Ben The Deadhead: All of My Friends...
Looking back 15 years, I had some very good Deadhead friends. Some, like Greg and Hal that had many more tapes and went to many more shows than I did, and others like some of my buddies from the Rugby Team that were a bit more casual about it than I was. Hooking back up with Greg again recently after all these years has certainly brought back alot of memories. He once drove me back home to Northern Virginia from Hampton after a Jerry Garcia Band show. I assumed that he was going to his place nearby too, but it turned out that he and his other friend were actually heading back to Staunton, VA, his hometown. He went several hours out of his way for me that day, something that only a true friend would do, and something that I will never forget.
Hal and I did the Philly Trip together, and went to a number of other shows as well, including our first one at RFK in '89. We were very close friends through high school, but lost touch somewhere in the early '90s. Last I heard, he was doing pretty well for himself in Mississippi, it would be great to make contact with him again someday.
When I got to The University of Maryland in 1991, I made a few Deadhead friends, but none of them were that close. I took a few close friends to some shows, and they always had a good time. When I met my wife there in 1992, I was wearing one of my Dead concert T-Shirts. That didn't scare her off, so I took her to a couple shows, she never really got into them though. I think she preferred the Jerry Garcia Band shows that I took her to more. By the time I graduated from Maryland in '94, I had gravitated more and more to her musical tastes. I always joke that I listened to more 'college' music after I graduated from college than when I was there.
My memories of The Grateful Dead have been just as much tied to those who I shared the experience with as they were to the music itself. Those shared experiences were a critical part of what made that time in my life so special. I could go on and on with other stories, and probably will in future posts.