A Brief Encounter With Jerry Garcia
by Glenn Weiser

Kingpins of the 60's Counterculture I Have Seen or Met - Part 1

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I never recognized the bearded, graying man sitting in the antique silver Mercedes at the gas station in Albany NY looking at me and grinning as I passed him by. But I knew a lot about him from just one look, though. It's a strange story.

If he had been wearing his glasses I'm sure I would have realized that Jerry Garcia was the driver of the incredible vintage auto that had pulled into a gas station a stone's throw from where I was living in the early 1990s, but he wasn't. After the car came to stop, the man regarded me with a friendly smile, as if expecting me to walk over and converse with him. I was a longhaired musician in my 40's, and I bet Garcia figured I was a guitar player who would jump at the chance to meet him (he would have been correct). Although I rarely have psychic experiences, I took a good look at him, and somehow I knew some things about him: he was rich, he was from California, and he had a deep involvement with drugs. True, the car was an obvious sign of wealth, but I was sure about the rest of it, too. I concluded that he was major dope dealer and decided not to talk to him (these people can be dangerous) in spite of the charisma  radiating from his beaming face. I could tell he was a very friendly person, though, kind of like a big cocker spaniel.
   Later that day I went to work and heard about news reports that Jerry Garcia had been seen riding around town in an antique silver Mercedes (The Dead would play the shows from which "Dozin' at the Knick" was made in a few days). Damn, I thought, and felt like an idiot.
   There's not much more to tell than that. Although we didn't talk, I feel I met him in a sense-I got a clear impression of his mind, and I think he did of mine too. God rest his soul

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