I Found My Love at the Woodstock Festival!
As promised last month, I am here to bring you the story, "I Found My Love at the Woodstock Festival!" from Falling in Love #118 (October 1970). On this date forty years ago, the world of popular music was literally rocked by the start of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The comic book industry took notice and published a few romance stories with Woodstock as the setting.
Fourteen months after the event, DC published this story (with art by Murphy Anderson) about two college students, Sally and Robin and their experiences at the festival.
Robin is an outspoken young man. After leading a student demonstration he finds himself suspended, and his girlfriend Sally is not happy about the situation. When they talk about predicament he is in, Robin tells Sally that she is too uptight -- just like the university that reprimanded him. Robin says that he has to think and figure things out, basically he needs some space. He says that he will call her when he has figured things out.
A few weeks later, Robin calls Sally and asks her to meet him at Woodstock. She agrees, and on the next page we witness her stuck in the infamous traffic jam while on her way. Luckily she meets "practicing hippie," Zack Barton who whisks her away on his motorcycle.
After Zack and Sally scope out the scene, Sally frantically breaks off and looks for Robin. As she passes by people's campfires, couples kissing in cars, and a few guys she thought were Robin, Sally slows down and realizes she might not find him. Zack appears with a broken umbrella and hippie kisses for the tearful young lady.
Sally breaks away from Zack's embrace and runs through the torrential downpour and finally stumbles upon Robin, who is less than happy to see her -- and has a girl in his arms. Crushed, she runs back to Zack.
Sally begins to cry and as Zack takes her in his arms, she realizes that she has to do her own thing and not worry about Robin. Just as she is starting to let go and enjoy the festival, it comes to a close. Zack packs up his tent, hops on his bike and gives her his parting speech:
And just as quickly as Woodstock started, it ends and Sally is yet again alone. As she walks by some other people leaving and discussing the festival, she realizes she too has changed and will never be the uptight girl that she once was.
The somber tone of the story is quickly interrupted by a surprise O. Henry style ending. A helicopter descends and Robin pulls Sally in. He explains the presence of the girl that was in his arms. As they fly away, they both recount how they were changed by Woodstock.
Forty years ago today, the iconic festival ran until the wee hours of the morning closing with Joan Baez singing "We Shall Overcome." Woodstock's impact on American popular culture was huge, resulting in a documentary film, two albums, an upcoming movie based on the events and even a clothing line currently available at Target stores. Luckily for fans of romance comics, it also resulted in a few stories that captured the aura of love that prevailed that August weekend.