Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Woodstock Couple
The famous photo above, says it all. It was a time of hippies, drugs, non confrontational demonstrations, Joan Baez, Creedence Clearwater Revival, protests, ban-the-bomb, peace and love. Free love. Is love ever free?
By now, people are probably totally fed up with hearing about Woodstock but I wanted to share the story of the Ercolines who are the couple in the picture that said it all. I also wanted to share it because my friend Kennedy James has written two fantastic blogs on Woodstock, one of which carried the 'famous picture'. When I commented that the London Daily Mail had tracked down the couple he seemed surprised (or was it wonder?) and wanted to know if they were still together. Well blow me down! Yes they are and here is how they are today.
Bobbi and Nick Ercoline by kindness of the London Daily Mail.
Forty years ago, the couple joined an estimated 500,000 for an event that was to become legendary. Two years later they married, had two sons and now still live not far from the concert site at Bethel in upstate New York.
Now both sixty, the Ercolines last week returned to the site for the anniversary event.
'Who'd have thought that our 15 minutes of fame would last 40 years?' said Nick, who now works for his county's housing department.
He and Bobbi, a school nurse, never intended to go to the original concert. But as the couple sat listening to the radio that weekend, the crowd swelled, police closed the roads and broadcast appeals for people to stay away. This made them determined to join in the fun.
They grabbed a gallon jug of red wine, some bags of crisps, and headed for Woodstock, abandoning the car six miles from the concert and walking the rest of the way.
The couple were pictured by a wandering photographer and the shot made it on to the cover of the Woodstock triple album featuring, among others, Jimi Hendrix and The Who.
Nick recalls that he and Bobbi were listening to it at a friend's house when he picked up the sleeve. 'I said, "Hey that's our blanket." Then I said, "Hey, that's us!"'
So there you go! A photograph that defined a generation and a great on going story to boot!
©Barbara M Lake
(With thanks to the London Daily Mail)