Happy Birthday Jerry!

It has been 18 years since Jerry Garcia joined God’s rock band and i have thought of him every day since. For the last few years i have been alone at this sacred time of year away from the tribe of fans he created.

This year i was far from alone, surrounded by thousands of kindred spirits at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival. This event was created by the vacuum Jerry left, the grieving tribe yearned for a congregation, a place to be with ourselves.

with the “Ferries” the official keepers of the children

So now we are at one of the best run, most coveted of all music festivals. Dead Heads of four generations are here all to love the music and all to collective wish Jerry Happy Birthday. Unlike the seemingly pagan heathenish festivals i attended in the 70’s, this was a festival of families, music and love.

The Wharg Rat becones to all who desire sobriety

One of the phenomena’s of the Dead Heads was the forming of the Wharf Rats in the early 80’s. Those striving to stay clean and sober but also enjoy the Grateful Dead shows, not necessarily compatible goals, Took AA to the Dead. So named for a Dead song about a drunk, the Wharf Rats have had a strong presence at all the shows since. They have enjoyed the strong support of the band and all the event promoters. One who is struggling can easily spot the yellow balloons and “Another Dopeless Hope Fiend” stickers and find support.

Arriving at the “Vibes” on the Furthur bus was simply the ultimate experience, none could be better. The festival site was perfect along the New Jersey shore, i walked to the shoreline completing my “Sea To Shining Sea” saga. The band list played like a FM radio show of 1968, original Grateful Dead members, many Dead tribute bands, Ziggy Marley and the sensational revival of the master of Credence Clearwater Revival, John Fogarty.

I will attend two weddings, entertain children with the event sponsored winged “Ferries” in the spacious family area, making friends from 4 to 64 years old. All here because of the love for family, music and the love of one man. Thank you Jerry, Happy Birthday!