Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Grateful Dead Show Memories

I like arena shows. My visit to see Dave Matthews reminded me of that fact. I don't get to go to many these days. We saw U2 in Foxboro one year that was a great show. We rode in the back of Gregg Johnston's Red Pickup truck with Brian Boyd and his future wife Betsy. Before that, in 1987, we went to see the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan on the 4th of July at Foxboro stadium.

I was all of 20 years of age, my future husband there, a brash and entertaining 19 year old. We had a good friend visiting us, a friend who would become my friend but was Doug's friend from back in the day in high school (and I know he is reading this, so I will be sure to represent the events as truthfully and clearly as possible).

I did the usual drunk college kid thing (remember now that I am elderly I frown upon that behavior... See (a)musing #2). I was really drunk that day, so I don't remember a lot of things. Beer buying in 1987 was fairly easy, I remember walking to the beer distrubutor across the highway from the stadium with Doug and Smitty and getting an entire case of beer which had to be consumed relatively quickly due to the heat. Warm beer is nasty beer.

I remember we brought no food with us.

I remember Doug saying something like "Smitty, you better not get sick in my car" and Smitty doing just that in the drivers seat.

Aaah. The retardedness of youth.

The Dead concert was great, but has one particularly glowing, shining moment that I'll always remember and I love to tell. The story is as follows:

Doug, Smitty and I got separated almost immediately upon entering Foxboro Stadium. I remember I had on a cool indian print t-shirt and a denim skirt. My shoes were in the car. At some point some drunk guy spraypainted one of my feet safety orange, and got the hem of my skirt coated as well... fully ruined the skirt but at the time I didn't care. Some kid named Sean tried to hook up with me at the gate. He held my hand, said he was from Sharon, MA, which isn't far from Foxboro, and offered to drive me home if I couldn't find Doug and Smitty again. I told him I knew where the car was, so I believed i wouldn't need a ride an hour to the north from where we were, especially considering he was 14 minutes east of home.

I ditched him pretty quickly and went to the bleacher seat where our ticket said our seats were located. Seeing as everyone who would have been sitting up there had the adventurous sense to go straight to the floor, I was alone. And it was quite a view from up there. Way Way Way up there. So after a little while I eventually made it to the floor.

I've only seen the Dead a couple of times... Dylan alone a couple of times. I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "Deadhead," but I sincerely enjoy listening to their music and loved seeing them live.

This was a great show. It was a great day to be a young American. Fourth of July, everyone was happy to be there and to "Wave that flag, wave it wide and high" in the summer time.

I danced with a husband and wife and their three year old daughter, who sat on my shoulders while we danced.

I danced with people I didn't know.

I continually kept a look out for Doug, not finding him at all. Eventually I ended up within sweat drop distance from Bob Weir, and the first set ended shortly thereafter. The stadium was Death Valley August Hot, so they turned a hose on to soak the crowd, and the wilty deadheads accepted the Foxboro fire department baptism willingly.

I had sobered up considerably by that time, and made my way to the side of the stadium under where the luxury boxes are (not knowing in like 13 years I'd be luxuriating in one of them...) and a completely trippy hippy came up to me and said, "Hey honey, are you lost?" in his most trippy hippy voice.

"Uh, yeah kinda, I lost my boyfriend. He's someplace around here." I answered while not making eye contact with him, and scanning the crowd for my young tiedyed lover.

"Well, let me help you find him," Mister Trippy Hippy offered, beardedly and kindly. "What's he look like, man."

No lie, he called me man.

"Well, he's like 19, he's wearing a tie dye shirt, blue jeans, he's about 5' 11" and 170 pounds, and he has blonde medium length curly hair," I described Doug perfectly. (For those of you who know him and know that blonde, medium length curly hair isn't there anymore, stop laughing now. It was a long time ago and has nothing to do with this anecdote).

Mister Trippy looked over his left shoulder, slowly turned and scanned the audience and looked over his right shoulder, then slowly turned back to me and said, "Well THAT helps. You just described everyone in the fucking stadium, man."

"I didn't enlist your help, sir," I snidely replied and began walking away, praying for the hose to be turned on again and aimed right at this guy. He got all apologetic and grasped my shoulder and pulled me back.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." he stammered. "No seriously, let me help you. What's his name?"

"Doug." I flatly replied.

And he turned and cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled out over the crowd, "DOUUUUUUUUUG!!!!!!!"

At that point I hung my head down and skulked away, as he took another deep breath and yelled Doug's name again, and again, I could hear him calling as I blended away into the drunk college kid crowd.

Turns out if I had stayed at the front of the stage, I would have been found by Doug. He ended up right where I had been standing, and stood within sweat drop distance from Bob Dylan.

At the conclusion of the show, I knew exactly where the car was, and so did Doug and Smitty. Doug and I made out in the back of the hatch back while someone shot fireworks above the parking lot. The spare tire dug into my back. That was a great, fun day, a good day to be at a concert.

I am trying very hard to not so much as forget what happened in New York and Washington this past month, but to think about other stuff. The journal will be a good place for me to unload some thoughts and memories I'd like to share. Living in the past and looking back at the salad days isn't the best way to deal with the stress of what is going on right now in the world, but it is at least better than hiding under my bed mewling and shitting because I fear someone is going to mail me some anthrax this week.

I received some positive feedback from people on my religion entry. None from the person who asked me to expound, so either he's had a busy weekend or he is pissed at me. That's alright because it is what it is. The nicest feedback I got was from my friend Rupa who says she's been waiting for me to write something like that since I started this journal. So I made someone happy.

I'm in my new cube on the first floor in the office building. I hate it. I didn't mind the concept of losing my office, but this cube is small, I don't like having to talk on the phone and knowing someone can hear me, even if it is work related. I have a hard time talking softly so I know I'm pissing someone off somewhere in the room. When I sneeze I get 15 "bless you" wishes instead of an echo. Sigh. I got spoiled rotten. I'm not going to dwell on it though because the flip side is I have a job, I have income. Thank God. In this day and age, when our stock is .89 cents (yup) I should just show up happy and work all day happy. And leave it at that.

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