Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.
– Grateful Dead, Truckin’
Just down the tree-lined street from where I write, over by the Veterans Administration (V.A.) Hospital of Menlo Park, California, is a dangerous blind curve marking the spot of numerous fatal car accidents. That killer S curve near the on-ramp intersection of and Highway 101 has a history of spinouts, head-on rollover crashes, near death and true death experiences, and including one that served as a germ for the consciousness raising phenomenon of the 1960’s. I’m referring to the tragic experience that served as the awakening of the Grateful Dead’s founder, lead guitarist, and soul inspiration, Jerry Garcia.
On February 20, 1961, Garcia entered a car with Lee Adams, the house manager of the Chateau, the
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