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Surfin': Still Finding Woodstock

08/21/2009

I expected last week's Finding Woodstock to reveal a bunch of other hams who attended the event, but it only turned up three.

The first was a big surprise: My editor, Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA -- the person who straightens out the mangled words I write here -- attended Woodstock. She was 2 years old and accompanied her mother. Khrystyne only remembers four things about the event: "It was cold, it was wet, it was loud and it smelled funny."

The second ham attendee, Jim Kearman, KR1S, was a another surprise because Jim and I worked at ARRL Headquarters simultaneously back in the late 1970s, not long after Woodstock. The subject never came up in our many bull sessions in the contest corner of the Communications Department.

The third was Jack Wilson, W1QXX. Ernie Richards, K1NI, related the following story: "While I was living in Massachusetts and very active with the 1200 Radio Club, Jack Wilson, W1QXX, was the father of Alan Wilson, the lead singer of Canned Heat, one of the headline Woodstock acts. On the weekend of Woodstock, Jack hauled his large trailer filled with the band's music equipment from Massachusetts to New York for their scheduled performance. A couple of weeks later, he hauled towers and equipment for the 1200 Radio Club's September QSO party 1200 RC setup on Mt Aggie (Agamenticus) in Southern Maine. I remember his excited descriptions of the wild-and-wet Woodstock weekend. Jack, W1QXX, was an enthusiastic ham and I am sure also in the music of those times."

Tim Goeppinger, K6GEP, e-mailed me about another Woodstock-ham radio connection. Tim wrote that Les Paul made a huge contribution to Woodstock with his invention of the electric guitar (Carlos Santana used a Les Paul guitar on stage). Paul, who died last week, built his first guitar pickup from ham radio headphone parts in 1934.

By the way, in last week's Surfin', I left out some of the details about my Woodstock experience, so as not to make the column too long. For anyone interested, I annotated that column and you can read all the gory details here.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, plans to revisit what's left of the mud in September. His editor, Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, revisited Yasgur's Farm back in 1991 and found all that's there is a stone marker. To contact Stan, send him e-mail or add comments to his blog.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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