Monday, October 19, 2009


My new book, Between the Devil and the Deep...:Memoirs of a Maverick Priest,contains three chapters about my experiences at the Wookstock Rock Festival of 1969. I hope you will buy the book and experience another view of the event. It is available on,, or send me a check for $18, plus $3.50(US) for postage, and I will send you an autographed copy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This is a new book I've just published. There are three chapters devoted to my activities at the Woodstock Rock Festival. I hope that you will purchase this book to get another viewpoint of this culture changing Rock Festival.

For more information and an excerpt from the first chaplter, go to the link listed on right.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yes, it’s over. It was fun to think back on those frantic days, but also makes me happy I don’t have to do it again. I think I’ll let this blog stay as it is for a few weeks. Remember Peace to all!

Monday, August 31, 2009


I feel lonely. No one has made a comment. I’m not even sure anyone is reading this stuff. Oh well, I certainly was not lonely at Woodstock.

Someone asked me the other day if all the people at Woodstock were durggies. My answer was not. The media stayed were there were druggies. And there were probably many drugs in camp sites. However the official estimation by a doctor who was doing research there said he thought maybe 10% were on drugs, and less than 1% on hard drugs.

That doesn’t sound like much, but 10% of 500,000 are still 50,000 people on drugs. That’s a lot, but there were a majority not high on drugs. Whoops, I forgot alcohol? Don’t know how many were drinking wine and beer. A lot, I think. I know several people gave me a glass of wine. I also saw festival goers handing beer to our “Peace Corps” (police). I also watched as these policemen (Peace Corps) hand out cigarettes to those they had been beating on the heads in New York City less than a month before.

I got a contact high walking through the Drug Store one night. I needed it!

Monday, August 24, 2009


It is strange how those who went to Woodstock run across one another through out the years.

I was a Federal Prison Chaplain for 22 years after Woodstock. It was in the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island that I ran across a Hell’s Angel. When he saw me his gave me a big hug (I thought I was being attacked at first) and said, “it’s nice to see you again chaplain.”

I had met him and a large group of Hell’s Angels at Woodstock. They pulled me out from under a telephone truck, where I had hid so I could get some sleep, and gave me a lecture about sleeping under trucks. One man was killed by doing the same thing under, or at least near, a sanitation truck. They wanted me to counsel one of their women, which I did.

Later, I think it was on Sunday afternoon when Blood, Sweat and Tears were performing, I was called by radio to the road in back of the stage. The Angels were in confrontation with the State Police. I was able to get in between and solve the problem without bloodshed. I was very thankful, because I did not want to shed my blood.

Evidently my fame among the Hell’s Angels spread, because the man in FCI Terminal Island told me I was the official chaplain for the club and would be welcomed by them at any time.

I never checked to see if this was true or not.

I met several others outside the prison setting and we would share experiences. One I met had worked in the trailer next door to mine. He is now a regional director or Muscular Dystrophy Association. I have a MD disease, Myasthenia Gravis, and it was in connection with this that I ran into him. It was funny because we had not known each other even though we worked next door to one another. Perhaps it is because we were both sleep deprived during the festival.

The full story of my experiences at the festival are in a book about to be published: Between The Devil and the Deep…: Memoirs of a Maverick Priest. ANYONE WHO WAS THERE CAN CONTACT ME THROUGH THIS BLOG. I WOULD BE HAPPY TO RESPOND.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where was I at Woodstock?

I saw a documentary on Woodstock last night. My wife asked me why I was not in any of the photographs or films. This is a good question.

I think there were two reasons:

1. (This is the biggest reason.) I would be sitting on the ground counseling with someone and a camera would be stuck in my face. This angered me because I was trying to listen to and help who ever I was talking to. I would yell and tell the cameraman to go away and leave us along. I am not sure, but I might have thrown a rock at them once.

2. I was not able to spend much time in the main area. I was usually around the trailers, the meditations area, Hog Farm and the “freak out” tents.

If I had know they were making a movie, perhaps I would have tried to mug for the cameras, but I do not think so.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There are so many memories I have of Woodstock that I hardly know where to begin. There are several chapters dedicated to the festival in detail, but you will have to wait until the book, Between the Devil and the Deep…, comes out. It will be soon.

The festival organizers were treated very poorly. The “I don’t want those hippy, druggies, long haired kids with their rock music in our area because they will get our children on dope” syndrome, was really active. They did not realize that it was too late to keep drugs out of Middletown. They were not on hard drugs like cocaine or Heron, but marijuana and pills (uppers and downers)were being used by some teenagers of the city.

They were denied the City of Woodstock so the moved to the township of Wallkill, near Middletown, New York. Here they started to set up the area and I’m not sure if it was May or June began to construct the stage. The folks in Middletown did not like having them near, so they and the township, began passing laws to keep them out.

Now Middletown had a race track for cars. This event was across town from where I lived. Every Saturday night, until the wee hours in the morning they roared and kept me from having a good sleep. Yet the townspeople passed a law that said it was illegal to have any event where the noise might go outside its boundaries, the race track excepted.

This law was clearly unconstitutional, but it would have taken the organizers months to fight it out, so they moved. This was a Godsend.

They were not able to put up fences in time for the opening and since they expected no more that 20 thousand, so when 400,000 showed up, it would have caused trouble and riots.

I hate to say this, but the church where I assisted was one of those who objected to the event. I was forced to resign if I wanted to be chaplain at Woodstock