Brother Dan and I went to Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary (and final) shows – 2 in Santa Clara, California and 3 in Chicago, Illinois. We roadtripped the whole she-bang from Vancouver, BC to Olympia, WA to Pacifica, Santa Clara, then Las Vegas to Provo where we switched vehicles and rode with some pals across the midwest (camping in an epic storm in Nebraska along the way). We hit all 5 shows and enjoyed the community and music.
Other stops included Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael California and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado to see Neil Young and Promise of the Real. We parted ways in SLC as i had to head to rescue a broken RV in Mendocino (unsuccessfully as it turns out) and Dan headed back to BC.
Along the way, stopped at various craft breweries, made loads of arts and crafts (including an massive scrapbook of ephemera, road poetry, set lists, newspaper clipping and other sundries) and a series of photos by Lomo camera. Also documented a series of two-fer photos of us enjoying beers or joints or scenery and the company of conspirators. Several of these became a “memory book” i created (via an online publishing service) for Dan as a wee present. When visited his home, i snapped quick shots of the pages (note to self: take better ones next time). Here the are the lousy pics of an otherwise lovely book – for my amusement and your curiosity.
Of course, the most critical part of postcards and letters are: a proper address to send it to, and a friend to write.
Also, I like to think about all the hands which touch the card as it makes the journey from my writing desk to a happy (I expect) recipient who peeks in their post box / letter slot and see something other than a utility bill or an bulk/junk mail from a real estate agent.
I also wonder how the “hand off“ in international mail works from one country to the next. Do the workers peek at the – almost illegible – scribble on my postcards? Do they wonder who wrote the missives and who the recipient is? . Do you think about these logistics & vagaries? Or is it just me? .
As life goes… coming online brought devastating news. My dear comrade Rod Howard Ash passed away in his sleep in Provo, Utah. Memorial and burial already behind and his gaggle of admirers are bound for Diamond Fork hot pots to magnify his memory.
This sacred place is the last place i saw this wonderful man –,i was in rough shape and he whisked me, Marty, his son and nephew up to our “church”, yabbering & driving like Neal Cassady – effervscent with lifeforce & boundless energy & optimism. Of course his hair added another 6 inches to the 4 his creeper shoes gave him. A natural diplomat, super conductor & connector with style & smile for days.
Im not sure why him and not me.
Will love him forever and will be in Utah during Memorial Day weekend for Mom’s body donor ceremony and will pay a proper tribute with tears & poems.
Thank you for showing me what boundless love looks like Mr. Ash. You are ours forever.
Snaps from Rod’s camera on a Diamond Fork day (Sept. 2016):
Two little videos where you hear Rod’s distinctive laugh: