Brokedown Palace

I wasn’t going to do a posting to mark the 10 years since Jerry Garcia died, but after receiving an email from a friend (FD) entitled “10 Years!” and seeing a few images, including this one and the two others on the next page, I just started writing and this is what came out:

I know, I can’t believe it…. I was on my way back from a week trip in the Adirondacks in NY. Here:

and I kept hearing the Grateful Dead and JGB on the radio, but whenever I heard them going to a commercial break or start talking I changed the channel…. then after maybe a half hour or something, after I figured out that all the stations I was flipping around to were playing the Dead and Jerry, I decided I better see what was going on…. and I found out…. and I drove for 8 hours by myself doing a lot of crying. I made it home to DC at sunset and went straight to the Lincoln Memorial, knowing there’d be others there for the same reason… I have pics from that too:

A couple of strange coincidences:

The night before, or maybe the night of, Jerry’s death we were in a field in the mountains in the Adirondacks. This field:

listening to music, hanging out, etc. when we saw the entire sky get lit up by the biggest, brightest, most amazing shooting star we ever saw… It seemed to go from horizon to horizon, leaving a trail so thick, bright, and long-lasting that its reflection lit up each others astonished faces for many a hearbeat. To this day I have never seen anything like that.

The other coincidence was that, even though I went to the Adirondacks every year with my parents when I was a kid, I had not been there in 11 years, but now I was back… And it was that summer 11 years prior — the summer of 1984, when I was barely 15 — that I saw my first Dead show and embarked on an era of my life that was amazing in all kinds of ways… and then to come back to the Adirondacks, after all that time, changed by the experiences of 11 years, yet still with the same core…. it was like coming home in a way to go back there, because I love it so much… and it was like leaving home — and leaving the era — hearing and thinking about the news and all things that happened, all the friends, concerts, and experiences, over those 11 years… Those were magical years. The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia enabled a connection to be formed, on an individual and group level, that I have never seen before and will be lucky to ever see again. The experience, bond and the values last a lifetime… And for that I am thankful.

Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell, Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.

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