Major Promoter Alex Cooley in the Speedway Control Booth

Main promoter Alex Cooley looks out from the race track's control booth.

Liz Rose remembers: 1970...I would be just 8 years old in August of that year! My daddy was a welder/pipefitter working on a construction job, a brewery, in or around Warner Robbins, Georgia, where we lived at the time. I recall hearing about a "rock concert" that could possibly compare to Woodstock that would be held in Byron, Georgia. My parents drove me and my two little brothers to see the place this would all happen a week or two prior to the festival. There we saw a beautiful pecan grove beside the Byron Speedway. My mom made "before" pics that we still have. we also have "after" pics! We also visited the site at some point during the 3-day festival. I remember seeing more people, especially more naked people, than I had ever seen in one place in my entire 8 years!

And the music...WOW! Music so loud it vibrated the car! I remember daddy saying that Jimi Hendrix was on stage. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized how close I was to such a legend. Music...that came from a stage so far out across the crowds that you couldn't see for sure "where" or "who" it was coming from! Naked people bathing in the river, dancing in the road, enjoying the freedom of the time and the place! It was such a truly awesome experience just to drive by and witness! I remember daddy saying, "Look, look!" And mom saying, "Close your eyes kids! Lay down in the floorboard! Oh my God! I think they're smoking marijuana over there! Mercy! There's a man with a sign that says LSD right in front of those cops!" I asked, "What's LSD ?" Daddy said with a smile, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!" I said, "Oh", just like I understood completely. I've never forgotten all the wonders that I saw that July day in 1970.

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Copyright © 2006 Carter Tomassi
May 22, 2006