We’d be ‘Greatful’ if sign returned to Garcia shrine

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – One of Aspen Mountain’s famed shrines is missing an important piece that added to its mystique, the Facebook page for Aspen Shrines is reporting.

The Jerry Garcia Shrine used to have a street sign that misspelled the name of the legendary guitarist’s band. The sign read, “Greatful Dead Ave.” and was adorned with one of the famed dancing bears that were a symbol of the band.

“Maybe someone removed it because they did not like the misspelling(?),” wrote David Woods, the keeper of the stories at Aspen Shrines.

Who knows – the sign could have had dual attraction to the person or persons who took it. It honors the Grateful Dead but in a sloppy, comical way.

Former Aspen Times reporter Kimberly Nicoletti wrote in a Feb. 18, 2006, article that the site of the Garcia shrine off the top of the FIS chairlift once was a party spot to honor Bob Marley. After Garcia died in 1995, Deadhead memorabilia was added to the Marley site.

“Eventually, Garcia took over Marley. It must have been the roses,” Nicoletti wrote.

Nicoletti and Woods reported that the shrine includes roses and pot-leaf necklaces strung through branches; sketches, paintings and drawings of Garcia tacked onto tree trunks; and a cow skull with a signature red, white and blue Deadhead sticker on its forehead.

Old concert tickets and some other memorabilia are surrendering to the elements, but Garcia and the Grateful Dead are so immensely popular that new stuff is added all the time. A pair of K2 Grateful Dead skis was added to the shrine at some time, according to the article. Woods reported in his book “Sanctuaries in the Snow: The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass” that one ski is attached to a tree. Woods noted the site includes a sticker that says, “hashoil” and a sign that says, “No cell phone allowed.”

Whatever the reason for making off the “Greatful Dead Ave.” sign, it’s regarded in these parts as inviting bad, instant karma to remove anything from a shrine on Aspen Mountain.