Happy Birthday, Jerry!

It's Jerry Garcia's 69th birthday, a number which doesn't mean nearly as much to me as it once might have done. I mean, I don't know if most 69-year-olds celebrate the occasion with a stab at the old switcheroo. But then again, I live alone. What do I know? Jerry probably would have given it a shot.

Garcia was (and still is, as far as I'm concerned) about six months older than me. The only older man in my life, I used to say. I used to look much younger than my real age. My daughter would tell me, "You don't look a day older than ... . A few minutes maybe, but not a whole day." I was one of those fools who always wanted to look older than I did, because, god help me, I wanted to be taken seriously. Big mistake. However, I did make a habit of adding on that extra six months after Jerry's birthday.

We're the same age, I would tell people. When he died, I got pissed. For many good reasons. One of them being that, from my next birthday on, he would always be younger than me.

Happy 69th, Jerry!