Thursday, October 21, 2010

HEMPTY - ''One of a Kind''

---Hempty passed months ago...and I never knew what to write. I still don't. So, as usual I'll dive right in and see what happens.
---I met Hempty when I started high school. That is when and where I met Bobby Darling. Actually, Bobby and Hempty knew each other very well. Hempty played guitar, also. They both liked the lead players of the day, mostly from England - especially George Harrison and Keith Richards. Bobby gave Hempty his nickname.
---I always got along with Hempty. He was the first kid I ever saw smoke marijuana. This happened at a high school dance. We went out into the parking lot and before I knew what was going on - Hempty pulled out a joint. Being as hip as usual, my first thought went to the fact that I could be arrested just being in Hempty's presence. I agonized over this until he was I cooly hurried him along. I had much to, what if my parents find out that I'm hanging with druglords. (Okay, it wasn't quite true...but, in those days marijuana LEAD to all kinds of unspeakable situations. Mostly, because it was SO illegal. But, I didn't quite know that.)
---All I knew for sure after that night is that Hempty TOOK DRUGS. It wasn't easy knowing this...especially for next couple of days. Hempty is a DRUG ADDICT! Any day now...I half expected him to quit school and join a commune. I was pretty sure that he wouldn't have sex out of wedlock especially being Catholic and all. His folks were very least I knew his mother went to church. That does mean he DID have the whole Church, the one true church, behind him. This was one of the perks of being afraid of most things. You pay attention!
---I did pretty well, all toll, with Hempty's problem. The only close call WE experienced was when the whole class went on retreat for three days. I say we, because I came very close to reporting Hempty to the authorities for bringing the maryjane AND using it...on the retreat. I remember praying about all of this. My conclusion was that ''I would turn Hempty in - ''FOR HIS OWN GOOD.''
---I figured I would save him from a life of indiscriminate drug use, by turning him in. I could even see him thanking me, when all is said and done. As near as I could figure it, he would probably get 25 years in jail...but, be saved from an eternity in hell. Who wouldn't be thankful? It only stands to reason. I was just thinking that he probably had drugs in his pocket (marijuana) in the picture above. It was taken at a high school function. And, that was a place I knew from personal experience...that Hempty used DRUGS! In the picture, he is some kind of hippie priest. Couldn't the nuns see this. There is hardly any doubt that Hempty was ''using'' in the pic. The proof is in the pudding.
(Much more about how Hempty was entwined in my life and his affect on my family and generally on what a nice guy he was to know and befriend.)

---I hope that I have conveyed something very important in what I have written. It is the social angst of two opposing mindsets that existed at the time. Hempty was just growing in his way and responding to things the way he did...and I on the other hand had a different set of anxieties that I was responding to. It really was the perspective that one holds that would pass judgment as to who was right or wrong. Hempty was experimenting with life his way while I was buying all the negatives coming down the pike in my vision. I was much more swayed by ignorance and wisdoms handed down while Hempty was trying new things which now seems very harmless but necessary in developing a well rounded way of seeing the world. Mine was based on fear handed down...making judgments without having a clue as to what the facts are, but basing everything on the status quo handed to me. I mean, I was ready to have him sent to jail for his own good. If we hadn't laughed at the two differing mindsets many, many times...that fact would be troubling and scary.

---Just to skip ahead a bit...Hempty was the original drummer (congas) in FRANCONIA NOTCH, the band we had just before the ''Bobby Darling Show.'' Don Gray, ''Little'' Ricky took Hempty's place in the band. Hempty did a guitar tune, also, in ''FRANCONIA NOTCH.'' A song by George Hamilton IV, called, ''If You DON'T Know I Ain't a-Gonna Tell You.'' The song was a favorite among friends of mine. It featured Hempty and Bobby and was a hit wherever we played.

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