In 2000, I became a Wharf Rat and even got a Steal Your Face tattoo with "Whaft Rats" written around the skull to celebrate my "going on" 8 years of sobriety. Whenever I think I might stumble, it is in plain view on my arm to keep me strong and encourage me to keep going. Being able to enjoy the real joy which is the music and my life now which are the most valuable things.
First found the Wharf Rats in 1989. First clean show was Deer Creek July 18, 1990, and I stayed clean for several years. My last Grateful Dead show was 6/23/93.
Unfortunately, I went back out in 1998, and came back in 2003. I was glad to hook up with the Wharf Rats again, and my sponsor is also a Wharf Rat. It is SO WONDERFUL to be able to attend shows like Phil & Friends, Yonder Mountain,etc. clean and not get into all the BS that went along with trying to cop.
Thanks for being there when I needed you. If I can help, let me know.
On the Illinois side of St Louis
This site is so cool! To have a Wharf Rat foru is quite a statement! As you can see, I am so Grateful for my sobriety and the fact that AA & The Wharf Rats have allowed me to continue my life’s, musically based, spiritual journey, that I adopted ‘WR’ into my identity. I often identify myself as a WR in the hope of letting fellow travelers, who may be struggling, know there is a solution, and that they are not alone.
My first sober show was 3/16/90. I had about 65 days. The Music held me up as usual, but My sobriety had to come first. That included devoting time to my 7 year old son. So my next show was not until Orlando, 4/4/94. (had tickets for both nights) That show is where I made my first WR meeting. What an Awesome experience! I’ve been going to them every show since. My son has gone with me too, as a visitor, at the Further Festival shows. (He attended two GD shows with me: Cap. Center 9/6/88 & RFK 7/1389)
I have been privileged to hold WR meetings in my area and even met the founder at a meeting in Charlotte. In the early to mid 90’s, I had a hand in helping start the meeting in the Rose Garden on AOL. Is that still going on? I haven’t been an AOL user for years now. Also I have lost a lot of my vision to a rare eye condition and have trouble with chat rooms. The text moves too fast.
I haven’t been as active in recent years; my vision loss has slowed me down a little. I play bass in a local 60’s cover band, another incredible gift of my sobriety. Another great moment was meeting Phil 4/14/01, at his Florida blood drive. We shared stories of our sons and how playing music together has bridged the ‘Gen. Gap’. That night I had front row seats at the P&F show. What a day! Glad I was sober!
Well I’m rambling! LOL! No need to bore you any longer. Be well! And Thank You!
Almost one year to the day after the last time I saw The Grateful Dead perform at Highgate,'95, i would be "introduced" to AA and eventually The Wharf Rats. What a Godsend.
10+ years now and I've never been more Grateful, though I still sorely miss Jerry....
I'll get down to it and write my story here one of these days so others may possibly benefit, till then, thanks for shaing and keep those yellow balloons(not the nitrous ones), flying for all to see.
"if you get confused..."
I missed the Wharf Rat boat back in the day too. I was too high to notice I had become an addict. I am 9 years clean an sober today. I still love this music.
Hey, now, i know bout you guys but never did participate back in the day. I live now up in the place they use to call The Lost Coast, where they grow the kind - the kind about which I used to be obsessed. Tried MA (Marijuana Anonymous) and have made the AA rounds though not "technically" a drunk.
To close, I'd like to paraphrase Jerry when he stated in an interview that Wharf Rat was the kind of character, as he said that "I'm not, but could be."