X-Message-Number: 14242
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 14:42:12 -0400
From: mgdarwin <>
Subject: Interesting piece

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From:	David Crippen, INTERNET:crippen+@pitt.edu
	, [75120,575]
	, SaulKent
	, [72320,1642]
Date:	8/3/00  7:13 PM

RE:	Interesting piece

Interesting piece from Mike Darwin on Leary.  My recollection:

He called me long distance one day got my partner's wife who though 
it was a joke call. After she finally tracked me down it was clear 
that Leary was in pain and didn't quite know what to do about it or 
who to deal with. I was way down on the food chain for Leary 
hangers-on and I still am not quite sure how he figured I was the one 
to call.  At any rate, it was a fairly easy procedure for me to get 
on the horn and scare up some home hospice for him, even from 
Pennsylvania. I continue to be impressed with the ease and efficiency 
in which I was able to pull that off in California.  That was the 
last time I actually talked to him although he e-mailed me several 
times in teh middle of the night joking about the 60s.

The next time I actually saw him was a few weeks before he died. I 
was on my way to or from Australia, I forget which and I had a friend 
in LA who actually "knew" Leary in the 60s and had several, shall we 
say,  transcendental experiences with him (and a lot of other 
people). She is an authentic barefoot Hippie girl of the Summer of 
Love and I continue to harp at her to write the great book of the 
era. She is so articulate and "experienced" in the Hendrix sense. But 
that's another saga.

On entering the abode, it was cleat that there were different 
factions at work and play.  Leary's house manager (for want of a 
better term) was a VERY nice lady and I am ashamed to say I cannot 
remember her name but I hear from her now and again. She clearly had 
his best interest at heart and seemed to run the household, such as 
it was.  However, she was sort of held into that position by some 
other guy I think named Graves or something like that (it's been a 
long time) and this guy seemed (to me) so evil he literally glowed in 
the dark.  He seemed responsible for Leary's imagemongering and he 
also seemed to control the parade of zombies that padded relentlessly 
through the house and grounds.

Throughout the house many different species of questionably 
domesticated beasts grazed freely, any one of which could have made 
the cast of Dawn of the Dead.  I caught the interest of one as he 
passed by and, trying to keep exposed flesh covered as much as 
possible announced my intention to visit Leary.  I was asked to wait 
to see if an audience could be arranged.  Graves was hastily 
consulted (in full view of me) and the word came back that Leary was 
too tired to receive visitors.  Well, my friend from LA wasn't having 
any of that bullshit. She started sniffing around right there in 
front of God and everyone and dragged me by the hand back to the 
bedroom where a thin, pale and emaciated Leary lay dying.  No one 
noticed us wandering around and we tried to avoid attention by 
drooling and bumping into walls as we proceeded.  He was clearly 
zonked on morphine and although he nodded in all the right places, I 
don't think he remembered me.  I said a few words and my friend 
offered some whispers of Hippie incantations in his ear, and we left. 
He was dead a week or so later.

I never heard much about what happened thereafter. I do think that 
Leary's place in history had firmly been carved previous to all this 
and none of it will ever make much of an afterward. I have a book in 
my library.....somewhere......about Leary's final days in which I am 
mentioned. Gives my kids a chuckle.  I did get a manuscript of the 
paper written for Wired which I am told was turned down.  I would 
have dearly, DEARLY loved to have gotten a shot at writing that piece 

Otherwise, this was a very interesting slice of life for me and I 
would not trade it for anyone else's.

.David Crippen, MD, FCCM
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Critical Care Medicine
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Director of Surgical Critical Care
St. Francis Medical Center
Pittsburgh, PA

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Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 22:14:14 -0500
From: David Crippen <crippen+@pitt.edu>
Subject: Interesting piece
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