A Grateful Dead Traveler

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Sean, 1977-

“I don’t understand going to work every day and working for somebody else, working for a paycheck. Then that is what your life becomes, that’s why your heart is beating. So many people are unhappy because of it, because that’s not what they really want. ”

I have been traveling for the past 21 years. One of my best childhood memories is traveling with my family. We didn’t have much money, but my father saved up for a trip every year. One year, he wanted to do a whole lap around the United States, a month long vacation. I must have been 12 or 13 years old, maybe a little younger; it had a huge influence on me. I still remember going down to Florida, in a little Chevrolet. A tiny, tiny car, and there were the five of us, crammed in like sardines, forcing us to get along. I loved seeing how different America is, seeing how different each state is, the cultures around the country. The U.S. is really a melted mixed pot of so much, and everywhere you go is different. Even just crossing a little border from Vermont to NY State.

After I started traveling by myself, I saw Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, and discovered a whole other culture that is outside the box. They are a band from the 60’s, psychedelic rock, the original jam band, with lots of folk influences. But it is a whole subculture beyond the music, bringing us all together. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, or a homeless guy, he smiles. Since Jerry’s passing, it is no longer the Grateful Dead, but sub-bands that broke off. Right now, Dead and Company are touring back east. They start in Tennessee, where I am heading next. That’s what I love most, being inside a concert, inside live music that I enjoy.

When there are no concerts, I’m traveling anywhere. I don’t stay much longer than a month or so. Because of this lifestyle, I can’t have a place. I won’t pay rent here, when I want to be there. I never had a job in my life. I’m a glass blower artist, I work for myself, I guess. I spin glass, I blow glass, I make functional glass, as well as artistic pieces. I don’t understand going to work every day and working for somebody else, working for a paycheck. Then that is what your life becomes, that’s why your heart is beating. So many people are unhappy because of it, because that’s not what they really want. I see that and I don’t understand it, that’s why I’m off and about doing my thing.

I’m 38 and feel I’ve already achieved everything that I wanted. I am a rambling man, I gotta’ keep moving. If I had to give a title to my life story it would be The Wondering Ways of a Wandering Man.



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