The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was an event unlike anything else in the 20th century. Nearly 1/2 million young people gathered in upstate New York on a hot and rainy weekend in 1969 to watch one of the most impressive musical lineups in history. While what many people called a hippiefest, Woodstock was really both a cultural milestone and an end to an era.
In the late 60's the US was a divided nation...the Vietnam War had put people on two sides, pro war or anti war. We were called beatniks, bohemians, flower children, hippies etc, but whatever we were called, whatever we thought and however we felt, we were all driven by the beat of the music of the time.
Besides the 1/2 million people who converged on the site of Woodstock in Bethel, NY, countless others never made it past the 20 mile traffic gridlock leading to the site. Thousands just abandoned their cars and walked. Helicopters had to be rented to ferry the performers in. After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with possibilities of disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. Woodstock came at a time when the US was at a crossroad:True believers say it was the "capstone of an era devoted to human advancement." Cynics say it was a fitting and ridiculous end to an era of naiveté. Others say it was just a hell of a party. It was the Age of Aquarius and somehow, it all just fit. Woodstock has not been forgotten. In fact, it's one of the most enduring non Vietnam War related images of the sixties.
As part of the post war baby boom, we boomers now find ourselves in another incredible time, another crossroad. We are the largest group of people ever retiring within a space of just a few years. As the oldest of the boomers are just finding out, it isn't as easy as we thought it would be. The economy is awful and there is talk of cutting our Social Security and Medicare benefits when healthcare is so very expensive.
Legal issues of immense proportions also lay in the path to the golden years of old age. Trusts, wills, estates, guardianship issues, grandparent rights, etc. are all part of the legal maze we boomers must navigate to protect ourselves, our entitlements and our rights.