My friends and I have a factual TV production company called Arcadia. We've made hundreds of hours of programs for National Geographic, Discovery, and History channels about ocean adventures, searches for lost history, and wildlife rescues.
I met Dr. Bob about seven years ago. We were doing a documentary for National Geographic about the symbols in the Architecture of Washington DC. Dr. Bob appeared as an expert in symbols. His deep understanding revealed how generations of builders, and the builders of the nation cherry-picked some of the deepest, oldest and most meaningful symbols ever created by artistic minds to represent what they hoped America could be.
One of the great parts of doing factual TV production is meeting amazing people all over the world and learning a lot. Dr. Bob is a fascinating fellow with a real-life Forrest Gump quality about him. He told me that he had painted the original symbol covered Woodstock Hippie bus, Light, but had not, in the end gone to the festival himself. In fact, he still had his original unused ticket to the event.
The notion of this 'Golden Ticket' stuck with me and all of us here at Arcadia kept up with Dr. Bob over the years.
Last year we started a conversation with Bob about restoring the Light Bus for the 50th anniversary of Woodstock in August 2019. Dr. Bob, the folks from the band Light, and all of us here were more than enthusiastic about the idea. The problem was, no one could remember exactly what happened to the bus. Classic.
Starting from the last known photo of the bus, taken in April 1972 we started a search. Bad news? The bus, which was used as a commune errand bus after Woodstock finally rusted out, broke down and was traded for parts. Good news? After a few months of searching we found an identical bus in a field in Tennessee. It was meant to be. In the rust paint and primer of the Tennessee bus I felt I could squint my eyes and see Dr. Bob's symbols and colours of the Light Bus.
I proposed to our friends at Curiosity Stream TV, a new online channel started up by the founders of Discovery Channel, that we could tell this story in a documentary series, restore the bus, repaint Dr. Bob's masterpiece, get on the road, and share the story for the Woodstock 50th anniversary. They agreed. Now we're traveling. It's going to be an incredible adventure. A journey trough the past, present, and future. We want to share with everyone.