Judy Wojack

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I was working in Michigan (graduated from high school there in 70′) and I heard about the festival and was determined to go.  None of my friends wanted to go but one of them knew some guy (sorry I don’t remember his name), that wanted to go.  So he and I drove his car to New York where we took a plane to San Juan.  The airport in New York was crawling with cops as we boarded, even though we were there early (we arrived in Puerto Rico days before the festival).  He was pretty straight looking and although I had long dark hair, I carried a shopping bag, looking like a tourist.  We didn’t see any other people on the plane that looked like they would be going to a festival.

Arriving in San Juan, I remember distinctly the fragrant flowers as we disembarked the plane.  It is a moment I will never forget!  We took a taxi to the Mar Y Sol site.  I remember they drove crazy and would reach out of their window and beat on the top of the car as a gesture to other drivers that were in their way.

Once near the site we were dropped off in the middle of a field.  There wasn’t anyone else there but we set up our tent in the damp wet and humid spot.  The next few days we spent meeting other people as they arrived. I didn’t see much of the guy I went with after about the first day there.

I met a guy from Atlanta, Georgia who got permission to bring his school’s movie camera.  We spent the night sleeping on the beach one night and someone stole the camera that he had laying next to his sleeping bag.  He was pretty distraught over this and I never saw him after that.

I remember eating pineapples that were cut up with machetes so fast and perfect and a guy who wanted to show everyone he could climb a coconut tree and ended up getting bit by a nest of ants that lived on the tree.

Then I met a Puerto Rican fellow (can’t remember his name), who took me home with him.  He lived with his parents and he spoke English.  He just got released from serving in the United States military.  He was a really nice guy.  He took me all over Puerto Rico proudly showing me his beautiful country.

Once the festival started I spent my days front center on a blanket, within a few feet of the stage.  I didn’t budge. I especially remember Emerson Lake and Palmer’s electrifying performance with their synthesizer aimed into the audience that just went through you like a machine gun.  This festival was hot!

A group of people I met wanted me to stay another week and tour the island with them but I (regretfully) didn’t.  I ended up leaving with two guys from New York, flying home with them (after waiting at the San Juan airport a day with everyone else from the festival trying to get home).  I spent a day in New York with one of the New York guys who lived with his dad.  He fed me fried potatoes with scrambled eggs mixed into them topped with ketchup and served with bread, before I got on a plane back to Detroit.

Good times…..good times!
Judy Wojack
Wyandotte, Michigan