Woodstock 48th Anniversary: From Woodstock…

Every year when August rolls around, I have a little flashback to that weekend on Max Yasgur’s Farm in 1969.

I must admit, I have mixed emotions, feelings, and thoughts about the Woodstock

phenomenon, and those thoughts are what inspired me to write my book, From Woodstock To Eternity. I wanted to paint a real life history of the hippie era… its rise and fall, its ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. A final scene in the Woodstock chapter captures the stardust…

He closes his eyes and lets the rhythmical power of the acid rock take him away.  The images of the last three days roll through his mind like a video.  The overwhelming onslaught of people from everywhere.  The gathering of the tribes.  The exhilarating swells of peace and brotherhood.  The generosity of the hog farm, the open market of psychedelic drugs.  The acid reports.  The smiles on everybody’s faces, the “hello, brother,” “hello, sister,” “peace, man,” “this is far out, really far out.”  Jimi says it all in his brief chatter between songs,

“You proved to the world what can happen,” he says, “A little bit of love, and understanding, and sound.”

Hendrix goes straight from “Voodoo Child” into the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner.”  He raises his arm high in a salute to the crowd, his fingers formed into the peace sign.  The adoring audience flashes the sign back in unison.   The twisted, exploding version of the National Anthem paints the picture of everything the revolution stands for, and Morgan knows he is part of it.  Woodstock has sealed the deal; he has sold his soul.  A great swelling of emotion rises up in his heart, and he cannot contain it.  He raises both hands into the air, with his fingers forming the “V,” and cries like a baby.

From Woodstock To Eternity is a story of change, of mutation and renewal. In just a few short years, Dustin Morgan and his friend Cutter lament the passing of the beautiful people…

“… We used to talk about the reasons for war, why it was wrong, what made up the human condition, what could be done to improve on that condition.  All we wanted was brotherhood, and good vibes; it was enough just to groove on a good rock beat and hallucinate.”

“Yeh, I know what ya mean.  Where did all those people go?  A whole society has suddenly disappeared!  Did they all vanish into thin air?  Did someone throw some kind of cosmic switch that instantly transformed a whole generation?  It’s like an alien mother ship slowly cruised around the world with a long vacuum hose dangling down to earth, sucking up the beautiful flower people, leaving behind nothing but dull-witted, lecherous, party ‘til you puke derelicts.” 

Cutter goes on,

“Now, the only thing anyone talks about is, ‘Let’s get drunk, let’s get stoned, hey, look at that chick!’  Slobber, drool.  Instead of ‘Why is there air?’ the deepest, most profound question anybody can come up with is, ‘Hey man, got any coke?’”

On the one hand, I wrote the story to give those of us who were there, in that time, a walk down memory lane. It blossomed in Haight Ashbury and peaked at Woodstock, but the hippie movement soon took a downward spiral into debauchery and depravity. Morgan witnessed it for himself at a rock festival in Evansville, Indiana.

The kid is a total mess.  His hair is not quite shoulder length, knotted and disheveled like a bad case of bed head.  His shirt is torn and unbuttoned, hanging loose.  His pants are halfway down his rear, sagging over his bare feet.  His shoulders are stooped and rounded in a slouch… a filthy lock of hair dangling over his face as he gazes downward.  Morgan thinks to himself,

“Is this the picture of the typical hippie?  Is this what the world thinks we are?  No wonder they think we’re disgusting.  I think it’s disgusting.”

The image of the kid playing in the sewage plagues Morgan from that time on.

“Has Woodstock Nation come to this?  This isn’t stardust and golden; this is space aliens in the sewage.  A wasted kid, totally stripped of all decency, full of downers, playing in the piss?  This is pathetic.”

Dustin’s Dad gives him a wise analysis,

“If you’re wondering why all this is crumbling around you, it’s because you have left Jesus out of the equation.  You want the results, but you don’t want to obey the Giver of the results.  Therefore, the Giver withholds His hand.”

Next: The Turn to Eternity 

Richie’s Reviews Gives Four Stars

From Woodstock To Eternity Gets Four Star Review From R. W. Lang

Hello and a Very Happy and Blessed 2017 to everyone!! I just came across this review from Richie’s Reviews for my Christian Adventure Novel, From Woodstock To Eternity and thought I would share it. I encourage everyone to click on the link and visit his site, as well as read and comment on his review.

2017 promises to be  a very good year in many ways. For those of you who were left hanging on the cliff ending, I have already started writing the sequel, which will reveal what

Are you Dustin Morgan?

happened to Dustin Morgan, and how God again worked miraculously in his life, but only after he submitted to some very difficult commands from Scripture. The name of the next book is “The Steel Wall”, but more on that in a future post.

For now, please visit Richie’s Reviews and see his great review of my book, and also, please go to my Amazon page and leave your own review for From Woodstock To Eternity. I believe this book has a valuable message, and the best way to spread it is through many good reviews.

Thanks so much, and again, DREAM BIG!!!

Happy 2017!!!

Discounts on Create Space and Kindle!!!

Price Reduced for Christmas! Get $5.00 off From Woodstock To Eternity!!

Two discounts are now available for the wild tale of deliverance – From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

Go to www.createspace.com/4936312 or search From Woodstock To Eternity in the Createspace.com store and enter discount code RAXXKE82

Get the reduced price of $14.95 for From Woodstock To Eternity.

Go to Amazon to get the Kindle version of From Woodstock To Eternity for only $2.99

These Discounts Will Go Through The New Year 2017!!!

For those who have not yet read this book, it is a highly entertaining story of the hippie era and a moving tale of deliverance. For this Christmas season, it is a stirring account of what Jesus can do to transform a life.

Amazing Real Book May 2, 2015

Amazing Real Book!!! Thank you for writing it and then Sharing it with us!!! Oh how I

remember the days of my youth!!! My Parents were so right about my music and lots of other things!!! I see now that I am older, THANK YOU AGAIN !! Loving the readings in this BOOK!!!

LIVE THIS ADVENTURE YOURSELF May 2, 2015
INCREDIBLE, VERY ENTERTAINING,GETS YOUR ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY AND DOESN,T LET UP.
WOW!!!!! FROM ANOTHER PERSON WHO ATTENTED WOODSTOCK. THE READER WILL GET THE
FEELING THAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY THERE, LIVING THIS ADVENTURE. YOU ARE LEFT TO FORM
ON OWN CONCLUSIONS ON WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG, THE MORAL IMPLICATIONS OF DECISIONS
MADE BY DUSTIN MORGAN ARE OPEN TO INTERPRETATION. AWESOME!!!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
THIS
Powerful! January 21, 2015
There is only one possible way this man could have lived through all of this and come out of it mentally stable, emotionally balanced, and spiritually whole. This is the power of God. I promise, you will not regret reading this book!
 You made me feel like I was on the plane with you. Actually, I think I would have been in the “drop zone” waiting for the goodies! Very descriptive, accurate, and well-written. Rick Blaisdell -Pastor Renewed Life in Jesus Church and Author of One Life to Give-Living Water for Thirsty Souls.
 It arrived from Amazon Saturday afternoon and I finished it Monday morning. Couldn’t put it down. It was really intense.

 

Old Hippie Reunion in Blacksburg, VA

News Flash! Get Together Steppin Out Weekend August 5&6

An event that is destined to be is now coming together for everyone who was a part of the magical time in Blacksburg, VA from the late 1960’s thru the 1970’s.  Sparked by the book, From Woodstock To Eternity, the lofty memories can put on life as we make

SteppinOutTShirt_2016

SteppinOutTShirt_2016

concrete plans to meet for a grand reunion during the Steppin Out Festival on Friday and Saturday, August 5 & 6 in downtown Blacksburg, VA.

Ever since From Woodstock To Eternity came out in early 2015, a feeling of excitement has been growing among those who were a part of that era.  For many, it has reminded them of a time gone by that held very fond memories.  Like most fond memories, we tend to embellish them a bit, but good memories are good memories, and in this day of who knows what? they can be a welcome diversion.

Please get the word out any way you can.  Share this blog, share each other’s posts.  Let’s make this viral – it should be a lot of fun.

We all know who each other is…  See you there!!!

The Execution or the Plan

The Plan is the Heart of the Matter

Most of the time, in normal life, our plans are good and solid, but they don’t come to pass due to poor execution.  Especially if it is delegated to incompetent or untrustworthy people.  Even when we try to carry out our own plans we can mess up somewhere along the line.

Making plans

Making plans

This applies especially to big plans, such as life goals, major moves, decisions for your family, etc.  If it seems like your plan is just not coming together, there is one factor that everyone must be willing to consider.  Your plan is wrong in the first place.  This is not a new idea.  Proverbs 19:21 says, There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel–that will stand.

Plan Execution

Plan Execution

This applies even when your plans are meant for good.

But how about when they are not meant for the most upright of goals?  This is the problem people outside of the law have to face whenever they are caught.

In the book, From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan has to face this contradiction in his life when he ends up in a lonely jail cell.

“If I had only done this, or not done that, then it would have worked.”

In this case, it wasn’t the execution – it was the plan!  The vial of coke was there, because that’s how he had planned to live. 

He stares at the blank, pale yellow walls of his prison cubicle, and allows the reality to flow in.  He knows that as long as he continues living this way, the vulnerability will be there – like stripes on a tiger.  No amount of precautions or self-imposed checks and balances will guarantee it won’t happen again.  There will always be a forgotten roach in the ashtray, an open container in the car, a misplaced film tin in the trunk, an empty vial in the suitcase.  And they will always lead back to this place.  It’s worse than that.  The next time he gets caught, it’ll lead to the state penitentiary.

This leads him to a life changing conclusion:  It’s Not Working!!!

Life can be confusing.  Is it a matter of pressing on?  Is this just a test?  Was I wrong in

Indecisive

Indecisive

the first place?  How will I know?  It is very easy to get caught in the middle of indecision.

We all have to reach this point when God is trying to get our attention.  If we do not let him deep inside to change the way we have always thought things should be, we will never see total victory.

Be willing to give your plans to God and let His counsel stand in your life!

New Edition Coming Soon

From Woodstock To Eternity Collector’s edition expiring soonFront Cover

The 45th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of the smash hit,

From Woodstock To Eternity, will undergo some changes in the following weeks, so get your unabridged, Anniversary edition now!

There are a number of reasons for the update:

  1.  It is no longer the 45th Anniversary.  As a matter of fact, this August 15,16, and 17. 2016 will be the 47th anniversary.  I am gearing up for a big push for the 50th Anniversary in 2019.
  2. Even though I love every story in the book, and believe that it all contributes to the ambiance of the era, It is common knowledge in the “professional” writing world that a book should be (or must  be) shorter that this one is, so I will be cutting some passages from the current edition
  3. Many writing articles also have given me some great advice on techniques, from spicing up the characters to amplifying conflicts and episodes, so the new version may have some surprises in it.
  4. The current Anniversary edition is indeed a collector’s issue.  I have some good indicators that it will eventually take off, and this unabridged, from the heart telling of the journey From Woodstock To Eternity will be a treasure for the first faithful bunch.  I love you all, and I will keep you posted.

Get the unabridged Collector’s Edition while it is still available through Christmas!!

4 Star Book Review

Richard Lang gives 4 stars to From Woodstock To Eternity

Review of “From Woodstock to Eternity”

Climb aboard this wild ride with Dustin Morgan. As a young teen, Dusty grew his hair long and hung out with beatniks. At eighteen he went to Woodstock, at twenty-two he had his own marijuana distribution network. Then came the first bust, but luck was on his side. He moved to Texas to live with his sister and found Jesus. Then on to Florida and flight school, but temptation stole him away. Then another bust, and again he got lucky. He had a son with his girl, but still struggled to settle down. Then the sentence and six months in jail. On to Colorado and reconnected with Jesus, and got a great new job. Just when the promise of a secure and beautiful future was upon him, a jolt from the past hit him. Cooper writes this roller coaster story with a smooth style. 4 Stars

A Tribute to Ralph

Ralph the Dog:  A legend in her own time!

One of the only subjects who did not get an alias in the book, From Woodstock To Eternity is the hero’s blonde companion, Ralph.  Ralph was unique from all other dogs in the world, because she was a human hidden inside a dog body.  That’s right, I said “she”.  This female German Shepherd/ Border Collie mix was called Ralph because she had an owner for a couple of weeks after she was born, and he said that she just looked like a Ralph.  So, he named her Ralph, which turned out to be the perfect name for a blonde, female German Shepherd.

Ralph could communicate with her eyes and her tail.  Any combination of expressions from these two features would say what she wanted to say.  She could plead, show that she was happy or sad, know when she was in trouble, and give advice on world affairs.  She was a diplomat of the highest order, making herself known in all of the Blacksburg community in the early 1970’s.

From Woodstock To Eternity

From Woodstock To Eternity

Ralph was even featured in a book about the culturally explosive times of the Woodstock era.  Immortalized in print, she became one of the leading supporting characters to her owner, Captain Dustin Morgan.  Here is an excerpt….

You’ve always got the one companion who never leaves you, is always there, patiently waiting.  She doesn’t care if you’re drunk, or tripping, or speeding, or early or late, or anything; as long as she is with you.  She doesn’t complain, doesn’t criticize, doesn’t

Ralph at two years old

Ralph at two years old

whine.  Yes, she’s been sitting out in the truck for hours now, just waiting for you to come back.  That’s what I need to do.  I need to get up right now and go out West.  I need to go to Colorado.

….. Sitting faithfully in the passenger’s seat, overjoyed at his return, is his female companion; his blonde German Shepherd, Ralph.

“Ralphie, girl, guess what?  We’re goin’ to Colorado!  What do you think about that?”

Pound, pound, pound. 

The tail beats against the seat cushion as she licks his hand and whimpers with glee that her master is back.

“You know you’re just a dog.  You’re not a human, and you can’t talk.  You’re never gonna talk, even though you think you can talk.  Now just get all that out of your head.”

Pound, pound, pound.

People still talk about her today, and she will forever be known as Ralph the Dog.

Beans and Rice Syndrome

Otherwise known as Dependency Syndrome, I Have Rights Syndrome, They Owe Me Syndrome, and Victim Syndrome

Definition of a Syndrome:

  • a group of signs and/ or symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.  Eg.  Down’s Syndrome,  Attention
    Don't Mess With Texas Syndrome

    Don’t Mess With Texas
    Syndrome

    Deficit Syndrome

  • a characteristic combination of attitudes, opinions, emotions, or behavior that constitute a set values, character qualities, and perspectives on life  Eg.  Don’t Mess With Texas Syndrome, I’m Number One Syndrome,  The Heart of a Pioneer Syndrome.

In this excerpt in From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan finds himself at the food kitchen of the hog farm at the Woodstock festival, contemplating his free food.  He is glad to get it, but it brings up a boat load of questions about the virtues and non-virtues of getting a free lunch.

“Yeh, man, peace and love, ya know.  We all gotta take care of each other or we’re doomed.”

“You got that right.  Y’know, this food is a life saver, but I almost feel a little guilty, like I shouldn’t be taking a free handout.”

“Ah, no, man.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  This is what it’s all about.” 

“Yeh, a lot of us got caught off guard.  But up to now, I always took care of myself.  I was just thinkin’; if I left home and went out on my own, then I should have to accept the fact that I’ve got to provide for myself.  After all, if I want to leave my parent’s authority, then I’m also gonna have to make do without their care and responsibility.”   

“Huh?”

“Look at it from the other side.  If I provide for myself, I earn the right to be my own boss, right?  That means I don’t depend on them to provide for me or protect me anymore.  But if I goof up when I’m out on my own, I got nobody to blame but myself; my parents are no longer responsible for my mistakes.  Does that make any sense?”

“Yeh, I guess so, man.  You are getting’ way out there, though.  What’s all this got to do

Beans and Rice Syndrome

Beans and Rice
Syndrome

with a plate full of rice?”

“I’m getting to that.  OK, here I am, out on my own.  I left straight society behind, and I am sitting in the middle of Woodstock.  Now, today, I suddenly discover that I am unable to take care of myself, and that dilemma rattles up a nerve somewhere inside me that I failed.  I failed to see far enough ahead, or whatever.  So, do I expect the Establishment to air drop supplies down to me because I didn’t plan ahead?  No!  That would mean I am still obligated to them, because I need them.  Can you see that?”

“I don’t know, man.  I just live on the commune and they feed me.”

“What if you left the commune?  Would you still expect them to feed you?”

“I guess not.  I never really thought about it.”

Cosmo is living on handouts and he never thought about it.  That also means he never thought about breaking out and living on his own.  His initiative and creativity had already been snuffed out by the “Beans and Rice Syndrome”.

This Syndrome now affects complete segments of our society as they get more and more used to living off of government handouts.  Like I said in the post, You Get Tired of Steakmost people start getting bored of their existence, no matter how  good it is, once it becomes routine.  People who don’t have to work, who are living on handouts, also get stuck in a routine.  They never seem to get tired of their existence.  In fact, it goes the other way, they get used to living in their government sponsored poverty, and they lose all diligence and effort it takes to break out into prosperity.

Like Dustin said, helping each other out temporarily until they can get back on their feet is a good thing, But don’t let yourself get caught up in the freebies.  Flee from it like the plague, or you will end up with the dreaded societal disease called Beans and Rice Syndrome.

Some Left Woodstock & Some Are Still There

In a recent radio interview with my old friend Charlie Olson, at East Texas Broadcasting,

KBUS Community Calendar Paris, TX

KBUS Radio

he was excited to talk about Woodstock, because it is such an icon in American Folklore.

Whether you agree with it or disagree, everybody has heard about the Rock Festival in the ’60’s that came to symbolize the hippie movement.

I remembered a friend I worked with that had been to Woodstock, was a little older than me, and still grew his hair out past his shoulders, clinging to the image he had in the old days.  I used to say to him, “you know, the difference between you and me is that I left Woodstock, but you are still there.”

I see this concept in all the “veterans” of Woodstock that I have met over the years.  The ones who have left are usually found in churches, where their previous affiliation with the psychedelic sub-culture is seldom mentioned.  The ones who are still there are usually

Woodstock Festival 1969

Woodstock Festival 1969

found on motorcycles, or in old pickup trucks with long gray hair and whiskers.  The funny thing is, in Texas at least, they both share the same political views about the government.  Leave my guns alone, kill the terrorists, and get out of my life.

The spiritual view is what is most important, however.  The Bible tells us

“…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Also, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”  2 Corinthians 5:17

The popularity of the Woodstock ideology was that it would bring peace and love to the world, as if it could be a substitute for Christianity.  Those who are still in Woodstock are still hanging on to these ideals – they do not want to forget those things that are behind them.  Those who have left have found a new life in Christ, and have let Woodstock pass away.

Perhaps the ones who are in the worst shape are those who have become new, but have not completely left Woodstock.  But that is a topic for another story.