I used to work for a rather large telecommuncations company in Pleasanton,CA. My supervisors last name was/is Weir. Upon transferring into this dept I was tempted to ask if she was related to Bob, the answer was no but after talking about music for a few minutes she said that she had a family member that played in a band called the Tubes. I cant remember which member it was now but it was a wier-d connection.
Have you ever met yourself? Boy, is it odd. I was living in Cincinnati, OH and went to hear Phillin' Phriends with Dylan at the local summertime ampitheater. There were a LOT of heads that sure looked familiar and a few people I hadn't seen in awhile giving hugs and groovin'... Nice night. I went to fetch me a Guinness (wine of the country) and saw a guy with a pal in the exact same shirt I had on. Not just any shirt- it was very ugly. There were sankes wrapped around hawaiian guitars and flowers in this awful bright red and white decor. I had to stop and make some chat. His name? that's right: Bob. His pal? same as mine: Dan. His beer? well, you see where this is going. But, it gets stranger (you know). I mentioned that my shirt had been a gift from my mother in law whilst on a trip to the Carribean at this little booth on some island... His shirt? His girlfriend's mom etc. etc. etc. We toasted heartily and said we'd see each other again each morning. The punchline: I related this story to my wife upon arriving home. "SO, ummm..."she said "you get his number?" See you round, Bobstopper.
One morning last year as I was on my way to college, I decided to stop by a convenience store in Carlisle PA for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. While I was standing at the deli area waiting for my sandwich, one of the employees noted my Grateful Dead t-shirt, and said "my cousin played lead guitar for them." "Sure," I said. "You may know of him," she continued, "his name's Steve Kimock." She didn't charge me for the coffee.
Yo Soy Boricua!
I heard that phrase from fellow travelers on two occasions: I was working as a fitness trainer at a health club in Oakland, CA. A colleague referred a new client to me, and I was doing the standard intake session. She said she wanted to get in shape in preparation for some adventure travel: Me: "Wow. That's fun. What made you decide to do that?" Her: "This might seem silly, but...I was working as a vice president of a bank. Then Jerry Garcia died..."
A few years later I was working as a recruiter of attorneys. A job candidate told me he'd gone from being a carpenter to getting a law degree in his thirties: Me: "Interesting. How did you end up doing that?" Him: "Well, I had this great carpentry business, and then Jerry died. I had all these customers who were other Deadheads, and I'd just go on jobs and we'd all cry. It became too depressing, so I decided to go to law school!"
I was sitting in my car outside a shop in Deadwood, S.D. waiting for my wife when I was approached by a real ruff looking cowboy and his wife. Did I mention he was wearing a really big knife on his belt and his shirt said "London by way of Texas"? I didn't know what to expect. He tells me they saw my license plate and wanted to know if it spelled out Grateful Dead or Grateful Dad. I said it was Dead. He looks at his wife with a big smile and says "see, I told you". That certainly was a strange trip!
It was only a minor event, but it gave me great pleasure.
We were in the cafeteria at Athens airport, returning from a great sailing trip round the Peloponnese. As we went to the counter I noticed someone staring at me from way across the room (its a big cafeteria). Next thing I know he came over, and pointing to my Dead Polo shirt , identiified himeself as a DeadHead ( from London). We had a brief chat and went our separate ways. Now I always were my Polo shirt when travelling :)
It was the highlight of my holiday - which had been fabulous up to then anyway.
I was interning at a Botanical Garden in Mendocino County, N. California, and decided to fly to a Red Rocks show for 3 nights with Widespread Panic. I had to hop a few buses to get to San Fran Int. airport, and in Santa Rosa an old, dusty lookin' dude got on. He literally "Asked me for a dime, a dime for a cup of coffee" I bought him a cup, and he proceeded to talk to me for the entire 2 hour ride down the coast. After about 10 minutes he saw a "Steal your Face" album patch on my pack, and proceeded to tell some of the best stories I've heard to date. He said, and I quote, "Back in 69' my friends and I first saw those guys, and before I knew it, it was 1989 and I still didn't have a real job, but I sure had a lot of fun, and family." He also told me that a few years back he had met Bobby on a bus in downtown San Fran, and he asked Bob, "Why in the world are you on this bus, man?" Bobby answered back without missing a beat, "Have you ever tried to drive in this town?"
It's experiences like this that make being a Deadhead all the more rewarding. I never would have met this version of August West had I not had that patch, nor would I have been so kind to someone down and out if it wasn't for that feeling that everyone is family in our community. As a Deadhead I feel like a member of some elite club, something very special indeed. We all know that we truly are blessed to be members of this Dead society.