Again, I was asked to attend Rolling Thunder Revue. Again I was looking toward my next location and did not want to hold back until this concert came to town. Shortly I left for Florida with mixed feelings. Part of me was in a hurry to get to Florida, another part was mourning the missed opportunity to enjoy my some of my favorite artists. It did not seem many more chances would come by again. After getting to Gainesville, my focus soon became joining with and engaging in the building of Free Spirit Farm, an alternative life style community. It took my mind of anything I may have missed. Now I was visiting with Stacy and Tallulah in Bradenton, Florida. The offer was repeated. These two wonderful women invited John and I to attend Rolling Thunder Revue in Saint Petersburg. I was not going to miss it again and decided to extend my visit until after the show left.
Since we had over a week to wait, it provided time to get acquainted with John. We had just met when he hooked up with Stacy. John was the first individual I knew who was tortured and suffered with alcohol abuse. There were certainly others I may have known but not intimately enough to observe the extent of suffering. John, although only currently using moderately had a history of treatments , hospitalizations and legal problems. He now seemed clear of all that. All of us went out occasionally to find music and dance. This often led us to bars. John would imbibe, but seemed able to hold it. Whatever demons had haunted him in the past seemed under control.
The night of the concert arrived and we were going to a big dance. We all sat together for the first half. I was finally getting to enjoy Rolling Thunder. At intermission, John left us to wander about. For the remainder of the concert he was absent. We were concerned, but figured he was a big boy and could take care of himself. After the concert let out, we still had no John. We returned to our car and waited his arrival. Shortly an plain clothes policeman approached and asked if John was with us. Apparently he had come out to the car during the concert, He raised suspicion of the security guards who checked him out. When it was found that he had outstanding warrants, he was taken to lockup.
We returned home perplexed and alarmed by this turn of events. Stacy posted bail and John returned to our fold. He seemed in good spirits and downplayed the significance of his legal problems. We were still basking in the high created by seeing Bob Dylan and company. What was not too obvious was John was beginning to slightly increase his alcohol consumption. We did not catch on that his attitude was ever so slightly eroding. It was a shock to us all that whatever was eating him up was hidden. On evening John swam out into the Gulf of Mexico and did not return . His body was recovered miles away a few days later. Not understand what had happened to him, Tallulah, Stacy and I swore off alcohol. We did not understand but felt it prudent to not chase the demons that were after John.