Keeping the clock wound back to twenty years ago, I could be found, in the early morning hours of March 19, 1995, collecting my friend Joel and my girlfriend from their homes and aiming my ’83 Datsun Sentra toward Philadelphia. Several of our friends had gone up two days earlier for the Grateful Dead shows but, due to wanting to keep my job (as mentioned in a previous post), I had stayed behind to work. But, not on Sunday. We aimed to arrive early and scour the lots for tickets to that weekend’s third (and ultimately final) show at the Spectrum. It would be only the second time I’d gone to a Grateful Dead show without a ticket in-hand. It would also be the last.
It was still dark when we left Northern Virginia. I don’t like to be late for anything. The air was chilly with few clouds as we crossed the Susquehanna River Bridge in Maryland at sunrise. It didn’t warm up too much. We arrived in Philly for breakfast, laid back in a nearby park, and waited for the masses to arrive so that we could begin the process of asking each and every one of them for their extra tickets. This is a process that I never enjoyed and always sought to avoid. Walking through rows of parking lots with a handmade sign, shouting my hope to purchase or barter an exchange for an extra ticket. We met up with our friends. Only one of the three had gotten into a show so far. None of them had tickets for this Sunday show. Things were looking grim but I kept looking. Continue reading