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Sunday, August 6

Number Five of Heather Motts serial Deep Sea ofbLove

 Deep Sea of Love by Heather Mott

The many faces of Jerry Garcia by Heather Mott. The fifth installment of her serial piece. 

Is Titled Deep Sea Of Love

Eventually, Jerry Garcia’s persistent health issues killed him briefly and when they revived him, he fell into a diabetic coma in 1986. That always scares every junkie straight for a stretch and he started living life like he should. Since he was unable to fly away, he decided to begin living a healthier lifestyle. This meant cutting back on chain smoking his beloved Camels and working out. He discovered his natural high in the deep sea of love. Billy and him took  to scuba diving like a fish to water and yet another obsession was born. His favorite place to dive was in Kona, Hawaii at a place called Jack’s Dive Locker. He, Billy and other members of the band would take off for a brief trip to recenter themselves. It was a non LSD fueled way to alter their consciousness. Jerry loved getting tangled up in the blue of the ocean, it was the closest he would get to going to space and experiencing zero gravity.  They would dive as much as they could for as long as they could, and Garcia even held numerous records at Jack’s. As the waves were crashing and he dealt by laughing, he completed over 500 dives in seven years, and he once set a record for going 109 minutes on one tank of air. Not too shabby for a man that was dead physically and spiritually in every sense of the word.
“Night diving is especially magical: The freaks come out at night and apparently this was true in the ocean and Colfax. Giant creepers, crabs,  lobsters, eels manta and rays,” tumbling in reverse, backward in loops” Jerry excitedly explained. He even made an undersea friend: there was an eel that lived off the coast of Kona and he would regularly drive out to see his buddy. His friends were amazed that the spirit animal Jerry chose to visit was by reputation a mean, nasty creature. They must have had some sort of understanding because the eel was happy to allow Garcia into it’s territory. Most would have (rightfully  so) been afraid to approach it, yet Jerry identified with its rough exterior.He became passionate in helping to preserve reefs, which was getting destroyed by dive boats dragging their anchors and chains  In the early 90’s, he spoke in front of the Hawaii State Land Use Commission to bring attention to the plight of the underwater world he cherished so much. The Grateful Dead ended up donating $10,000 to help install 46 buoys along the coasts of Hawaii.  To this day, many members of the Dead family, including Billy Kreutzmann, (now a resident of Hawaii) and Bob Weir are still active in helping to maintain the sanctity of the the reefs and waters where Jerry found so much joy and inspiration. Billy and Jerry made a promise that when the long strange trip was over they would move to Hawaii. A week after Jerry’s funeral, Biily kept his part of the deal.