GEM Atelier Stantlife – My memories of the remarkable events from the past decades


–          Woodstock

I was living about twenty miles from Woodstock at the time of the festival. I thought about going to it but I had two small children four and one years old.
I knew many people who went to the festival or lived in Woodstock itself. Of course the festival was outside the village on a piece of farmland.This piece of land was like a garbage dump after the festival as there was inadequate services on the site i.e. toilets, water for showers, medical staff, and garbage cans. The most interesting thing I heard was from a young doctor who was on site. He said several babies were born, lots of drugs used, exposure to the elements including rain and mud causing respiratory problems, etc. Our local newspapers were full of commentary mostly about prevent another event of this nature in their community. Bob Dylan was living in Woodsock on a mountain with security all around it. Occasionally he ventured out but normally stayed on his property. I knew several people who knew him.



–          Elton John

My husband was on assisgnment in England for IBM. He had some spare time so decided to go to Southampton and found a local concert.He returned to the Hudson Valley of New York and started explaining to our teenage daughters what he had seen – a good piano player who kept changing his glasss and wore funny clothing. They were not paying much attention but asked the musician’s name and he said it was something strange like el ton john. They screamed and said that ‚s not fair daddy. You didn’t even know who you were seeing!

–          The King

Elvis Presley started to be known when I was rather young. I liked his voice but found his gestures a bit vulgar so I listened to him on television but did not watch the images!

–          Mitterand’s election

I was in France when Mitterand was elected. About a month after many French families I knew were panicking as there was talk about currency controls limiting the amount that you could take out of France. Thereafter I kept receipts of any amount that I brought into France so I would retain the right to take it back out in case these controls ever happened again.

–          Fall of the Berlin Wall

I was director of housing at the American University of Paris when word was received by the students compiling the local paper that the wall was falling. They started to scream and plan and shortly two or more cars took off as they said they had to do first hand reporting and they did.

–          The murder of JFK

I was serving as foreign student advisor at Michigan State University when it was announced on the radio that Kennedy had been shot. I continued to work and listen to the radio but my staff was crying and I soon realized no work would be done so I sent them home. Kennedy had come to Michigan State during his campaign for office and I had seen him up close then. I was upset but not as much as others around me.