There is a running joke to the effect that if you remember the 1969 music festival Woodstock, chances are, you were not even there in the first place. Jerry and Judy Griffin were there and they remember graphic details of what happened at that festival five decades ago. In fact, the couple met at the music festival and, 50 years on, they are still together. Unfortunately, Judy and Jeff did not take any pictures while they were at the festival. This couple spent 50 years looking for footage of their presence at the festival. Recently, they got the evidence they wanted all those years. Below is the heart-warming story of this delightful couple.
Judy’s Birthday Present
In 1969, Judy was just22 years old. August 15 was her birthday and since the Woodstock festival at Bethel, New York was scheduled to run from august 15-18, she decided that attending the festival would make a perfect birthday present. Judy and her friends headed to the festival in upstate New York full of optimism and a sense of adventure. However, a hundred miles to the venue disaster struck.
The Unexpected Breakdown
You might be traveling in the best car on planet earth but if your car wants to break down, it will. Judy and her friends were just 100 miles from the Woodstock venue when their car broke down. Judy was crushed because she thought her dream of making it to the music festival was over. She could not trek the remaining 100 miles and she had never hitchhiked before. However, just when it seemed all hope was lost, salvation appeared in the shape of Jeff and his friends.
Prince Charming to the Rescue
Judy and her friends were bent on getting to the music festival so they decided to try hitchhiking. Shortly after they started hitchhiking, they got lucky. Jeff and his friends were going to the music festival but they had no plans to pick up any hitchhikers along the way. However, when they saw three stranded girls, they decided to give them a lift. The fact that the girls were pretty must have been an important factor here. Again, at least one of the young men in the car was unattached.
Even though Judy and her friends needed help, they did not jump at this unexpected offer. Getting into a car full of young men was a not a prudent move. Remember, we are talking about 1969 and young women at the time were not as adventurous or as liberated as the ones we have these days. Judy peeped into the car, saw a young woman, and decided the men could be trusted. This car (a Volkswagen, no less) conveyed the girls to the venue of the music festival.
Love at First Sight
Love is a wonderful thing because you do not always know when Cupid’s arrow will strike. Judy had no plans of falling in love when she set out to attend the music festival. Jeff Griffin was young, single and probably searching when he offered a ride to Judy and her friends. What happened next is a simple case of “love at first ride”.
From the moment Judy got into the car, Jeff was attracted to her. The two young people got talking and they discovered they were meant for each other. Throughout the festival, Jeff and Judy stuck to each other. They shared the same tent, shared a sleeping bag and generally got to know each other better. However, one thing they did not share were photographs of the event.
Too Busy for Photos
Jeff had a camera and Judy had one too but they did not take any photos. This is probably due to the chaotic scenes at the festival. Hundreds of thousands of fun seekers who thronged the festival overran the venue of the music festival. It is also possible that Jeff and Judy were too busy so they completely forgot to take photos. Some people claim all good things must end but in the case of Jeff and Judy, this is not true. Their relationship continued after the festival and they eventually got married.
Searching for Footage
Since Judy and Jeff had not taken any photos during the music festival, they decided they could get evidence of their presence from footage of the film “Woodstock”. This film was released in 1970 and it contained footage from the perspective of people who were actually at the music festival. However, there were over 400,000 people at this festival. Clearly, looking for Jeff and Judy Griffin in that huge crowd was like searching for the proverbial needle in the proverbial haystack.
Jeff and Judy Find the Footage
PBS released a documentary to mark Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. This film was titled: “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined A Generation”. A friend of the couple saw Jeff and Judy in the movie, snapped a shot and sent it to the couple. They were simply ecstatic because they had found the footage they were looking for all those years. Jeff and Judy went to see the movie then convinced the projectionist to replay the scene where they appeared. He obliged them and they took an iconic picture of themselves with the Woodstock festival as the background.
They waited for this photo all those years and it was well worth the wait. Jeff and Judy met by accident on Judy’s birthday at the Woodstock Music festival. After 50 years of that fateful meeting, they have two sons and five grandchildren. They also have that iconic photo as evidence that some accidents lead to happy endings.