Lessons from the Dead
Sitting in high school algebra class, you looked to your left and saw one student copiously taking notes, then looked to your right and saw another student drawing a skull, surrounded by roses with the words “Grateful Dead” etched out in a series of disconnected dashes-looked pretty good, too. Finally, the bell rang, class was dismissed, and thank God it was Friday. Six friends piled into an old jalopy, wearing their favorite tie-dyed Dead shirts, and headed off to the show. For some, it was their seventh time seeing the Grateful Dead perform, others simply lost count. En route, the debate wasn’t how to get tickets; surely a few could be scalped. Instead, it started with how Jerry lost his finger; one Deadhead was sure he lost it in a card game; the other just laughed and said with certainty, “no, the finger was accidently cut off by an axe when Jerry was just a kid”. Huh. Pop in a cassette tape, and the debate continued, “What’s the best Dead live recording? Winterland ’78, Europe ’72, or Fillmore West ’69?”
You could barely remember the value of x as the car headed into the fog and some passengers were laughing—but not sure why. They looked unsure of themselves, and were told, if you get confused, listen to the music play. More laughter. As this ship of fools pulled into the parking lot, they joined the throngs of Deadheads who all peacefully made their way through the turnstiles. Lost in thought, one long-haired hippie realized they ...