Posted: August 15, 2019
Those of you who are devout readers of my dispatches and ramblings know that in my first post I wrote a piece about my buddy Jim and a life-changing event in his life. It occurred fifty years ago this weekend, August 15th to August 18th, 1969. If are a reader who has not read that piece, well SPOILER ALERT – you should go back and read it before you read on now!
So the essence of that experience was that Jim not only did not get to go to Woodstock, but he also shot this poor girl in the arm with an arrow. While I don’t get a lot of emails the shocking nature of this true story really got a few people to respond to me. This post is not a long one but the topic deserves more of a response than I usually do at the year-end Question & Answer posting I do.
The first important part of this story follow up is “what happened to that poor young woman who was shot?” I don’t know, and Jim does not know. At several points, Jim has reached out to try to find out who she was and how she made out in her life but has yet to connect with her. So if anyone you know from New Castle, or Scranton Pennsylvania who is probably in the back half of her 60’s today who cottaged in the lake country north of Brockville and Kingston Ontario in the late summer of 1969 please have her contact me at email@example.com and I will connect her with Jim.
The second issue is what happened to Jim based on this terrible thing he did. Well, that’s kind of complicated – nothing, and lots. At the time it was viewed as a terrible, stupid mistake. There were no legal charges, no real consequences in some respects but he never got to apologize. The family of the victim did not want anything to do with him, his parents were overwhelmingly embarrassed by his behavior and it was within days of the young woman and her family going back to the United States and them all going back to school. So nothing happened in legal terms or even any direct consequences but from that point on he not only had the memory of this terrible error in judgment but was reminded of it regularly when he would add more bad decisions to the growing pile.
So that’s what I know of what happened to the two of them regarding this incident. What is crazy however is a strange turn of events that occurred later in Jim’s life relating to Woodstock, the event that his parents did not allow him to go to that weekend. While he had a lot of fun playing music himself he was very much a recreational musician but did enjoy photographing bands for a press service in the mid-’70 at the end of high school. It was probably that experience and that his son Jason, a musician and music production student at the time, as well as a friend Adrian (see links we love), a lead guitarist with some known bands, that Jim and Janice started to fund some emerging artists for their first albums and then eventually became partners in an indie record label.
Jim did not bring any musical talent to the partnership, just some business experience but one project his partner in that company, Brian did with the label was a tribute album to THE BAND, who of course had played at Woodstock. Garth Hudson from The Band was the key figure in putting this together and brought in a bunch of musical friends to play a number of songs. One of those artists was Neil Young who also played Woodstock of course with Crosby Stills Nash and Young. So while he did not make it to Woodstock that weekend in 1969, he eventually had a slice of that memory many decades later.
The album, as well as a two-volume extended version, is available through Curve Music. Just go to our LINKS WE LOVE section and you can find more details there.