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GUEST,Claymore If You Were There...The Sixties (73* d) RE: If You Were There...The Sixties 23 Jan 05

A couple of comments:

Yes, I was there in the sixties especially at the '69 Inauguration of Nixon as a 21 year old Lieutenant of Marines. My Platoon was assigned road guard duty near the Washington Monument. The Yippies were conducting an "In-HOG-eration" with a pig called Pigasus, in a tent in the Monument parking lot. It was cold as hell, and several young ladies in the tent were trying to entice some of my men into the tent by waving at them topless from the tent. All was good natured until one of the young men came out of the tent and spit on my sergeant, who promptly butt-stroked him with an M-14 (Marines had not been issued the M-16 yet). The cops moved in and hustled the young man away, bleeding from the mouth. I don't know if he was arrested, but he learned a lesson about spitting on Marines (one I was destined to reinforce against two hippies in Berkeley a year later upon my return from Vietnam).

Last year, my Job Corps students built the stage for a the local annual Country Roads Folk Fest, in which the headliner was Richie Havens (see photo #366). My students acted as stage crew and when Richie asked what one of the young men was going to do after the Job Corps, he told Richie was going into the Army. Richie then told a tale about Woodstock that I had never heard before.

Richie, who turned out to be the opening act, was not scheduled to get on the stage until much later in the day. Due to several malfunctions with the stage and the fact that Richie was a solo act with only a guitar, the promoters wanted him to get on stage immediately to calm the crowd, which was getting restless over the delay of the start of the Festival. However, the crowds were too thick for Richie to get to the stage from the dressing tents about a mile away. Then a pilot of a National Guard helicopter offered to fly Richie to the stage if only to prevent a riot. So as Richie Havens tells it, the Army National Guard was the reason that he started the Woodstock festival off, and the rest was history…

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