Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Bongo, old man, I am sorry to have been so horribly delayed in congratulating you on completing the First Half Century. Whoa, ho what I want to know is . . . where does the time go?
The news of the Blog and everything else came in as I was starting load-in for the annual production of The Nutcracker, and for some reason, this year's production was much crazier than the rest. The fall has been absolutely crazy. When the economy went South, the workload went North, and I've been sleepless in Charlottesville for weeks. Right now, we have too much work, and that's a good thing.
But enough about me. What you need to know is how deeply and wonderfully you have affected my life, in person, from afar, and in glorious memories for what, can it be almost Thirty Fuckin' Years!?!?!
My first clear memory of our meeting was on the Long Walk in the spring of '79. I was heading South, and you popped your head out of your Jarvis room to ask if I wanted to catch some killer tunes. Naturally, I did and quickly recognized The Other One from 4/28/71. You quickly disabused me of the notion that this was from the record and my cranium peeled open with the realization that there was a whole world of bootleg Dead out there, and I didn't have to listen to commercial records of the Dead if I didn't want to. From that point the trip got stranger.
I hope I never over-stayed my welcome burning copies, and I had so little to reciprocate with. Hardly any day goes by that the band doesn't jam through something that reminds me of you.
But, my friend, it isn't just the Dead. When you were leaving Atlanta, you gave me several solid-core doors and some other items from Bongo South. But those doors are now, and have been for years, my design tables. Two of them, end-to-end, are my desk where I sit and write you now. Another is a plan mark-up table with bed for the dog underneath, and the last is layout table and catchall. So, you're here at work every day, whether you like it or not.
Also on the work front, I frequently remind myself of your dad's advice to consider marketing as one of your clients. It really does scream when it's forgotten.
One thing I do miss are the Jib-lets. I still cry when I remember the "Hey, Loser, you're on fire episode." And, I've shared that with many people over the years. Now that Eliza is 2½, we're starting to have similar experiences. My folks were here for Christmas, and they stop in PA on their way back home. They called to say they'd made
it that far, and when I got off the phone, I told Eliza that was her grandmother and they'd made it safely to Pennsylvania. The reply was quick: "No, Daddy, not Pensvana; Masst-toochits."
So, as your rolling over the hill, and into the Second Half Century, remember Satchel Page's advice, "Don't look back. Somethin' might be gainin' on ya." It's me. I'm not that far behind.
Party On, Brother.