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Deadfile, Volume 2, May 14, 1996

by Deborah DeLorme

It was May 27,1995. I was in Portland Or. For the Gratful Dead concert.

It was a sweltering, hot day when I woke up and got dressed in a white skirt with a rainbow running down the sides, a pink bikini top with black dots on it, and a bergany colored lace over my shoulders.

I walked threw the freshly cut grass, and the pine tree's, which made it smell like spring.

On the other side of the tree's was where every one else had camped, but most of them where gone by the 27th.

The camp looked almost desisted with only one truck left,the truck was blue with a brown campershell, there was a brown carpet next to a few trees, a blue trap was spread out over the carpet.

My mom was siting on the carpit, she was warring my purple skirt and a purple shirt. I asked my mom to paint my face. She put a sun on one cheek, a star on the other, and on my forehead she put a rainbow.

We walked to the stadum,on the way we past many people, all of them where warring many colorful chothe's, mostly tie dyed.

When we got to the stadium and handed our tickets to a lady in a blue shirt, then we went in.

In side the stadium it was smoky, the smoke smelled kind of spicy.

I found a place to stand in front of the stage,I could feel the excitement of the people around me as they danced to the music. It was a sight to see. Thousand's of people moving to the music in perfect harmony. You could see the waves from the music rolling over the sea of people.

The stage was set about 6ft. off the ground. On each side of the stage there was stacks of speakers rising a hundred feet in to the air, and these were big speakers, I'll say that they were all at least as tall as me, and they really rocked !

The Gratful Dead had five band members. I don't know all there name's, but the two lead singers are named Bobby Weir, and Jerry Garsia (he died three months after this concert). In between the two, they put on a great concert.

After the concert I walked threw shakedown street, also known as shaketown. Shakedown street is the place were people sales things, you can buy almost anything on shakedown street, and you can also find almost any kind of person you can imagine.

After an hour or five I started back to camp. By the time I got to camp it was after midnight.

After I told my mom what I was doing for the last few hours I went to bed.

Beatty, Oregon

25 January l996

Dear Bob and other friends,

Life is what we make of it. 'Leaving only footprints' furthers my belief that each step counts. I count my blessings every day that I coughed up $4.50 in October, 1972 to go to this 'event' that my friends kept talking about called the 'Grateful Dead.' It gave me an introduction into understanding just how good energy generated by a large group of people with a common understanding or excitement could feel.

That feeling has never left me even though I have often strayed from the course it was steering me towards. Jerry's transition has profoundly impacted many; me included. His job truly was to shed light and he did it with such eloquence.

I have been truly blessed in the experience and wish to send my sincere-thanks to each and every one involved in the 'events' over the years. Each one proved to be a chance encounter with bliss. And to think I almost decided to spend my babysitting money on something else in 1972!

Bob, this letter is addressed to you because I have not been able to get the song 'Book of Rules' out of my head over the past few months. To further complicate matters, different lyrics kept threading their way in. I decided to put down on paper how 'Book of Rules' has transformed for me in that time and share it with you. I hope you don't mind.

BOOK OF RULES (with liberty)

Isn't it strange how princesses and kings,
Can learn so little in a life of sawdust dreams.

Just like poor people like you and me will be builders OF eternity.
Each is given a bag of tools, shapeless lives and a book of rules.

Each must take his life as a true blessing.
Moving obstacles into stepping stones.

Just like poor people like you and me will be builders OF eternity.
Each is given a bag of tools, shapeless lives and a book of rules.

& I say poor people like you and me will be builders OF eternity.
Each is given a bag of tools, shapeless lives and a book of rules.

Well the rain is falling from the sky.
I know the sun will be always shining on the inside.

Yes and poor people like you and me will be builders OF eternity.
Each is given a bag of tools, shapeless lives and a book of rules.

Peace in the Light
Pam Williamson
Duluth, Georgia

30 March 1996

Dear Downtown Deb,

Just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love Dead Air, although I hear it in a rather unusual way. You see, I live in a small town about an hour outside of New York City so there's no way for me to pick up your show live. Luckily for me my brother lives in Eugene and occasionally tapes your show for me and sends it east. When I get a new show I just about wear out the tape within a few weeks. We're kind of Dead-deprived on the east coast unfortunately)

So Deb, have you given any thought to syndicating Dead Air so that the rest of the world can be as lucky as Eugene, Newport, and surrounding Oregon? (You guys are lucky enough just to live in that beautiful area) .If you can't, I'll be forever happy listening to you on tape.

Love and Peace,
Scott McCann

Hey guys,

I have been on a quest and been coming up empty handed, maybe one of y'all can help me out. First of all let me tell you that my fiance and I are getting married on June 15th. We have been doing a lot of planning and having a barrel of fun doing so but have come across a stumper. We want our first dance to be the Garcia Band's version of "Shining Star". We both heard you guys play it a lot on various tours. The problem is, I can't find a really killer version (in terms of the quality of the sound on the tape, I have plenty of really great performances of it like in The Garden on 11-12-93 with David Murray). I collect tapes, mostly GD but am always looking for JGB and can't seem to find a soundboard or really great tape strong enough to play on our wedding day. Anyway, this isn't about collecting tapes, this is just a question of "Can you help me out with this one song?". I would be much obliged if you would send me a copy that could be played for us on our wedding day. Thanks. Even if you can't thanks. You all brought Aimee
and I some beautiful memories and moments together. It is for those times that I am already grateful to you. Thanks.

I hope you are all doing well in these new times. It still feels kinda weird to me, the interesting thing is that all my tapes, ticket stubs and various souvenirs (like the dent in my car and the sticker I found on my windshield after a show in Eugene) have all taken on new meaning and significance. I know some of the fellas are playing with the Berkeley Symphony on my wedding day, so I will be thinking of everyone out there. Anyway, like I said earlier, thanks for everything.

Gratefully Yours,
Penn Ketchum and Aimee Tucci

February 27, 1996

Dear Bobby, Mickey, Phil, Bill and Vince:

I feel compelled to thank all of you and Jerry, posthumously, for providing inspiration and guidance through your music. I firmly believe if it were not for the comfort your words provided, my fiance would not be here today.

Keith, although he listened to some Dead music when he was 15, was not "into" the music at that time. He was a depressed teen struggling to find his place in life. He was by no means a "good" child--a bit wild and unwilling to listen to his parents. He managed to work his way into the Culinary Institute of America. He had to work to support himself and pay for his schooling. It was here he had a room-mate by the name of Dave Berenson. Dave, a Jerry look-a-like, took Keith to his first Dead show, gave him a few hits of acid, and said "enjoy the ride."'. For the first time, he started to understand the meaning of life. He was hooked on the meaningful words, the harmonious music, and the serenity and true peace he experienced from the crowd.

Keith would hitchhike home from the Culinary to the far
northern Adirondacks. Some nights it would be so bitterly cold, he would hover beneath a bridge and listen to Dead tunes, especially Brokedown Palace, to get him through the night. To this day, Brokedown Palace creates such a flood of emotions, Keith cries when he hears it.

Once he realized what inspiration the Dead had to offer, he turned his three other brothers onto it as well. He and his younger brother, Kraig, enjoyed about 400 shows together. Kraig, deciding not to continue college, went as far as to follow you to the west coast. A positive experience he has never regretted.

Keith, unfortunately experienced more tragedy and hardship over the years following school. He married a woman who had also graduated from the Culinary. She did not share his love of the Dead, nor did her controlling family approve of the stereo-typed image of the Dead. Their belief was that only druggies followed the Dead. This put somewhat of a strain on their relationship. They did try to keep things together. They had a daughter in 1987. Things were fine until 1990. Keith's wife was experiencing twitches in her hand. She agreed to submit to IV therapy to try to alleviate the problem. She had a terrible allergic reaction to the therapy and suffered a severe stroke. She lapsed into a coma, necessitating brain surgery in Philadelphia to allow the Doctors to try to find out what was going on. Their conclusion was that she had vasculitis of the central nervous system as well as severe allergies. The stroke had totally disabled her. Her emotions were all but nonexistent. Her ability to work as a chef was gone. Even her ability to eat by herself and care for her personal needs was gone. Keith had become her caregiver as well as mother and father to his three year old. He was also the only means of financial support. His only solace was the Dead.

Keith's wife was in and out of hospitals and rehab centers for the next four years. She attempted suicide on two occasions; she was successful on the second attempt. Lauren was six years old. The Psychiatrist she was most likely in her right mind when she took the overdose of her medication. She had very few periods of lucidity, but it was the Doctor's belief she had had enough.

Keith and I had been friends through work--platonic. I provided him with an ear when he needed one, or a shoulder to cry on. At the time our friendship was beginning, the situation at home had become almost intolerable for all involved. Keith wanted a friend to go to Dead shows and just to talk on an adult level. I was a bit leery of going to a Dead show. First, at 28, I had never been to a concert of any kind, and second, I was of the narrow-minded belief that the music couldn't be that good from a bunch of old guys W.10 did a bunch of drugs. I don't think I have ever been so wrong about anything in my life.

Keith started me out with a cassette, In The Dark. Mind you, I had only heard two Grateful Dead songs to this point, Truckin' [ which I did not understand] and Touch of Grey [ which I loved]. I listened to this tape over and over. I began to realize your music is beautiful and very diverse, compared to other groups. I also fell in love with Black Muddy River.

I was then acclimated to videos that Keith had. I think he wanted to give me the same "cosmic" experience he had in college, only with less of a jolt and without the drugs. [I've never taken anything, and most I had never even heard of or seen.] He then gave me a CD of Mickey's for Christmas, 1993. It was Planet Drum. Very wild, I don't think I am even ready for it now. Keith's wife died February, 1994. Unfortunately the guilt and pain almost destroyed Keith. He entered therapy, which has helped tremendously. He listened to his collection of Dead tapes and CD's constantly to help him through and to ease his pain. I truly believe if he did not receive so much positive energy from your music, he may very well have ended his life as well.

Keith and his brother took me to my first show in March, 1994 at Nassau Coliseum. I was amazed at the BMWs, and Mercedes driving into the parking lot with the threepiece suit executives. I never realized what a tremendous impact your music has had on so many different people. It was truly an eyeopening experience. It was also a learning experience to see all the people in the parking lot and all the different drugs. Inside I was nervous and although I enjoyed the music, I was afraid to move a muscle. I have absolutely no rhythm, and I thought someone would make a comment about the pathetic soul whose feet and movements didn't move to the music at all.

Since that first show [and my first show of any kind], I was able to go to an additional 14 Dead shows. Keith also took me to see Phil Collins a few months after my first Dead show. I liked Phil and Genesis at the time. I learned a lot about music from this show. Your sound system is far superior to any other in existence. My ears did not throb after the show had ended, and people at Dead shows feel the music, they don't just listen to it.

Your music is creative and unique. I now understand why it means so much to so many people. You all have influenced the music world, not just because of Jerry [although he truly was a master], but because you all contributed specific components to make the Grateful Dead such a big part of the music world and history. Your accomplishments should speak for- themselves.

We are anticipating your return to the stage in whatever grouping you choose. I am very grateful for the life of a very special person and for the extraordinary music we have to share for the rest of our lives. We have discussed our marriage, and I decided it was only fitting if it was in a fashionably Dead style. Only Dead music, with Dancing Bears instead of those tacky bridal dolls that serve no other purpose than to collect dust afterwards, VW bugs in vibrant colors instead of limos, and of course we'd have to throw in Jerry artwork cumberbunds and ties.

Again, thank you for everything. Best of luck to all of you.

Deanna Schaller
Bethlehem, PA

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