Disability and Elderly Issues

LSD Goddess Joanna Harcourt-Smith


Timothy Leary


Reprisa (sp?), Ca


Dear Joel

Asking people if they believe in a Supra Human Plan. Some say– Yes, it is all written own in the Bible. Koran, Book of Mormon etc the Vedas etc.

Some say– no ,the human mind evolves, progresses, unfolds

others reply — wuch speculations are futile–have no plan, there is no progress, take


Timothy Leary wrote me from his jail cell. The adjoining cell contained Charles Manson. Shortly after I received the letter, I visited Timothy next to the vending machines.

I had spent months squiring around the beautiful, French speaking socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith who was next to Timothy in Kabul, Afghanistan when G.Gordon Liddy, on urgent orders from Richard Nixon, arrested Timothy..

I regarded the interview as one last chance for Timothy to demonstrate that he was not a total and complete horse’s ass.

Immediately after Joanna’s press conference, where ( except for a handful of aspiring reporters, Imwasmrhe only one there who actually published anything. I was covering Tim’s arrest by G? Gordon Liddy, the worst of Nixon’s Watergate bad guys for the Village Voice. Only, after submitting an article on Tim’s plight to my editor Ross Wetzeon, Ross wrote, “ I guess this is interesting Joel. But Timothy Leary is yesterday’s news. Good luck finding someone who cares about an old hat story.”

Meanwhile, in SF, where my friends— attending Greatful Dead concerts in Golden Gate Park—had not a clue that the Sixties were over expressed fascination at Joanna whom SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen referred to frequently as “Joanna hyphenate”

The only reason I had stayed around the Leary entourage was Joanna with whom I was head over heals in love.

Joanna and I had made love while peaking on Owsley’s LSD.

At the time, Timothy, Joanna, David Phillips and I held to a mystical belief, as it were cannon law, that one could not tell a lie if one were on LSD. So, the test in the red road of Folsom prison, Joanna and I embraced. Then Joanna, who the week before had described in detail how much she had enjoyed making love to me listing descriptions of the orgasisms she had achieved with my assistance, Timothy embraced me. Go figure, There we were all three peaking on acid right here.

After that, there was no turning back. It was Timothy or me.
Foolishly, Joanna picked Timothy.

My best friend David Phillips, who died last year wrote the following about Timothy, Joanna and me:

“Joel Solkoff came to live with me in my apartment on Fell Street; we moved to Mullen Avenue and took lots of acid, and then he moved to a house on 24th Street. Meanwhile Tim and Rosemary fled Algeria to Switzerland, they broke up, Rosemary left for Sicily and further exile adventures with John Schewel, Tim hooked up with the adventuress Joanna Harcourt-Smith, was busted with her in Afghanistan, and was brought back to Folsom, a high security California prison near the appropriately named hamlet of Represa in Sacramento County. And here’s where my involvement in the Leariad resumed.

Joel was at this time trying to make a living as a free-lance journalist, and got the idea of doing a story on Tim. I think he sold the idea to Oui, a glossy semi-pornographic magazine started in 1972

Oui was a Playboy product, with naked women but also with intellectual pretensions; Jon Carroll, formerly of Rolling Stone and now (2010) a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, was the editor. To do the story Joel needed to visit Tim, but access to Tim was controlled by Joanna, who had gone through a form of occult “marriage” and called herself Joanna Leary although Tim was still legally married to Rosemary. Joanna had relocated to San Francisco to agitate for Tim’s release, or so she wanted it to appear. Nothing was ever quite what it seemed with Joanna.

I was at home on Mullen Avenue when Joel called me, at 2 AM and asked me to come right over to his 24th Street apartment and talk about getting Tim out of prison.

So I went over, and there was Joel with Joanna and some other people. They had various wacky ideas about petitions and political pressure and so on. I patiently explained the legal situation to them, as far as I knew it. I didn’t tell them anything client-confidential  indeed I didn’t know anything specific to Tim’s case that had not been either in the news or in publicly filed court papers.

Most of what I told them had to do with the legal system, which they did not understand very well, and with the futility of that kind of approach in almost any criminal case (and especially this one) that has already gone to judgment, which they did not understand at all.7 As I recall there was some slight hinting about extra-legal means for releasing Tim – I said at once I would have nothing to do with that, and advised them not to have anything to do with it either.Joanna was a very formidable personality. She was brilliant, she was beautiful, she had enormous psychic and sexual power, and she spoke English with an elegant aristocratic European accent.

She was accustomed to using her charisma to get people to do what she wanted. What she wanted at the moment, or so she said, was to get Tim released (did she get him arrested also?), and she quite
openly bent all efforts to that end. I’m not sure what she wanted from Joel – maybe a favorable story, or maybe a chance for herself or Tim to use the pages of Oui to make a public statement.

Joel wanted Joanna to give him access to Tim [ which Joanna did in spades]– in theory he didn’t need her permission to visit Tim, but he did need Tim’s agreement to see him and this Joanna either controlled, or said she did.

When Timothy was alive his favorite song was: “Timothy Leary is Dead.”

Ani Ma’Amin: This is what I believe


Rabbi Horowitz

אני מאמין


Let’s start with first principles.

I believe in God. Specifically, I believe in the God who appeared to Moses in the form of the burning bush. Moses asks: “Who are you?” God says: “I am who I am.”

As a mystic, not much more can be said about God with this exception. God is not a He nor a She. God is genderless. Given my contrarian nature, I have taken to refer to God as She in no small part because doing so upsets some people. E.g.:

Kaddish: Prayer for the Dead


Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which She has created according to Her will.


One of my heroes is Edward R. Murrow. The great North-Carolina-born journalist instituted a series of radio programs ( which on NPR continue to this day) on what prominent people believe.



I am not prominent, but I am old (71j and am so dyed-in-the-wool Jewish that what I believe is equivalent at least in my own mind to what Judaism is or ought to be.

I can readily trace the conceit of my own rectitude to my mother who was an impressive woman and educator. Despite a lifetime of self-doubt, Mother never doubted that to be a proper Jew one must do what she insisted upon.

Here is my mom.


For me,  my belief in God is the least import aspect of being Jewish. I would argue it is irrelevant to what truly matters; namely, “If I am for myself alone, what good am I.”

One consequence of my going to Israel to fight in the Six Day War ( where I arrived at Lodd Airport on Day Four) was that despite the Israeli government’s understandable 1967 assertion (that the impending War was the 1948 War of Independence all over again) was my surprise upon being asked by the military official in charge of the airport,” Why are you here? “ My response (after kissing the tarmac and saying the requisite bracha):
“Whatever you want.”

Had it been 1948, I would have been handed a Stenn gun and sent to the Syrian front where the IDF troops scaling the Golan Heights suffered the worst deaths of the War.
Instead, being untrained naive and young, I was sent to a dairy farm in the South where I was badly needed to shovel the manure that had been built up while the farmer I had partially replaced was off in the Sinai reinventing tank warfare.

My Israeli experience as a migrant agricultural worker resulted in my becoming an agricultural policy expert ( of sorts):


Most recently, my “expertise” has resulted in my efforts to affirm Eli Weisel’s insistance that being a Jew ( surrounded as I had been  in the 1950s by tattooed survivors of the Holocaust) requires us as Jews to end genocide of whatever form; specifically in Yemen, the Mayanmar region of what used to be Burma, Venezuela ( most especially on the Western border in Colombia) the Sudan, and ….
Here is the book I am most eager to complete and publish:


Here is a relatively recent expression of what I regard as my primary life’s work:

Fortunately or unfortunately my rotten health ( which is to blame for my not being in shul yesterday) has required me to pay attention to a pressing reality(intervening in what I regard as my primary work).
For the past two  years, I have been suffering from one of the many consequences of radiation treatment that cured me of two of the three cancers I have survived and which resulted in my losing the ability to walk and stand 25 years ago.
The radiation has badly damaged my GI tract which has resulted in an inability to swallow, required that I relearn how to eat, and which most recently is manifesting itself in a severe cough. Last week, I was seen by the Digestive Diseases clinic at UPMC and with any luck I will receive surgery in June to put me on the road to recovery.
In February, by impulse or necessity, I moved to Williamsport after over 15 years in State College. Here I am receiving medical treatment unavailable in State College. And here, as a result of Larissa Simon’s efforts, that of Ohev Shalom and you, I have been rescued. Details available.
How I am able to write and write and write despite the failures of my body surprise me. The image that comes to mind is that my mind is in fifth gear; my body in second.
Clearly, it is time to stop this seemingly endless e-mail but I must first mention the following Yiddishkite issues of importance to me:
1. The revival of the Hebrew language. Eliezer ben Yehuda and Bialik,  Bialik, Bialik.
2. The understanding that the killing of Jews in Pittsburgh and Southern California makes clear that, as Jabotinsky expressed it,  in the Diaspora even the rocks are anti-Semitic.
3. The shameful way in which the elderly and disabled are treated in our society.
4. My reverence for the late Rabbi Heschel, Professor of Mysticism and Theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary who marched with Dr. King as did I.

“Leaders of the protest, holding flags, from left Bishop James Shannon, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Dr. Martin Luther King and Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath.” Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, February 6, 1968. Published February 7, 1968. (Photo by Charles Del Vecchio/Washington Post/Getty Images)



Copyright  2019 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.


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Frank Sinatra’s “My [Our] Way”

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Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments


Let me not to the marriage of true minds 
Admit impediments. Love is not love 
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove. 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wand’ring bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 

If this be error and upon me prov’d, 
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

Disability and Elderly Issues

The racist obscene remark that drove President Ford to remove his Secretary of Agriculture

“On October 3, 1976, President Ford accepted Earl Butz’s forced resignation after a racist, obscene remark became public knowledge. On the airplane coming back from the Republican convention in Kansas City, Pat Boone had asked Butz why the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, could not attract black voters. (Pat Boone is a singer most famous for ‘Love Letters in the Sand’; for wearing white buck shoes and for preaching to teenagers on the virtues of sexual continence and wholesome family life.) Butz answered,

‘I’ll tell you what coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; a warm place to shit. That’s all.'”

page 79 The Politics of Food by me

Black Power, a poem by Joel Solkoff (1968)

There is something new that comes

Repeating itself — reminding of the old

It’s the same, only it’s different

It’s not then; it’s now.

It hinders and it pushes

Aggravating to stillness and to motion

To vigor and serenity.

It’s spring again,

But it’s always spring again


She walks by wearing grapes in a forest of gay color

I feel like Tantalus

Trying to touch the cluster

That covers each delicate breast

She moves to put a book

Back on its shelf.

And I see other

More forbidden fruit.

The forest is short.

I’ve never seen her before.

									The Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World. 3 Volumes by  et al. eds  M. I.
	 - Hardcover
			 - from Powell's Bookstores Chicago (SKU: S85139)

I sit trying to read Rostovtzeff

Whom I’m sure would understand–

Appreciating the historical process.

I imagine leaving my chair.

She’s left the room.

I agonize over agrarian reform.

It’s history; this history

Damned thing is always the same.


Spring in Atlanta

I remember no one

I remember driving

Up and down the hills

Seeing the purple blooms

And breathing the air.

Or Spring in Philadelphia

As I lay on the grass in the Arboretum

Reading of sensuous Atlanta

Of Baldwin’s imagining

A white man cutting his progenitor’s genitals.

Over the Black soil.

Cutting would bring a relief

So different from biting those grapes

And leaving again

The juice and the sap.


I hold my genitals in my hand

wondering wheter these delicacies

Are worth the necessary price

“Grapes right now are 95 cents a pound.

“Cherries are more expensive

“And besides, they are out of season.”

I’ve changed my mind.

I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.

It’s flowers I want.

My mind turns. Another skirt rides up.


First published 1970 in Prologue Poetry, Volume IV Number 3 by Editors Louis Phillips and Joshua Freedman at 515 East 78th Street NYC. Shortly afterward Gilbert Claude Jardine asked me to read the poem on WNYC-FM.

Joel Solkoff, US Editor, e-architect, USA

Please feel free to phone me at US 570-772-4909 or send an e-mail [email protected] Copyright © 2021 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.

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Rethinking Jabotinsky who helped create the State of Israel