Wishing a Happy 70th Birthday to *JEROME J. GARCIA*
The UPFUL Life & Times Proudly Pays Homage to the Granddaddy of Us All!
Please enjoy this treasure trove of all things Garcia, on this what would be his 70th born day!! Included are a variety of photographs, a eulogy to Jerry from an old friend, and handfuls of FULL SHOW videos unearthed by a sea of evolving Deadheads. Followed by the traditional Hunter-penned eulogy that tugs at the heart as strongly today as it ever has.
Personally, I was seventeen years young when Garcia left his earthly self, but I was lucky enough to experience the GD a handful of times (and Garcia Band *once*); I firmly state that no other artist, or living human being (outside of my parents), has more touched my life. For it is Garcia that has most 'shown me the way'. I would not be who I am today had I not been indoctrinated into the Grateful Dead 'extended Family' at the fertile, adventurous, and vulnerable stage of thirteen year old adolescence. Four years later, I took his death hard; I'd once looked down my elitist nose at those kids in High School who mourned Kurt Cobain's death so loudly, proudly, & publicly. As if he were their own. Yet here I was, pot meeting a blackened kettle during an August heat wave. Ahhh... Even in death, Garcia was teaching a lesson; scolding me from the Heavens. And he continues to teach me, teach US! - through song & emotion, through melody and mystery, and through either Bob Dylan or Hunter's robust tales of a troubadour, songs that only Garcia can deliver with that utmost supple, subtle, satiable , Spirituality. He continues to sing, and We continue to dance. But I will always come back to those moments; of just me & him, in a football stadium, or a hockey arena, for on those nights when he spoke directly to me- like only he could- the reverberations and vibrations would set my internal compass aboard a lifelong Northbound train.
Despite his incredible void, PHIL, BOBBY, MICKEY, & BILLY are all keeping the vibe alive in their own respective and most importantly, honorable fashions. With life's loving tragedies of loss & surrender, 'Tis a wonder what we STILL have after ALL THESE YEARS; as a whole. OUR GD community is surprisingly as alive & vibrant as it has *ever* been in the seventeen years since he left us. Today, Garcia would be mammoth proud of us, for beating it on even FURTHUR down the line ! Yet whilst he walks alone, on those Muddy River banks, singing those songs we all have known; I'm pacing along, on the River's other side, listening for Lessons, and love songs, still learning to fly on my own.
To Garcia, With Love
special thanks to Blair Jackson, Robert Hunter, BOB MINKIN, 'voodoonola', Dr. Bruce Sutton, MD for their contributions.