CHICAGO, IL - 3-5 JULY 2015

by Rockin' Randi Starrett

The final Fare The Well show, the last stand of the last original members of The Grateful Dead, is a wrap. Instead of words, I had tears.  Tears of joy, tears of longing, tears of sadness - all commingling into a feeling of melancholy.  But not a lot of words.  So I asked strangers, those walking back from the final show, ones standing at the L, people who came up to grab my Jerry doll (who spent the weekend at the shows too) for one last hug, fans at the Chicago Cubs game on Monday, and my Facebook friends, to give me one word to describe the experience. And here are those single words, though as one fan elaborated after saying "emotional" - the feelings the songs and scenes evoked and the joy of seeing old friends.  So here are those one  word descriptions (and yes, I allowed for made up words and hyphenated words):

Love, more, scrumtrulescent, life-affirming, incredible, uplifting, deadlicious, mmmm, didbobbywearshortshorts, transition, amazing, needed, deadlike, inspiration, happy, golden-road-to-unlimited-devotion, smiles, graceful, community, beautiful, bittersweet, bliss, wow, absolutelygreat, dead, rebirth, emotional, home, inspirationmovemebrightly, breathtaking, fun, grateful, magic, family, f’ingamazing, awesome and amazeballs.  

It truly was a real good time for most who attended and who all seemed grateful for the experience.  In true journalistic integrity, however, I must also mention a few words that were not as positive: typical, yawn, uninspired, time-to-move-on, controversial and a quote from the Billboard article, klunky.   Somehow, those were included as my Facebook stream was hijacked into a debate (seems following direction was a bit of a chore for some, or maybe the thread just got too long.)  It also seemed just using one word was tough, as one attendee stated, and it also seems that the feelings evoked by this monumental event were deep.  The most common word, though, in my totally random survey:  Love.