From the ashes, By PSY-23

Others have found their calling in life and try to make the most of every day as though it could be their last. Regardless of which category you may fi t in to (or one of countless other categories which are too numerous to mention right now), it is all too easy to forget that we are mostly living in the belief that everything will turn out fi ne if we just keep on doing our best.

Sometimes, however, things that are totally out of control come along and remind us of how fragile our lives can be and how we react to these situations is what defi nes us as people.

When the wild fi res began to spread in California, an incredible amount of people were hit hard. Whole communities were decimated, lives were lost and livelihoods were damaged beyond repair over the space of one terrifying and sobering week. Whilst speaking to some of those affected and checking in on the people I know around the way, I heard that many members of the cannabis community had been directly affected by the fi res including one of the infamous Weed Nerds, Subcool. I reached out to him and this is what he told me.

Subcool had been working with Mr. Bond and Frenchy Cannoli to make some high-quality hash (as you do) and had just returned home. He put the hash down on the table and was just starting to relax when he heard shouting. Not realizing the danger he was in, he asked what the matter was only to be told, “We need to go, now!” before seeing Jill turning and looking out from the front porch.

He went over to the front door and looked out on an immense wall of flames coming towards him. The flames were gigantic, reaching up to 600 ft. in the air and producing an immense level of heat, and were being pushed and pulled by winds of up to 85 mph. He knew that there was a real danger of them reaching his property in a short space of time, but he was reluctant to leave at fist. He thought of all the things he wanted to take with him: the medicine he needs to help control his lung condition, his bank of seeds, clones, buds, clothes, bowls, photos, memory sticks, identification, cash etc. Initially, his response was to be defiant in the face of adversity as, in his own words, he has had ‘a pretty fucking bad year’ and he was not in the mood for dealing with a raging inferno at that exact moment in time.

Fortunately, his logical sense of reason got the better of him and he thought that venturing into a windowless room in the basement of his house may not have been the best idea with the unpredictable blaze bearing down on his position.

Instead he grabbed the hash, hopped in his truck with his dog, Tokke, and got ready to hit the road. In order to calm his nerves he stopped to smoke a bowl as he watched the smoke rolling towards him, only to have a cop yell at him to get moving many other residents had gathered in a place that was deemed to be relatively safe and when Subcool arrived the gravity of the situation hit home. Flames were leaping up and reaching over the tops of the surrounding mountains, sporadic explosions rung through the air as propane canisters were caught in the fi re and then, out of nowhere, the fi re and wind engulfed the base of a powerline and brought the whole thing crashing to the ground in an explosive shower of sparks and cinders. Suffi ce to say, the residents decided it was time to fi nd somewhere else to be.

Over the next few days people made do as best they could and moved from one hotel to another as the spread of the fi re continued to expand. Each place they stopped was only a temporary haven and it soon became clear that there was little chance of salvaging much once the fi re would eventually be tamed. He estimates that, along with his home, he personally lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in plants, seeds, equipment and possessions. He is just one voice among the 8,000 homeowners who saw their homesteads destroyed. People have lost everything.

It seemed like no offi cial bodies were coming to help immediately and PaT ‘The Soil King’ took it upon himself to help the community out. Subcool knew that he could try and help his community in their darkest hour – so he reached out online to the followers of The Weed Nerds to raise money through charitable donations. Before they knew it they had raised almost $50,000 and were giving out food and supplies to people (and their animals) that were left in limbo. After a few days, the government aid began to arrive and Subcool decided that it was time to leave it all behind him.

He drove to Arizona and then had to seek urgent medical attention because his medical condition requires him to have a transfusion every week. By the time he got to the doctor he was in desperate need and almost had an IV put in while he he shared all of his exploits online and many people were trying to say that he was a real tough guy (a point which he says doesn’t take in the whole picture as he has been pretty shaken up by the whole experience).

Written and Published by By PSY-23 In Weed World Magazine Issue 132

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