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Friday, August 4

The many faces of Jerry Garcia by Heather Mott. The fourth installment of a serial piece. This episode is titled " Where does he get all those Wonderful

The many faces of Jerry Garcia by Heather Mott. The fourth installment of a serial piece. This episode is titled " Where does he get all those  Wonderful 


We definitely know Jerry Garcia as an accomplished musician and artist, but he was also an avid hobbyist. He had a childlike quality to him that made these projects so appealing. He loved to understand how things worked, and to watch something he built with his own two hands leap to life.
During the recovery phase of his diabetic coma in 1986, he began building remote control cars. Always the night owl, he was watching TV very early one morning and saw a commercial for a nearby Hobby Shop. The advertisement bragged ability a build it yourself remote control car kit and Garcia became as giddy as a third grader. He stayed awake until the story opened the next day and he dispatched someone double time to purchase the kit. There was a frantic shuffle to determine which shop he had seen the ad for and exactly which car was advertised as he wanted the the exact model he had seen at two in the morning.After some frantic phone calls by a nervous intern and a trip down the road to the precise store.  The remote control car he coveted was bought for around $300( this was the eighties that equivalent to 1 Billion dollars today) Garcia immediately ripped the box open like a child on Christmas morning and with a sense of urgency akin to an ambulance driver begun assembling the pieces. At this point in his recovery he was pretty much a homebody but he took great pleasure in taking his newest toys outside and racing them up and down the road, laughing like he had don't done in years. This picture is an amazing glimpse into Jerry’s home life and a Polaroid to boot! (Because Polaroid camera were the cool new thing and Jerry settled for nothing less than the best.) He was working on a controller for one of his machines. You can see his work area is cluttered with odds and ends from his numerous unfinished projects, and in the background a very familiar work in progress is marinating on his easel.
It’s fascinating to realize that this man took so much satisfaction in working with his hands. It’s possible the intricate pieces and parts were reminiscent of using his fingers to produce the immensely complex patterns he performed onstage. Once again he was able to use his nimble digits to make a different kind of tone: the high pitched whine of a remote control car, maniacally hurtling up the road and around corners!
Remote control cars weren’t the only things he enjoyed constructing and another one of his many hobbies. We will cover his obsession with train sets. Don’t miss tomorrow or any day this week as we celebrate The Days Between with exclusive content and daily shows!
(Picture Courtesy of N. Murray)