OXFORD, Maine — Adam Browning celebrated his birthday and a homecoming of sorts at the Nateva Music and Camping Festival on Saturday.

Browning, of Muncie, N.Y., turned 22 down the street from where he was born.

As the Grateful Dead were about to end their last set at the Oxford Plains Speedway in 1988, Diane Shatz gave birth to Adam at 11:59 p.m.

"It must’ve been ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ that did it," his father Phil Browning told the Advertiser Democrat of Norway, Maine, referring to the last two songs of the night that were playing as Adam was born.

"He decided he wanted to hear the music," Shatz said in the 1988 article.

On Friday near the entrance to the festival on the Oxford County Fairgrounds, Browning, wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, was carrying two 20 pound bags of ice from a nearby supermarket.

"Its almost a religious experience, it’s the first time I’ve been here since 1988 and I definitely don’t remember that," Browning said.

His father bought him the ticket and he is attending the festival with his girlfriend and several friends.

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, former members of the Grateful Dead, are scheduled to headline the festival’s line up on Sunday with their band Further. The Grateful Dead, and its various post-Jerry Garcia incarnations, have not played in Oxford since 1988.

"I’ve seen Further a couple times and they’ve been amazing so I hope they put on as good of a show if not better," Browning said.

Adam said he is still in contact with Edna Olmstead, an Oxford woman that delivered him. On Saturday the two reunited around noon.

"I haven’t seen him since that day 22 years ago," Olmstead said in a telephone interview as she was about to leave to pick up Browning and his girlfriend.

"They want to get away from that scene and refresh themselves for a bit," she said

While 22 years have passed since Browning was born at the concert and any members of the Grateful Dead have performed here, Browning said that he doesn’t think the scene is all that much different from what his parents experienced.

"Everybody’s peaceful here, everybody gets along. I don’t think its changed nearly as much as anyone thinks it has," he said.

About The Author

John Forrester is a Blast Magazine staff writer

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