In 1983 I began working in a deli in downtown Denver. One morning while I was running the register and selling coffee and sweets to the early morning customers a new employee walked in and introduced herself. She kind of gave me this weird look and I wasn’t sure why. I was wearing my jean jacket which was of course covered with Grateful Dead patches and a painting I had done of a rose on the back. I could see her thinking “oh God a Deadhead.”
Later that morning we were prepping food for the lunch rush and she said to me, “Well I might as well tell you now because you’re going to find out sooner or later, but my sister Jerilyn was married to Mickey Hart.” Well of course with that I bombarded her with a million questions! Mary and I became fast friends and on Sept. 8th,1983 and June, 12th,1984 she took me back stage at Red Rocks! What a treat! At this time the Grateful Dead had started limiting the number of people hanging out on stage when they played, not like in the early years when there would be twenty or thirty twirlers dancing behind the band. But I was allowed to stand off to the side behind Brent and watch the show. I could see every note he played on his keyboard and every string Jerry and Bobby strummed. Unbelievable! Although I have to say the sound was not as clear as it was out front in the audience.
One year we went back to the hotel and partied with Rock Scully, I won’t tell what we did! Last year when I started writing my book I searched for Mary on Facebook because we had lost touch with each other as the years had passed. I could not find her so I did reach out to her sister Jerilyn and she informed me Mary had died the year before. It saddened my heart for I always remembered her with a smile and a jolly laugh.