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JERRY GARCIA'S DAUGHTERS RECALL LIFE WITH FATHER.

Byline: Donna Horowitz San Francisco Examiner

It's not what you'd call typical fatherly advice.

``You kids should do drugs,'' Jerry Garcia used to tell his sensible daughters.

``It was sort of a running family joke,'' said Annabelle Garcia-McLean, 26, one of four daughters of the late unofficial leader of the Grateful Dead. She said her mother would also say: ``Why can't you kids be more like us?''

``We'd tell her, `Mom, no, we don't want to. We learned from you guys.'''

Now, years later, two of the daughters are spending hours at the side of their mother, Carolyn ``Mountain Girl'' Adams Garcia, as she dukes it out with Garcia's third wife for a share of his estate in Marin County, Calif., court.

Outside the courtroom, the Garcia daughters are living far different lives from their famous dad. They say they saw the damage done by celebrity and drugs, and are not about to embark on the same lifestyle.

``We saw a lot of older folks we know burn out when we were still so young,'' said Garcia-McLean, an artist whose drawings have been made into lithographs, and who bears a remarkable resemblance to her legendary dad. ``When we'd go to the shows, we'd see young fans - 15 or 16 years old - taking way too many drugs, really being zombied. It really drove it home. You don't want to do that to yourself.''

The guitarist fathered four daughters: Heather Garcia, the oldest, with first wife, Sarah; Garcia-McLean and her sister, Theresa Garcia, with second wife, Carolyn Adams Garcia; and Keelin, 9, with Manasha Matheson, who was not married to Jerry Garcia. In addition, Garcia had a paternal relationship with Sunshine Kesey, daughter of novelist Ken Kesey and Carolyn Adams Garcia.

Garcia-McLean recalled times talking to her father on the phone when heroin would cause him to nod off in mid-conversation. She'd patiently wait on the line for him to wake up - usually minutes later - and resume their conversation.

She confronted him about his drug use. ``I'd say, `Dad, what's the story? Why do you feel like life has so little to offer that you have to do this?'''

Once he ``gave me a look over the top of his glasses, and said, `I can't go outside. I'm recognized now.'''

Garcia-McLean believes that besides the pressures of celebrity, Garcia, who died of a heart attack at a drug rehabilitation center in 1995, turned to drugs to combat the boredom of life on the road touring with the Dead.

``He was always touring,'' she said. ``There was nothing entertaining to do. He'd spend a lot of time sitting in his hotel room.''

She said she thinks her father had three wives and many girlfriends because ``he was always looking for the one to make it right. The next thing he knew they were trying to get bucks out of him.''

Garcia-McLean loved her father desperately, though, and one of her strongest desires was that he spend more time with her.

``A little girl has nothing but admiration and love for her father,'' said Garcia-McLean, who shocked people when she said at Garcia's funeral that he was a ``sh---y father.''

``But I loved him dearly,'' she said. ``He was my best friend and companion.''

She said Garcia wasn't one to give her advice like a typical father until the last few years of his life.

``Every time he'd give a lecture he'd remember who was talking,'' she recalled. ``It would always end up with him saying, `Well, what do I know?''' So ``there were no lectures, no advice on teeth brushing,'' she said. ``It was only when I turned 20 that he turned daddy-like and gave me a lecture.''

Perhaps the most memorable of Garcia's few bits of advice was offered one weekend in 1995 when she brought her then-fiance, Scott McLean (now husband), to her dad's home.

She recalled her father said of Scott: ``He's a good choice, kid. He looks like a human.''

Sunshine Kesey, daughter of Mountain Girl and Ken Kesey, also recalls Garcia as an extremely laid-back father figure during the years she and her mother lived with him.

``I'm the illegitimate love child,'' Sunshine Kesey said with a wry smile. Kesey appears as a baby in Tom Wolfe's book ``Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'' about Ken Kesey's troupe of Merry Pranksters as they traveled across the country. Jerry Garcia's band the Warlocks (soon to be the Grateful Dead) provided the music for Kesey's ``Acid Tests'' - concerts where LSD was dispensed in large garbage cans filled with acid-laced Kool-Aid.

``Jerry basically was my dad until I was 6,'' she said. ``He was my mom's mate.'' She found that life with America's most famous hippie wasn't always easy.

``He never lectured,'' said Kesey, a 30-year-old apprentice glassblower who lives in Port Orford, Ore. ``That was a wonderful thing about Jerry. It was also terrible. He never projected any judgment on others. He believed everyone had a right to personal freedom. He said, `Do what you want.'''

The lack of structure was often unnerving for the girls.

Garcia-McLean's younger sister, Theresa, 22, said she had dreamed of being an office worker. Rejecting her parents' ways, she fell in love with hip hop and rap music.

``I still love hip hop a lot and still feel it was kind of rebelling against the hippie scene,'' said Theresa Garcia, a junior majoring in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.

But she, too, loved her father dearly.

`He was this kind-hearted, loving, clever man,'' she said.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.
thankyou
thankyou (Member): Jerry Garcia's marriage witth Mansha Garcia 9/9/2013 11:59 PM


Actually,in 1990, Jerry Garcia and Manasha married in a private spiritual ceremony in their California home. I was present.


#ttl=Jerry Garcia's Marriage witth Mansha Garcia&comm=In 1990, Jerry Garcia married Manasha in a private spiritual ceremony in their California home. I was present at the marriage ceremony.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 29, 1996
Words:921
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