I was just sitting down to work this morning when Karen broke the news to me that Jerry had died. I spent half the morning trying to get microsoft's computer to mail out of the system to get confirmation. When I got in my car to drive home, I heard "Sugaree" on NPR and knew it was true.

I don't know if I can express what the Dead have meant to me. When I was down in New Mexico, trying to figure out why I should bother to wake up again, more frequently than not, it was the existence of music that I loved that gave me the inspiration. I don't know how I would have survived those 3 years without those summers in which I was reminded that I was not some horrible freak, that there were people like me in the world, that there is beauty out there.

The classic Hunter/Garcia songs celebrate life. Not life for winners mind you; they are about the life of losers who know that they will most likely lose again, and yet they keep trying. Yes life is not always good, but the songs romaticized, not surrender, but attempting to overcome these obstacles.

I had found a place where I truly belonged and now it is no more. Thank you Jerry for the memories. Fare thee well...