I met Abbie one time in 1988 in Chicago
at the 68+20
Conference at the Chicago Ampetheater
, the site of the '68 DNC. Abbie was there to speak along with others from the Chicago 7
(8) including Dave Dillenger
and if I remember correctly Bobby Seal
Abbie had been my greatest hero up until that point, having read Revolution For The Hell Of It
and all his other books, he had inspired me to begin smoking pot
, get involved with No Business As Usual
(a group protesting nuclear issues and US Imperialism
, and listen to the Beatles
When we met I asked Abbie to stop by a round-table I was involved with called Youth Revolution Today, that was happening at the conference. He said "no" and didn't smile... He said he had a plane to catch. I was crushed... I asked him to sign my original edition of Steal This Book
, which he did, but when I tried to get him involved in a conversation about the Youth Movement
of the 80's and how to battle the Regan
right-wing he simply skipped answering and moved on to the next person...
He had a broken leg at the time and even during his hilarious speech to the convention he seemed a little down.
Like I said I was crushed by his refusal to address our group or participate in our round table. Oh well I thought, I guess he's just a busy man.
I was at a Rainbow Gathering
two years latter on the 4th of July
, tripping on LSD
and meditating, when I heard he had committed suicide. I was blown away, and thought it couldn't be true! That it had to have been some kind of government assassination. Latter on that night as I came down I thought back to meeting him and how sad he seemed...
I thought yeah, maybe this guy was manic depressive enough to kill himself.
Now nearly 13 years latter I think back on it all and I wonder what Abbie would think of the current state of affairs in the US with Bush
the younger... or what he might have thought about Bill Clinton
... I bet he would have gotten a laugh out of the whole I never inhaled
deal and the Monika Lewinski hummer
To Abbie Hoffman up in heaven somewhere:
Man I hope you're having fun these days chilling with John Lennon
and all your other dead and gone friends. Say hi to Jerry for me. Man we miss you and your zany Yippie
! spirit down here.