A Grateful Journey

Since I saw them for first time in concert as 15-year-old I have been a Grateful Dead fan. I was fortunate to see them perform a dozen times or so in the late 70’s and early 80’s. As you can imagine a Dead show is a spectacle and a Dead performance during that era could be hit or miss. Probably half the shows I attended were incredible, great sound, great jams and high energy. The other half lackluster. Jerry Garcia was either bored, stoned or a combination of both. Fortunately for me and other Dead fans, there are hours upon hours of live recordings available with the simple click of a button. The music itself doesn’t capture the full experience of a concert but I am not sure my 55-year-old ears or heart could stand the excitement again.

Recently a tribute Album, CD, iTunes, Music File, whatever the hell people call a bundle of music these days was released of 59 Dead songs performed by artist ranging from Wilco, Mumford and Sons, and Bela Fleck to The Nationals. My daughter bought the music and some how through a process of witchcraft and osmosis, none of which I understand, loaded all 59 songs on my iPhone.

One of favorite Dead tunes is “New Speedway Boogie” performed by Courtney Barnett on this album. In my humble opinion, she steals the show with her rendition of this classic tune.

I don’t know, but I been told
It’s hard to run with the weight of gold
Other hand I have heard it said
It’s just as hard with the weight of lead

Who can deny, who can deny
It’s not just a change in style
One step done and another begun
And I wonder how many miles

“New Speedway Boogie” written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

“One step done and another begun, And I wonder how many miles”. My wife and I traveled recently to meet my daughter and son-in-law for lunch and a few beers. I listened to all 59 songs on the trip up and back. Some of these songs conjured up old memories of years past, many years past when my life was so simple. If I had a ticket to a show, gas in the car, and money for a six-pack of beer and a cheeseburger life was good. Forty years later, if I can pay the mortgage, utilities, car payments, have enough left over to eat, and feel good enough to crawl out of bed, life is a wash.

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been

“Truckin” written by Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Robert Hunter

My time here is different than it was 40 years ago. I look back now, with all the changes, responsibilities, the good and the bad that have happened and think “what a long, strange trip it’s been”.  If I can impart any wisdom on those of you just beginning your trip it is this; the thing I have learned about life is you can’t go around it, you can’t go under it, you just have to go through it and be forever grateful for the journey.

I spent a little time on the mountain
I spent a little time on the hill
Things went down we don’t understand
But I think in time we will

“New Speedway Boogie” written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

 

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About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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4 Responses to A Grateful Journey

  1. Great post, especially liked your part about life being a journey…Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty says:

    “whatever the hell people call a bundle of music these days” LOL 🙂
    “life is a wash”…You’re still young enough to turn that feeling around 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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