Dedication: “Woodstock Nation,” Fourth Chakra: Love, Color: Green, Musical Note: F
The Sixties were a time when all boundaries were being pushed to their limits yet many were compelled to push on, even further. No other icon symbolizes the mood of the time better than Ken Kesey’s school bus, “Further.” This image commemorates an event that took place when Kesey and his band of “Merry Pranksters” traveled in a 1939 International school bus painted in psychedelic colors, from the West Coast, smoking marijuana, and dropping acid along the way. They arrived in New York City to meet Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Ginsberg embraced the new legends immediately and arranged for them to drive to Millbrook to meet the other psychedelic pioneer, Timothy Leary. Thus, the psychedelic factions of the East and West were united in July of 1964.
On August 15, 1969, outside of the little up-state New York town of Bethel, the “Woodstock Music and Art Fair” officially began as “Three Days of Peace and Music” and ended three days later as one of the most celebrated music festivals in history. Originally 50,000 were expected to attend. Ultimately almost ten times that amount (roughly a crowd the size of the population of the then Atlanta, Georgia) actually made it to the festival grounds. Thousands of vehicles had to be turned away by the New York State Police and never made it to the festival. This was the first time the Hippie movement had an opportunity to walk its talk on such a scale. For almost four days, nearly half a million hippies joined together in love and music without the necessity of any outside involvement by the authorities to “keep the peace.” Through this demonstration of peaceful communal co-existence, the Hippie Movement demonstrated a new mind set, they were sure, could be implemented.