Sabbath Day – Dancin’, William & Wrestlin’
Let me consider this sabbath day to have begun last evening. I went Dancin’ at Garcia’s to well past The Midnight Hour.
Garcia’s is the new performance space at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester. The Cap was one of Jerry Garcia’s favorite place to play music, and the Grateful Dead performed some memorable music there. “Bertha” was heard for the first time at the Capitol, as well as the first ever “Playin,” “Greatest Story,” “Loser,” and Wharf Rat.” Can you imagine hearing “Playin in the Band” for the first time?
Stella Blues Band is our premier Dead cover band, and readers of this blog know I have been following them for a couple of years. They currently have a month long residency at Garcia’s. Last Wednesday, Stella Blues played the inaugural show in the new space, and did so by covering the famous Englishtown ’77 show. How appropriate! This week they played tunes from the eleven shows the Dead did at the Cap in 70-71. Next week they will play their first ever acoustic show, and the following week will offer an “audience choice” performance. If you haven’t already, check ’em out on facebook, youtube, etc.
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Last Thursday I wrote about my search for my great great grandfather, William David Geary. Ancestry.com has helped me document his residence in Union County and Fair Oaks, Indiana, as well as observe his growing family through census records. But I was able to learn little more.
Today a very helpful woman in the Jasper County Public Library, Indiana, helped me hunt down two obituaries for William. Totally frustrating. I mean, I know it was a small town and everyone knew everyone, but who writes a sentence like “He is survived by his widow” ? I know who she was, but would everyone else reading this? “He is survived by five children, Clarence…Mrs. Floyd McColly, Daisy, Pansy, and one other son.” Really? Did everyone know that Mrs. Floyd McColly was Beulah? Could they not remember the name of the other son? Was this Augustus or was this Ray, Sarah’s son? And since it is likely Augustus, why not mention Ray, who was raised by William since he was less than two years old?
The Rensselaer Republican can claim he was a prominent member of the community and in the next sentence say “his life history is not available at this time.” Well, that history is what I’m looking for! That he was “prominent” at least holds out hope that there will an newspaper article or something surviving.
[Anyone out there hold a subscription to a newspaper archive who could do a search for William David Geary or W. D. Geary, as his obituary called him?]
I am fighting a cold. I took a long nap this morning and then spent the afternoon reading What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This is the fourth volume of the Oxford History of the United States. Other scholars have called this period that of Jacksonian Democracy or “the market revolution.” Howe prefers to see it as a “communications revolution.” At the beginning of the period nothing moved faster than horse. By the end, the rail road, telegraphs, the Erie Canal, steamboats, and much more had transformed the country, its public and its politics. And of course, the ever present evil of slavery.
August and I had burgers and dogs for dinner, watched the end of the Mets-Cardinals game, applied temporary tattoos of sharks to our bodies, and then wrestled as shape-shifting super-heroes (and villains): We could turn into any of the sharks we were wearing simply by touching their tattoo. Amazing how much physical exercise this kid needs.