution was in the air. I was born too late, into a world that doesn't care..."

Reheadedreader ~aka HippieLunatic