Reminded of this when I found the below (awful) photos from a box in storage and when someone asked me last night.
  1. The Grateful Dead
    When Jerry Garcia was alive
  2. I was 13, hanging out with a girl named Suzanne that was 26. I met her while training to become a candy striper at the hospital and since I wasn't old enough to go striping solo, I shadowed her during training. She was soon to be starting med school.
    Oh yes, I was a candy striper - uniform and all.
  3. We quickly became friends and were often laughing as we did our volunteer duties. In our non-hospital days we'd go biking, as she was training for a race.
    In hindsight, yes it was probably weird that she was hanging out with someone so young but that's how it always was for me. All older friends.
  4. On a day we planned to ride, she and her boyfriend picked me up.
  5. As we pulled away from my house, she said, "Change of plans. Are you up for it?"
  6. "Always," I replied.
  7. With that, we drove to Greensboro where The Grateful Dead was playing.
  8. I knew she loved the Dead as she was always listening to them when we'd go anywhere, so I wasn't completely shocked.
  9. However, I never thought we'd end up at a show and my young teenage mind was blown upon entering the parking lot.
  10. Everyone was tailgating and blasting music and dancing.
    If you've never seen The Dead, there's no real way to describe the scene except it's a kaleidoscope of colorful people having a really good time with random plumes of smoke escaping into the sky in cloud-like formations. There's no shortage of things to look at.
  11. My ears caught snippets of the various songs people were playing in different parts of the parking lot as they were gearing up for the show.
  12. We spent the afternoon in the parking lot with the other 18k people....
  13. While I soaked it all in.
  14. Then, it was concert time.
  15. Pure insanity is the best way to sum it up.
  16. Everyone continued the party once the music started and if you ever saw them, you know they play a longgggg time.
  17. Needless to say, my teenage mind continued to be blown over the course of the evening. The people watching alone was an experience.
  18. I was already obsessed with music at that point so, of course, I loved it.
    They weren't a band I listened to as I was stuck on 80s British bands at that point, but I still had fun.
  19. Oh look, here's a blurry photo of me that Suzanne took in the car on the way back home with ears still ringing.
    D240dd49 7f8d 4856 ad0b e557aa20ed2d
  20. Even though the blurriness is from the camera, it's kinda how my brain felt, because let's face it...
  21. I did inhale.
  22. PS. I never told my parents I went. I'm not sure they would have been down for it. 💀🌹⚡️
  23. --------
  24. I listened to them some throughout high school when I met one of my best friends, Kristin. She loved them and so did her dad who looked just like Jerry Garcia.
    I was still stuck on British bands and indie rock, but I enjoyed the nostalgia of it.
  25. Here's a photo of me at her house when I was 16. She was trying to convince me to get Birkenstocks and I was saying, "Hell no." She kept saying I'd eventually own a pair. All these years later and I still haven't. So there, Kristin.
    8203f36c 2bd7 44f1 9592 fa445be70937
    We were listening to the Dead that afternoon.
  26. --------
  27. So that's why I have a sweet spot for that band and the music. So many teenage memories...
  28. PS. 2nd concert, if you're wondering, was Bon Jovi and Skid Row. My young aunt was in love with them.