Page Two

Page Two
The weekend of the first Woodstock, I had to work late on Friday. By the time we were ready to go, much later that night, friends had already returned, warning us of the endless traffic jams and seas of dirt. A very large, very loose group of us were going in several shifts. None of us had bought tickets; we expected to figure it out as we went along. Warned away, a friend and I drove off and had a memorable weekend just visiting far-flung friends on an episodic schedule.

The following week, the returning Woodstock veterans had lots of war stories. Except for Roy, who found himself a hippie princess and a huge, empty, open field to romance her in, the feeling was unanimous: Woodstock was disorganized and wet, with the music too far away; no one was especially thrilled. They all appreciated the unique counterculture and hippie-watching aspect of it, but the experience itself was disappointing. They remembered feeling overwhelmed by water and mud.

A week or so later, Life magazine came out with a huge spread on Woodstock. We pored over it. At the time, remember, it was still very unusual for one of our culture's events to be covered in one of their culture's publications (those distinctions, which are ridiculous now, had some meaning then), especially on the event's terms. Life's coverage was historic. It also had profound effects. The tales told of Woodstock grew even more frequent and changed in tone. Not even that much distance made the heart grow fonder. The stories went from morose bitching to gushing tales of life-changing epiphanies. I've never been sure if it was the passage of time or Life magazine that caused the change. Watching the brilliant music merchandising event that Woodstock has now become, I was reminded of that weekend.

A few weeks back, I mentioned we were seriously thinking about adding some new editorial, back in the Personals section, most likely a romance column. We'd like something other than a question-and-answer column, but we offer no ideas. We will settle for the right Q & A column. Starting soon, we'll begin to seriously look at the proposals we've received. Consider the cutoff date to be Friday, August 6, 1999.

Here's your chance. Send us three sample columns that you would write if you ran the Chronicle's romance column. It can be Q & A, it can be something else. We're looking for intelligence, information, and style -- not just sex stories, dubious advice, and sorry double entendres. Before you start, think, "Do I want to be doing this in a year?" The first 12 columns are easy, then it is hell.

We make no promises. We may find something we like, we may not. We may go in-house or hire some favorite writer. We may go with something besides a romance column. First we're going to surf the waves of our readers. Send any ideas to me at: The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, Texas 78765. Remember, the deadline is August 6, 1999.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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