Deadfile, Volume I, April 26, 1996
Dear Grateful Dead:
I am a 15 year old high school student in Iowa. My teacher in creative writing asked the class to write a letter to someone famous. You were the first thing that appeared in my head because I enjoy your music a lot. I started collecting CD's of yours not to long ago, but I've been a fan since I was able to speak. My dad is a fan of yours. He has all of your LP's and lot of your live stuff. The Wheel, China Cat Sunflower, and Franklin's Tower are a few of my favorites.
Could you read a poem I wrote. It goes like this...
Music, a passion, which flows through your veins.
Music's sound is what keeps us sane.
Music creates visions in our heads.
It brings whimsical dreams as we lay in our beds.
When the pick crosses the strings,
the guitar begins to sing.
The crash of the symbol and beat of the drum,
they glide together to make a harmonious hum.
When the tape ends and you quit your dance and hop,
you should always remember the music will never stop.
Nathaniel O'Grady, Council Bluffs, Iowa
To: THE PARKING LOT,INC., Evanston, Il
Tue, Feb 6, 1996 8:53 AM EDT
Dear Bill & Coertje & Family,
I got up a little bit late for work this morning. I looked out the window at the main road that my cousin and I (we work at the same company) take to drive to work every morning - it was packed. By the time we were in the car and on our way, I was already late, and the traffic didn't make things much better. So the left lane isn't moving, the middle lane isn't moving, the right lane isn't moving. I'm just sort of stuck, snailing my way along when in my peripheral vision I catch a black BMW snake by to my right. Nothing odd about that except on the back window I catch a blue and red flash - a window sticker. Also nothing odd about that considering that people love plastering their cars, trucks, motorcycles with stickers (some are actually pretty interesting). Well, red and blue and sort of circular....hmmm.
No, it couldn't be all the way out here. So I try weaving around this dense mess of cars and I see the bmw about five cars ahead of me. Still cant make it out for sure. At this point (I wish you could have seen my face), I was so giddy and anxious. Thinking to myself, I haven't seen a stealie in over 4 months. Its now six cars ahead of me. stoplight and the bmw flies off. I guess l'll never know. But ten minutes later, I'm in a moderately moving center lane and I spot the bmw on the right, stuck in a long line waiting to turn and let me tell you how psyched I was when I confirmed my suspicion. A bright and shiny steal your face plastered on the center of the window of that car. I really wanted to jump out of the car and do something - I don't know. But I couldn't really stop. So I'm thinking (cuz it was a middle aged lady in a business suit driving the car), how that stealie got there. Maybe a child whose studying in the states? That's my only guess, because, I've looked, there is no sign of Dead life around here. No Cds, tapes, posters, magazines...I've even looked on the net. That's OK though - it really got me pumped up for the rest of the day.
(Nathaniel's mom and dad are deadheads, so couldn't the middle aged lady have been one too?)
(Thanks to Jim Wilson of Bolt, West Virginia)
March 4, 1996
Thank you very much for your letter acknowledging my donation to The Rex Foundation. I thought the source of the donation would be of interest to you.
In early October, a group of New Hampshire-based Dead Heads wanted to have a big party to celebrate Jerry's life. We rented the Polish American Club (of Nashua, NH) with hardwood floors, a BIG stage, and heavy velour drapes. The perfect setting for 1 80-or-so swirlers, two excellent bands, and lots of good spirit. Between bands, people fought for the mic to share impromptu stories from their Dead years, letters they'd received from loved-ones who were mourning Jerry, and people read poems they had written about their years on the bus.
The proceeds of the party went to The Rex Foundation and to a long-time Dead Head friend who is in legal trouble for all of the obvious.
Anyway, it was between 10 - 22 years on the bus for most people in attendance that evening. There's an emptiness in all of us, but were grateful for the time we had. I guess there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. A
(The Rex Foundation is going to go on. They're still figuring out how. )