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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

KATE COMPEL, A camerawoman from Atlas Media, films Marion Vassmer as she works in the Bethel Woodstock Museum.

Museum and Locals
Get In on TV Production

By Rob Potter
KAUNEONGA LAKE — March 23, 2001 – In the decades since Woodstock, Town of Bethel residents have grown accustomed to having all kinds of visitors at the concert site and in the nearby hamlets.
They’ve seen people from several different nations and various media outlets from across the country and around the world journey to the legendary concert site.
But for many of the town’s residents, greeting the visitors never seems to become tedious.
That would account for the buzz of excitement in Bethel Wednesday morning. A film crew from Atlas Media visited the Woodstock site and surrounding area for an upcoming series on the History Channel.
After shooting some footage at the legendary field along Hurd Road, the producers and camerapeople made their way to Kauneonga Lake. There they filmed the posters, photos and other memorabilia that line the shelves and walls of the Bethel Woodstock Museum. The museum, which is dedicated to the memory of “Mr. Woodstock” Art Vassmer, opened in 1999 next to Vassmer’s General Store.
“This is part of a series for the History Channel called ‘What Happened After . . .’,” said Simonette Rossi, a producer for the series. “It looks at some important events in history and what happened afterward to the people and places involved.”
Associate Producer Joe Rudge noted that other subjects in the “What Happened After . . .” series include the Titanic, the Manson family murders, the Robert F. Kennedy assassination and the Shackleton Expedition about a group of explorers who were stranded in Antarctica from 1914 to 1916.
In addition to filming at the site and the museum, the crew also interviewed local Woodstock legend Duke Devlin at his farm market in Jeffersonville.
“We’ll be coming back next month,” Rudge said. “We’ll film some more at the site when the snow has melted. When people think of Woodstock, they think of summer and the grassy field, not snow.”
The Woodstock series is not scheduled to air on the History Channel until sometime in 2002.
While at the Woodstock Museum, the crew interviewed Marion Vassmer. Her late husband, Art, was affectionately known as “Mr. Woodstock” for his kindness in serving the massive crowds at the 1969 festival.
Vassmer’s daughters, Linda Vassmer and Vicky Vassmer Simpson, and friend Debbie Fallon run the museum. The trio of ladies and Art Vassmer’s brother, Fred, watched eagerly as the Atlas Media crew spoke with Marion Vassmer and filmed her working in the museum.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Marion Vassmer said. “Art really loved to be interviewed and talk to visitors from around the world. He always did the interviews, but I’m getting used to it.”
While there may be some people in the county who don’t enjoy Woodstock and its enduring popularity, Marion Vassmer is not among them. She doesn’t get tired of the attention that Woodstock brings to the area and noted that represenatives from VH-1 were in the area last year.
“For 32 years, we have been dealing with it,” she said. “It’s still exciting.”

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