Wednesday, 16 March 2016

1969 Aquarian Exposition (Peace Man!)

Lots of "kills" around here... Murderkill (!!) river, Broadkill and Whorekill (!!) river, also Catskill, Peeskill, Fishkill The list goes on ....
Less entertaining than the names is the explanation. A body of water, a kill is a creek. The word coming from the Dutch kille meaning riverbed or water channel. So now you know!

Also Leeds and Stockport. Chelsea and New Hamburg to name only a few. Places that didn't grow to the same proportions as New York, but never the less originated from the Europeans who moved to the new world. 

A trip up towards the Catskill mountains brought me to a couple of places that live on the 60's hippie mantra (man) of peace and love and music and whatever else sells to bring in the visiting tourist. 

New Paltz is a small town on a hillside with a brown meandering tributary of the Hudson river flowing at the bottom of the main street. There are significant Irish influences with a couple of Irish themed pubs and the shamrock in evidence in most places, only outdone by the number of peace symbols.

Given my earlier thoughts about the American way  and the "thanks for your service" speech to a uniformed soldier. I wonder how the "peace" thing sits with the American conscience. I've read lots about that era and the friction between the factions. I guess that issue still sits there under the bubble of the "World Police" psyche 

THE gig to be at at the end of 1969. Unfortunately I was only 6 years old at the time!
But the spirit of the age lives on in the sleepy little town nearest to the venue of the last big hippy event of the 60s. A few of the local inhabitants it seems are clinging onto the event. An old guy in flared and patched rainbow dungarees, his matted grey beard to his chest and seemingly his befuddled brain still seeking inner equilibrium wanders around the town singing at the top of his voice to accompany a barefoot chap playing the didgeridoo on the benches in the centre of the village. Tie die clothing, art, music and cafes all cater for the visitor seeking enlightenment from the heady days of the peace movement. 

Maybe business isn't always what it should be in the sleepy corner of upstate new york.

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