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

The Life Story of U.S. Hemp

1980 to 1990

Stan the Man:

By the time Sam was released from Terminal Island Federal Prison hippie was out and gangster was in. Hollywood had gone gangster goofy and everybody was pretending to be a Super Fly. Sam’s old buddy Mike Gizmo from the Blue Goat in Scottsdale asked for help putting a nightclub together called Gizmos in Phoenix. It was an old tough lesbian bar from the 1950’s. They gathered a crew of the coolest of the cool to put up the cash to change the atmosphere, stock the bar, hire a band and polish the dance floor. An aging lesbian polished the dance floor with Gizmo one night for screwing up her favorite hangout.

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Sam played in a band with Stanley D. called the nasty brothers. This was about funk and rhythm and blues in its truest sense. Stan, Sam and the Phoenix players fell into a natural groove that was unique. Stan's family was the first black family in the Arizona Territory. Stan was tough, talented and loveable. Stan was "Southwestern Rhythm and Blues and unique as a voice musician gets. Cocaine eventually ruined the party in the Southwest but it's hard to imagine what the party would have been like without it. In any case Stan the Man survived it and has kept Phoenix on the Music Map because he plays the tough tunes with the best players.

Sam grabbed the smoothest looking and best players he knew for his house band (Stan Devereaux and Sam had played a lot of gigs together before Sam went to prison. This combination attracted a rehearsal crowd that looked like a Playboy parade. Ed and Frank Mel (artists famous and fantastic) were close friends and understood gangster atmosphere and space. The place quickly became packed with a line outside the door.

The old gangster formula is: the band brings the girls, the girls bring the guys, the guys bring the money and then you sell the bar to one of them before the joint gets raided. When the gangsters go: the band goes and when the band goes the girls go. When the girls go the guys go and the money is gone. Old wisdom says: sell it when they’re 3 deep at the bar. That is a hard thing to do because the cash is pouring in. But that’s also when the pissed off husbands and wives, dirty cops, bullies and wanna-bees find out where the place is.

Gangsters, the jazz and the girls fade away
Into the jungle to hide through the day
They bloom at night to party again
And search for the trail they found the Jazz in

Sam’s stories about the old gangster bars, cockfights and whorehouses are a glimpse into an ancient street philosophy of entertainment and pleasure that goes back to the Gypsies (Egyptians).

Catemaco 1981:

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Sam and Kris were riding a train out of Veracruz for the Tijuana border. Sam had been in the jungle too long this time. The farmers and villagers in the Veracruz/Oxaca border region were fascinating. Sam was highly connected and involved locally because of the reputation he had earned at Terminal Island with the old Mexican families. Sam had gone native and Kris came to guide him home again. Sam and Kris were enjoying a quite moment before the floor of this train cabin caught fire underneath Sam's feet.

His inconspicuous exit from Veracruz got a little hot. His adventures in the Veracruz mountains were packed with hard core action.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico 1984:

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Ciudad Juarez, Mexico is the sprawling city that adjoins El Paso, Texas across the Rio Grande River. These cities are an ancient geological passage of humanity.

The smuggler lingo for this area is “The Pass”. Many high level meetings and bloody power shifts occurred here as a result of the drug war. Sam spent a lot of time in the pass and dealing with conflict resolution. Sam loved peace and had a way of getting folks to un-cock their weapons long enough to make some money. He had friends in very high places and a key to the city. It was deadly in the Pass but like all “No-Man’s-Lands” everyone lived, laughed and loved like there was no tomorrow and for many there wasn’t.

1984 kaia:

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Kaia was Sam’s first daughter and daddy’s girl. This photo captured a beautiful moment between two ships emotionally rigged for heavy weather in a temporarily calm sea.

Chili's Lounge 1985:

Sam built a restaurant named Chili's outside of Indianapolis, Indiana in 1985. He decorated the old red brick walls of his converted "turn of the century" pharmacy with wreaths and strands of red chili peppers tied in beautiful Christmas bows. It was a beautiful floral contrast against the old brick walls. The grand opening of Chili's Restaurant was picture perfect and no expense was spared.

When the chilies turn red in The Pass this marks the beginning of the beautiful Christmas weeds that start pouring in from all the remote parts of Mexico. The chili fields of Anthony, New Mexico are a brilliant red and green. Sam knew that you don't get any kind of pepper around a hunting dog and their seemed to be a lot of dogs on the road between El Paso and Indianapolis. Sam's Red Chili Christmas was a well executed plan that will keep you leaning forward.

1964 Corvette Stingray:

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Sam’s 1964 Corvette Stingray was the real thing. It had a 327 cubic inch 375 horse custom built motor. Paul Romine of Indianapolis racing fame built the motor. Sam’s corvette had a racing pedigree and volumes of criminal history. Sam left the original radio in it to get the full effect of the Oldie Goldie cruise stations. Paul Romine was a famous in the racing world but Sam knew that he was an excellent bass player in his earlier days.

Cockfighting 1986:

Sam was deeply involved in the many varied cultures of Mexico. He had a ranch in the mountains of Jalisco and raised some of he finest battle cocks in Mexico. Sam had grown up on a farm in Tennessee and old style gentleman cockfighting was part of that culture as it is in every rural agricultural area on earth. Sam went to Mexico with the best birds Tennessee had to offer and he earned a reputation as a world-class cockfighter. He fought cocks from the major Pelanques of the big Mexican cities to the fairs and festivals of the small villages. Sam's reputation as a cockfighter allowed him to come and go as he pleased into the most restricted and guarded regions of Mexico. Sam will be posting actual footage of some of the cockfights of Southern Mexico with the music and festivities that surround these colorful events. Additionally, Sam will explain the ancient culture and art of cockfighting from a different view. It is interesting to hear Sam explain a seemingly vicious blood sport like cockfighting. Sam loves all animals, all people and all cultures. His take on the ancient art and necessity of cockfighting is worth listening to. This one takes an open mind and a compassionate heart to understand.

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The poster of one of Sam's Cockfights in Manzanillo has very famous Mexican entertainers on the bill with Sam's Chickens. The most famous movie stars and singers come to the cockfighting arenas and perform as a halftime act between the main fighting events.

Not only did Sam have friends in the military and police forces he had friends that were as famous in Mexico as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe are in the United States. Sam danced with Sasha Montenegro the actress and drank Tequila and sang with Vicente Fernadez, El Numero Uno. Vicente Fernadez is the most famous Mariachi in Mexico they just call him “Number One”. The deep cultural bond between the cities and the rural communities merge at the Pelanque. Sam's adventures and stories of fighting cocks in Southern Mexico will amaze you no matter how your feel about cockfighting.

Sweetwater, Texas May 1st 1989:

One of Sam’s best friends and oldest member of his smuggling family called Sam and told him to meet up in Nolan County, Texas. It was a set up. Sam was beaten and tortured for days before he was able to get a message out to his family and attorneys and warn the others.

Fred the Rat had called several of the oldest family members into Nolan County. In all they took over $4 million in cash, "Harvey the RV", a flatbed truck and trailer and a long list of toys. This was a major hit for Sam, his friends and the many families that depended on them. Marijuana creates an alternate economy and revenue for the poor universally and these old school smugglers had a lot of people that depended on them. When Fred the Rat broke the inner circle and chain of command thousands of people started suffering.

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The Nolan County Sheriff was trying to get Sam to implicate Willie Nelson in this smuggling operation. The Sheriff knew that Willie had nothing to do with 22 thousand pounds of weed because he and an old Texas senator were in on the operation from the beginning. Willie is a living legend and that gives him a certain power to be reckoned with and controlled if possible. There was a major push to silence and bring Willie down publicly. Sam got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sam would never bring harm to his smuggling family or just as important: innocent and unwitting bystanders like Willie Nelson and family.

Gravely Hills Farm House:

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Sam is setting in front of his families old Gravely Hills house just North of Gallatin, Tennessee. Sam's books have several references to Gravely Hills. This is where the black juke joints were jumping in the old days and people would drive from Nashville and further to dance, drink and be merry before church on Sunday.

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