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erickat's picture
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Joined: Feb 20 2008
So... my wife ...

My wife is a quiet Capricorn - very practical, hard working, reliable - and while not overly outgoing - also very strong willed. When they came back to America, from South Africa, they lived in Virginia - but moved to San Francisco when she was still pretty young- and that's where the transformation took place. She was exposed to lots of stuff in San Francisco - and had lots of pals, who I'm sure turned her on to the Dead.
There's a funny story about when she was at St. Bridget's (a Catholic school) - a nun was going to punish her for talking in class by hitting her hand with a ruler - and she kept refusing to put her hand out - and finally, the poor old nun was about to blow a gasket, so she put her hand out to be whacked with a ruler - only to pull it away at the last second - and she said "I told you you weren't going to hit me with that thing" - so the poor old nun doesn't know what to make of this insulent young thing - and has her hauled off to the principle's office - where they call her mom - who is kind of sympathetic - but is trying to smooth things over. Her dad was in Viet Nam at the time, and i think they figured the lack of a father figure must have been the cause of it all & i think she did a detention or something.
They moved back to Maryland when she was in mid-high school, and she met lots of deadhead friends in college too. A funny story is that after we were together for a while, we figured out that we were both at the same Harrisburg Island show in the 80's - and when i told the story of being to messed up to find our car - she had the same story - see there were two parking garages - and we were both with different groups of people, looking for our cars in the wrong garages - we probably saw each other & may have even talked. I remember hanging out on top of one of the garages with some people - too bad my memory isnt' better. It almost seems like there is this thread of us getting close - but not meeting - first at the world's fair in 65, then Expo 67, then at this dead show.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
wow

so how did your wife get into the Dead?

erickat's picture
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Joined: Feb 20 2008
it reminds me of a line in a Robert Hunter tune...

The song Yellow Moon (on his album Tiger Rose) has a verse in it that goes
"Love, Love, Love, it picks you up and spins you round,
sets you right back down where you belong"
It's kind of funny - the twists and turns our lives both took in getting to the point where we met. We think we were actually both at the world's fair in 65 and at Expo 67 - but never met until years later. Also, My mother came from California & my Father from upstate New York - and they met in Grad school at Maryland & settled here - so the odd occurences in both our familie's lives that brought us to the same space & time is a pretty cool coincidence.

Hal R's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
erickat - thank you for sharing your story

The love you have for your wife eminates from your post. May you have a long and blessed life together.

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
William Blake

Jodester's picture
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Joined: Jun 14 2007
Nice!!

A grateful story! Thanks for that!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Are you kind?"

erickat's picture
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Joined: Feb 20 2008
Correction

I think she was born in Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe

erickat's picture
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Joined: Feb 20 2008
No posts since May 2008

so, i'll tell the story of my wife. She does not know who her birth father was - but she found her birth mother a few years back - who was surprised and reluctant to talk with her - see, my wife was born 1/11/1963 in Rowanda (now Zimbabwe), and given up for adoption. Her adoptive parents (wonderful people) adopted her as an infant while living in South Africa. They also adopted another baby, which became her brother (not by blood - but by adoption). Her adotpted father was the military atache to South Africa & they lived i south Africa until she was 3 - then they returned to the states & settled in Virginia. They tell the story of being places, like the grocery store, and she would throw a tantrum, screaming " I WANT TO GO BACK TO AFRICA" - In Africa, they had hired help (all native) - George, the butler, Johanna, the child caregiver, and several others - and they have lots of great stories & pictures about that time. They eventually moved to San Francisco, and she pretty much spent her teenage years there - first living on Fort Mason, but later, moving to a house in the Marina district & attending St. Bridget's. Eventually, they moved back east, which is where I met her - i was "babysitting" a friend of the family - who had an alcohol problem, and we went to a bar - but she ditched me & instead of getting pissed off, I brought her her drink (in the midst of like 5 guys that were crowded around) and went off by myself to see what would happen. This friend I was babysitting was older than me by about 6 years and statuesque - beautiful on the outside, but very troubled. Anyway, I saw this table of girls being bothered by a group of guys who were buying them drinks -but coming on very heavily, so i started talking to them - and told them my story & I pointed out my friend on the dancefloor. They thought it was funny - and one of them said - hey, this guy is from up where you live (to my future wife). Later, there was some discussion about whether she had "stolen" me, because I originally was talking to the girl that introduced me to my future wife. Anyway, we talked & danced (the song was "Boom Boom Boom Lets Go Up to MY Room") and had a good time & made plans to see each other next week-end. meanwhile, I had to collect my baggage & get her home - which was a trip in itself - but it all worked out - so Next week-end, I'm getting ready for the date, and i figure i should take all my dead tapes out of the car - and pack it with "conventional" music - and when I pick her up, the first thing she says, after lookign at the music selection is "Oh - you don't have any Dead" - I was shocked - I had like 5000 hours of bootleg tapes at the time - so we go to dinner & then a movie - and then out to a bar -and I actually run out of money - I wasn't expecting to do all that - but it's cool, she has money -and then we wind up back at her place - where her brother is supposed to be keeping an eye on her because her parents are out of town - but he's out too - so we sit & talk - and i start to see this halo over her head - and i can't stop looking at it. Somehow, I figure it must be an optical illusion - but there it is -and it's not going away, no matter what I do - so i'm not even listening to what she's saying at this point - I'm figuring this is a sign from heaven - and I start to daydream about - maybe she's the one. To make a long story short, she was the one, and still is. We've been together 20 years (as of november 2009) and have 3 wonderful kids. She did adoption research on the web & found her mother in Pretoria, but unfortunately, she died recently (before telling her too much). She did find that she has a half sister, who is now married and living in Australia, whom she keeps in touch with - but her mother had adopted a boy, who was very unreceptive to my wife finding her birth mother. Her adoptive parents (who are the only parents she's ever known - and so are her "real" parents) are wonderful people & have a wealth of knowledge & experience to offer and we love and treasure them as do our kids. My wife still wants to get back to South Africa some day, but I'm not so sure, with the way things have unfolded politically over there, if that is a wise thing to do. Maybe after the kids are grown & off on their own, we'll venture down there, but it kind of scares me. anyway, that's my south africa story. Take care & write more soon.

00
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
Freetown Peninsular

“Freetown Peninsular, having a 40km length from Aberdeen to Kent with exceedingly attractive and varied beaches by the Peninsular Mountains.”

Ok guys and girls i have found another hidden treasure. Yesterday we drove about 2 hours from of Freetown towards Guinea. My friends took me to a place called Kent Beach and then took a 20 minute boat ride on a little brittle canoe type fishing boat ridden with small wholes etc to Banana Island. (I am going back today) The boat ride was a tad bit harry as we are on the Atlantic Ocean and there are waves and the whole nine yards. Ate fresh lobster, fish, and got drunk on palm wine on the beach and went for a swim. Found out that Burning Spear is from Sierra Leone and met one of the band members friends. They return to Sierra Leone often for holidays etc. Anyway, Banana Island is a beautiful picturesque place with a haunting past. This island was used as the main discharge points for the slave trade and both British and American ships used to load their human cargo on this island. I was able to see the remains of the stone warehouses and loading docks and was able to have a moment of silence for all those people who were forced to leave this paradise for a hellish life in the Americas. What a scar on human history. I was also able to talk with my friends who lived through the war which ended in 2002. Stories of the Child soldiers and the mass killings. This stuff really makes you think. I told all who were present that i have such respect for them as they were able to survive such an event. I thought about a time in my life that i considered one of the best times of my life. I thought about summer Phish tour about July/August 1997. Then i asked them what they were doing during this time. While i was playing in the sun and having the time of my life these guys were starving, sick, watching their friends and family having their arms and hands cut off (short sleeve or long sleeve was the question of the day: Look it up on Google). I heard stories of how brutal humans can be to one another and they are so brutal that i do not want to repeat them here unless asked. You can probably find this stuff on Google. Anyway, on to better things. I was at Kent beach which is way out in the jungle and the mountains reach into the sea at this point on the Peninsula. The water is crystal blue and the beaches are white. There are very few people out here. There was only one other couple on the whole beach while we were there, and they were from some international org which is a part of the UN or something. The water was very warm and the waves were breaking nicely, so nice that I am surprised that there were no surfers out there.

00
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
Definition

Anyway i was told this by a friend in Mali who is from Mali and during this moment there was another friend from France on hand.

"You may be Arab, Chinese, White, Russian or even American, if you talk bad French its called Parler petit Negre aka; Little "bla bla " talking, so that makes you a "bla bla " too."

If i remember correctly this was the conversation that i had with this African and French guy while discussing West Africa and a book called "Allah is not Obliged" by Ahmadou Kourouma who is a famous African writer and who uses this terminology throughout his book.

He also sites the Laroussse and the Petit Robert and the Glossary of French lexical particularities in Black Africa as sitting this phrase and hence what i am referring to above. I have not personally checked into this but i have taken it at face value.

TigerLilly's picture
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Joined: Jul 2 2007
Negre in French does NOT = the other N word in English

Means black-as in a person with black skin, BUT does not have the negative association of the American word. Is more like "negro" back when that was considered to be p.c.
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Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Samuel Clemens

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Deadheads of Africa