After leaving King Arthur Flour in Norwich Vermont, Dick and I set our GPS for Woodstock, New York. To clear up confusion, the town of Woodstock was not the site of the August 1969 music festival of the same name. It was actually held on a 600-acre dairy farm outside of Bethel, New York which is 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock. Present-day Woodstock is a throwback to the hippies counterculture of the 1960s era. Its population mushrooms during the summer months. As our stride gently, naturally slowed to match the mid-week late autumn pace, an expansive chalkboard wall leading to the Oriole9 Restaurant's entrance door drew my attention. How could it not?
It's the first time I had seen an interactive wall of this type. One that invites and encourages participation. Later, I learned of the Before I Die wall's history and its global impact. The idea originated in 2011 when Candy Chang stenciled the first Before I Die wall on the side of an abandoned house in New Orleans. She could not have envisioned the sweeping movement to recreate similar walls worldwide.
Everywhere I travel, I become inspired by the places I visit and the people who call it home. In this place called Woodstock, I fell in love with a leaf-themed sidewalk and a sesame sunflower seed bun that accompanied my bowl of split pea soup at the Bread Alone Bakery. Before I die I want to create a walkway of leaf carvings. A permanent fluttering of leaves underfoot. Before I die I want to learn to make golden crusty breads. Ones that crunch like toast on the exterior with a soft interior.