Remembrances of Woodstock

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I was 21 and had just graduated college two months before Woodstock. I went to the festival with my friend Rita…a couple of classic hippie chicks with long, straight hair and embroidered jeans.

We arrived at the festival grounds late on Friday afternoon. By then, the fences had already been knocked down, so we didn’t need our tickets to get in. We found a makeshift campsite as close as we could get to the festival hill, then pitched our two-person tent and started to make dinner. All we brought with us in the way of food were cans of spaghetti and beef stew–and a little hibachi to cook it on.

We lit the grill, opened a can of spaghetti, and plunked it on the grate. Neither of us thought about the fact that pasta expands when it heats up. Within minutes, Rita and I watched in awe as a can-shaped cylinder of spaghetti rose slowly from the can, then exploded and scattered bits of pasta all over the ground. All we could do was stare at the mess and whisper “Wowwwww…” Fortunately, the people at the next campsite had brought real food, so they invited us to share their cheeseburgers.

As the evening progressed, the rain picked up. Three guys with no means of shelter wandered by and asked us if they could share our little tent. Of course, we said yes. After all, this was to be a weekend of peace and love! Our ignorance kicked in again at this point, because Rita and I didn’t know that a tent is waterproof only as long as you don’t touch the canvas from the inside. When our new friends settled in, I was jammed against one side of the tent, and the upshot was that I was soaking wet when I woke up the next morning. Again, neighboring campers saved the day by inviting me to change into dry clothes in their tent, which was large enough to stand up in. (NOTE FOR MOLLY FISK: I dressed in red, white, and blue, narrow-waled corduroy, hip-hugger bellbottoms and a navy blue shirt with a long pointed collar.)

On Saturday morning, we made our way to the festival hill on foot. After finding a place to settle in, we listened to bands that included Country Joe and The Fish, Janis Joplin, and The Who. That night, since the rain had stopped, we opted not to go back to our campsite. We slept outside on the festival hill, and awoke to a dry, humid morning and Jefferson Airplane. We had no food or water, but a few bikers were circulating a motorcycle helmet filled with ice chips. Breakfast!

The weekend was a blur of incredible music, warnings on the loudspeakers not to eat the brown acid, and lots of mud. The atmosphere was one of incredible warmth, marked by genuine caring and concern among the festivalgoers. We made a point of taking care of one another in any way we could–whether with food, shelter, or friendship. I think we all realized, even at the time, that we were part of something amazingly special and that we were, in fact, making history.

Since Rita and I both had to go to work on Monday, we left the festival grounds on Sunday afternoon.(NOTE FOR MOLLY FISK: I wore embroidered bellbottom jeans and a bikini top.)We were driving Rita’s Corvair convertible (with the top down), which Ralph Nader had recently and historically damned as a safety hazard. As we were leaving, several people asked for a ride to the main road. Within minutes, we had 13 people in and on the car. As we drove past one of the campsites, a guy looked up, grinned, and shouted, “”Ralph Nader eats sh–!” It was the perfect ending to the most extraordinary weekend.

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Summer-Meets-Fall Sweater

With a continuing eye on cooler temperatures, I’ve moved from boots to sweaters (and will likely continue to move back and forth until I drive you or myself mad with anticipation). The new arrivals at Ted Baker include some beautiful floral prints—perfect for the transition from summer to fall. The “Teeah” cardigan is one of my favorites.

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Blending summery blossoms with a rich autumnal plaid, it’s the perfect way to welcome brisker weather without having to bid a complete farewell to summer. The cardigan teams perfectly with any black bottom: pants, skirt, or jeans. When I tried it on in the store, I was wearing red jeans, and the combination was a complete bust. I think the flowers need to make a statement of their own, and the bright pants competed for attention. For the best result, keep the bottom half dark and simple.

Is it fall yet?

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite time of year. I’ve always preferred boots and sweaters to flip-flops and T-shirts, probably because it’s so much easier to make a statement or get playful with clothing when the focus isn’t on trying to stay cool. (And I mean that in a temperature sort of way, not in a hip sort of way.) Now that June and July are behind us, I feel I have carte blanche to turn my attention to fall fashions, and there’s no better place to start than at the Nordstrom anniversary sale.

Nordstrom’s fall sale has always been a great source for amazing prices on boots, and this year is no exception. A perfect example is the Paul Green “Jules” block-heel bootie, on sale now for $266.90. (On August 8, it jumps to $399.00.)

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Although the reviews say the boots fits true to size, I found it more comfortable to go up a 1/2 size. If you’re tempted to buy, keep in mind that it has no zipper, so slipping it on and off can pose a bit of a challenge to a high arch.