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Letter to Salem-News.com Jack Herer: 'My Wonderful Fortune'Laurence Cherniak for Salem-News.com
A letter to Salem-News.com, from a friend of Jack Herer's.
(HANOVER, Ontario) - (Forward: Hemp Icon Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" had a heart attack last weekend at Hempstalk in Portland, Oregon. Jack & his wife Jeannie are friends of Salem-News.com, and we have been covering the event with as much respect as possible over the last few days. Last Friday, a news organization released an article claiming that Jack had died, when in fact he had not. Moreover, the writer was extremely disrespectful toward Jack. We called the hospital and confirmed that the information was false, and quickly published the fact that Jack was very much alive, and remained in critical condition. It is an honor to receive and publish this response from one of Jack's oldest friends. For background, here is Tim King's article on the false media report on Jack Herer: Portland Media Group Releases False Report About Jack Herer's Death - Tim King Salem-News.com)
Dear Tim King,
Many thanks to you and Bonnie King of Salem-News.com for your kind and much valued attention to Jack’s situation.
Thanks also for using the word ‘peeved’ in the beginning of relating to how “Friends of Jack Herer’s were (and rightly so) .... because of the media headline “Portland Media Group Releases False Report About Jack Herer's Death.
Peeved certainly is the right word partly because of the following understandings and forgiveness which now leads to Jack in a slightly more stable condition and is more conducive, over time, to him recovering...and gives us, some, time (as you so kindly mentioned) Tim “to celebrate Jack”, because he is still with us.
As one of Jack’s first and most encouraging source friends, (not only) in the world of Hemp (regardless of anything funny or weird that anyone, or even Jack says, especially to tease me) it behoves me to pay careful attention to the current situation, considering how profound Jack’s and my relationship has always been since I first took care of him back in the early 1970’s, about 40 years of history.
That was, well before, (seems like just last month) I picked him up at the Amsterdam airport, one morning to go touring through Europe, in the late (fabulous weather), summer and early fall of 2006.
The countryside was waiting for us, I told Jack as we drove though small towns and villages, enjoying being alive and together. I made a point of driving, as much as possible, on secondary roads. It was more pleasurable in many ways; or so Jack could get some sleep anytime he liked (as the days went by he had some really good rests).
Anyone who has Jack in their car knows he’s the world’s 2nd biggest back seat driver when it comes to thick traffic, unless Jack is asleep. I am not sure who beats him as the 1st biggest back seat driver, but there must be someone.
Any intense speed driving was out of the question. We had every good reason to take our time (especially because of it being that beautiful time of the year). So, I often drove like a back road country chauffeur, with Jack being my tie-dyed, ribbon wrapped package; it helped him to totally chill. We often easily stopped anywhere we liked for all kinds of fun reasons (more stories those are) :) Almost the only time it made sense to drive on the freeways, was when we decided, we were both up for it, on an overnight jaunt (a few more stories those are) :). We were definitely not like tourists (more stories those are) :)*1. Jack could see how much fun I was having taking care of him, with my linguistics (am always learning more), to speak each language in every country (more stories those are) :) that we went through, on that approximately 5,000 miles tour, with Jack was my co-pilot.
Jack never had to seriously worry about us being stranded etc, even for a second, knowing I could handle any situation and did.
Jack loved it, (he was in heaven) (more stories about that, for sure, there are) :) that, no one could ever mess with us. He watched with eyes of amazement, some of the times that his wishes included my exchanging impressions of life with what was or were not the locals. Jack’s eyes would smile and smile. Sometimes I would have them join me, to take care of him, for having anything he wished or loved, and then present him with it. Indeed there were a few times I also had to graciously dissipate situations (at one border crossing coming to Germany from Switzerland), then not much later (about an hour) that dark night, again a female and male police team, in Germany stopped us. Rarely did he have any concerns to think like at that time when we were alone (that one dark very late at night), since he had a handsome collection of pills to take regularly, due to his previous health (heart attack) encounters (some of which I knew plenty about and had come to his aid several years before, when he was living in Burbank, California). As well there was a little cannabis medicine, (which almost everyone we met, okay it was everyone, kindly donated) all along the way. They loved to impress us with the gifts which they had and shared.
We travelled through the resplendent European/French and Spanish countryside with awesome (late summer and fall) colors topped off with gorgeous sunsets. That tour’s purpose was to take lots of photos (of Jack with me and our mutual friends who virtually always invited other people who often really wished to meet us) (more stories there are) :) for the numerous pages, in the book dedicated to Jack; which is about to be published, in the next few weeks. Jack is an integral part to a grand promotion of this 3rd edition (in English) of my first book, which, as is now mentioned, dedicated to Jack and two other very special people, my son Osiris and Paul McCartney who all share, on the 18th of June, their birthday. JACK and I, for sure, during those three weeks, in Europe were very focused. We were once again discussing our affecting the architecture and engineering in defining a real structure to the word freedom. Another golden brick road resting on a rainbow, for as many people as possible to know that they too can make history in ways that more people should be able to ... that we ALL should be able to (and will) as (and) when we so choose. That is, especially, when contributing to the betterment of humanity now and for future generations. Concepts and theories which will filter on (into the higher times) that society will experience for millenniums to come. That is where we are now, on the threshold of inspiring and encouraging each other more and more, all the time, every second of every day = love).
Conversations like that, often went on for many hours, daily. Jack only sometimes thought I was (well you may know what a tease he can be).
In that book, actually 4 different languages this time, is a dedication to Jack (encompassing more than 32 pages. It will be no surprise when Jack sees it, upon his, soon to be recovery, but he will still be impressed with the art work which he loves. No one has ever done anything visually and textually, with so much cooperation from their community, like this, before and neither have I.
Deepest thanks should be mentioned to Ben Dronkers of Sensi Seeds who initially, was a major part of inspiring this form of a dedication and tour. It’s been a wonderful lesson for me.
In it, a great many of us proudly shout, from the roof-tops, to Jack Herer. Jack is featured (most prominently) like he so easily deserves. It is only one of the many limitless thanks, to come, from each of us for Jack’s loving devotion to our common visions on freedom. Subsequent to that we have to find a way to..., even though I am sure you, Tim, actually, have (indeed) seen this type of mistake made often, maybe not under exactly the same cloak of exploitation and sensationalism but certainly under very similar types of brazen “ignoranus” behaviour. “Ignoranus” is a recently invented word by a Mensa genius. (It is a word basically made up limiting its creator, to only change one letter. as anyone can see it means “someone who is stupid and an asshole (sometimes), = ignoranus.”
I urge everyone who is peeved to consider all this as a mere merde, (side theatre) revery, while Jack is in a very serious condition. I do know that from Jack’s point of view, when he comes into consciousness and learns about it, it will be very humorous to him. Jack will pass it off like he often has with most people no matter how much he might blasphem them one minute, he invariably has leant to forgive them as we all evolve to doing eventually.
I can assure you, that those of us who know Jack, much like those who knew Mark Twain in his time, will laughingly smile with a wry grin, just as I see Jack doing so and loving it.
This will however probably be about Jack the cat’s 6th or 7th life and we all wish and many pray that it is not, indeed, his last.
While I see that the person who wrote the lie about Jack is now known in this forum, it doesn’t really matter who wrote the article because the initial start of the shock did not really get to set in. It did not precede a horrific tsunami. It was only a rumor and never materialized.
In a very short time, it quickly lost its momentum. Thanks to our internet’s technology, that rumor fizzled the raining of tears to fuel any such horrible, disastrous wave that none of us should be awash in, especially if it meant that Jack had been whirl-pooled away, out of sight, from us who love him and care about the pain he’s been in, while sacrificing so much, (of his time, more than anything else), for so many people who truly ‘need’ help and encouragement. I know this (since he and I have discussed these things for hours on end while we travelled so closely together, so often in the past and will again in the future, of this I am sure.
I am dancing to see Jack live and present him with many copies of this new edition of the book that he will be gracing with his special presence and many smiles especially when we are both signing them.
Yes, it is sad, Tim, that there are vindictive people like that but, with the internet helping us all to be able to move into more disclosure and accountability it doesn’t take long (anymore - just like truth easily surfaced quickly about Jack still being here, alive and struggling as he often has before, in our world) to see who the frauds, scam artists, liars, cheats and ignoranus’ are.
Thank you again Tim for being so very sincere in your writings; knowing what it means to be a real journalist especially from the photo and graphic points of view. Thank you for joining us in our support and loving wishes for Jack. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you, very much, for this opportunity to share with you, Bonnie and the rest of the world my wonderful fortune.
*1 Jack, after one of those kinds of occasions, wished to debate that he was :) I reassured him, if he was with me, he wasn’t. (a few times later Jack talked about it again laughingly), but not for the reasons that most people would think, but rather more for what really makes Jack, Jack Herer the Great. And yes (more stories those are) :)
Visionary Peace Activist: Actor/Director/Published Writer/Photo-Journalist/Poet/Painter/Traveller/Linguist/Speaker/Historian. Designed original Canadian Actor’s Equity logo, Best photo tribute to Toronto’s 1992 World Series Champs. His portrait painting “My Honey and Me” launched 1st Annual Toronto Arts Week etc. He is one of the fist Canadians to endorse the 1st World March for Peace and Non-Violence. theworldmarch.org/index.php?secc=adhesiones&acc=veradhid&adh_id=491
Laurence is also well known as the first person in the world to do any close up photography of Hemp's cousin products, namely Hashish and its Cannabis Culture (on an international level). He is very well known to Hashish and Marijuana aficionados all over the world. Before Laurence's 1st trilogy "The Great Books of Hashish" subtitled ("Researching the Pleasures of the High Society") there were no close up photos, anywhere in the world that glorified Hashish. The only photos anyone had ever seen of Hashish before The Great Books of Hashish were the photos seen, in newspapers, when police authorities were arresting the contraband from smugglers and if possible them with it. coffeehouseculture.com/E-zine/Issue%20Two/Pages/02Page05/02Page05MacNS.html
Laurence is also the only person ever to be listed on HighTimes Magazine's Masthead as International Correspondent, a position he also enjoyed with HIGHLIFE magazine, out of Nederland, (home of the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam). One of Laurence's photos graces the cover of the most sold issue of HighTimes magazine. That "best selling" issue also featured in the centerfold (of a three part set of consecutive centerfolds) entitled "Marijuana Around the World) which same photos are also featured in the popular movie series "The Drug Years" No set of books or book has seeded the cannabis culture more than this 1st trilogy. laurencecherniak.com/HIGHTIMES.html/HighTimesMostSoldIssue.html
Notwithstanding the point of view from which anyone approaches this subject Laurence's books are a valuable addition to our library on human behavior. Dr. Richard Evans Schultes, Ph.D., Jeffrey Professor, Director, Botanical Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1983 AD.
Laurence combines scholarly research, anthropological sensitivity, photographic genius, and human insight to remind us that these holy plants come from the earth, are cultivated by people close to the land, and used by those who wish to remain in union with life. These are beatuful affirmative books. "Dr. Timothy Leary. 1982 AD
I first saw Laurence's books in the early '70's. No one, even comes close to Laurence's comprehensive photos and editorials. All these years have passed and Laurence can still be proud of having the finest photographs of cannabis and hashish that I have ever seen. I grew up on his books."
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