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replies to "Letter to Garcia"

Subj: downsizing & continuation
Date: Aug 6 1996 2:03 PM EDT
From: (jarrett aaronson)

as i sit here listening to my new copy of 9/27/72, i can't help but think about
the wonderful letter you penned to jg. i've been reading your stuff online for awhile
now, and i'm really grateful to you for reaching out to be with us as the road continues
onward. i guess that it would be so easy to hole up and shut off the despair, but we
need to get it out. for giving us another outlet here in these pages, thank you.
the telephone conversation you transcribed provided me with a good cry. being a
recovering addict myself, i related to jer's hope. at the same time, i recognized the
hold that the cunning disease of addiction had on him. as a musician myself, i also
relate to the intense joy that can be felt at times while playing. for some reason, the
music that you and he created has a special magic all it's own, and when summoned forth from speakers in a live situation, can encompass all present who wish to tune in.
for years i've had a daydream of getting a call to fly out to the bay area to
fill in for phil. (the dream usually has phil wanting to take a break, vacation, etc.)
i spent last week philling in for my friend who had gone out of town. i've had some of
the highest moments of my life in the last week. we played a 'standing on the moon'
that had all of us crying, literally. wharf rat was particularly emotional too.
what i'm getting at is this, now the scene is *truly* up to us. we have to
create our own cells of hipness. those of us fortunate enough to have experienced the
*real* thing have to carry the torch in a truly righteous manner. the nonsense that
went on last summer will repeat again if we fail to learn from the mistakes made and
don't mind the store. part of carrying the torch for me is playing. not playing for
money or prestige, but playing for *it*. what *it* is, i certainly cannot explain, but
i know that the feeling is there, and it is real. i think that it's important for us to
remember where we've been, and what we've experienced, and try to re-create it on a
local level. it can be done, i've seen it myself. there's hope for us freaks yet!
anyways, thanks man, and keep up the good stuff. :)

jus' doin' my part to keep the flame alive,

jarrett a.


you've said a very large mouthful - to re-create it on the local level. Recreate. Not copy, but take the energy which is rightfully yours, recognizing what it is, and do it for the right reasons. Bypass the machine that wants the music fabricated in bite size chunks at 127 beats per minute. Music is bigger than business. Time it broke free. Do it. Just do it!

Subj: Missing Garcia
Date: Aug 6 1996 1:57 PM EDT
From: (Ronald Moore)

Dear Robert,

Just finished reading your letter to JG.

Last year, at the time of Garcia's death I told myself that awesome as my own
grief and shock were, they were nothing compared to the loss that Jerry's
family and friends were (and still are) suffering. Your letter confirms my
initial assessment, my heart goes out to you and yours. Condolences for your

Haven't bought any of the books written since Jerry's death. Money grabbing
fucking grave robbers pretty much sums up my sentiment. Same for the assholes
that now infuse their pathetic pop songs with references to Garcia. They
wouldn't have given him a fucking tumble if he weren't dead.

If he weren't dead.

Cried like a baby reading your letter. Crying now too. Can't seem to get my
shit together.

I did buy the tabloid trash about Jerry last August, foolishly believing that
details would somehow comfort. Kept up on print interviews over the years too,
so I can't recall whether I read the following words attributed to Garcia
before or after his death, or was it the New Yorker interview?

Anyway, it went something like this. Garcia was telling the interviewer about
an encounter with you, where, at the end of a summer Jerry ran into you (at
the Dead's offices?) and inquired as to what you'd been up too. Seems as
though you had been translating Rilke's work, or performing some other equally
daunting intellectual gymnastics. As the interview goes (and so goes my
memory) Garcia was more than a little embarrassed to tell what he'd been
doing, because he'd spent his time goofing off!!

One thing that always seemed abundantly clear from my perspective is the
genuine respect that Garcia has for you, your friendship, and your work. He is
really proud of it.

(God Damned cry baby, can't keep myself together.)

Patty and I got a puppy this past Saturday. Keepin me plenty busy she is.
Toyed with naming her Geraldine but have too much baggage for that. Settled on
Sweet Pea. She's a Rottweiler, good city dog I hope. Working at home as I do
(writing business plans, technical manuals and other nonsense offering
absolutely no socially redeeming qualities, yet somehow generating a modest
trickle of much needed cash) I have plenty of discretion over my time. I

When I first heard rumors on tour of Garcia's heroin use, I refused to believe
them. Not my man, he's all for a party, true enough, but not that shit. Oh
well, being wrong is nothing new nor humbling at this point. Over time, it
became clear that the rumors were true. Then a string of happenings occurred
which erased any doubt about it.

While fearful for his health, I was not judgmental. Somehow I could sense a
change in Garcia over the years. At first seeming shy on stage, then
blossoming into a performer without equal. Man could he work a fucking room or
what? Bang. Zoom. You're off to the moon!!! The power and clarity was just
unbelievable. As the years grew it seemed to change for all of us and for
Jerry too. Seemed as though he became more reserved on stage. Partially a
matter of his sense of dignity, I'm sure. It was quite clear that although he
was obviously not a primper and fusser, he did seem conscious of his aging,
overweight appearance (aren't we all?). But there seemed to be a sense of
something else there too. A kind of resentment. A love/hate thing between the
SCENE and the MAN.

Seemed as though Jerry regarded the scene something akin as to how a vampiress
regards Dracula. Both giving into and drawing from the relationship. Yet was
he ever really fulfilled by our devotion? Weren't we just a little too needy
of him?

How could we assuage his angst?

Is it possible for the crop to so love the rain and sun as to somehow offer
something of a like or even similar importance?

So no, I didn't hold anger for his heroin use. Who am I to judge anyone
anyway. Wish he didn't do it. Wish he had taken better care of himself. Wish I
could've bought him a beer and shared a laugh, I don't believe I ever did hear
him laughing.

Tell you one thing. I'm proud of him. Whether he meant it or not, his death,
for me, is symbolic of his life. He took it upon himself to get help. He
literally died trying. I couldn't be prouder of his example.

My nephew Paul died on January 29th, 1994. Just two months short of his 23rd
birthday. Overdosed on heroin in a cheap dive of a hotel room. Supposed
friends right there with him. First show I saw subsequent to Paul's death was
really spooky. Before the show, while Patty and I were checking into our
hotel, there was an EMS crew wheeling a dead body right out the front doors!!!
That night the boys played He's Gone. I mean they REALLY played it man.

Never did heroin myself, missed that one. Afraid I'd like it too much, given
my addictive personality. Gave the rest of the gambit a pretty hard tumble

Like I said. Like you said. Hell, we all know what we know. Won't do any good
asking a lot of questions we can't answer. But. BUT. Who was it among
Garcia's so-called friends that kept him supplied?? Or did he score from the
corner of Main and Nowhere?

Yeah, its been a year.

What a year. Got married on 5/19/95. Fired from a high profile job on 6/14/95
(kiss my ass stiffneck me, oh well..) Then Jerry Garcia up and disappears.

In closing, please allow me this opportunity to thank you Robert for the gift
you give us all. The gifts of your work, wrought of your most impressive skill
and genius. God bless you. THANK YOU. I know you miss your friend, old buddy,
it shows. The courage and grace you display, in not just carrying on, but the
way in which your doing it, well, YOU'RE A GREAT MAN ROBERT HUNTER. I know I
speak for my brothers and sisters when we say: we're proud of you Robert!!!

And to all my brothers and sisters, please be kind to one another. We feel
eachother in the night. We hear eachother on the wind. We have eachother. We
have the music, and we have Robert Hunter, who somehow magically gives voice
to our collective souls. The good. The bad. Its all measured and served-up by
Robert. Treasure him as he clearly treasures us and this life we share.

Now lets make this next year one we can all be proud of. We'll certainly have
to work hard to enjoy it, spoiled as we've been.

It is to us to keep the dream alive.

Be well,


you just patted me on the back so hard I nearly spit out my gum. Thanks! But shit man, I don't know that it takes someone particularly "great" to feel gratitude and appreciation for being supported financially and artistically for so long by a group of people whom every other performing group in the world readily and enviously admits are the greatest and most loyal audience possible . . . or to want to reach out to them in the same way you reach out to a friend in a time of need, both to commiserate and lend some cheer. If such an impulse makes one "great" then these are bad times indeed. You do it for each other, why is it so strange that I join in? This is the Grateful Dead, after all, not Dion and the Belmonts. You should expect it. Shouldn't you?

Date: Aug 6 1996 11:57 AM EDT
From: SSol
Subj: Missing him, too...


Just read your letter to Garcia. As usual, your thoughts on the subject of your great and weird departed friend made me a bit weepy, and very content to have shared the planet in his time and in the light of your mutual endeavor.

>we scored a piece of Americana, my friend.<

Amen, and you should feel proud. BTW, I cannot think of another person of your stature and public regard who has made such an effort, with such grace and good heart, on behalf of the "fans". Of that, you might be allowed some pride, as well.

I remain as always, somewhat sentimental, very grateful...

(yes, I writing this on my work computer, using the boss' corporate account ;-)

Steve Solomon


just trying to do the right thing. Be "stature and public regard" as they may, it's all pretty inconsequential in the face of the deep deep feelings expressed by so many with the first anniversary of our "great and weird" friend's death upon us. It's ourselves in him and him in us, as always in grief, from which we must reclaim our joy. Reclaim it enlarged and purified. That is the fruit of the labor of grief well done.

Date: Aug 6 1996 6:53 PM EDT
From: (Marc Schaeffer)

With as much sincerity, yet brevity, as I can muster, please accept my thanks for sharing your "Letter to Garcia" with us.

As the one year anniversary approaches, I found it very cathartic to share in your ongoing reflections on your lives together, what has transpired since he died, and grieving for his absence. Your closeness to him made me feel more intensely as I read what you wrote.

Twenty-five years seemed a long time to be a fan. Forever more without Garcia and the Dead feels endless. At least we have the tapes!

Thanks again,

Marc Schaeffer

Marc -
at least? First, foremost and forever we have the tapes!

Subj: thank you
Date: Aug 8 1996 3:15 AM EDT

just read your letter to jerry on the web site. we wanted to thank you again
for expressing so perfectly with your words the feelings from our hearts.
you are the wordsmith of feelings, giving voice to what we cannot

we'd like to send copies of your letter to friends who will not see it on the
web, and who we will not see and share our hugs and tears with on august
rose and chris

Rose and Chris

Feel free to copy and send the letter. Thanks for yours.

Subj: Re: 8/6
Date: Aug 8 1996 2:04 AM EDT
From: (Steven Solomon)


Thanks for the reply, and once again, let me remind you that there's no
need to throw yourself into the email-loop unless I actually get something
out of my brain this evening... something compelling an itch to write
on/with your own dura mater.

That said, let me get to it. I've got a couple of thoughts on your recent message.

You, rh, are in these recent circumstances performing as a true Rabbi. Take no offense, nor infer any compliment beyond a very basic understanding ofthe appellation.

Yes, I am surprised to find myself diving back into my Jewish heritage and
my rather shallow understanding of my people's most ancient practices and
socio-religous hierarchy... but here I am at this moment, considering the
loss of the peculiar and perhaps unwilling messenger, Garcia, and I read
again and consider your thoughts, so well informed by experience...

In this moment, looking into the darkness that I and my chosen family and
the wider community of Deadheads and those close to the man himself, now
must understand... as I look into this space and hope to will it to bear a
brightness in its many possible meanings, your voice in the "Letter to
Garcia" speaks clearly as a teacher, a Rabbi; not a priest, certainly not a
"star" or leader in the common sense, but as a teacher who teaches best in
teaching by provoking heart-felt thought in the "student". This is so
important, of course, in honoring such times as the passing of loved ones
and, as you say, performing grief well done.

Going back to the public regard riff- hmmm, you might be right on that, if
I understand yer drift. Don't mean shit, really, n' for all we know, that
goes out'ta style with tomorrow's weather.

In my heart, tho- your stature remains secure. For this human of secular
American-Jewish upbringing, you are a true Mensch.

Steve S.

Subj: Unsolicited advice from a stranger...
Date: Aug 8 1996 12:36 AM EDT
From: (Valerie Ramos-Ford)

Dear Mr. Hunter (is Robert ok?),

I was just sitting here on what I believe to be a day or two after the
anniversary of your friend Garcia's passing and a day or two before his
birthday . I was remembering barreling down Rt. 1, having just gotten my
first passport at age 35, grooving with my 73 year old Mom to a string of
Dead tunes that are never heard on prime-time radio, explaining to her that
she should love Jerry if only because he had the good taste to sing songs
titled by both of our fairly unusual names (her's being Evangeline and mine
Valerie), her explaining to me that he sounded like a nice young man who "at
least ARTICULATED" when he sang, only to find out that it was because he had
died that we were sharing this lively moment together. It was also almost 5
months to the day since I had included a portion of Black Peter ("see here
how everything...") into my own daddy's eulogy with mom's blessing, knowing
good and well that "nine mile skid on a ten mile ride" would have been far
more appropriate.

Today I couldn't help but think, what is Robert Hunter the man, not Robert
Hunter the writer/lyricist/fitb (fill in the blank) feeling in these tender
days? It was then that I drifted through your web-site again, finding your
letter to Garcia and portions of your journal that deeply touched me. In
the closing of the recent journal installment, you said something like every
time one of your circle dies you feel as if a part of you is cut off,
leaving a void in your heart. I can only imagine what a loss as deep as
this must feel like although I, too, have had loved ones, young and old,
pass on with no good-byes. Still, I have been thus far spared from losing a
kindred spirit. For what it's worth, I learned a few things along the way
which are worth repeating, although I'm sure I tell you nothing you don't
already know. Since that's never stopped me in the past...

I have always felt that we are in part who we make ourselves to be and part
who others make us to be -- whether we like it or not! Not an original
thought. I also believe that when you meet a true friend, it is more than
likely that they will reflect back to you, in some fluctuating balance, what
you admire most about yourself and your most hideous demons. The ones who
make us feel comfortable all the time are not the real McCoy. Now, when
someone has in their possession such a complete profile of you and that
person dies, how can one not feel as though they have lost part of himself?
How can we ever convince another that those precious things about us this
other saw and knew ever existed? Who can we appeal to to second our very
existence? It can be terrifying, but there is something that, to my mind,
is far more terrifying -- having the opportunity at a particular time in
life (or in a particular lifetime?) to have such a friend/kindred/soulmate
and not to take the chance -- not to jump right off the high board into life
together and create that wild adventure! As I get older, I have a far
greater fear of losing someone with whom I feel the potential for, but lack
of daring, to embark on that gut-wrenching, world-spinning ride than I do of
losing someone I have the extreme priviledge of actually having such a
relationship with. Dig?

I sent you a poem about a month ago (which you kindly corrected and
posted--thanks!) entitled Tango which was my expression of encouragement to
take such a risk with someone. It seems very obvious to this outsider (and
no doubt millions of others) that you and Garcia decided a long time ago to
take the big, wild, wooley ride together-- with all of it's ups-and-downs,
twists and turns. And boy, are we all blessed that you did! Bravo for your
incredible courage!

Here's another poem of mine that shows the flipside of Tango (where do I
find the audacity to send you these trifles? And drafts, yet? Ah, the high
board! If not you, then who?)

Maybe I Resolve

"But this is a new year,"
you said.
"Maybe I'm different,
maybe I'll care,
maybe you'll matter,
and maybe, just maybe
I'll share my most
secrets and dreams.

Maybe one day
when I'm back home
or far away again,
when I feel right
or you're
more beautiful.

If I could only
what box I've
locked them all in
and where I've
placed the box.

At least I'm sure
I still have the key,"
you said
as you
fumbled awkwardly
through those
old blue jeans,
the ones with

January, 1996

Be well during this time. There are so many of us who are not reading the
articles and books that you are not giving the interviews for (probably for
similar reasons). There are so many of us who have benefitted from your
work with and without Garcia who do not presume to know you or your grief.
What I'm saying is, there's hope, there's a real spirit (or universe, as
Garcia said to you) which is alive and well and which you have given many of
the words to. But you, more than most, should always reap the benefits of
and joy from this universe without feeling the responsibility to maintain it
on your own. Coming from a stranger, you may certainly take or leave this
presumptuous advice (truly meant as support!) -- just know at the same time
that it's most heartfelt. You are no murky star in the background of a
great comet, Mr. Hunter.

thanks you for another insightful letter. As Blanche said to Stanley:"I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." It's strangers who hear the work in the proper perspective - apart from its roots - as a thing in itself. It's how an artist creates a persona in the world, through making himself known to strangers. If the persona is a fiction, not part of the artist, but an utter creation (if that's even possible) a deception receives the response of the public and the creator is left alone, untouched in his/her shell.

Date: Aug 7 1996 10:21 PM EDT
From: (Steve Wright)


Sweet letter to Jerry. Just the tonic I needed to help pave a tough
road this week. For all the attention I've been focusing on staying
positive and trying to "thrive" in post-Jerry environs, I seem to have
forgotten that delicate spot within me that still recognizes grief.
Maybe that's the *ends* as received from the *means*

A few thoughts...You say that Jerry mentioned that this (1969) was your
time in the shadow, and that at some point it would be your
which you responded.."no pencil-pusher is going to inherit the
stratosphere that so gladly opened to you (jer)..

In part I certainly agree, but I can't shake the feeling that what is
being created through this archive/journal/mailbag community is part of
what Jerry was referring to. While you (aforementioned pencil-pusher)
certainly couldn't fill that space, do you think anyone really believes
that anyone (Mr. Garcia included) could possibly inherit the
stratosphere that's been opened to you (or the one *you* opened for
that matter)?

The feeling within my expansive network of kindred spirits is one of
hope (grief notwithstanding), and it's also one of curiosity. Your home
page is starting to feel less like a soap box, and more like a
trampoline. For as busy as you are answering e-mails from those of us
courageous enough to send hopeful queries into the fray, you'd need an
8th day if 1% of those who lurk in the shadows of awe decided to rear
their collective head*s*.

With each update comes another reason to look forward. Each passionate
nugget from your mailbag is another example of promise. And each person
who asks me "Hey have you checked out Hunter's home page"? is yet
another vehicle of hope.

Sitting here at my desk, Wednesday morning 9:15am, Hot, humid, Boston
Summer in full force, tears streaming down my face, hoping to God my
boss doesn't come knocking on my office door and wonder just what the
hell I had for breakfast. If I live a thousand years, I'll never
understand why/when the tears come, I only know that they do.

I hope they never stop.

All available strength to you and our family during this
difficult/wonderful period,


I use no counter and have no idea how many people read my page. In my own mind, I assume it's a few hundred - of whom a few dozen write back. Provisionally believing this suits my purposes because what I present is directed toward a small circle of what I consider sympatico souls. On the other hand, I long ago realized that there's no such thing as a crowd - it's not an act of addition but of multiplication, i.e: 1+1+1 =3, but 1x1x1=1. Even so, my ego, like anyone else's, can be knocked off balance by big numbers, despite this realization. One reason I value the mailbag so much is that it's one on one writing, whereas the journal is directed more outward - though at its best, it really is a journal and written for myself alone (within limits!). All these little provisional delusions are necessary, just as they were in writing a personal lyric like Stella Blue, as opposed to Uncle John's Band, which is obviously written for the world and knows it.

Am glad the Letter to Jerry performed its intended service for you. I thought long and hard on what I could do to brighten the dawning of August 9th - and when the form of a letter to Jerry suggested itself, I knew it had to be done. I actually get stage fright uploading sometimes - but when the time actually came to put the letter online, to commit it to the world, I was calm and felt it was right to do. Still do. And the mail I'm getting back proves it.

Your letter really strummed some strings in my psyche. It's a gray August 8th in England. Starting to get the first twinges of a longing for home.

Subj: THE letter...
Date: Aug 7 1996 10:13 PM EDT
From: 9999999@MCIMAIL.COM (Jonathan Hart)

Excellent assement of the passed year.
While I certainly could not speak for the more personal issues you
touched upon in your letter to Jerry (though thanks to your online
journal I do feel that I finally know you as somewhat more than the
anonymous scribe of all those years), I must say that you express the
attitudes and emotions that I and many of my sisters and brothers have
been feeling.
"Bobby Bashing" is nothing new; far from it. But it has seemed to be
quite a bit worse in the past twelve moons. However, if those people had
spent any time with Bobby, as most of us have not been able to do, they
would surely have seen the pain he felt. The loss.
It echoed about the room when Ratdog performed last August (the 17th
I think...) here in Washington DC. it was DAR Constitution Hall, and to
hear him play those songs... without Jerry's searching leads. and yet
those notes were there, ringing in the timbers of the room, propelled by
the energy and emotion of the audience and the band. Rob played Amazing
Grace and Not Fade Away, and they closed with Knockin On Heaven's Door
and the audience was healed.
Perhaps it was nothing more than a ribbon for our hair... But it
still carries me along. That, and my memories of course...
The Garcia/Hunter writing team is something that will live on as long
as men breath the air we pollute. I'd say Garcia's statement about your
time following his is true. You may not reach the stardom-in-your-time
status, but you know what a curse that can be. Other than helping your
wallet it can catch you up in processes and ordeals that can stifle and
even sever your creative output. But I don't have to tell you that. what
you will achieve is timelessness. That which all artists strive towards
is yours.
Not only will the songs live on but their influece will carry on as
well. Not a shabby legacy, for a guy who played guitar and a guy who has
more words to share...

as always love
Jonathan Hart

I appreciate the grand estimation in which you hold the Garcia/Hunter work. You catch my drift entirely. No, I don't want the world to fall at my feet and destroy my sense of proportion. I DO want the songs to outlive me. I don't mind a bit of reasonable recognition any more than the next guy, but Fame, with a capital F, is a frightening and alienating thought. I know from my own very mild acquaintance with it that it would destroy what I value most, my creative impetus and my anonymity. What would it give in return? Quantity, not quality. I give my words to the world and reserve myself for my friends and family. Yes, I want to have my cake and live to eat it too. It's a matter, I think, of choices.

Date: Aug 8 1996 10:54 AM EDT
Subj: letter to JG

Man , that was moving. You made me cry and thats not too easy to do. This world need more minds like yours and a few other choosen people still alive.
Peace and fare ye well

Subj: Letter to Jerry.
Date: Aug 8 1996 11:36 AM EDT

Hello Robert,

Short email. That letter was really was beautiful. Thanks!!


Subj: Letter
Date: Aug 8 1996

RH, I laughed i cryed, i remembered,i looked ahead. thanks Johnny

Date: Aug 8 1996 6:53 PM EDT
From: (jrb)

RH, you did well, more than once a smile crossed my face while reading it, your ability to paint with words is wonderful.

I'm glad you spoke up for bob w as he's getting his ass kicked on the bbs's and while my loss was distant and only personal from across the fence, his loss was of a brother and partner in life.

Great Line about the books >
" Let those who knew you even less write them"

As a 25 year fan , it was like the loss of someone in my family, I'd see
them every spring and fall and it was always so comfortable.. Everyone in
the same place..same going home.

But now the house is gone and we take out the old picture book to remember
the past and keep us on the course >

While the course may's always forward ..Day by Day...Step by Step.

Thanks Mister Hunter

If only he could dust off those rusty stings just one more time...

Thanks for the archive dude...
Take Care

John B

John B,

one time more or one time less, what difference would it make? To everything its season and his was a long one, by any count. Glad the letter brought you some smiles - some of what I had to say was grim enough - I was a bit hard on biographers. It's not the best of practice to criticize what I haven't read yet (and probably won't) though I get plenty of reports to base my judgments on. My bias is, of course, extreme. Haven't seen the Rolling Stone work yet since the magazine isn't, to my knowledge, available in the UK outside of London. And why would it be? They have "Spy," "Tattler," and the "News of the World" to administer to the local need to know.

You're most welcome to the Archive. If no one were to hang his ass on the line, the dialogue would close down and we'd be left with only the thoughts of those whose primary interest is the sale of great quantities of paper.

If my pen drips acid, remember what day it is (8/9) and the nature of our loss.

Date: Aug 9 1996 1:15 AM EDT
From: Linda KST
Subj: In the heart of a friend

Dear Robert,

Just returned home from a very long day. One baby ran away...couldn't take the abuse anymore. Another; well she showed up with massive bruises all over her body, a smile on her face, a flower she picked for me on the way to Kid Street Theatre, and a promise she knew all the words to the song she is going to sing in the play. I guestioned my worth today.

Some unknown person e-mailed me your letter to Jerry. I've read it several times and feel embarrassed that it made me cry. I don't know either of you, I must be some kind of dork.
I was touched by your sense of loss, your admiration and pissed offness, your sense of self and hoping it to be so, and I was left with a thought my grandpa once told me. "In the end, all we are, is the feeling in the heart of a friend" I'm sure he took that with him, just as you carry it with you now.

Bless you for sharing your tears with all of us who only watched and listened at half opened doors for a glimpse of what looked like Gods in garb with a patch preventing pain. The media can make the pain look so exciting, and the fans are willing to buy it to prevent looking at their own. Though the experience has been real for millions, you just made it real for each and every one of us, as though we count too. I thank you for that.

You have an amazing way of composing the words of the soul that link us as one. It matters not who knew Jerry, it matters only that we all knew what we thought it stood for. We needed so despartely to believe that. We still do. Thanks for the reminder. I feel like a pest, but you brought it on! It's time for a glass of wine. Night nellies


a day when we don't question our worth is a day of delusion. Why else would we try to do better? In my eyes, looking out for abused kids on a full time basis is, at the very least, not shabby. As maltreatment spreads like a cancer, antibodies like Kid Street Theater must grow apace. See you in October for the motorcycle raffle drawing.

Subj: Howdy
Date: Aug 8 1996 3:33 AM EDT

Hello, Hunter. It seems a bit strange writing this after reading your
Letter, but I wanted to tell you what's been running through my mind.
How do you do, BTW? I've enjoyed your site, originally went there for Rilke and stayed for the journals and wonderful snippets like the handwritten lyric to Ripple. I'm stoned as hell, sort of, been at it for days so I'm not writing well, but hey.
First reefer in ages, and I'll disgrace myself for this. :)

Read your journals, interviews, strange things pop out of them at me.
More than a few references have bitten me in the throat. You talked in
the letter or journal tonight about a lot to do with what I've been
thinking. Your poetry for one, how you dislike listening to it. I've
often thought that it would be a splendid idea if you put it on the
website as audio files. It's written that you're a wonderful reader, and
I'd like to hear it. I can sympathize with the work it takes, my husband
and I used to run a local bulletin board service, but it's great when
people appreciate it.

Anyway, thinking back on the BBS, poetry and life in general, I recalled
driving everyone on the board crazy by posting Louis MacNeice's "Bagpipe
Music". My husband and our best friend chanted it for weeks. Got in my
head too, which is why I did it. Long ago I explained to my friend that
poetry is soothing to me, I chant it or sing it to myself, have done so
since I was a child. Wrote a fairly powerful poem about that recently
in fact.

But to get on with it, the day Jerry died I cried, which surprised me,
and opened a book of poetry, which didn't. But suddenly I was reading
"and death shall have no dominion..", and relating to it. Except for
Fern Hill, Thomas had never "spoken" to me before. I was delighted. It
was so appropriate and so powerful that I began to memorize it. I
finally captured it, and will probably chant it by the river very soon.

That's the point of this letter: I chant it. It's a marvelous piece of
spoken poetry. I tried adding drums but I'm a lousy drummer. The beat
I've settled on is kind of rap spoken, where blew a FLOWER may a flower
no MORE, but I've done it different ways. All this with no intrinsic
talent! So this is what I wanted to say: do it. If nothing else, I'd
like to hear it on the website, and it would be a great tribute to Jerry
if you could get it together for the band, or you and Mickey. Come back
as The Dead. Maybe take it on the Net. A few weeks ago a friend with a
great location asked us how he could give concerts on the Net. I don't
know, but you ought to have the resources. Anyway, if it's like Lesh
said, that "we" are the GD now, I've just had my say! A percentage would
be nicer, but I'd be happy just to hear this done.

Enough of my pipe dreams. Thanks a lot for the picture of Arthur's
Stone, I enjoyed that. The whole site in fact, it's what the Dead Net
should be, a little bit of the people involved. I always take away a
little piece of something. Maybe someday that will change, but it's
refreshing for now. Take care and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

My name is Stranger. I call myself The Barbarian. (Literally, it is, and I do.)

Stranger aka The Barbarian,
Back in the old days (1960) we used to greet one another with the phrase "And
death shall have no dominion!" I do a pretty mean Dylan Thomas imitation myself.
Problem with putting poetry on the net, which I would gladly do, is that the
technology is so primitive it takes several megabites of download time (an
hour) to get it. Just not practical yet. A few poems would double the size of
my Archive which is already pretty ponderous when uploading time comes. If
you want to see what I mean, go to the Internet Poetry Archive Homepage and
try to download some poetry.


August 9

I love the fact that you once used that poem as a greeting. I really
hope you consider doing it. I went to the river tonight, tomorrow it's
going to rain my thunderstorms. There's an old concrete pier footing,
broken, cragging a little over the water. Trees close over it. Flat,
then a broken piece sloping under it to the right, another below sloping
down and under into the water. I climbed down next to the river (hell
of a thing in a dress), found my sticks and tried it on again. The poem
that is, took me 5 times to get it right, too! Kind of got electric,
where the downy hair stood up first on my chest arms and neck. My arms
were tingling. The tide was up on the river, she was rolling fat and
sassy up from the Jersey shore, you could smell the sea, and there's
this strange middle age woman beating sticks under a tree chanting a
poem by a dead Welshman for some guy who might be floating by in some way, and the woman is me. Shit. It sounds stupid, but it's really not. I know
that poem could sound right as a piece of music, it has such rhythm, and
it's clung to me for so long that I wanted to try it for myself in the
place I love the best. Personally, I really liked it.

Assuming that you're awash in a sea of various sorrows by now, I'll
leave you on that note. I've started to think of today as Jerry's Eve
and tomorrow as Dead Day. I mean that irreverently of course, but not
maliciously. He'll be deified, we all know it, and he'll be looked on
as a benevolent god. Might as well start a damned holiday now and get
it over with!

Again, take care. Please don't respond if you don't have the time right
now, I'd prefer not to dog you, as it were. Hopefully, you've taken
your pipes and run off somewhere to be alone for a time. Running
something like this website can be consuming, sometimes all consuming,
and you really have to walk away now and then. _ALL_ the way away, for a
little while at least. I mean it. So go see Scotland for us, and enjoy.
Write again when you feel like it.

Date: Aug 8 1996 9:04 PM EDT
From: (Susan Mudgett aka little gator)

I had a lot of thoughts I was planning to write up, about many
different things, but I just checked the latest mailbag and I see
others have said what I had to say, some better than I would've, all
at least as well.

Please thank them for me.

Gatorful outtake: Gator in a Starfleet uniform(Vulcan ears optional),
surrounded by small furry things, singing "Tribbles ahead, tribbles

Hi Susan.
Will do.

Hey, everybody - Susan says thanks

Subj: This 'n that 'n' the other
Date: Aug 8 1996 8:14 PM EDT
From: (Michael Zelner)


I wanted to let you know that I'm so glad you like the QuickTake camera.
You're right, once you have one you wonder how you got along with out it
(or was that the Zip drive? -- well, same difference).

But mainly, I wanted to thank you for posting your "Letter to Garcia" this
week. It said a lot of things many of us have been thinking regarding
events of the past year -- and many we haven't, but wished that we had! Has
anyone ever told you that you have a way with words?

As I think you know, I have made it a habit to repost to
excerpts from your Journal and other tidbits from the Archive pages
whenever you update the site. Many unfortunate souls still do not have WWW
access (or are just plain lazy, I guess) and so do not see the source
material on your site, so I consider it a public service. Many have written
to me privately to thank me for these posts -- I tell them I'm just a
delivery boy. But they're really thanking you for the effort, and the
excellent content. (By the way, I have been editing out much of the
travelogue material from the UK entries -- sorry! It's great, but I'm
trying to save bandwidth; people who want to read the whole thing will find
a way.)

The "Letter" was particularly well received, and several people have
already asked me for another copy via e-mail (too hasty with the delete
button; didn't save before it expired on their news server, etc. etc.). I'm
tempted to tell them just to truck on over to a library, find a public
terminal with a Web browser, and look it up themselves, but I end up
mailing it to them. . .

So keep it coming (but pace yourself, o' course!) -- we need it, and you
need it, too, it seems.

There will be a lot of sadness and joy around the Bay Area on Friday. I
hope your day is mainly joyful.


P.S. I don't know if Craig has forwarded the reactions to the
Shoreline Furthur show, but let me say that I thought it was great, even
better than I expected -- partly due to the jam at the end w/Truckin >
Other One >White Rabbit, and *that* in large part to Phil's participation.
Some of that had the old magic -- and it gave me hope for more moments of
magic (in the Bay Area, at least, if Phil stays a homebody). It opened some
people's ears to the fact that the X-factor goes beyond Jerry. . . they
even dug Sammy Hagar!
Michael Zelner
---Oakland CA USA-----------------


glad you're posting what's of use. I trust you know what you're doing and don't make me sound like the village gossip.

No forward from Craig yet, but will slam it on when it comes.

Pace myself?! Hmm - actually have been laying back feeling lazy for an hour or two at a stretch after the last update, indulging my hay fever a bit - but the email is in full flood, as expected, and is a full time occupation. If I do nothing else but answer it, I can keep up. And I think it's important that I do. Assume it'll slacken in a couple of days.

Glad the newsgroup received the letter to JG well. Geoff posted it on his AOL site to save people the trouble (?!) of going online for it. Seems a bit odd and lonely divorced from its site context, but there you go. Only a parent would notice, I'm sure.

Subj: August 9 in Japan
Date: Aug 8 1996 3:57 PM EDT
From: (Alan Murdock)

Hello Mr. Hunter,

Thanks for sharing your letter to Garcia. It was a great help and comfort to me.

I hadn't visited the Dead's web site for a long time but will try to keep
up with what you post there. If it's really true that you're the webmaster,
then it's also true that the ol' dragon has yet got some real fire in its

Very best,

Tokyo, Japan

yeah, it's true and it does.You're most welcome. Please to check the site once in awhile.

Date: Aug 8 1996 4:41 PM EDT
From: 73623.2727@CompuServe.COM (Ron Jenson)

fuzzy bodhisattva fatman junky
crest of ripple fades away
if the poppy helped his sorrow
poppy is no help today
life is long so full of music
life is short the songs unsung
will the music live forever
can the harp be heard unstrung
long or short is not the measure
all is void without relief
universe of endless treasure
world of unconditioned grief
do we know or do we care
step back, step back, advance
all the music, all the air
we breathe and dance

Love to All. --Ron

Date: Aug 8 1996 8:45 PM EDT
From: Cabezasfam
Subj: The Rose of Sharon

RH Hello. I hope you receive this note. I'm like a dinosaur with computers. Maybe I should ask my kids to do this for me; but I have to learn sometime. The Rose of Sharon I planted a little bush, called the rose of sharon during spring of 95, in a sweet spot of our little yard. There the bush slowly grew into summer, green and fragile. The summer days brought me to Aug.9, 1995. Sitting in the yard, with Niagara Falls streaming from my eyes, as my heart broken but alive wished our friend a blessed trip as he went before to the other side. Looking up,through the tears, I saw the Rose of Sharon, blooming with her first flowers, as a mother giving birth, so what else could I do but baptize these rose children from my little plant, the Garcia Bush. This year she gave birth to more roses on Aug.1, 1996, his birthday, with a message from mortal death to eternal life. Thank you my friend. Tom

Date: Aug 9 1996 7:29 AM EDT
From: Haight710
Subj: thanks and blessings

dear rh,
just read your letter to jg. touched by it deeply,
especially today.
as always it comes from your heart
and touches all of ours.
thanks as always for the words and insights
they help us get by and survive.
'all the years combine- they melt into a dream'
bless you for keeping the dream alive.

love and peace on this day

Date: Aug 9 1996 12:02 PM EDT
From: (James Klar)

Dear Robert,

I awoke this morning with a heaviness I can only describe as
loss. I spent most of yesterday feeling good and feeling free, though
in the back of my mind and at the front of my heart was the acceptance
that I'd go to sleep, wake up, and have it be August 9th, 1996. I
hate this day. I don't hate much - in fact, very little. But I can
say with full conviction and even a little chuckle, that I hate the
day Jerry Garcia passed away. I am writing this to you because you
can read it. I am banking on Jerry being able to feel it. Jerry
Garcia is an energy source that is flowing with our thoughts and is
somehow, I am convinced, affected by our continued love for him. I
suppose he is affected by some people's negative judgements of him as
well, those people that can't see beyond the human-ness and into the
brilliance. It doesn't really matter. I know his energy is still
nurturing me and many other folks down here.

Perhaps you have heard of a band named "This Mortal Coil?" They
are (or were, anyway) on the 4AD label. The name of the record is
"filigree & shadow." I mention it only because you use the term and
it so happens that the record has a lot of Garcia mirrors - the darker
feeling that subsumes his nature. I don't fathom to have insight into
his deeper self other than through his music. We all gravitate
towards sounds and enjoy different things about what he and the Dead
did, but I was always most attracted to the heavy stuff. As I re-read
your letter I keep discovering new things and am overwhelmed by your
sentiments. It's unlike anything I've ever read before.

Back to today. I needed a connection and an acknowldegment of
Garcia's life, this being a milestone. I don't expect his picture to
be on the front pages of newspapers today, and in fact, agree with
your sentiment that it is too soon to even comprehend the man. You
being the chosen webmaster is appropriate - and I think you're filling a
void that would be painfully empty otherwise. To be able to wake up
feeling distant and far from a person and a world that has meant so
much, and then be able to read a heartfelt letter to the sky from the
wellspring is meaningful. Thank you for your candor and your truth.
If Garcia was a shitty father and crappy will-writer, I am sorry for
those affected...but the fact remains that his contributions are so
far-reaching that I don't feel any of that to be very material. Worse
things can happen to people then being left out of a will - and though
it may sound a bit callous and hardhearted, that man provided and will
continue to provide so many of us a glimpse into the magical ways of
the universe, that it is worth it.

This letter is my way of paying homage to a man that has lit so
many wonderful flames of mystery in my mind, been a big net at the
bottom of a scary fall, brought smiles to my face that made my muscles
ache, pulled me through tunnels of darkness and then stood there
laughing while we followed some elusive light, gave me strength to
dream and now, as I sit here, brings me to tears. And as I sit hear
crying, I close my eyes and see his face, his white beard surrounded
in black, and he's still smiling...and it makes me cry harder because
I can't ever get in my van again, leaving SF headed towards Sacramento
on a hot summer day, see the buses in the breakdown lane and the water
slides of Cal Expo on my right as I get off the highway and pull into
line for yet another ride on the Captain Trips Mystery Train...when I
park my van and take a deep breath and smile, landing in space with my
commrades and a culture never seen before, created in this moment and
in our time...and it's over. At least that part of it. God, it was
such a good part, though. Such a fun ride. Thanks, Jerry. You
fought your demons well.

When I found out that he died I was on 101 leaving Mill Valley
right near the Sir Francis Drake exit for San Anselmo. My very good
friend Peter Oppenheimer lives in Forest Knolls and I spent countless
days and nights there, never expecting the beginning of my ride with
the Dead to also be the end. As I drove up 101, in Marin County - I
cried, and I laughed, and I listened to his music and knew everything
was different. The first song I heard was "The Wheel."

Once last thing and then I will pick up my guitar and sing some
songs. You are an inspirational person and your writing, both in
terms of lyrics and this journal you now keep, has spurred me on.
Your comment that Jerry is "an exponent of a dream in the continual
act of being defined into a reality" is a beautiful comment, a nice
big piece of candy that I'll chew on for quite some time. I
appreciate you taking the time to read this, and being there on a
really hard day. I could go on and on, there is so much to say, but
this letter served it's purpose, and I bid you farewell and extend my

His words DID glow!

with love and dreams,

Jim Klar
8/9/96, Northampton, MA

ps. I am posting this letter as part of my journal -


don't hate a day that set someone you love free of his pain. Your letter is beautiful.

Date: Aug 9 1996 11:45 AM EDT
From: (Lee Chubb)

Dear Robert,

It was a year ago today that you lost a great friend, and I lost a great hero.
Jerry may never have held himself out that way, but the combination of wit,
art, and laughter made a personality that I couldn't help but love.

Much has been made of whether the "scene" will survive. I would like to take
just a minute and remember the music. It was the music more than anything
else that drew me to the Grateful Dead. The ethic of spontaneity in
performance, and in life, is one that has made all the difference to me as I
progress through life.

These days, in the regular world, I have a hard time conveying the value of
that ethic. If I had not been taught it by the Grateful Dead, I'm not sure I
would be the person I am today. Yet, as I watch my friends petrify and
stagnate with age, it is the single most important thing in my day to day

I am indebted to the Grateful Dead, whatever they are, for that lesson. It
came from Jerry's guitar, Phil's bass, your lyrics, and every other member of
the band as well. I watched you all struggle through some big changes in
life, and grow in the process. In the process, I went from a worshipping
adolescent to an adult who could wield enough mental power to travel the music with them. That is a journey I will always treasure.

The music is on at work today, and the kids that work for me have been told
that it will be on till we close. They don't really get it, but maybe they
will someday.

My love to you, and to all the members of the Grateful Dead family. I'm
talking about Jerry today but it was the whole that made it special, both
musically and spiritually.

For myself, I will celebrate life today. The tie dye is on, Half Step is
playing, and though there's the trace of a tear in my eye, I feel incredibly
lucky to have been where we've been, and hopeful for where we're going.


Lee Chubb

Date: Aug 9 1996 10:46 AM EDT
From: (BD)

Hello, RH.

How are you today? First anniversaries of tragic events are
usually very difficult for friends and loved ones affected. My thoughts
are with you.

As for those of us who loved Jerry through the spirit of his music
and his smile (oh, that smile), this is definitely going to be a tough day.
I was awakened at 4:10 this morning with my heart pounding in my ears. Deja
vu? I live fairly close to Forest Knolls where Jerry passed away, and I
swear, at this time last year, a dog woke me up with such a mournful howl, I
thought it was a wolf. When I got the news by 8:00 am, I felt a chill
thinking about that pre-dawn howl. The Dire Wolf?

I saved reading your letter to Jerry for today, but since I am up at
4:30 am, it seemed all the more appropriate to be reading it now. Thank
you from the depths of my heart for that extraordinary, poignant epistle to
the ethers. It has been one of the greatest gifts you could give to Jerry
- - the opening of your soul to encompass and thereby, help alleviate, the
shards of icy grief so many of us have been been staggering around with in
our hearts for the past year. Thank you for your courage to be willing to
shoulder such a grim, daunting task. Your warmth, your openness, your
frankness, your compassion, and your vision of a *further* journey for the
spirit of the magic of the Grateful Dead, have all been of inestimable help
for the healing process we are all going through. Speaking for myself,
this help has been essential.

Thank you, Robert Hunter, for all the love and the lyrics.

With grateful affection,



I'm feeling pretty damned good today. Answering a cloudburst of intelligent, perceptive, emotionally balanced and heartfelt email is keeping me well occupied. If I've been a help in keeping the healing on track, then I've done what I set out to do with the Archive. I think we've done the hard slog now. Time is kind in that respect. Distance equals perspective. It appears to me we've got it.

Date: Aug 9 1996 9:38 AM EDT
From: (Steve Mallett)

Robert Hi

Do I call you Robert, Bob? Seems strange to be writing to you after all
these years of listning to your words.

By one of those delightful synchronicities I found my way to your
archive a year after Jerry's departure and have just read your letter.
Not so strange to be writing to a dead man, I remember doing the same to
my father. He was a better listener after death and I was better able to
hear him without the static.

Talking of Garcia's image selling briskly, the Tanzanian post office has
apparently issued a Garcia and a Grateful Dead stamp. I haven't actually
yet seen said artifacts so it could be a rumour. But then Africa is even
crazier than I thought!

Thanks for putting yourself into the pages. Long may you continue.


thanks for your thoughts.

No other way to say the dozens of things that were pestering me to be said, outside of talking to the man himself, speaking to his sense of humor and perspective about a few gripes, what's going right, and what's weird. Seemed like something ought to be said.

I've seen the stamp. It's a commemorative collector's item; doubt if you'd see it on Tanzanian letters.

Just got to the Archive, huh? It must look pretty daunting by this point.

Call me anything but Elvis.

Subj: A Jerry Story
Date: Aug 9 1996 2:37 PM EDT
From: (John Schaible)

Hello Mr. Hunter,

First of all, I wanted to thank you for responding to my last e-mail to
you. I really wasn't expecting one. I wasn't even sure if you had the
time or inclination to read all the e-mail you receive. What a great
thing this internet is. In normal reality, I most likely would not even
get to be in a close proximity to you, let alone to have some kind of
dialogue with you. And, your response was very nice and thought out.
It wasn't some stamped out reply that you send to everyone. It really
meant a lot to me.

Being the one year anniversary of Jerry's passing today, and having read
your letter to Jerry, I wanted to share my one and only Jerry story with

The Dead played a two night stand at the Palace of Auburn Hills, in
Michigan in the spring of '92. My friends and I had really great seats
the first night, but the second night, we had rear stage seats. Now, we
were kind of bummed about that. I had never had rear stage seats
before. However, we were only about 10 feet away from the back of the
stage. We could see a lot of things that you never could see from the
front of the stage. We could see the whole conversation (musical and
otherwise) between Billy and Mickey. That was great. Also, as you
know, the Dead were a first class organization. They had placed lights
and speakers facing the rear for all of us with rear stage seats. I've
never seen any other band do that. So, the sound for us was really good

This was my 10th Dead show, and I had yet to see a China->Rider. This
is my favorite Dead pairing. In fact, the version from Europe '72 is
the piece of music that turned me on to the Dead. As it turns out, our
seats were right next to the entrance from the lower part of the arena
to the stage. About 15 minutes before the second set began, who should
come strolling out but Jerry. I grabbed my friend, "look man, it's
Jerry!". We were really excited. He was only about 5 feet away. I had
flashes of asking him for an autograph, but I didn't. I yelled, "hey
Jerry". He stopped, turned and looked at me. I said "play China Cat
man". He winked at me, nodded his head, then proceeded to his little
cubby hole on the stage. He practiced his guitar until the rest of the
boys hit the stage. When the lights went down, I was really excited.
"Do you think he'll do it?" I asked my friend. Next thing you know,
'ole Bruce is twinkling 'Foolish Heart' on the keys. "Oh no" I
thought. Not that I don't like that song, but I really wanted that
China Cat. So, they're all warming up, Jerry's got his back to the
crowd, foolin' around with his rack. Bruce is really psyched to play
'Foolish Heart'. Jerry plays the first few notes to China Cat, still
with his back to the crowd. He looks up, right at me, and smiles. He
then turns around, and bam, the band launches into China Cat, much to
Bruce's dismay. I went nuts. What a cool thing to do. Now, I know
China Cat was probably up in their rotation, but I couldn't help feeling
like Jerry had done it for me. That was so special to me. I don't know
of another artist that would do that. Whenever I hear Jerry play now, I
just remember him looking up at me and smiling, and it makes me smile
too. What a great artist he was. I, along with a whole lot of other
people, miss him more than words can tell. Well, maybe your words could
tell. I hope this message finds you smiling too.

Thanks for listening,


what do you mean "next in the rotation?" The Dead don't have no rotation. He played it because you asked him to.

Subj: One of a thousand!?
Date: Aug 9 1996 10:24 PM EDT
From: (Jay Grady)

Hey there Rob...

I suppose on this day I'm one of a thousand folks who are gonna email you. Perhaps not, but it's a rather bizarre day here on earth. Welll. at least is for us. Ya know I'm only 26 yrs old. I didn't go to my first Dead show until 3/30/94. (The last Dark Star) What a site.. !! There was so much to see, feel, ... hear. I honestly don't remember it that much. No, not because of my choice of "mind altering". A hard day's travel from Austin to Atlanta made that an unreasonable choice. Besides, I wanted to see the Dead, not get screwed up! Mostly there was just too much to absorb. Sound, lights, colors, people.. and above all else, wonderful music. The next night, my 2nd, was, well.. lets just say I was officially converted.

I cruised out to the archives today to read your journals and such. I check it out about once a week. (The pictures of the castles & Europe are awesome by the way). What always strikes me is that you write from the perspective of someone "on his way out", not in the morbid sense, but in a way that only someone of your age and experience could possibly write. (No insult intended BTW *grin*) You've been there from the beginning. I, on the other hand, am just beginning. As I type this 2/24/74 is playing rather "robustly" through my stereo. I was five years old at the time. I bet you folks never imagined it would go on this long! It's sorta funny. I / we, have an advantage that you guys never had. I get to listen to the music with a completely objective ear. Play me a a show from the 60's, 70's, 80's, etc.. It doesn't matter to me. If it's good it's good. There's no emotional attachment to any particular decade. I was presented with the complete body of work. Express Service. No stops. No waiting. Jerry and the boys were just as grand in the 90's as they were in the 60's. In fact, they were FAR superior. Others may have their opinions, but I'll bet they long for those days of youth ...

You should have faith. It will carry on. There are a lot of us out here. We're desperately looking for a vehicle to hitch a ride with. We'll find one, or many, sometime down the road. Your words haven't gone un-noticed. Hell, I sing one lyric or another to myself at least once a day.

Congrats on the Zero stuff.. I've seen em' 7 times here in Austin. Words do not describe those guys. I happily promote them every chance I get by making tapes for folks and doing my best to turn em' on to the tunes.

Well, enough banter. I'm sure you have others to read. I just wanted to touch base and let you know that you're having a positive effect on things and that we appreciate the effort. Hope your trip was a good one.

Take care,

I think the "writing like I'm on my way out" may largely be due to the re-evaluating experience I'm undergoing during my two months in England. I need to be cut off like this to do it. Otherwise the dynamicism at home is pretty straight ahead. But I thank you for the perceptive comment. In a way, I guess I've always done that. I mean, "Brokedown Palace" was on American Beauty, wasn't it - and I was only around your age then. Don't know where I got the "long view" from, but suspect it had something to do with traumatic family break up troubles at age nine, and subsequent boarding homes I was placed in over the next couple of years. Made a melancholy lad of me.

Date: Aug 9 1996 6:47 PM EDT
From: (William Richard DeHaven)

You are so good at sharing your feelings I just want to share mine. I
enjoy reading you writings on the net - they are right on. When I am
reading them I feel like I'm close to the source of what makes me me.
I'm 45 (but read at a 46 yr old level) and have a wonderful 15 year old
son and have been enjoying the 'experience' (whatever that may be)
since I was a teenager. I know in my heart that we can keep this thing
going but it will take time and a shape of its own. So please don't
get frustrated and quit on us. I don't have much to offer in the way
of literary stuff, but sure do enjoy what you do.
Happiness to you


don't worry about me getting frustrated and quitting. I do it regularly about once a month and have the chops down. But I can't, in the end, abandon the interest, being naturally and irretrievably curious about what will happen next.


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