Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Light's On

Dark day, yesterday -- a very sad anniversary. My wife and I met at a Dead show -- the old Mecca in downtown Milwaukee. It was April of 1989, and another Spring Tour was rushing towards its conclusion. After the Milwaukee shows, the group I was with decided to skip Minnesota and head home to restock for the upcoming California shows. I made arrangements to meet a friend named Pete in North Caroline, where we would silk screen some more shirts and head west. Left with a few days before I needed to leave for N.C., I called a girl I had met in Milwaukee. She lived in New Jersey. I went to visit her for a weekend. It's more than 16 years later now, and that weekend isn't over yet.

That's just one reason why Garcia's important to me. There are others. Many of my closest friends are deadheads. There are many, many stories to tell. Of course I don't mean deadheads as in the earthy-crunchy, granola, Rainbow-family, hairy armpits, barefoot, peace chooglin', fight-the-man people that swirl at the periphery. But deadheads as in people who really, really enjoy the band's music. When the guys got their back into something, well, there are no words. You just had to be there. And we were. Often. Sadly, though, that opportunity ended 10 years ago yesterday.

Like yesterday, the lights here will go down on August 9 each year.