I was on a remote road in California.
This was not a road that went from town to town. This was a mountain road with forest all around it. This road went past a couple of isolated campgrounds. This road went past a couple of hiking areas. In other words, this was the type of road one would only be on if one were going to a specific, out-of-the-way place. This was not a highly trafficked road.
I was looking for a waterfall. I never found it. The map I had made me think I’d see the waterfall from the road, but I never did. Upon looking at a more detailed map later, I realized there was a short hike to the waterfall. Apparently, there’s no sign announcing the existence of the waterfall or giving a trail number. Apparently, folks who want to see the waterfall need to already know where it’s located.
I drove up the road, well past where the waterfall was supposed to be. When I didn’t see the waterfall (and assumed it had dried up in the California drought), I drove back down the road.
There weren’t many signs on this road. The mile markers on the side were mostly blank. Had there never been numbers on them, or had they worn off? I had no way of knowing.
As I zoomed past one of the mileposts, my brain registered….What? Was that a Stealie? On a milepost in the middle of nowhere? How? Why? Had I really seen a Stealie? Or had it been some other red, white, and blue design, and my brain had filled in what I wanted to see?
I pulled over into the next wide space on the side of the road. My camera was already in my pocket, as I’d planned to take photos of the waterfall. I walked on the narrow shoulder, back to the the mile marker sign. (There was no traffic. I was in no danger.)
I really had seen Stealies! On the milepost, someone (who? when? why?) had stuck four Steal Your Face stickers. Deadheads had been here!
It’s so nice when the Universe tells me I am not alone.
Designed in 1969, the logo was the collaborative work of Owsley Stanley and artist Bob Thomas. Owsley was inspired by a freeway sign he happened to pass by—a round shape divided by a bold white line into an orange half and a blue half. The general shape and colors stood out, and Owsley had the notion that a blue and red design with a lightning bolt with make a cool logo. He shared his idea with Bob Thomas, who then drew up plans of the design.
Originally, there was no skull face—the logo was simply a circle divided with the lightning bolt. The skull face was added on a few days later, as a way to symbolize the “Grateful Dead.”
The band first used the logo as an identifying mark on their musical equipment, and later the symbol appeared on the inside album jacket of the self-titled album The Grateful Dead. The logo later appeared on the cover of the album Steal your Face, and has been known as the Steal your Face symbol ever since.
I took the photos in this post.