It was 1995 and The Grammy’s were in LA. I lived in New York at that time so I flew in for the awards and managed to get an invite to the Nominee Reception. I remember well I went outside to smoke a cigarette (this is when I smoked) and remember seeing Merl Saunders. As a deadhead and knowing his history with Garcia and JGB, I had to talk to him. We had the best conversation and pretty much chatted outside on that smoking patio at the party! Lots of laughter! We talked about Garcia. We talked about Bill Graham. We talked about music. About girls (maybe that was me)! We stayed in touch for a few years following the awards till my life kinda went in it’s own direction (he kept an open invite to call him anytime he had a gig to visit). Merl was always great and the few times getting together we always had a good laugh or two. I remember once before he soundchecked a show at Wetlands and talking about girls. I think he appreciated my youth (or was hoping I’d bring some ladies to the show). I am sorry that I lost touch as he really was an incredible individual who I’m happy to have had the opportunity to get to know a little. RIP Merl.