Report out of the Smoke (Ann Arbor Hash Bash 2014)


words, photo and audio by: Telegraphy


  This years Ann Arbor Hash Bash 
had a distinguished after taste. Like indulging  in on a gourmet $1000 Japaneses t-bone steak, a lush satisfying sensation hung around us after the festivities were over and done with. No, not the buzz we caught from the over abundance of second hand pot smoke but from the ultimate lessen we've learned from the original promoters of this euphoric expostulation. More about that later.

  I had a sense right when I got up that morning that today I was going to learn a deep lesson. Taking that first nervous but half asleep step out of my bed, I stepped on a piece of a Leggo toy left behind by my 9 yr old nephew. .....Lesson learned - Always and I mean always be weary of what you do and say before, during and after the in-law's stay.  Like a war veteran I limped to gather my things to take to the Hash Bash. Carmera's: check! Voice Recorder: check! Smoking pipe: check! Pipe tobacco: (yea, I know. I shock myself when I tell people when asked, "What'cha smoking, ha, ha!" It's just regular pipe tobacco folks, I don't smoke "the chronic") check!!!!! To continue - Film for camera's: ?????? Oh no! It's a beautiful Saturday morning, 44F and sunny, the best weather on Hash Bash day we've ever had and I forgot to get the film! As I'm limping around with a piece of leggo stuck to the soul of my foot, searching for at least a half used roll of film. Like a heroin addict scrounging around face first in the sidewalk trash cans, looking, nervously looking for a half smoked cigarette, I was face first in my backpack looking, nervously looking for film, any film!.

 With no film found, I was starting to go through withdraws. The noxious feeling was starting to creep up. If I don't get my fix of film I'll.....I mean if I don't find a store that sells film this early; my plans for the Hash Bash will be BASHED!!

 Anyways I digress. After spending half of the morning driving north 20 miles to the closest place (that's open on the weekends) that sells oldschool film, I was on my way another 70 miles south to Ann Arbor. Ah yes, the spring weather was the best you could hope for. The sun was shining brightly and I was on my way to the Ann Arbor Hash Bash.

  After finding a parking spot 10 blocks away, I hiked up hill both ways and grabbed the nearest cup of Earl Grey tea. Heading out to the Daig where the festivities were going down, I was fashionably late to this vaporises event of delirious demonstrators. Rubbing shoulders with stoners, jocks, hanger-on-ers and curious on lookers, I made my way to the front steps where the speakers were spouting their elocutions of   awakening  mantras. One of those speakers was the world renowned poet John Sinclair .  For years now yours truly had a insatiable desirer to interview one of the founding members of the Hash Bash. What better person then John Sinclair.

  Nervelessly making my way up to John, I kindly asked of a interview. Granting my request, I began fumbling with my handy voice recorder, trying my best to get it set right to record. With a fed-up sounding voice, (like he was ready to be interviewed but I wasn't) he yelled out above the crowds roars in his unique raspy smoked out voice," O.K. I'm ready!". I then snapped to life. Like a verbal whip piercing across the back of my neck. His commanding attitude echoes a life time of hardship and oppression. I then, without for-thought, asked the most un-asked question (a buddhist koan - a question without an answer). "So John, what is this all about?". He replied assuredly,"We just wana smoke man! That's all!"


That about sums up what I've been searching for all these years attending the Ann Arbor Hash Bash. Looking for the ultimate answer through the smoke covered layers of different points of view's from folks that come to smoke here and enjoy freedom. American style freedom is what brings them here, not the over commercialized pot industry that sells their products at the Monroe Street Fair or the bands that play there. I guess I had to get educated by the big man himself, to open up my eyes to the true meaning of the Ann Arbor Hash Bash 2014                   

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