Going to Yasgur’s farm

It’s mid-August, my favorite time of summer.

Time to go shopping for school supplies and new school clothes. Mom would take me to the beauty parlor for a haircut and a permanent.

Time for the Perseid meteor shower. I always thought of that as heaven’s birthday gift to me.

Time for National Birthday Week. That’s what Mom called it. My brother’s birthday is Aug. 12 and mine’s Aug. 15.

So, of course I had to go to Woodstock in 1969.

Friends and I left Arlington, Va., the night before and drove all night. We arrived in Bethel, N.Y., early in the morning and joined the line of cars. After a few hours of stop-and-go traffic, we pulled over on the grass and parked.

Into the woods we walked. We’d brought a huge red cargo tent and hung it in the trees to use as a tent.

We could hear crowd noise and sound-checks from the stage. But none of us was prepared for the sight just over the hill from our campsite. Thousands and thousands of people were sitting around that beautiful big grassy bowl. Even better, they looked like us, wearing bell-bottom jeans and sporting long hair.

Wow, best birthday party ever.

You know the rest. Everything’s been written, said and made into a movie or documentary. Fifty years later, I still have that feeling of peace, love, freedom and happiness.

R.G. Nourse


Tolerating evil

Once again the question arises regarding the effectiveness of the death penalty. The experts have opinions based on “studies” they have read.

I do not consider myself an expert. However, I do have some professional experience relative to the subject which might be of interest.

I am a retired California parole agent, correctional counselor and college instructor in criminal justice.

I had several murderers under my direct supervision. Most murderers do not re-offend.

Some do.

I participated in the investigation, arrest and conviction of three cases that involved parolees who were once sentenced to death and they did re-offend.

Obviously, if they had their original sentences carried out, they would not have re-offended and would have been effectively deterred from the second homicide.

This is self-evident and requires no “study.”

They were all convicted and sentenced to death the second time. In the early 1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all death penalty convictions at that time were unconstitutional and all death row inmates were remanded for resentencing, resulting in life sentences in California.

In my opinion, the “studies” I have read tend to be from the permissive side of the schism that exists with criminal justice professionals. One is permissive and lenient, and the other is controlling and punitive.

In the final analysis, it seems we are living in a culture that has lost its moral compass and is drifting toward more and more tolerance of pure evil.

Jerry Strahan


Happy ending

Congratulations, Lewiston Tribune. Wow, a positive front page story with a happy ending.

Even positive press on one of our local policemen, no less.

Refreshing story. Thank you.

Linda Engledow


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