Rachel stood in the mud and the rain, listening to Richie Havens at the Woodstock Festival, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”. Havens was substituting for the scheduled performance, Sweetwater, who arrived late.
She lived only about an hour away from Woodstock, but it had taken her and her friends 7 hours, leaving in the middle of the night, to get there. She had left without her parents’ permission, as she knew she wouldn’t get it. After they had parked and paid their way in, they split up, agreeing to meet after the last performance on Sunday.
Rachel had brought some food with her but intended to buy more from the vendors she presumed would be there. Looking around, she saw only a few Port-a-Potties and no vendors except two or three who were hawking T-shirts. She was desperate to pee, so she made her way to the Port-a-Potties and waited in a long line before entering one and relieving herself.
Feeling better, she decided to get as close to the stage as she could, finally staking out a spot much farther away than she wanted to be as there were already thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, waiting for the performances to begin.
Due to earlier rains, the field was wet and muddy. She had no choice but to double over and put down the blanket she had brought to sit and sleep on.
She waited all day for the performances to begin about 5:00 PM. From time to time she chatted with those around her. She could smell marijuana smoke in the air and wished she had some.
In the middle of the afternoon, a young man near her introduced himself as Neil and offered her a joint, which she gratefully accepted. At age 15, she had little experience with pot and quickly realized the weed was stronger than what she was accustomed to the very few times she’d had it before. She and Neil smoked together, and she began to feel increasingly relaxed. Lying, she told Neil that she was 18 and where she lived. He said he had just turned 21 and lived in a town near hers.
Shortly after 5:00 the concert began. As she stood in the drizzle, she shivered. Neil put a protective arm around her, and they swayed together to the music, smoking another joint.
The performances ended in the early morning, with Arlo Guthrie followed by Joan Baez, who was clearly pregnant.
Neil invited Rachel to join him under his protective tarp. She gratefully accepted, lying on another waterproof groundcover. At first she shivered, and Neil spooned behind her with an arm over her, trying to warm her up.
When they awoke in the morning, they found the weather was still rather miserable. While it didn’t rain constantly, it was another damp, gray day. Throughout the day, they smoked and chatted. Rachel realized that the pot cut down her hunger and she ended up eating very little.
Performances resumed in the early afternoon. At one point they listened to John Sebastian, who wasn’t scheduled but stepped in for performers who hadn’t arrived. He was one of Rachel’s favorites. He finished his act with “Darlin’ Be Home Soon,” and received a standing ovation. To quiet the crowd, he sang an encore, “Younger Generation,” which again received an ovation. He waved to the crowd and turned the stage over to the emcee.
Throughout the afternoon, Neil and Rachel stood close together, smoking, and she grew high again on pot.
That evening performances were closed by the Grateful Dead and included a 50 minute-version of “Turn on Your Love Light.”
By then, Rachel had eaten the little food she had brought. As they stood listening, Neil turned to face her and planted a long, hungry kiss on her lips. When she responded, he flicked his tongue on her lips and she opened to him. They stood for a long time, savoring their kiss as they hugged and rubbed each other’s backs. Rachel reached down and felt Neil’s hard-on, throbbing through his jeans. Ignoring the crowd around them, she opened his fly, took out his tumescent penis and rubbed it till he came. When he finished, she pulled away long enough to look up to his eyes and smile. As he put his penis away and zipped his fly, he smiled back.
The Saturday performances didn’t end until after 9 AM Sunday. The two crept back under their tarp, where they began kissing and stroking each other. Soon, Neil pulled out his cock and Rachel pulled down her jeans and panties. As he entered her, she gave a little gasp, but then relaxed in his arms.
When he finished, they lay back, not bothering to redress as they both hoped to do it again.
“You were a virgin, weren’t you?” Neil asked.
She nodded. “Yes,” she said, “and I’ll never forget this.”
They dozed for a while, but then awoke when there were sounds coming from the stage indicating that performances would resume soon.
As they waited, they repeated their lovemaking under the tarp. Finishing, they lay back and sighed. Then, to the sounds of a mic-check, they reassembled their clothes and crawled out from under their tarp.
Rachel was starving, her meager supply of food a distant memory. Fortunately for her, Neil had plenty, so they both ate as they listened to the first act of the afternoon, Joe Cocker.
The performances were then delayed by a thunderstorm and didn’t resume for about four hours. The two of them stood, hugging each other and occasionally kissing in the pouring rain as they grew high again.
By the time Jimmy Hendrix performed the last act at 9:00 AM Monday morning, many of the over 400,000 people had left. Rachel and Neil stayed until the final song before picking up their belongings.
Rachel looked around for her friends, but there were still thousands of people in the field. Neil offered her a ride home and she finally accepted, hoping her friends would realize she had left.
When Neil pulled the car up in front of Rachel’s house, she kissed him long and hard. He told her he’d never forget her and gave her his address and telephone number. She got out and went up to her front door, which she opened and went in, standing, filthy and dripping, in the hall.
Her parents appeared immediately, angry that she had left without their permission. The scolding they gave her fell on deaf ears, as she climbed the stairs to her room, removed her clothes, and walked into the shower.
By late October it was clear that Rachel was pregnant. Her parents insisted that she get an abortion. She refused. Later, when her parents had gone to work, she called Neil and told him what was happening. He told her to pack as much as she could, and he’d be there in an hour to pick her up.
After she packed, she wrote a note to her parents, telling them that she was leaving with the father of her baby but not naming him and giving no hint as to where he lived or how he could be reached.
Neil’s car pulled up in front. He came to the porch and kissed her before he took her luggage and put it in the trunk of the car. They drove away. Rachel never looked back.