It was the summer of my HS graduation. I lived about 150 miles north of Woodstock in NY state. This very conservative small town raised person was soon to be off to college on ultra liberal Long Island. My music tastes were generally in a different direction than those who attended Woodstock. Ever hear of Ultimate Spinach, or Beacon Street Union? Vivaldi? The likes of the Moody Blues became my mainstream rock sound in the 70’s. I liked the early Beatles, but got turned off when they descended deep into the drug culture. I got so sick of hearing about how wonderful Woodstock was by those who attended in my dorm at college and the sickly sweet smell of pot wafting in every corridor of most dorms. I was happy to be witness to a huge drug bust raid, as from the top of the physics building I viewed cop cars sweep in to try to save the computer center from anti-war trashers (they busted every large window but did not otherwise get in).
Though I had a very low draft lottery number (76), as long as I got good grades in college I had a deferment to keep me out of the steamy swamps in VN. When graduation came near in 1973, I had to think of something else, so I signed up for Air Force OTS so I would not be drafted as an enlisted grunt. Turned out, had I dragged my heels, the war and draft ended at about that same time and I could have skated. I had one brother as a former B-52 pilot (then a civilian airline and hot air balloon pilot), and another brother as a logistics officer, but with my sights set on engineering and physics I never thought I would follow them in any way. So that is what I did and was trained as a navigator where I remained active for several years before finishing my 20 years in the reserves as an engineer at the same time as holding an engineering civilian job in different directorates at the AF research lab at Griffiss AFB, where I eventually also also retired from.
When the Rome NY mayor (Joe Griffo, now a state senator) brought Woodstock 1999 to the Griffiss AFB runway (an alternate Space Shuttle landing strip), most of us veterans there were mortified at the lack of respect shown to that former important high profile cold war military base. The AF research lab were I worked was still there, although the runway and flight operations were previously closed down by BRACC. Some of us made our way through the flight line hanger to enter the WS grounds on the runway, only to see the devastation, filth, and disrespect of the grounds where the party goers were occupying. I had spend years on nuclear alert on the very ground and buildings they were trashing. It did not end well, with fires set in tractor trailers containing their own crappy gear, and an investigation later. I have never forgiven Mr. Griffo for the extreme disrespect he brought to our community.