What a long strange trip it’s been

It’s a really big day in Eugene.  I had forgotten all about it, but during a break in the clouds and rain this morning, I decided I’d better get Ozzie to the park for some exercise (for both of us).  When we arrived, there were all sorts of signs along the way saying, “no concert parking until 3 p.m.”  Ozzie’s favorite dog park (Alton Baker) is right next to the Cuthbert Amphitheater.


This is Eugene’s outdoor concert venue and I took this photo in the spring when the weather was much more fair.  Just inside the enclosure for the Cuthbert today were parked these big buses.

further busThey are the concert touring buses for the band Further – the remnants of the once very popular Grateful Dead.  Yes, back in my youth I was a Deadhead, as their fans are called.  I was not as avid as many of my friends, having attended only about six Dead concerts, while I know a few fellows who traveled the country following the band, funding their journey by selling, “picture of Jerry?”  My friend Jack had taken a magnificent photo of Jerry Garcia on stage and made it into posters which he sold outside each venue.  I imagine these days that would amount to severe copyright infringement and not be allowable, but the Dead always seemed rather laid back about these things.

So, Further will play Eugene tonight.  Some of you may have seen the recent Estately.com report on the best cities for hippies.  Eugene, of course, ranks number one.  When I moved here in 1979, I told friends that I had moved to the hippie burial grounds – the place where old hippies come to die.  Well, it turns out that many of them live here too.  A Dead (and, therefore, Further) concert is not just a musical event.  It is more like a movable festival, hence the park putting up signs that concert goers must wait till 3 p.m. to move in.  Otherwise, there would be a huge party going on in the park that would have begun in the wee hours of the morning, or perhaps even started last night!  Eugene has had a long history with the Grateful Dead, due to their close association with Ken Kesey (actually a Pleasant Hill boy) and the Merry Pranksters.

Ozzie and I got into the park and began to play ball.  As all dogs do, eventually, there was some business to which we had to attend, and nearby I spotted this on the ground.


Not only is it the beginning of a faerie ring, but the mushrooms brought a smile to my face in thinking of their close association to the Grateful Dead and hippies in general.  Did I do such things in my youth?  Hmmm . . . maybe.  Would I do that now?  No way.  At any rate, I thought a lot about the past and enjoyed many memories while throwing the ball for a very happy dog this morning.  hapy oz

We’re home now and it’s raining again, but it’s already a good day.  I hope you all will enjoy your day too!


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