Always ready with a warm smile, he is a locally grown musician (aka Burnell Pines) and owner of recently opened The Pines in Mt. Tremper. We talked late one night at the bar there after a party for his sister.
Juliet: What brought you to Woodstock?
Jeremy: My parents. Conceived here but Alice didn’t trust the doctors, so I was born in New Jersey. Brought right back up a day later. I would say the Woodstock Music Festival brought me here because that’s what my dad came for. He was young, college age, running a school in Newark. My parents met there and then they moved here in ’72. I was born in ’73.
Juliet: What’s your first memory of Woodstock?
Jeremy: One of the deepest first memories was almost drowning in a pool. I was probably three and a half years old on Hutchin Hill Road. I let go of the swimmies and sank to the bottom of the pool. Dad ran across the yard, jumped the fence and saved me. I could see three shadows through the water – Alice, Julie, and Rebecca. (mother and sisters) Another big one I remember was my first sleep over, which was with Peter and Ellen. Peter was a teacher at my dad’s school*. They were college buddies of my dad’s. I spent the night at their house at the four corners of 212 and Glasco Turnpike, by the Red Onion. I stayed in their house. They had this grate in the floor that let the heat from the wood stove up. I remember they were down in the living room communing with friends. I spied on them. First sleepover. He drove a motorcycle to school and I thought it was cool. It was a Honda.
Juliet: I know for those of you who were born here or arrived as babies the first Woodstock memory is your first memory. Rebecca Turmo had a doozy of a first memory as well.
Jeremy: Rebecca! Rebecca saved me. When I was a teenager, I had mountain biked for maybe 15 miles. I got back into town and I was feeling light headed, like I was going to fall down. Bryce said “Go see Rebecca at Jean Turmo right now”. I walked in there and told her I wasn’t feeling well. I was having a major moment of falling apart. She was an EMT. She said “You’re dehydrated. Go drink some water and we’ll talk later.” (laughs)
Juliet: When did you start making music?
Jeremy: Maybe at 9 years old. They tried to give me piano lessons at 7 and it didn’t work. Guitar lessons kind of worked but I got turned off by learning classics. I wish I learned more songs.
Juliet: When you were a teenager, what music were you into?
Jeremy: I was making music with crazy weird rednecks and listening to Poison and Cinderella and music like that of the ’90’s.
Juliet: What has changed about Woodstock?
Jeremy: I think a lot has stayed the same. I don’t spend as much time in town being out this way, but it’s very similar. It’s got a beautiful local stronghold of community but it’s also got a very transient …what do they call them? Tourists. A tourist vibe.
Juliet: What’s your favorite thing about being here?
Jeremy: I think my favorite thing is familiarity. It’s a place that I’ve grown up and I love and that i can connect to in so many different ways. There is the landscape and the people and what goes on. That’s what keeps me here. The connection to the land and loving the land and the connection to people and community. So that’s my favorite thing.
*Jeremy’s father Ian Bernstein opened The Woodstock Children’s Center in 1973. It is now The Woodstock Day School.