GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Boomer Bliss--We Finally Get to Woodstock

Get a load of this sleek profile in sparkle-city Burgundy.  You gotta love it.

Left to right: Mary, Michelle, Me.

John with puppets, Mary, Me with guitar.
So here's a little bit of my history.  The summer of Woodstock, my friend Mary and I were on tour in South America singing and dancing our way into the hearts of the Latin Americans under the aegis of the United States Information Agency.  USIA/USIS is a cultural exchange program.  The government sent entertainers like us around the world––often to trouble spots––to make friends for America.  I played the guitar, acted and sang--and apparently I played the tambourine since there are photos of me doing that. (I have a vague recollection of hitting my hip with the tambo, although I think Mary was on tambourine most of the time.) We did shows for universities, the general public and kids.  We had a whole menu of stuff we'd worked up for the tour––a magic trunk, colorful cards with pictures of animals and their names in two languages, whistles, hats, magic tricks––and we'd pull from our repertoire according to the makeup of our audience.  We'd learn a song from the country we were in and sing it along with show tunes and folk tunes--not exactly Woodstock but from a very young age I had modeled my folk-singing self after Baez.

Baez at 70-something.  So beautiful.

Bethel Woods
Indigo Girls

 Traveling to almost every country in South America over a period of six months, we had a grand, grand tour, incredible adventures, big audiences, but . . .  we missed Woodstock.  So Joan Baez was going to be at The Bethel Woods Art Center--a site in upstate New York that incorporates the field where the original Woodstock happened
I emailed  Mary and said let's––all these years later––go see Joan Baez and have our own private Woodstock.  She was in.  And we drove over two hours each way on Saturday night, June 22nd.  We stopped for pizza in Ellenville at Arianna's Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine.  Every bit as good as its slogan: excellence in fine Italian dining.  The pizza is really good and all the diners seemed to be enjoying their food.  Finally we got to Bethel Woods, a huge center with tons of food, immaculate bathrooms, a gorgeous shed that houses a wonderful stage.  (To put it mildly, this place in amazing.)  Baez, there with the Indigo Girls, was a brilliant combination of the old and the new for us.  The Indigo Girls were new to me although they have been around and are very popular. I have become a fan of their music and listen to it all the time.    The astonishing Baez voice, while it has gotten huskier and deeper, is still like fine crystal.  She's still political but not strident.  She has internalized her feelings about the world and one can just listen to her sing and want to join her in fixing what's wrong in the world.  She is more powerful now with her voice and her messages.

We drove the nearly five hours round trip.  And since it's 2013, our transport was no VW bus.  It was a Toyota Avalon.  The Avalon was Boomer-ready, outfitted with a terrific navigation system that got us to the concert on time, really comfortable seats, plenty of trunk and back seat space.  And what really made the car stand out was the sparkly burgundy paint job.  Everyone commented on the paint.  The car is stylish enough to turn heads but it doesn't overreach trying to be hip.  We were perfectly positioned in the Avalon for the audience that showed up for this concert.  Some had missed the original Woodstock.  Some had been there and were back for the nostalgia.  We might have been mistaken for a Lesbian couple.  Who cares.  

My  Sizzling Crimson Mica Avalon Ltd. was powered by a 3.5 liter 268 horsepower V-6 engine combined with a 6-speed, electronic transmission with paddle shifters.  Our Avalon got pretty good mileage--21 city, 31 highway, 24 combined.  The cost with about $2,000 worth of options was $42,570 including delivery.  I couldn't have been happier cruising along in the Avalon.  I didn't miss traveling in a VW bus one bit.

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