I missed Woodstock. Actually, I didn’t even hear about it until it was over. I was a bit busy that summer of 1969 and didn’t have time to travel to New York for “Three days of fun and music” as did half a million of my fellow boomers. I was tied up on the phone (a big black rotary dial thing) buying nuts and bolts. And pencils and paper and just about anything else the Kennedy Space Center needed that was valued at less than $500.00. Small Purchases Section, NASA, KSC. It was my first term as a Cooperative Education student and I was living in an apartment on Cocoa Beach, Florida with three other students helping to put astronauts on the moon.
Apollo 11 was my first “launch”. The Co-op students were pulled from our regular slots and assigned to the public affairs office. We ran errands, drove VIPs around (I got the senator from Alabama), worked in the press center and got to stand in the visitor’s viewing area and watch the Saturn 5 rocket take three crazy pilots to the moon, and back. It was the first of five Apollo launches I helped with during my time at the space center. But I missed Woodstock.
We had an apartment full of co-op students, young (and single) teachers, a couple of redneck car mechanics and various other complex residents gathered around a 12 inch black and white television watching Walter Cronkite narrate Neil Armstrong’s decent down to the lunar surface. Forty nine years ago tonight. Not much work got done the next day. The nuts and bolts buying got put on hold. And nobody was thinking about Woodstock, yet.