On Sunday August 17, 1969, it was the third day of Woodstock. The mud creeps up the long, pink and white blanket that covers a young couple that are surrounded by debris from the festival. Behind them you can see a newly returned Vietnam veteran that sleeps on the grass. This veteran would go on to become the cover of Woodstock's album.
This couple would become the iconic image of the 3-day peach and music festival on a dairy farm in upstate New York.
Nick and Bobbi Ercoline only stayed at the festival for one night.
They had been together for 3 months at the time and Bobbi had been working in a bank for 3 years, while Nick had a construction job and was a bartender.
Their friend borrowed their mom's station wagon and they loaded it with beer and wine. With the main route being at a stand-still, they took some back roads and then began to walk to the festival grounds.
There were hundreds of thousands of people doing the same thing, all heading in the same direction. People had abandoned their belongings along the way and that's where the couple picked up the blanket- they had never thought to bring one along.
“It was so hot. [35 C] and 100 per cent humidity” and it poured rain on and off. Between the mud and the heat, people were stripping down as they were tuning in, but most of them were average people who’d go back to school or work the following week. They weren’t marching in protests or staging sit-ins. Yet, the concert did have a peace-minded focus as the war raged in Vietnam," Nick said.
Like most of the people in attendance, they were hardly the ardent hippies people presumed they were.
“I really think it was a blend. You’re talking a majority of kids that were college aged. But it was in the summer, so you had a lot of professionals off work, like teachers,” he said of the festival’s atmosphere. “Cops who were off work just to see what it was like.”
Continue to the next page to see where the couple is now.
Nearly 5 decades later, the pair is still holding onto each other tightly.
“She’s still my best friend. We get along great… For the most part we’re attached at the hip,” said Nick Ercoline, who is now a grandfather.
His wife, Bobbi Ercoline became a school nurse and he worked for the local county housing department. They still live in Pine Bush, New York, where they raised 2 sons.
Married just 2 years after the festival, the couple were turned into unintential icons when Burk Uzzle snapped their photo at the festival.
“We didn’t know the picture had been taken until the album came out in the late winter/early spring,” Bobbi says.
“I try to explain that photo as a couple of 20-year-olds who were in love with each other. It’s us. That’s who we are. Still. You can still find us holding hands and hugging each other. Still,” Nick said.
The couple now volunteers at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which is a museum, music venue and park that was built where the original Woodstock was held. Nick and Bobbi now give music acts tours of the site before their shows are part of their volunteering.
“It’s fun. I’m not going to say it’s not fun. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s a responsibility. It’s a responsibility to the event. It’s a responsibility to a generation,” Nick said.
The couple originally met at Dino's Bar, a local diner, in February 1969 when Bobbi was with another man.
She was gorgeous, are you kidding me? Long, blonde hair, she was a gorgeous girl. She’s a gorgeous woman,” Nick said.
He decided to make his move when the other guy left for Memorial Day weekend and the two have been together ever since.
"I met Nick, we fell in love and it was the beginning of my best life," Bobbi said.
So what's their secret to a long and happy relationship?
“A lot of communication. Don’t go to bed mad at each other. It’s a give-and-take. Choose your battles,” Nick said.