Step into Bobcat Territory

This is the first official weekly column of the Bobcat Territory website. It is written by an individual author but holds aspects of a brief welcome letter on behalf of all of the site’s contributors.

When my dad was nineteen, the summer after his sophomore year in college, he went camping with some friends in Upstate New York.  That’s at least the story my grandparents bought from him and some eager friends.  Only while watching mud-covered, bare-breasted, flower children on the evening news later that weekend did Grandpa Butch and Nana realize what their son meant by camping at White Lake, NY.  Once the ruse was up I’m not so sure my grandparents could fully grasp the Aquarian Exposition known as Woodstock that had lured their bright son.  I’m not so sure even I can fully grasp what it means to have been present for those three legendary days of peace and music, to have experienced the collaborative consciousness in the air.

Part of this inability stems from the facts that I wasn’t there, wasn’t born, wasn’t conceived, and didn’t even exist as an idea, imagination, or thought.  The other part has its roots twisted firmly in my father’s neglect to talk about Woodstock.  Broaching the subject is considered fodder for a string of clichéd jokes or avoidances on my dad’s part, the most common being I really just can’t remember much of that weekend (In my father’s defense this explanation is most likely more believable than if, say, he were to give me a detailed description of the debauchery filled weekend that happened more than four decades ago).  I don’t blame the man, or hold any hard feelings toward him for not divulging the particulars.  In fact, sometimes I think of my own experiences and wonder how much I’ll be willing, or able, to share with my children when if that time ever comes.  Perhaps I could just lead them into Bobcat Territory.

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Bobcat Territory came about merely days before five friends and I were set to graduate from college. Hoping to escape the pre-graduation bustle on campus we took a strange trip to a nearby state park. Soaking in the environment, we laughed and cried as we privately and publicly remembered the four previous years. The six of us came away from that day with not only a shared experience but also an investment in our future as a group. A little over two years later we are realizing that collaborative effort in the form of this website.

The six of us (Jason, Josh, Mark, Pete, Ryan, and myself) hope to each bring something exciting to the table. Through our writings we will introduce our interests, our beliefs, our feelings, and ourselves.  Alone we can offer worthy and interesting information, but as a six-pack of minds we hope to expand on any number of topics as our credentials are varied and our experiences vast. Our readers may find information driven non-fiction, imaginative works of fiction, flowing verse, stimulating video or audio. Between the six contributors I am sure a motley audience will be satiated by the content within Bobcat Territory. Consider this an online magazine of sorts with separate departments all under one cover.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Bobcat Territory is the collaboration of six distinct minds working to communicate an original shared experience. I, or any of the other contributors, cannot say whether this website will work, if it will successfully entertain or enlighten you. I am confident, though, that if it proves worthy to the six contributors then it will prove worthy to a wider audience. It may take some time, some getting used to, but eventually we will settle in and Bobcat Territory will become a more concrete idea populated by a diverse arrangement of new, exciting information and art.

Unlike my father’s generation, we have not experienced a cultural juggernaut the likes of Woodstock. That does not mean we are unaware. In fact, it is that awareness that we six contributors hope to bring to each other and others. We will not refrain from telling the story, whatever that may be. So, years from now, when someone asks me about something I did or saw or read or wrote about I will not say I can’t remember or attempt to avoid the situation because things have changed. Instead, I will lead them to Bobcat Territory where they can explore for themselves.

Enjoy,

Ezra G. Tischler

One response to “Step into Bobcat Territory

  1. I am reading through a lot of this stuff and I really like it. I laughed becuase I used to wish dad told us more about Woodstock. But, after my first music festival experience, I understood. It was three nights of camping in up state NY, with dozens of bands and free spirits. It was muddy, rainy, and take your shirt off humid…so I feel safe comparing it to Woodstock. Besides the live introduction of UM in my life and Steve H.’s hobbling around with a makeshift cane (courtesy of appendix removal recooperation), I barely remember a thing. And that was just five years ago. Sometimes I ask myself if I “did too much, too fast” and that is why. But I think it actually is because the overwhelming scenario of a temporary community and all that comes with it. The fast set up, the searching (elixers, food, stages, and even my own camping sight!), people watching, and getting to that place where I could strictly live in the moment. I think taking all that stuff in makes it hard to remember specific scenarios, like the ones I expected dad to tell us about Woodstock. I am sure he doesn’t remember the layout, a lot of the music, people he met, and conversations he had. But, I bet my bottom dollar that he does remember how much fun he had and how free he felt.

    I look forward to reading more posts.

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