Adding to the variety of artifacts (including my recently re-surfacing essay “Damn the Dam”) about Glen Canyon, which turned into the “home” of Lake Powell, comes this tribute, link assortment and film preview featuring legendary Ms. Katie Lee, the famed model/singer/activist environmentalist who made a noteworthy trip into the canyons – many of which were never documented/explored – with photographers, shortly before the destruction, dam building and subsequent flooding.
Ms. Lee passed away in Nov. 2017 at 98 years old and remained a fiery personality advocating for the wildness of lands until the end.
As such, I’ve assembled a round-up of links about her extraordinary life which follows this film preview and blurb – consider reading all to learn of this exceptionally beautiful renegade.
Dennis Peron – who clearly made a global impact with his efforts to normalize medical cannabis – died
An exceptional public speaker with charisma for days, goodly Dennis Peron (as seen in my documentary HempenRoad film) speaking at a Hemp event of some name or another in Olympia, Washington in 1996, just before Prop 215 passed – which was the (arguably i suppose) first big domino to fall in the cannabis legalization / normalization movement. He stood up to the government stooges with bravado and vigour and rallied disparate communities to the crusade with compassion as the central theme – a brilliant communications strategy among other things.
Was charmed and captivated by his style and amazed at his polished & nuanced public speaking style with frankness & subtle wit. Serious topics delivered with casual ease and fierce determination. A pro in a league (at that time) of well-intentioned amateurs.
When making my lil film i wanted to give new voices a chance to share their stories and as such, avoided the then “big timers” who were churning out books and on the pulpit banging circuit, but wanted to include him as he was “not a hippie” and coming from a different direction at the problems than the usual suspects. He was gracious with his time and invited us to come to California to film part 2 – something i so very much wanted to do but never happened.
He lived long and well but (as we all will) succumbed to a health conundrum a few days back – as i live elsewhere in the world most of the time these past years i lost track of his actions but when asked about him in SF a couple of years back, he was spoken of in revered terms usually reserved for mafia dons. Be it known, there are not many of us who can pass away knowing we changed the course of history and he is definitely one who can. He likely didnt remember our encounter (or maybe even see the film) but he made a significant impact on me as an activist and communicator.
Glad he lived to see the results of labours – while situation not perfect by any means, at least folks in majority of states can access medical cannabis safely(ish) – and/or can relocate to said states… and in many states everyone can (as he says in the doc) “self-titrate.”
PS See his bit in HempenRoad and witness charm in action at the Olympia Hemp (something) at Capitol Bldg in 1996. Go to 35:55 minute mark.
My hippie and hempster credentials are/were never in need of validation, however… for your consideration, may I present a portrait of a much younger Uncle Weed at a HempFest near Nelson, BC circa 1993. Had just returned to another journey around Japan and spent the summer selling him bags and juggling sticks at various festivals, concerts and street corners. (this is a guy called Hamish next to me0
This one goes out to my fellow cannabis pioneers and activist as i sport a handmade set of 100% hemp overalls, and a Hempy’s “Baja explorer” hat (my own design manufactured by A. Lewis’ company who shares my birthday).
Anyhow, was fresh off the Micronesian island of Guam, I’m flashing the backhand hang loose sign (forehand is for Hawaii) at Olympia Hemp Day, 1996 at the Capitol dome – not long before I started production of the travel documentary HempenRoad… Of course now, Washington state has legalized cannabis for medicinal, recreational and industrial use. Coincidence?
Snapped by maybe Jay Stewart? on an early generation Casio digital camera (low res of course by contemporary standards)
High up a mountaintop of ancient uplifted coral, unaccompanied by bodyguards, escalades or a single Marley (unlike “reincarnated” snoop), I found a happy place– surrounded by thousands of little ladies. I squeezed the buds to savour the moment and smells of mangos and papayas, limes and skunks.
Note audio recorder in hand. My wanders are different now. I still wonder. Snapped with a single-use disposable camera