In a stream of consciousness writing exercise, you are not allowed to look up any information, it is supposed to be your thoughts as they flow out of you, but the only thing that I had that fit this prompt was pigsty, and since I have never been to a place where pigs are kept, I wanted to make this a tribute to Pigpen.  I apologize in advance for my writing not being a real stream of consciousness today, but even though I knew this story, I made a conscious decision to cheat with this post and look some stuff up, only to make it a more fitting tribute.

Ron McKernan was given the affectionate nickname of Pigpen because of his unwashed demeanor, his funky hygiene habits, but most people say that his grubbiness was charming.  Ron was gifted his nickname from a girlfriend who thought that he was similar to the unkempt Charles Schultz character Pig-Pen in Peanuts, who was always drawn surrounded by a permanent cloud of dust.  Ron McKernan embraced his bodily funkiness, along with his disheveled look and unorthodox approach to life and sanitation and this became his trademark.  His greasy black hair covered up his acne scarred face, and he often wore a leather vest over a dirty tee shirt, accompanied with unwashed dungarees.  Pigpen looked like a Hells Angel, and they even made him an honorary member.  Ron McKernan’s outwardly appearance may have been seen as being menacing and this might have put off some people, as he looked hard on the outside, but underneath his gruff biker exterior, he was a kind, soft man that had a heart of gold.

Pigpen grew up listening to the blues and his father was a boogie-woogie pianist and R&B DJ on Berkeley radio in the early ‘50s, known as “Cool Breeze”.  He had a fantastic collection, so Garcia would go over to Pigpen’s room, to listen to records and he said that it was like going to a ghetto, because Ron was always leaving empty beer cans and whiskey bottles all over the place.  They would sit in his room for countless hours and stuff was thrown around everywhere.  Pigpen had a habit of just wearing a shirt and his underpants and he always had a bottle of wine under his bed.  His mom would come in about every five hours to see if he was still alive and Jerry thought that was hilarious.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where this week’s prompt is to find a word that ends in “-sty”.

5 thoughts on “Pigsty

  1. My favorite Dead member. I wonder how they would evolved if he would have lived? Since he couldn’t handle some of the piano parts of some songs…I have to wonder if he would have been partnered up with someone or would have been part time?

    Liked by 1 person

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