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Saturday, August 5

The Musician and the Engineer

The many faces of Jerry Garcia by Heather Mott. The fourth installment of her serial piece. This episode is titled "The Musician and the Engineer"

Remote control cars really got Jerry’s motor running, but to much of everything was not enough for Jerry. Music, drugs, Women and cigarettes if he enjoyed something it was usually done excessively. Maybe it was the addict mentality but I think it was a trait all miraculous artist possess. Soon, he was itching to find another outlet for his new obsession and ransacked the Hobby Shop for yet another project. He was totally engaged in building so he moved on to a bigger challenge by building something small, much smaller in fact. He became interested in Marklin z-scale locomotives and train sets. He embraced train his newest infatuation with glee, not concerned with how high he was or his speed. He practically bought everything  the hobby shot had in stock. Each component was assembled by hand,then painted with dexterity and patience. Before long an entire landscape was formed, another world for Jerry to project himself into and another world to escape his ever annoying reality. It was definitely a labor of love for our virtuoso turned conductor. Once the small parts were assembled, the locomotive was no bigger than the size of the Bic lighter he used to light his joints with, yet they were fully functioning. Lights! Sound! Smoke!  Friends and family delighted in helping make the little towns, houses and countryside through which the trains travelled. Can you picture him sitting there watching them hurtle along through the world he created, singing “I wish I was a headlight on a Northbound train”? No pictures of his sets exist to our knowledge, but it's fun to imagine. Was there an actual Terrapin Station? A sign saying “Caution Don't Stop on the Tracks”? Did the trains in fact only travel North? We’ll never know but for a fan who never got to witness his magic it fun to let my imagination run wild.