Deercreek 7-15-89. I got on the bus in 1984. I took until 1989 to convince my then girlfriend (now my wife) to come to a show.. She was unwilling to camp with a bunch of dudes. Who could blame her. So one of my touring buds convinced his girlfriend to come along also, and we rented a room at the nearby Radisson. I should mention that I caught a lot of crap from the rest of the group that I usually toured with for staying in a hotel, but I really wanted her to come along. Anyway, we were sitting in our room doing what we normally do before shows
(something she was unwilling to partake in) when she started whispering in my ear that she wanted to go to the pool. I tried to convince her to just chill out, that we would leave shortly and head over to the venue. She persisted and eventually I told her fine, "find out where the pool is and we'll go". I was a little upset with her, but I know she was uncomfortable so I went along. She called the front desk, dudes says the pool is on the fourth floor. We get on the elevator, get off at the fourth floor, no pool. We head back to the elevator, I push the button, we begin to wait. While we are standing there I try to have a civil conversation with her, explaining "this is what we do. Please try to relax and enjoy yourself instead of being a pain in the ass." Several minutes has now passed, the conversation has ended, and we both become aware that the elevator has still not come down to us. "Screw it lets take the stairs I tell her." We begin to walk away when the bell for the elevator rings so we walk back and stand in front of the door waiting for it to open. It opens, and leaning against the back wall, staring at me over the top of his glasses was the man himself. Needless to say I was completely floored. I didn't know what to say or do (I was really high) so I just reached out and shook his hand and thanked him for all the wonderful times he provided me. When I shook his hand I could feel the stump of his finger press against my palm and chills ran up my back. My wife, realizing how tongue tied I was, started talking to him, explaining how this was her first show, and how I had been trying to convince her to come along for several years, ect. ect. The elevator landed on the first floor, we walked out together, I wished him a "good show" and he told my wife to enjoy herself and he walked off out the front door. She punched me in the arm in an attempt to wake me from the trance I was in and said, "go get his autograph." No, I can't do that I told her. That would be cheesey. It's Jerry, he doesn't want to be bothered with that. She persisted and I said ok, what the hell, even though a couple of minutes had passed and I was sure he would be gone by now. The hotel clerk at the desk had watched in awe as he walked by and when I asked her for a pen and something to write on, she quickly scrounged one up and I ran out the door. He was still there sitting on a bench in front of the hotel waving at a small child that was walking by. I sheepishly approached him and asked him if he would mind signing my piece of paper. He looked at me and grinned and said sure. He took the paper and very neatly wrote HOWDY, Jerry Garcia. I thanked him again, shook his hand one more time and someone in the background yelled "Hey Jer, it's time to go." He climbed into a hotel type shuttle bus and was off. Needless to say I am walking on air right now and we head back to the elevator and jump in. Im holding this auto in my hand and we are giggling back and forth still amazed at what had just happened. Someone was already in the elevator who I later come to find out is "Sparky" and he tells me, " Jerry must've got a good vibe from you cause he usually doesn't sign autographs" I told him I think Jerry probably realized that I would have probably needed some type of counseling if he had declined. Anyway the boys played a great show that day, a Peggy-O in the first set that ironically was one of my wifes favorite tunes added to the experience. Then on to Alpine Valley, and we all know what happened there.