I’m thinking right now about family, including extended community family, such as those folks I grew up knowing who were friends of mine and/or of my parents. A few days ago, a man named Dale Pendell, father of Marici Pendell and grandfather of Scarlett Macdonald, shed his mortal coil due to cancer, aged 70 years. He was nothing short of brilliant, a deep thinker who wrote out his thoughts in poetry and informational books about entheogenic substances. (Feel free to look up “entheogen” if you don’t know what that means.) Like my father, he had a restless spirit but settled down in later years, grounding himself in hearth and home with a woman, Laura Pendell, who cared for him deeply and who he, to my knowledge, loved back fully. Over the years, largely due to my moving out East, I lost touch with Dale. I was able to hear about how he was doing from time to time through his daughter, my mother, my sister, and my father. He was an active participant in the progressive, West Coast hippie and poetry movement I grew up within, which played a huge part in molding me into the person I am today. What I’m left with right now is sadness and humbleness, a sense that I am carrying a tall order inside me, which is the commitment to live the values of creativity, intellectual freedom, justice and fairness for all, and other powerful ethics and strivings that would take a lot of time for me to list off here. The threads run deep throughout my psyche. Dale lived genuinely from all of these principles, wild and selfish though he could be in his younger years. But, without his wildness, I don’t think he could have pioneered the way he did in life. I am certain his books and ideas will become more well-known templates of thought over time, even if in small cultural and intellectual circles carrying them like sacred flames. I only hope I can help keep his wonderful legacy going through how I live my own life. The world lost a great man and I’m so honored I grew up knowing him. Dale Pendell, may you dance with the Divine now and always, wild and free.
[Pictured from left to right: Robyn Martin (another long-time family friend), me, and Dale Pendell on September 30th, 2006. This was at the wedding of my father Philip Daughtry to Rita George-Daughtry. It was the last time I saw Dale in person.]