| 1950 - 1960 | 1960 - 1970 | 1970 - 1980 | 1980 - 1990 | 1990 - 2000 | 2000 - 2010 |

The Life Story of U.S. Hemp




1970 to 1980

Sam's grandmother with Duffy standing on her lap:

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Sam’s first son was named after his grandfather. Duffy was Sam’s pride and joy born on Thanksgiving Day of 1971. This was the year that Richard Nixon declared all out war on the American Hippies. Shortly after Duffy was born in Phoenix, Arizona they left out for Tennessee to show Duffy off to the family in the hills north of Nashville. Duffy is standing on his great grandmother’s lap.

Sam also went to reaffirm relationships with some of the oldest hippie families and communes that were strung out in the hills and crevices of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Brown County, Indiana communes were still a source of underground contact and information between the oldest hippie families and the war resistance movement. These communes across the country were always in close proximity to major universities like Indiana University (an infinite outlet for weed, hash and LSD and a huge source of capitol).

Sam remained in touch with all the original families for as long as he could. The heart and soul of their culture and commitment to each other was decimated with hard drugs and fanaticism as the genocide of the American Hippie raged on.



Columbia, Cannabis, and Cocaine:.

Sam appeared in Medillin, Columbia in about 1973; smoking a joint of “Punta Roja” in a park with a magician named John Jairo. It was one of the most beautiful cities and moments of Sam’s life. He did not know then that he was sitting next to one of his best friends for life and getting ready to begin a true adventure that little kids dream of.

Columbia was a blinding green swirl of exotic vegetation, birds, mountains, rivers and smells. The folks in the countryside were honest, innocent and beautiful and the big cities were dirty and dangerous like they all are.

John Jairo Marin Blando was an Antioquian Indian (a tribe high up on the Amazon River). He lived above the family grocery store in the Manrique District of Medellin. He was a bona fide Brujo. His mother was a witch from birth and in high standing.

Relatives raised John after his mother died in childbirth. He was given his mother’s “black book” when he was a small boy and he was trained within the black art community of Medellin. John spoke to and about his mother as if she was always with him. He studied this ancient looking manual daily and needed peace and quite when he did it.

The magic tricks he performed for the circus in the villages and towns throughout Columbia was controversial in his circle of art. He was highly trained and gifted in his mother’s crafts. Good people loved him and he made bad people feel uncomfortable. Other than that John was magically normal, likeable and honest.

John trained Sam as his magician’s assistant. Every kid in every back road village knew John Jairo Marin Blando and started screaming his name as soon as he showed his face. He would do magic tricks for the young kids and eventually their older sisters would guide John and Sam to their families for introduction. Columbia was proper, simple, and beautiful before the International Drug War exploded.

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John and Sam’s magic act got them through gorilla roadblocks and government checkpoints. But they had their problems too. John Jairo sent Sam a postcard with a cartoon he drew to depict the actual scene of Sam and John getting arrested and robbed by Federal Police in Barranquilla.

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This photo is Sam and John standing on a banana/tug boat they boarded in Turbo, Columbia by the Panama border. The boat was full of bananas and more. Sam had cocaine and red bud in his duffel bag and the stars and Night Sea was beautiful for about 45 minutes before the storm of a lifetime hit them.

The captain ordered the first mate, John and Sam into the hold with the bananas. When they lifted the hatch all they could see was black. When the first mate put a light into the hold the blackness started moving until you could see the bananas beneath the thick swarm of tarantulas. That panic was ended by another crashing wave but none of them were getting in that hold with the tarantulas.

The next crushing wave slammed down on the deck.

They didn't want to go down in a banana boat wreck.
So everyone scrambled for rails and rope.
To get tied down before the next wave broke.

The next morning the sun popped out and the sea transformed itself into glass. They were soaked, bruised and beaten but Sam still had the duffel bag of Cocaine. They turned their boat back into the direction of the Old Spanish city of Cartagena, Columbia. Sam and John did not know that the storm was just beginning.



Ken Hall:

Ken is an incredible artist and he was a dear friend of Sam’s. Ken’s imagination captured the imagination of Sam and his close kept secret smuggling family in Arizona. Sam was able to guard some of Ken’s art through the turbulent and war torn years of his life. Ken created a parallel world that Sam and his smuggler friends lived in. They were all assigned cartoon characters, names and ranks.

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The Water Go Luckys and the misadventures of Commander Borgelnortz are fantastic cartoon adventures that paralleled the dangerous smuggling routes and missions Sam and his friends embarked on in South America.

Ken made small rubber band propelled machines that slowly ran across a giant mountain range of clay and cocaine piled high on a table in Ken’s front room. These moving creatures and machines he invented to go with his wild tales of cosmic glory were: “way out there brother”. His acrylic art is masterful and has deep meaning in Sam’s world. Ken spent a great deal of his life outside the United States where he could earn the respect he deserved as a masterful artist and escape the drug war.

Please look for stories about the Water Go Luckys, Commander Borg’s Misadventures and Ken Hall’s beautiful art and mind in 1973.

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A rare photo of some of the actual Water-Go-Luckys with Ken Hall at the right of the photo. They were hiking in the mountains outside of Crested Butt, Colorado and discussing Columbia in 1973. Sam's son Duffy was getting ready for his first trip to the mansion in Rio Negro.


Mercedes Roadster:

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Sam’s favorite car was his 1955 Mercedes Benz Roadster 190SL.

Like his guitars, Sam talked to that car like it was alive. Sam usually said things like: “Not Now Damn It” or “Cuumm Awwnn Baabby”. It had a mind of its own and it did not always have Sam’s best interest at heart. Sam’s old Benz could fill a novel about its life on the road with Sam. Sam was a comedic straight man for an old broken down sports car that loved smuggling more than Sam did. He sprung his old Benz from the DEA station in Tucson, Arizona and drove it into predicaments to outrageous to fabricate. The eventual fate of Sam’s old roadster will have you laughing and crying at the same time.



1974 Duffy, Shadow and Sam:

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Sam loved his son Duffy and he loved his ranch house in the Superstitions. He loved his wild horse Shadow and he loved his old 1954 Mercury Sun Valley with the Glass Roof. Shadow lost faith in Sam when he started taking opium and cocaine. Animals and kids know when you can't take care of them and they will start trying to take care of you. But they can't. They Mercury was stolen while Sam was in prison. Duffy was waiting for Sam when he got out and that was what made Sam a lucky man. The happiest times of Sam’s life were when he was playing with his kids, riding his horses and tinkering with his old cars in seclusion.



Terminal Island Federal Prison:

DEA---Tucson, Arizona---1975

Sam received a 9-year sentence in federal prison for possession of a gram of cocaine in 1975. He was busted by the Drug Enforcement Agency with his attorney’s wife at a motel in Tucson, Arizona. His attorney had recently cut a deal with the FBI over Vietnam and Sam had just returned from Columbia.

Sam had a beautiful family and a lovely home hidden in the Superstition Mountains. He had just spent the afternoon tuning the carburetors on his old Mercedes roadster. He was setting at the end of King’s Ranch Road and highway 60 with the top down and the motor purring. Sam had a small bag of coke in his shirt pocket and over a Kilo of pure Chinese opium under his seat. He could have taken a right turn to Scottsdale and easily traded his package for cash. Instead he took a “left turn” down the back road to Tucson and met his attorney’s wife on Mount Lemon. Sam’s decision to run his roadster down the back road to Tucson would change his life forever.



The Special Parole:

Sam got a 9-year sentence for possession of less than one gram of cocaine after all was said and done in Tucson. The kilo of Chinese opium was the purest the DEA had ever tested in 1975 and that dope disappeared with the opium charge (That's another story).

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Sam’s attorney told him that he would be out as soon as he saw the parole board in 6 months. Sam pled guilty to cocaine possession and got 4 years in prison and a 5-year special parole. Remember--Sam was busted by the DEA with his attorney’s wife in a motel? Smoke a little more opium Sam, snort another line and try to sort this thing out.

Sam was turned down twice by the parole board and had to serve a full stretch at Terminal Island. You had to wait 18 months to see the parole board and you always got turned down unless you were a rat or knew somebody.

By the time Sam left Federal Prison his exploits at Terminal Island were legendary in his underground world. Sam made deep and powerful relationships at Terminal Island on every side of every Jungle. This is an informative forerunner to Sam’s adventures in Vera Cruz and Oaxaca. Sam’s struggle to stay alive and laugh while he did it will be intriguing.



Sara Jane Moore and the Manson Girls:

“Terminal Island Federal Prison in Long Beach, California was a human Zoo in 1975.”

Sam started a 9-year sentence at Terminal Island Federal Prison (TI) in 1975. The highest profile federal prisoners are still sent to Los Angeles and held there. Sam spent hours watching the way movies were made and professionals like James Garner shot TV shows.

Terminal Island was a parade of the Who’s-Who in the political, entertainment, business and crime worlds. They all got sent to TI and Sam met most of them while he was there. Terminal Island was the public face of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and anything but an ordinary prison.

There were a lot of covert and clandestine operations (gone bad) that got sanitized, buried and hidden from the public (berserk N.S.A. agents etc.). The horrors of the Psych-med experiments were contained there with the ugly story of how Vietnam got started and who started it. Those Psych-med experiments were compounded by the co-gender-correctional experiments that were taking place.

There was a Special Housing Unit there where female and male prisoners were allowed to interact and be studied without their permission or knowledge. This ended abruptly when the girls of the South Yard dosed all the guards with LSD over a sex slave party. Sam's band was ordered to perform at this event.

Sara Jane Moore and Sandra Good and some of the other Mansion girls were being held on the “South Yard” while Sam was there. He knew some brilliant women at Terminal Island but Sara and Sandra were not among them.

Sam ate breakfast with Sara Jane and Sandra every morning. Both these girls were high profile and high risk. He felt sorry for the Manson girls; they were misguided, freaked-out children that had hit the street too hard and collided with the devil.

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Sara was different: she was the frustrated aging woman that wanted her 15 minutes of fame and romance. Eventually Sara started telling Sam about the Ford assassination hoax. Sara was an ID card carrying operative for the government, according to her. She has covered up the truth about that show biz stunt for over 30 years (she is highly dedicated to somebody or something).

Sam got into an argument with Sara about her involvement with a rogue agent in front of Sandra Good at breakfast inside the prison chow hall. Sam never told anyone about Sara because she would have been killed, but he never spoke to her again.

There is a connection between Terminal Island, Charlie Manson (1958), the Manson murders, the Manson girls, Lynnette Fromme’s suspicious attempt on Ford’s life and Sara Jane Moore. There is an explanation and America deserves one.

The Manson girls were pawns in a game, but Sara was a bishop. Sara was released from prison on December 31, 2007. She should be an expert witness on what is wrong with this government and the prison system. I hope the best for her---they kept her way-way too long.

This and many interesting stories about Sam’s famous and infamous friends from Terminal Island will be published in The Life Story of U.S. Hemp.



1938 J-200 Rosewood Gibson:
(Pre-World War II)

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Sam is playing his 1938 Rosewood J-200 Gibson at Terminal Island Federal Prison in 1976. This was one of the finest guitars on the planet earth and Sam loved it like a friend. George Gruen of Gruen Guitars is an old friend of Sam’s and sent this guitar directly to him in prison from his store in Nashville, sight unseen.

When Sam opened the case he was furious with George for sending him a refinished guitar. Sam slammed the case shut and didn't open it for over a month. When he did finally look it over he saw the fine hazing deep into the finish and was amazed by the original mint condition. When he strummed it the fade away brought tears to his eyes. It was exactly what George said it was, as always. It was just too unbelievably beautiful and untouched to be real, but it was. Sam has a lot of great guitar stories about George Gruen (a true vintage guitar expert).

Terminal Island was a showcase for the Bureau of Prisons and they made a lot of exceptions for Sam’s guitars and eccentricities. Sam did shows with a lot of famous people a Terminal Island including Roosevelt Greer and his Playboy Bunny football team in 1977. This story of how Roosevelt Greer tried to get Sam out of prison early to go on tour with his band and dancers will have you rolling.



Sam and Franky Okiyama:

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Sam and Franky Okiyama played in the Prison Band at Terminal Island Federal Prison together in 1976. Franky was an Asian shotcaller from Guam. He was a good bass player and friend of Sam's. The last time Sam heard of Franky he was doing life for the Feds.



Terminal Island 1977 Doc Elbert:

Doc Elbert was a highly talented and dear friend of Sam’s. Doc was a vaudeville performer that had spent a good deal of his life locked up in prison. He had a hard time handling the outside world. Sam spent a lot of time talking to what he called “state raised babies”. Some were incredibly intelligent and creative as a result of their environment and deep-rooted emotional and social issues. Sam empathized and was infatuated with these rare creatures and handled them carefully because they could be quite volatile.

Doc was a wonderful ventriloquist and puppeteer. Sam and Doc did a lot of prison shows together. The inmates and guards made a lot of room for Doc’s idiosyncrasies because he was so beloved when he was sane. He would have these fits of depression and eat objects like transistor radios, forks and anything else he could get down his throat and into his stomach. Doc’s stomach had been cut open so many times that he should have had a zipper installed. The most interesting thing is how open and funny he could be about is own strange afflictions.

Doc would get released from prison periodically because he really wasn’t dangerous to anyone but himself and the only crime he ever committed was to threaten to kill the president. Immediately upon release from prison Doc would go the nearest phone and call the president of the United States and threaten his life. Doc was bipartisan; he would threaten who ever happened to be in office at the time of his release. It was his round trip ticket back to jail and he used it every chance he got. Sam has many happy stories about the amazingly talented Puppeteer that could steal the show and your heart.

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Doc wrote for the Terminal Island Newspaper and these examples of his writing are a secret glimpse into Docs outrageous mind and what was happening on the Campus of the weirdest federal prison in America in 1977 “Terminal Island”.





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