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I n t e r m e z z o / I n t r a t a
May 5th, 2008


"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." Using this advice from his posthumous novel A Moveable Feast, Hemingway re-invented writing from its Victorian cobwebs. Well, Papa, here goes nothing.

From the ‘We Wouldn’t Even Be Here Right Now’ Department, at age 102, the High Priest of the revolution has taken his proper place in the pantheon of heroes along with departed warriors Garcia, Kesey and McKenna on the psychedelic Mt. Rushmore. Allow me to tear a page from the 'Clown' Prince of the Counter-culture, Wavy Gravy, and offer a haiku in honor of Dr. Albert Hoffman’s passing:

To Loftiest heights

Like a scene out of E.T.

The Bicycle Ride

I heard a radio interview with one of Ernest Hemingway’s best friends, AE Hotchner, and he shed light on why the Old Man took his life by shotgun in 1961. After a botched initial round of electroshock treatments, his cognitive powers tainted, he attempted unsuccessfully to walk into the propellers of a plane waiting to take him back to the clinic to finish the job.

Mending his bones after a subsequent plane crash in Africa, Hemingway received a visit from his old pal Hotchner. He had written all of A Moveable Feast, save for the last sentence, and he’d sat in that hospital bed for four straight days trying to write it. When he couldn’t write that last sentence, he returned to his home in Idaho and wrote the final sentence on his life.

I saw Jane Goodall speak the other night at a university, and she explained how a little girl could end up living with the chimpanzees in Africa by recounting the fable of the birds having a contest to see who can fly the highest. The Mighty Eagle is certain he will triumph, and he soars to highest heights. But, when the eagle is at its limit, the little wren, nested beneath one of the eagle’s feathers, flies even higher and wins the contest.

In a few weeks, we will be writing the final sentence on the Warfield theatre. This place of concrete and steel housed some of the defining moments of one Jerome John Garcia, his band, and extended-extended family. I, for one, feel like that little wren tucked under the feathers of mighty birds like Garcia, McKenna, Kesey, and Hoffman, and others, soaring to highest heights. Wings a mile long carried the bird away.

To all those musicians and artists and the ones keeping our community alive by putting on shows and creating new Venues on into the future, I leave you with Mickey’s blessing from the Jerry Memorial in Golden Gate Park: "...you were the fuel that drove the bus...If the Grateful Dead did anything, we gave you the power. You have the groove, you have the feeling. . . You take it home and do something with it. We didn't do this for nothing."

VERY Respectfully,
Rolling Rider


read the 2.4.08 GD ObamaHead Rider

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