The meaning behind being given the key to a city has changed time and time again since it’s origins in medieval times. Back then, it granted peasants a freedom from serfdom; now it’s a symbol of thanks to any person, native or alien, who has had an positive impact on a community. Looking back on what Mr. Lesh has done for Port Chester, it’s a mystery why he wasn’t given this earlier.
He has made over 70 appearances at the Capitol Theatre alone and was widely recognized for his streak of 17 shows within 11 months between 1970-71. One of the Grateful Dead’s most highly praised live albums was recorded during this time at The Cap in February of 1970. Three From the Vault is considered to be one of the most desirable and included the first live performances of the songs “Bird Song” and “Deal.”
Lesh also is a strong advocate organ donation awareness, another reason why he was given this prestigious honor. He had a close call with Hepatitis C and was fortune enough to be given a liver by a random donor he only knew by the name of Cody. Due to this traumatic experience, Lesh, is always saying to his fans, “Save the life of someone you’ll never meet.” Lesh is a truly selfless person and is undoubtedly deserving of the key to the “Village of Port Chester.”