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Long days journey into night - Mel King

Published:

Last Edited: August 25, 2005, 11:53 pm

If I ever write another book, Mel King will have to occupy a few chapters of it.  I’ve mentioned him a few times on this blog, but mostly, I’ve not been able to write much about him at all.  I’m still digesting what happened to him.

On one of the threads recently the discussion drifted to the War on Drugs.  I suppose if I’d never met Mel I probably wouldn’t thought much about that issue, would never have bothered to form an opinion about it. 

But in many ways, Mel was a product of that war, from the time it began during the Reagan Administration, he was one of the adversaries.  It changed him from a small-time marijuana growing woods-vet to a wealthy man.  It involved him in a major felony arrest, confiscation of much of his property, the mysterious death of a police officer, repeatedly on America’s Most Wanted television series, and constant harassment by the FBI, State Police and local police for the remainder of his life.

They wanted to believe he killed a Mountainair, NM, police officer because it was the only construction of the facts that didn’t expose the rotten core of the War on Drugs.  Shortly before he was murdered in December, 2004, he showed me an anonymous, hand-written letter accusing him of killing the policeman and threatening to come balance it all.

It’s time I began writing down a few things about Mel King anyway.

Mel King was a major, financially successful marijuana grower and large-scale broker in New Mexico for many years.  During that time he was also a long-term heroin addict.  (He first became addicted to morphine while in the hospital recovering from wounds he got in the Marine Corps in Vietnam).  The only way Mel got away with what he was doing for so many years was by being considered a complete maniac, and by making certain the authorities got their fair share of the proceeds.  He drove around in a VW van with bullet-holes in the windshield from the inside

When he got busted in 1987, with 150 pounds in his house it was because he made himself too big a nuisance to be allowed to go on.  He was attracting too much attention.

But even so, he never came to trial.  That 150 pounds of high-grade vanished from the evidence lockers.  The empty bags with his evidence numbers on them were found in the home of the policeman who made the initial stop during his arrest.  But someone murdered that policeman, probably for the marijuana, which is how they happened to find the empty evidence bags.

While he was in jail awaiting bail, Mel resolved to turn his life around.  He freed himself from heroin and when he was released he started a successful furniture business, did his best to stay clean for the remainder of his life.  Succeeded in being a trustworthy, successful man and one of the best friends I've ever had.

During the years I knew him, Mel was a deeply spiritual man.  He was honest, guileless, hard-working, sincere, courageous, and in many ways, wise.  We prospected a lot of canyons together, talked of many things over campfires listening to the wind in the pines.  He was also my partner during Y2K.

Mel and I disagreed on many things, but he believed, as I do, that he knew what happens to a man when he dies.  He never feared death and he never believed he’d done anything in this life to give him any reason to fear it.

I believe he was right.

Jack

Entry #219

Comments

1.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - August 26, 2005, 1:03 am
i just got through reading at work a fairly long book on the failed war on drugs since the reagon administration during the 80's started its crackdown.there are many reasons it failed.i read some very shocking things.it seemed that most of the leaders of mexico and countries in south america were involved in making and selling cocaine for huge amounts of money and were kept in power by the people responsible for the drugs.a mexican high up in the mexican army was about to busted only to be warned by someone high up in the dea here in the US ahead of time because we needed him for more sensitive "information" later on in some other situation.every time there would be a major case about to come down on some high general in some foreign country in south america all the sudden it was dropped or that person got off the hook.all we succeeded in mostly was putting some guy on a street corner selling a couple dollars worth of dope in jail for a few nights.they never accomplished the goal of cutting these drugs off at its source and where it was coming from.look up mike levine he has a great book on this.he was with the dea for decades and saw firsthand how it failed.the whole thing got bungled and badly mishandled.
2.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - August 26, 2005, 6:34 am
ronald reagan i think was the first one to get real tough with his "just say no" thing he had going on back in the 80's.i remember being in school back then and having this stuff taught to us constantly.the ironic thing is i think its what first got me interested in "mary jane" lol.those days are behind me and i don't do those things anymore anyway.we all experiment and learn from our experiences.society needs to be more tolerant and give people chances to correct their mistakes.its sad that mel was looked at for his past instead of how good he had been doing......
3.
Comment by Rip Snorter - August 26, 2005, 7:36 am
Hi Mike:

Mel wasn't a complainer. Took things as they came. I'd guess he'd just say, "It don't mean nuthun'" about all this. "It's just life."

He hated the war on drugs because he believed it was destroying this country, eating away at the bowels in a hundred different directions. What was done to him wasn't something abstract, such as a war. It was human beings acting consciously and deliberately.

It don't mean nuthun. It's just life.

Jack
4.
konaneComment by konane - August 29, 2005, 11:00 am
You never know what dramas from a previous lifetime Mel and the others were continuing to work out, to fight as it were. From what you've written the next chapter will be available his next lifetime and so on until it's worked out.

Lots of question could be answered if we could easily time travel back to the root cause, dilemma or outright misunderstanding which precipitated through time to a present lifetime. Seems we all might benefit from that knowledge saving us all lots of drama on the way.
5.
Comment by Rip Snorter - August 29, 2005, 11:13 am
Konane:
Thanks for the comment.
Mel and I spent countless hours over campfires and coffeepots discussing those exact matters.
We were forever shocked with the repeated realizations of how parallel our lives had run, how similar we were in so many ways in our pasts and our challenges later in life. It was Mel who introduced me to the wonders of affirmations.

One of the things we were most puzzled by was the fact that our two lives, his and mine, seemed to differ so much from the lives of others. Crazy drama seemed to be forever breaking down the doorway and coming in guns blazing, uninvited and without a warrant. We examined this through a microscope, asking ourselves what we were doing to invite it and how we could stop it.

But for Mel, it's a closed issue for now. And I'm just hanging, doing my best to stay in the shadows and not give any impression that I've got any outstanding invitations waiting for uninvited guests of that sort.

Thanks again, amiga.
Jack

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