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Watkins Glen
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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It sounds worse then it was, or could have been, I believe I had a guardian angel.......

Watkins Glen

Doing something you did not want to do can turn out several ways. It can be a chore, an adventure, or a lesson learned. For me, it was all three, and more.

The summer of 1973 I graduated from High School. I was happy school was over, but somewhat sad that all my friends were going away to school in the fall. I was attending the local community college.

We were all part of the social awareness of the time, and felt that we had to leave a mark on the planet. That we had to contribute somehow to mankind before we died. Or we had to make sure we had tons of fun. We were eighteen and naive. Fun won out over contribution every time.

My friend and I had tickets to the Watkins Glen concert in New York state. Tickets that we could not afford ($18.00) but no ride up there. I didn't really care that much if we went or not, I was moping over a semi broken heart. I had the strictest mother on the planet, and realized I blew money on an event I could not attend. My friend was more optimistic and really wanted to go. Her mother found us a ride up there, with a friend of a friend's son and his date. My mother took one look at us moping around, sad faced for different reasons and to my astonishment gave me permission to go.

Off we went.

A few dollars in our pockets, the clothes on our backs, and a change. No plan of where to stay. No tent or gear. No food packed.

The ride up was uncomfortable. Imagine barging in on a first date, between a guy and girl, with the girl only accepting the date to get to the concert. She was happy to have my friend and I there, because she was not into the boy at all. And he, well, two extra girls in his car was not what he wanted or expected. She totally ignored him, and sat facing the back seat to chat with us the whole way. He was ignored. He was the chauffer. I felt bad for him.

To make matters worse we picked up two brothers hitchhiking. One was a blond, long haired math teacher, who the datee in the front seat immediately got the hots for and started flirting with him like mad. He on the other hand got the hots for my friend, and was flirting with her, and she with him, while his brother stared out the window bored. I watched the drama unfold, while the driver became angrier and insulted, as the four of us sat squeezed into the back seat.

As we got closer to the concert the traffic came to a stand still. I later learned that it was backed up for eleven miles. People were walking around, joking, getting buzzed, playing music, complaining, laughing, socializing, and having a great time. Most cars were abandoned and people were hiking to the concert area. There was a spirit of adventure and mischief in the air, and I got caught up in it. We were hungry and thirsty, excited and bored. We were teenagers!

The brothers wanted to walk up to the gates to see how far away we were. They left their belongings in the car. My friend and I eventually got out to stretch out legs leaving the daters in the car. She looked so sad to be stuck with her escort. He finallly lost his tense look and seemed relieved. Alone at last!

We were walking around talking to people from different states, joking, laughing, flirting and singing with them.An impish spirit got a hold of me, and I started to talk to people in fake accents. Whatever license plate their car held I would talk in my version of their home. I was a fake from every state, from Main to Arkansas. And I made out like a bandit. People were offering us all types of things. Drugs, booze, food, desserts, rides, (ha!), music, you name it. There was such a fun spirit on that long road. I came back to our car with boxes and bags of food......... etc. i felt like Santa.

My free spirited friend took off with someone she met and said she would meet us at the gate. The daters, the brothers and myself eventually hiked to the gate and tried to locate my friend in the darkness. There were more people there than at Woodstock. It was a city.

The daters went their way. (She looked so sad) The brothers offered to help me find my friend but, eventually all the chaos forced us to stop. They offered to let me sleep in their tent. and being naive I said yes. They had an extra sleeping bag, and set everything up with me in the middle. Getting into the bag it occured to me that I was in a tent with two males I didn't know and this could be a bad situation. (I was so trusting) When suddenly the two of them put their hands on my back at the same time, telling me that their mother always insisted they share everything. I screamed for my mother, and the two of them started to laugh. They had been teasing me, and we laid in that tent laughing till we were weak. We fell asleep, and all was well. My virture was safe!

The next morning they shared their breakfast with me, and went off to the concert. The daters (she looked so sad) went off too, and I went to look for my friend. I had no concept how immense the area was, and thought I would find her in a few minutes.

There were mounted police there, yelling at the concert goers, telling us never to buy tickets to things like this again. That we could always get in free. The fences were all knocked down. Some of them were stoned. The horses looked stoned too.

To Be Continued..........


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Reviewed by Jon Willey 9/4/2011
Anita, I was in Watkins Glen in the early Fall of 2010. It was the same quaint beautiful place I remembered from the mid sixties when I was last there. The view of the lake from town is still spectacular. I am awaiting your next installment of teenage memoirs. Alone, a teenage girl with two strange men in a tent? You would not dare to attempt that trick today unless you wanted to be a crime statistic!I bid you love and peace my dear friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/17/2011
Great story, Anita; well done!

(((HUGS)) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. ;D
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 7/9/2011
It's a great change of pace to get this glimpse into your past. Much enjoyed.
Reviewed by J Howard 7/3/2011
reminders of our past- fun and victorious, frail and venomous-all the same. good story. let me know when you post the rest.
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/2/2011
Quite a story. I'm looking forward to what happens next. I thought you were going to write about car racing, because about that time my brother and I were into that and went to Road America (another teenage camping event) on the same circuit as Watkins Glen.

I am reminded of two concerts I attended… One in People's Park, San Jose,' 67 where my nurse friend from Canada got bored and wanted us to leave before everybody got sick from the little pink pills that Janis Joplin was hawking. Another, in Pleasanton California at the fairgrounds, where mounted police could not keep the crowds outside from storming the wall and getting in free. José Feliciano and the Chambers Brothers were two bands I can remember. A straight engineer in a sea of hippies–what a trip!


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