THE MAILBAG 4.12.96 1996



[Archive] [majorlinks]


If you want to give your cyber-readers a way to actually fight Net
censorship while they peruse the Web, feel free to add a link on your
archive news page to my editorial on HotWired that allows people to become
co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the CDA by signing a form on our
site... close to 10,000 folks have joined so far! The deadline has been
extended indefinitely.

Steve Silberman

Date: Wed, Apr 3, 1996
From: (Fritz Eifrig x5122)

All I can say is "Right F'in' on!" I am so happy to see you doing this
project that I can't find all the right words to let you know. It really
gives me an enormous amount of hope for the future of the Dead which I
thought would never be restored. Not to knock the folks at the Almanac,
but I thought that there was an awful lot of potential that was being
ignored. As you rightly pointed out there should be more connections
between us all than T-shirts, mouse pads and golf balls, and this archive
and your communications are the heart of what we can start to build
again. Or something. I'm rambling a bit in my excitement, but I hope
you can get the general thrust of what I'm thinking. Will there be some
links to the thoughts, life and times, parables, and riddles of St.
Dilbert, the Bozos, Bolos and other peoples in the realm of Hypnocracy?
Onward upward and around!


Subj: you go boy!
Date: Sat, Apr 6, 1996
From: (Tyrone 'Rocketman' Slothrop)

I'm having a blast at your site. It's great to see you embrace the tech,
and now I have somewhere to point folks when they say "Whaddya mean I
should have more content?" Be careful with the Java applets though, a
lot of them are just annoying, no better than the evil blink-o-matic tag.

Though you've given what I understand is permission to do this at the
bottom of the relevant pieces, I wanted to check with you before I print
out a couple of your things to share with some non-silicon folks here in
Eugene. Specifically, I'd like to print A Strange Music (maybe other
stuff later) to bring in to friends at White Bird Clinic here in Eugene,
a disorganization with which you may be familiar...anyway, if you don't
want me to do that, for whatever reason, I won't. But if I don't hear
otherwise in a week or so I'll go ahead.

Mostly, though, I want to give you more of the encouragement which you
said was the driving force behind your decision to jump into the web with
both feet. Please keep the energy up! The site is very exciting; it's
great now and seems to hold a great deal of promise for the future.
Though I urge you not to edit out the cuss words in the mailbag; why
bother? Joke 'em if they can't take a 'f...', brother!
(Tyler: I can either spend my time creating this page or spend it in court,
lose my server privileges, pay a $25,000 fine & all the other good things
the chickenshack censorship law allows to be done for the use of good old
Anglo Saxon words for natural bodily parts and functions. See my paragraph
about Philip K. Dick in the Journal. Or should I say Philip K. D. . k? This
website is probably high profile enough, due to its deadnet connection, to make a dandy test case, but I'd rather get on about the business of connecting with a lot of folks who seem to beneeding to know that what remains of the Grateful Dead still gives a flying duck about them. --rh)

I can't properly express how glad I am to see you emerging from mourning
in such a powerfully creative way. You can never tell what extreme loss
will do even to the strongest. I miss him, and I never even *met* him.
Good to see you're still with us.

And, lastly, a quick and hopefully not too embarassing (though you must
be getting used to it by now) 'thank you' for providing some of the
ammunition I've used to blast down the walls separating my me from
Spirit. I can't quite say that you personally saved my life, but your
songs gave me a glimmer of hope when I was lost in darkness and I will
always owe you for that. The person I was wasn't worth being; the person
(people? whatever) I am now owes his existence in large part to the
magic y'all made. I'm looking forward to learning more about how to help
create some of that good stuff my own self, to keep that ol' wheel

So: thank you.

-Tyler Hart
Erisian Fields Productions

PS: I really like the last parts of the Terrapin suite. Sure hope we get
to hear 'em performed sometime.

Date: Sat, Apr 6, 1996
From: (Chris Parkinson)

Dear Robert,

Just stumbled upon your web site today and spent hours just browsing -
it's the sort of generous-minded creativity, warmth and inspiration that I
(and I guess many others) wished would happen with the dead community in
cyberspace. Anyway, I don't want to waste your time, or be too gushing, I
just dropped by to say thanks for your marvellous efforts (and for the
years of lyrics), and I look forward to further threads in your ' insane

Kindest regards

International Geology Office
Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3 Higashi,
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, JAPAN

Sat, Apr 6, 1996
From: (Peter S. Oleson)
rh-I was somewhat amazed to hear from you, and I thank you for the reply. It prompted me to dig out my old vinyl and I still think that "children's lament" is my favorite. It reminds me of this story that happened to me.
In my family, there is this hunting tradition, I suppose a leftover from the days when there were no stores to buy meat at. My dad was getting pretty old, and had been afflicted with polio when he was a child. When he retired, before his insurance ran out, he had his leg (the afflicted one) removed. He always seemed to have some kind of problem with his stub. Us children never cut him no slack over it, it seemed to us he should pull his weight no matter what his physical condition.
Anyway, we went moose hunting that year and camped out in a tent before the opening day of the season. I'm talking about way out in the boonies, by Alaskan standards, a place where very few have tread.
We woke well before dawn, carried the canoe down to the lake we were near, and launched it. My dad all the while telling us how we were doing it wrong. Anyway, we got him in the boat, and paddled across the lake in the dark, so we could get to our chosen spot before dawn.
We portaged the canoe across a short area, and put in to the next lake, which was about a mile long. When we got to the other end, it was almost dawn. We got my dad up on the highest knob in the area, he believed that all game animals take the high route.
So we were all wore out from getting him up there and standing around panting when the sun broke the horizon. At that very moment, out of the clear blue, out in the middle of nowhere, and very close to us, some other fool began blowing a greeting to the dawn on a bagpipe.
It was a sacred moment to me, but my dad had a s..tfit. His sanctity had been violated while mine had been reinforced. By the way, I could use a little more whale blubber in my lamp, but the government won't let us kill no more mammals, so could you send me a candle to burn for Jerry? Grief is manifest in many ways, go with god, my new friend.
Peter Oleson.
p.s. you wrote me that:
"I like the idea of someone sitting over a computer
in his igloo with his brain in cyberspace!"

Date: Mon, Apr 8, 1996

Just got off a 2 hr phone call from a dear friend in Jersey (New
Jersey)--amazing how mainframe computer wizards aren't online !!!!!!
When I told him about my summer plans, tours of remaining Dead members
and that your writings are online, he asked me if you were playing any of
the shows on tours. I said I didn't know. So, he wanted me to let you
know that he's "more anxious to hear him [you] than Dylan; and I have
traveled long distances to hear Dylan and worn out his albums too. I
don't care if he plays barrooms or theatres as long as he plays!!!!". [I
wrote this down, and read it back to him, so as not to misquote him, Ken
Jasko, online]. We started singing our favorites to each other from Rum
Runners, Tiger Rose etc [before we came to our senses, paying the phone
companies to hear each other sing out of tune, when we have your
tapes/cds etc!!!!!!!] :)
It seems that fans everywhere are clamoring for Robert Hunter live!!!!!
So, if you have some wild notion of hiding in cyberspace, thinking we'll
only be happy with all your writings, think again! Although I'm
thrilled to read it all, I sorely miss your live performances and so it
seems do others. There is nothing like your performances. Your tapes
worn out in the car, are still the most oft played tapes I own. Why,
there are kids out there that have never heard you play live; songs of
yours kids won't recognize!!!!!!! There are so many kids out there that
never even got to hear the Dead!!!!! and more that have yet to have the
pleasure of spending some time listening to you sing along to the
guitar. Surely you won't want to disappoint the kiddies (old and young
alike :)))? [BTW: is this prodding working??? I can't tell from here]
Thus, we would like to know your touring schedule. Barring that, a list
of your upcoming shows, appearances etc---oh, I feel another link coming
on :)
So, it seems you need a page where we can catch you "in the flesh", so to
speak. Being together online, is no substitute for getting together.

Subj: Re: T.S.Eliot & the bulging mailbox
Date: Tue, Apr 9, 1996 7:42 AM PST
From: (Jeremy Poynton)
Geoff Gould writes:
> I was wondering how this mail came to me, then on a hunch went back to
> the Robert Hunter Archives. Wow! Robert, you have come a long way in a
> short time.
> I'm also attending a spiritual growth class Monday nights, which has
> been very helpful for me since the death of my father at the end of '95.
> It seems constantly that when we talk about spiritual concepts, I'm
> always drawn to the Four Quartets. I've become quite the bible-quoter,
> except the bible in this case is 4Q! So, I said to my soul, be still,
> no no really, I said "I could sell these books in the bookstore!"
Goeff, the passage quoted in your mail in the mail bag on Robert's pages
is the same that I read at my father's funeral. Great minds think alike
(and fools seldom differ)


> Thanks Robert for sharing the poetry with your web readers; I hope they
> can see something in it.
It's a gift to us.
|Jeremy Poynton
|Geac Computers Ltd.,
Hollywood Tower,
Hollywood Lane,
Bristol BS10 7TW, UK|

Subj: Twist of fate -> twist this way please.
Date: Sat, Apr 6, 1996 3:05 PM EDT
From: (Preferred Customer)

Dear Mr. Hunter,
I guess I'll just roll the dice once more and hope that this letter lands somewhere it creates a ripple. It's not much for literary flourish and you may find it silly but I somehow wanted to whisper into the ear of someone with the ability to carry this idea to a place where it may strike a chord. I understand it's far from your department but you seem to be about the only arm of the Dead to open yourself up to public contact aside from the merchandising line, so I'm throwing pebbles at you. I have enjoyed your finger-pointing very much and thank you for your very generous gift of the moon, I enjoy it every night.
Preferred Customer

Subj: greetings! and "meaning"
Date: Mon, Apr 8, 1996
From: (Kent Stewart)
Greetings, good sir!
How delightful to encounter your graceful intelligence on
the internet! (which needs all the intelligence and Grace
it can find!)
As I suspect you will shortly be quite swamped with email
(now that the cat's out of the bag), I'll try and curb my
verbose tendencies, and keep this fairly short and sweet.
Goodness knows how successful I'll be.)
I very much appreciated your response to the Jurgen Faith
essay with respect to the "meaninglessness" of evocative
symbols in a well crafted lyric. You touched many of the
same points I have attempted to argue (with less lucidity!)
when the analysis takes the opposite direction--the insistence
that a potential meaning found within a good lyric is
"what the song is about", or in other words that this
particular interpretation was predetermined by the author
and thus takes precedence over any other particular
As a kid reading (J.R.R.)Tolkien, I was impressed with a comment
he made in the afterward regarding the mapping of meanings to
mythologies: He talked about his preference for applicability
as opposed to allegory, and how the former was a co-creation
in real time with the consciousness of the reader, while the
latter was a rigid structure imposed by the pre-intention of the
author (and therefore presumably limited by the author's own
perspective, etc.)
What has always delighted me in your work is the graceful
open-endedness of your symbols. They never beat me about the
head and shoulders with a "meaning", and yet they are structured
truly enough to allow meanings to emerge relevant to where my
life is going, what my consciousness is touching. Some couplets
will mean nothing to me until such a time as I am dealing with
a complementary situation in "real life", at which point what
was perfectly functional as a surface impression can become
also functional as a parable, or as a link to another space.
That the surface images work well enough as novellas or stories
creates a nice trojan horse effect, when lyrics known for years
can in the flash of an instant make the leap from poetic non-sense
into intimate personal relevance. This can be so rewarding.)
As a personal example, allow me to share my experience with two
lines from Uncle John's Band, a song which first entered my
consciousness when I was sixteen or so.
In Jurgen's essay, he looks at material such as Jack Straw and
Dire Wolf and concludes that "The narrative features virtually no
metaphors or similes; everything seems to happen at face value."
While I never explicitly assumed as much, it was definitely my
experience that at the time the lyrics first bounced off of my
life, many lines had mostly surface, or face value relevance.
That is to say that they worked within the story teller's voice,
but did not speak directly to my experience.
Two such "face value", "apparently non-sensical" lines were "It's
a Buckdancer's Choice" and "I live in a silver mine, and I call it
beggar's tomb."
Both lines worked *texturally* for me. That is to say, while evoking
no meaning I could latch onto, they felt right, and they felt appropriate
to the context in a way which was poetically satisfying.
But neither line "meant" a thing to me.
And then one day I quite accidentally stumbled upon a remarkable
poem entitled Buckdancer's Choice. And I *experienced* that poem...
I entered into the emotional world it sketches, and I experienced
life through that voice, and I felt that dilemma, and I felt that resolve,
and I tasted that whole slice of existential experience.
Today I remember the poem imperfectly, not having read it in years.
But when I knew it well I could feel how perfectly the quotative
allusion of using the two word title in the lyric formed a bridge outside
of real time, which linked the entire emotional and philosophical content
of a completed work into a shorthand description, an evocation of a
similar situation in our own lives, as we gather by the riverside
to discuss appropriate responses to our human condition.
The transformation of the "silver mine" couplet in my experience
was a different sort of animal. Here what had always been a surface
impression assumed a deeper relevance for me only after some years spent
pursuing an apparently non-related personal study of Vedanta, spirituality,
One side effect of studying Holy books in various traditions is that
one begins to develop the suspicion that surface level mythologies utilize
symbols which are not limited to surface level interpretations. Instead
the symbols seem to interact with the consciousness examining them, and
can assume forms or shades of meaning reflective of that state of consciousness.
One effect of this is that the same myth can assume many different meanings
over the course of one lifetime, as it is co-created in real time by
the consciousness of the listener (which is not static over time).
The silver mine couplet began to open up to me when I drew a connection
to the same image as invoked in Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo.
If all you've got to live for is what you left behind
get yourself a powder charge, and seal that silver mine.
Now this image appears to be pretty straight forward, and to me describes
the incarnation itself as a potentiality, a source of unmined treasure.
Something inate though as of yet unrevealed.
This couplet seems to imply that to define ones self as impoverished is
in essence to make it virtually so, even if in fact there are vast
unmined resources perhaps only a scratch's depth below the surface.
This image in Half-Step--which did have meaning to me--became a link button
to the couplet in Uncle John's Band, which had hitherto remained surface
impression only...
I live in a silver mine, and I call it beggar's tomb.
Now at the time that this flashed on me I had spent a lot of time seeking
common threads in various non-dualistic spiritual traditions such as hinduism,
buddhism, Christ and Meister Eckhart, etc.
Running throughout these traditions is a recurring thread that the
surface impression is more or less a thin layer of illusion superimposed
on something much vaster and more valuable. That behind the assumption of
an ego-sense or differentiated individuality shines the reality of the Atman,
the Buddha nature, or pearl of great price.
These traditions suggest that this treasure is inate, although perhaps
as of yet unrevealed, and further that it is the very assumption of
impoverishment that prevents us from taking another look, and seeing
That which is already the case. This assumption of impoverishment
is held to be, in essence, our assumptions as to who and what we are.
One recurring parable in the east is the story of a prince who
became intoxicated, and in his intoxication forgot that he was
a prince and imagined himself to be a beggar. In other words, he
imagined that he was without options, honor, or resources. In
so imagining, he defined his possibilities and limitations. These
limitations were not real, but they functioned as real as long as
he invested them with his belief.
To regain his inheritance required nothing new to be added: All he
required was inate in his true identity. However, accessing that
treasure was incompatable with his continued belief in being the
impoverished beggar.
To mine that true silver inate in his identity, the illusion of
identity with the beggar had first to be dispelled. The illusion
of the beggar had to die, so to speak, for the reality of the
inate wealth to stand revealed.
So that couplet which had long been so familiar as surface imagery only
became in an instant effortlessly mapable into something very different--
in this case a succinct decription of a starting point on a spiritual
path, indicating both a severence of allegiance to the bondage of the
unreal, and an implied resolve to strive to uncover the inate treasure of
the real.
And that completed picture functions as a flash from another
sphere of contemplation, tied into the current discussion by the
briefest of shorthands. Also, as with the evocation of Buckdancer's
Choice, this imported flash point not only describes a condition or
dilemma, it also describes a conscious choice of response to that dilemma.
And it functions so nicely without having to be anything you, the author,
deliberately intended it to be!
That's beautiful. And I can dig it within your work without having
to put you into a box and say "this is what Robert believes". I can
dig it knowing instead that "this is the connection Robert's work
opened up in me." No more "real" than the surface impression, and
no more "meaningless" whether or not the meanings I find have anything
to do with what you intended.
I have always valued that in your work. I've always appreciated how
nicely the surface impressions work as long as one needs them to work,
and become instead points of departure to elsewhere only when one is
ready to make that journey. Like musical structure in a Grateful
Dead jam, which could be signposts from which to judge where one is
at on the journey, but which could also in an instant become wormholes
into other spaces, opening without warning beneath one's feet, when
one is ready to go.
Oh dear. I've not only attained total incoherence, but I've done it
with my usual verbosity.) I do apologize, and as I know you'll
likely be getting more and more email in the daze to come, I promise
not to make a habit of it.
cheers, and bless you, brother, bless you.
well met indeed!
--bongo (known in some realities as Kent Stewart.)


Subj: Comic Books, 7/9/95, & more
Date: Tue, Apr 9, 1996
From: (Brandt)
Dear Mr. Hunter,
First, I must thank you for your amazing website. The "easter egg" links
were indeed a treasure trove of gems. The Return to Terrapin poem was a
beautiful find. Thanks again.
I'm writing you about a couple things. You mentioned that Jerry turned
you onto the Vertigo line of comics. (I hope you have already read Neil
Gaiman's SANDMAN series which just ended with issue #75.) If you wish to
explore the comics world further, here are some recommendations. I have been
collecting comics for over 20 years now and always love to turn people on to
new titles. My first and foremost recommendation to you is an ongoing series
called CEREBUS, self- published in Kitchener, Ontario by Dave Sim and
Gerhard. It began as a somewhat shakey parody of Conan The Barbarian
starring an aardvark(!) and has evolved into a truly unique,
thought-provoking, boundary shattering, one-of-a-kind rumination on the
chess board of life. An amazing acheivement in the "sequential arts", a term
surely more appropriate than "comics". It'll take a bit of effort for you to
catch up with CEREBUS, currently on issue #205 out of 300. The series will
officially end with issue #300 in March 2004. Since the first issue in 1977,
Cerebus has been a barbarian, entered High Society through the fame of his
conquests, then, fueled by his recognition and power, became the Pope.
Through a series of cosmic happenstances, he is currently having visions of
his creator, flashbacks of his childhood as a wizard's apprentice and
mourning lost love while passed out drunk in a bar or dying on the moon
(we're not sure which.) Sim also uses his letters page much as you are doing
with the Mailbag on your website. I hope you check out CEREBUS. Ask your
comics retailer how to order the first collection of reprints and you'll be
hooked. CEREBUS is to comics what the Dead are to music and I don't say that
Timothy Truman can probably steer you toward some other amazing artists,
he's pretty amazing himself. I love the Almanac contributions from you both.
Some artists you may want to seek out, providing you're still interested,
are Chester Brown (YUMMY FUR, UNDERWATER), Jeff Smith (BONE), Vaughn Bode
(CHEECH WIZARD), and of course many, many more. Oh...another good Vertigo
OK, enough with comics. Wait...I forgot...DOG MOON was superb!! Now...
I also wished to tell you that I attended the last GD show on 7/9/95 in
Chicago. I will assume you've heard a tape by now. I had attended the Deer
Creek show earlier and of course felt the bad vibes and could see ominous girlfiend got her leg stepped on by the gate-crashers. So, the
final Chicago run was wonderful. Went off without a hitch, and the last two
Jerry songs couldn't have been more perfect choices in retrospect. "So Many
Roads" was very moving that night, and "Black Muddy River"...they both seem
to be tailor made for the final Dead show, even though that wasn't the
expectation at the time. Just part of the mystical that surrounds the band,
I guess. I feel truly lucky to have witnessed it firsthand. Thank you for
writing those lyrics.
There is something else that I've been wondering after visiting your site
and more fully understanding your contribution to the group. Here it is and
I hope not to offend: Does it ever rankle you a tad that the "official
roster" of bandmembers names includes Donna Jean and Vince, but not Hunter?
Even though you didn't play an instrument in the band, you were instrumental
to the band. I'm sure your relationship transcends such considerations, but
we are talking history and posterity for future generations. Do you ever
wish that you had been officially "in the band"?
Anyway, I've got your site bookmarked. Thanks for everything you're doing
to continue the trip.
Hal Brandt
[BTW, aol is expensive! AT&T is $19.95 a month unlimited access. You
should switch service providers and save some cash unless of course you've
scammed a comp account!] :) hb

Date: Wed, Apr 3, 1996
From: (Terry Ballard)

Robert Hunter -

Just wanted to have my say that your archive page is the most exciting
thing I've seen on the Internet in quite a while. Being a saver at heart, I've
found pages for a lot of my favorite writers and put them away in my
bookmarks. Since we've enjoyed your words for decades, I logged in to
your page as soon as I heard about it.
In the case of other writers like Twain, Steinbeck or Jung, the pages
are an elegant museum of past thoughts. Your archive, however, holds
the special excitement of seeing someone in the prime of his creativity
energized by the possibilities of the Web. Thanks for sharing all of this. I
look forward to great things.
Terry Ballard, Automation Coordinator
New York University School of Law Library
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012

"Patience comes to those who wait."


Subj: Down the Road
Date: Mon, Apr 8, 1996
From: (Rob Bleetstein)

Hey Hunter,
We met a few years ago when Borders Books in San Rafael opened up. I
tried to turn you on to a bunch of newer alternative country stuff, but
you told me it's basically the Stanley Bros. for you.
Anyway, I'm onto a new gig at Gavin, the radio industry rag, promoting
the alternative country stuff i love, under the moniker of "Americana."
Since the passing of our beloved brother Jer, I'm real glad to see you're
still crankning out some incredible stuff.
John Hardy's Wedding with Nelson really does it for me. You two should do
more of the like.
But i just got a copy of Mickey's Mystery Box, and i've been playing
"Down the Road" for the past week nonstop. Extremely moving would be
quite an understatement. Aside from shooting straight from the hip, and
calling out our lost icons by name, which is admirable and not found too
often, there's one line that I think is beautifully classic: "Bullets are
like waves, they only rearrange the sand, History turns upon the tides
and not the deeds of man." I haven't been so moved by a single line in a
song in i don't know how long, so , thanks.
Did you write the majority of "THe Sandman" too? Rag-rag willie and the
mandolin sure has your ring to it.
Have you noticed that Mickey's vocals are very similar to yours?
I look forward to seeing this live, and if the vibe of the former GD
experience is ever to be felt in any way at all again, I think this is
on the right track.
I'm enjoying your web page too, so keep it up.
Best regards,
Rob Bleetstein

To: mailbag
Subject: uncanny
note to RH or editor: you may not want to include this story as it may
illicit a plethora of "weird trips" stories - too much of anything is just
too much sometimes. Other peoples acid stories can be pretty boring. But,
of course, I like MY story.
(Note: I agree with you TM, so I'll drop it in the mailbag -rh)
Picture this: A warm October day (10/20/74 to be exact), the sidewalks of
San Francisco (Post and Steiner Sts. to be exact), late afternoon (just
before 6pm), I buy my ticket for my first Grateful Dead concert at the ticket
window for $5.50 (not a typo). The ticket is stamped "The Last One". My
first, their last (alpha-omega - ooooh). My friends and I passed around the
windowpane (four-way only going one way). Later . . . the man selling
cookies at the upstairs snack bar, well, his face was melting, but I didnít
have the heart to tell him. The hookers coming in off the street at
halftime, cruising the aisles, weird for a 17-year-old. But the weirdest
thing was, during one particularly intense moment in the second set, I saw a
guy down in front of the stage, manage to pull and grapple his way onto the
stage. I was fairly close, my seat right next to the fire aisle on the south
side, so I had a clear view of the stage. I saw this guy get up on the
stage, pull a gun out of this belt and wave it in the air. With a big grin
on his face and laughter in his eyes, he blissfully shouted "I'm at a Dead
concert! I want to be dead!" and then he shot himself in the head. The stage
crew (appropriately Angels, I think) came and threw him back into the lions
den down in front. That was my introduction to the Dead. Of course, nobody
died that night. Couldn't convince me of that, though. Ah, Winterland . . .

Date: Fri, Apr 5, 1996
From: (Barbara Stoner)


Can't quite resist passing these on, although I probably should have. :)


>From: Heather L. Martin <>
>Subject: Winners of the "worst analogies ever written in a high school essay"

>They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences
>that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
>He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like
>a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without
>one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the
>country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at
>a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
>(Joseph Romm, Washington)
>She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that
>used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you
>banged the door open again. (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)
>The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
>bowling ball wouldn't. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
>McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag
>filled with vegetable soup. (Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring)
>>From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an
>eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another
>city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. (Roy
>Ashley, Washington)
>Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
>(Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
>Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the
>center. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
>Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access
>\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung
>by mistake. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)
>He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. (Jack Bross, Chevy
>The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when
>you fry them in hot grease. (Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring)
>Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a
>movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like
>"Second Tall Man." (Russell Beland, Springfield)
>Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced
>across the grassy field toward each other like two freight
>trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55
>mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
>(Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
>The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the
>Dr. on a Dr Pepper can. (Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.)
>John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who
>had also never met. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
>The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin
>sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a
>play. (Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria)
>His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances
>like underpants in a dryer without Cling-Free. (Chuck Smith,
>The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
>"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin
> (1903-1977)
>You have just received a message from Heather Martin

Note to Tom or Chris at SRA 4/5/96
from Robert Hunter
I found two potential bugs in the file and have reloaded. The file starting with "X" is the new guy. I renamed the file "misc.html" It is now "files"
I renamed the single file "fauthreply" in the files folder "fauthreply.html"
This required repairing about 30 links; a five minute job on SiteMill.
If I am not mistaken in giving the old "misc.html" folder a suffixless name, perhaps the great god UNIX will have pity on me and give us lotsa hits. If I AM mistaken, then the "fauthreply" in the old misc.html folder still needs an .html suffix or, as I understand it, it won't load on anything but a Mac. The fauthreply file is a direct reciprocal link to the homepage, without branches, so it may be a breeze to fix and relink on your side without buggering up a lot of cross-links, though I would be happy to do it myself and reload. However is convenient.
I'll be out from 10 to 1pm Thursday so if you need to confer, call early between 7:30-9.30, or I'll call you when I get home or possibly before on cellular.

Subj: Fan mail, I guess
Date: Wed, Apr 10, 1996
From: (Mona Pingree)

Yikes! It's hard to believe I'm doing this. I've resisted the urge to
write fan mail to anyone. But I've been doing email a bit lately, and
maybe you're invitation to do so makes it alright.

OK, so now I'm totally inhibited by my respect for your writing, and have
scribbled this second paragraph about 3 times, so I'll try just jumping
in to what I want to say.

I see this as a cosmic window of opportunity to have you actually read
something I have to say. Doubtless the volume will soon overwhelm you.
I had another cosmic opportunity when I signed up on the Well - my first
Internet experience - in July last year. As someone living in the rural
northwest, I can only imagine what my isolation would have done to me in
the weeks following JG's demise. <shudder> From those fine folks on the
Well, I understand some of my secret hopes about what a nice guy you and
some of the other SF characters really are, have some foundation in truth!

Business: Tiger Rose. I gotta thank you for Tiger Rose. The album and
the song. When my husband, David, worked on the Alaska Pipeline, he
bought his first copy ('75), and played it int camp. Over and over! He
says he could always imagine hearing Cruel White Water being played in a
Tavern up there, - that plinky-plunk piano!

When he came to the lower 48 to woo me a few years later, we found a copy
of Tiger Rose in a used record shop. Played in on a stereo, the quality
of which makes me cringe to remember. Digging a little more vinyl out
everytime it played. But when I saw tears well up (don't tell him I'm
telling you this) listening to Yellow Moon, well, I knew I found a good 'n.
Jerry's guitar on Yellow Moon is..the best Jerry guitar playin there is.

I'm sorry you were dissatisfied with the original vocals -- I adore them.
Your strangest country tenor is etched in my memory banks i a warm fuzzy

As to me & David, we moved out to Seattle in '80. He works the trades -
crane operator - and we never followed the band around. Just waited for
them to come to us. Seattle wasn't a very good place to do that, now
that I think about it. But we always followed your comings and goings
here, and hope you continue to visit occaisionally.

David says, yeah - we didn't follow them around to listen to Dead
songs...we lived one! A cowboy tune, to be sure.

Enough! I think your vision concerning cyberspace is right on. Glad to
see you still have common sense.

Take care, Robert

Love, Mona


Subj: Capturing the energy of a show on film
Date: Thu, Apr 4, 1996 2:02 PM EDT
From: (Michael Zausner)

Like all of us who were and are lucky enough to have the positive energy of
the Dead experience, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation. I
feel for those whom missed the show, and feel personal frustration in not
being able to communicate verbally as to what the experience was all about.
We are indeed very lucky.
I have a particularly unique hold on this energy as many acknowledge my
success in having captured some of that energy on film. From the reactions
of my peers I believe my photographs to be unique. For the most part I
maintained a purest approach for which I take some pride, especially in
this day and age of computer enhanced art.
I gave away for free 10,000 posters which feature some of my Grateful Art
along with a letter to my friends for which I received much gratification.
I would be honored if you would review this work, the product of absolute
Specifically I direct you to the Dedicated to the Deadicated Photo Gallery
where you will find these unique images and the Newsletter section. I
maintain the same unique approach to all of my art. The Magic Time Gallery
holds a journey for you as well.
I truly appreciate your time and your contribution to our happiness. I love
your website, a land in motion.
Gratefully yours,
Michael Zausner
Visit the Magic Gallery
The feel of the camera in my hands, entering the magical world
inside, it's not what's in front of the lens, more what can be
done with the same to create, to capture the special energy,
Magic Time.

Michael Zausner
P.O. Box 2180
Port Washington, NY 11050
(MZ's photo adorns the majorlinks page -rh)

Date: Wed, Apr 10, 1996
(Clea A Woelfle-Erskine)

Dear Robert,
I write because this may be my last chance to communicate with you
before the Dead world discovers the wonderful light you are spreading
here. I write because I feel your presence here, in me, through your
poetry and through your pure human voice. I'm writing this on paper,
because things don't flow so good on the computer. That is one of the
reasons I'm writing to you. I got initiated to the Internet world at the
college I'm staying at now. Your site is the first thing I've found
that's been woth my search. Worth it because you gave shape and
substance to that voice which fills our dreams, because you're real.
You're good. When you're young everything is an epiphany. You and your
clear-throated muse echo our revelations, speak them back to us all cut
and shining and, in some ways, validate them to us. What else could we
want it to be?
On August 9 in Los Angeles we breathed the smog deep into our bodies
and played the grateful Dead for hours. We couldn't bear to,and we had
to. Jerry sang the same that he always had, for the last time. In that
golden eternity, the hour that stretches, we watched those dreams
collapse, but oh, how slowly! That day, while his soul lingered near the
earth amd the dawn of his passing burnt towards the horizon we sweated
and cried and drove, for it was L.A. When we'd worked through our
disbelief and the sharpest of our tears I said "Jerry's an angel now. He's
free. Free from the body that tortured him with the ecstacy in life's
bitter cup of death that he could only taste so often before it swallowed
him up. Jerry's free, we said, from the music that gave him a life and
took it away. Jerry gave his life for us, we used to say before he died,
and we gave him life.
You knew Jerry. We didn't. i'm not being presumptuous by shaping
these words to him. That's just the way we talked about him.
Jerry's an angel now, we said. He's here, watching over all of us.
He's free from what hurt him and made him sing so sweet, and he's jammin
with Janis and Jimi and all the rest up there.
After that all that was left was to accept that I wouldn't get just
one more show.
I was sixteen when Jerry died. I got the barest glimmer of what a
dream, LIFE can be. I felt his presence the moon of his passing, then
the hollow place inside of me covered over--Time concealed that empty
cup. But you, you have opened that world in me. Opened a world of
pain, yet words flow which haven't for a while, because they hurt too
much. Now, a few steps down the path, I can feel again.
CYberspace is too quick for me. Too big and bright and sterile, too
small. My eyes burn and I feel strange turning away from human blood
twards the flashing fingers of human beings I'll never look in the eye.
We're going on the road next fall, the we in the story above, on the
all-out West Coast Tour-- L.A. to Mexico via Alaska in a pikcup truck.
If the Grateful Dead were playing we'd be with them, instead we're going
out to see the choir and sing our songs. Until then I will read your
words and keep up with your site, but I will not be sorry to leave the
pale screen for deeper blues. I take your words with me, and hold your
spirit in my heart always.
I write this to you, the Robert force I feel through the hope your
words bring me. Post it if you like, that you may hear me is all I ask.
May the sun shine upon you,
and the stars light your way home.

Dear Clea,
your letter is overwhelming. The sterility of cyber is something I'm trying to help correct with my pages. It doesn't have to be like that. Like pop music before the '60s. Like barren land before its watered and cultivated.
A letter like yours which, if you'll pardon the expression, lets it all hang out, is the opposite of what cyber seems to impose on its surfers. Yet here you are. Your passionate, heartfelt thoughts and appreciations converted into digital information capable of touching others just as they touch me.
I accept the liberty you grant me to publish it for those reasons. . .along with my answer, which is something I choose to do seldom in this mailbag. As Sonny Boy Williamson says: "Don't start me talkin' ... I'll tell everything I know!"
and then some

[Archive] [majorlinks]