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Miracle Mama tours with Dead and Company band

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Courtesy of Karen Graycheck
Special Education Teaching Assistant Karen Graycheck poses with her Deadhead apparael and light-up shoes. Graycheck has been following “Dead and Company” for more than 35 years and has attended more than 100 shows. “I love the band so much because it’s my happy place,” Graycheck said. “The lyrics in the music are all about happy thoughts; it’s a whole different culture.”

Waving her hands in the air like she just don’t care, Special Education Teaching Assistant Karen Graycheck dances to the rhythm of her favorite band, “Dead and Company.”

Working an additional 20 hours a week at Applebee’s, Graycheck saves her money to tour with Dead and Company.

“I honestly love working at Applebee’s because I love waitressing and being around people,” Graycheck said. “My coworkers like to tease me because I work there for tour money, but I’m proud of it.”

Traveling can be expensive, but Graycheck has found ways to cut costs.

“I’ve learned that the biggest costs are hotels and food, so I usually don’t stay in hotels. Instead, I bring a tent and sleeping bag so I can sleep wherever I need to,  but if I’m staying on the East Coast then I stay in a hostel. Sometimes I even meet people along the way and stay with them,” Graycheck said. “I also don’t eat much on tour. I usually survive off of ramen noodles and military meals.”

Graycheck likes to help out fellow fans while traveling as she has found many Deadheads also do not have a lot of money.

“Outside of the concerts people will hold up their finger, which means they need a miracle. This means they need a ticket for the concert,” Graycheck said. “Someone had given me a ticket in the past and I wanted to return the favor. I started giving away tickets at a few shows and it gave me such a positive feeling that I decided to start doing it at every single show. That’s why my nickname is Miracle Mama.”

Traveling through 15 states and having gone to more than 100 concerts, Graycheck’s favorite concert was in Monterey, Calif.

“It was at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, which is where Jimi Hendrix played and burned his guitar. I felt that electricity standing there,” Graycheck said. “It felt like deja vu. I had a feeling I had been there before in another time or place. It really was like heaven on Earth.”

Graycheck plans to travel with them for as long as she can; she has been following “Dead and Company” for 35 years.

“I love the band so much because it’s my happy place,” Graycheck said. “The lyrics in the music are all about happy thoughts; it’s a whole different culture.”

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Miracle Mama tours with Dead and Company band”

  1. Mountain Man on February 6th, 2019 1:47 pm

    That’s what it’s all about! Living your dreams & being a part of something bigger than ‘ Ordinary life’. The Grateful Dead now The Dead & Company are a truely amazing musical / spiritual experience. Right on Karen Grayheck a.k.a Miracle Mama.

  2. Jake, Zach and co. on February 7th, 2019 10:40 am

    Yasss queen. You are powerful. Work it. We are so proud of you, Mrs “Graycheck.” You follow your dreams and have made such an impact to children all over the world. You can do anything you put your mind too Mama. ┬┴┬┴┤( ͡° ͜ʖ├┬┴┬┴ <- That is when people creep up to ask for a ticket. You empower millions of deadheads.

    From, Your favorite students Bonita and Reginald (Jake and Zach)

  3. Jason on February 7th, 2019 10:41 am

    Turn on your love light, let it shine on me!

  4. Jason on February 7th, 2019 12:11 pm

    Karen Graycheck sounds like one dedicated worker and fan. I know the article says she is called Miracle Mama because she hands out free tickets at the shows she goes to, which BTW is not cheap these days, but I think the fact that she works an add’l 20 hours every week to save up money to see the music she loves after teaching special ed all week is a miracle as well! My wife is a first-grade teacher and she is done by the end of the day. Those kids run her ragged. So I applaud Karen for both the work she does with her students and for her overall dedication to what she loves.

  5. dave w staggs on February 9th, 2019 11:48 am

    there are no kinder souls then those that chase their dreams, yet find time to help others, and karen is one of those 🙂

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