A Love Story Down the Drain – Honor Turns to Stone

(Before you begin to read, click on and begin the music, please)

Somewhere in the marine aqua lit lounge act in the spacious pinkish sky John G. Clancy, Jr, Esq. is snorting like a camel while standing semi-upright with a long neck Irish beer swashing in his hand. There are several empty shot glasses turned upside down on the 1890’s bar. While boisterously telling an Irish fable, or recanting a football play of note he also is listening to his client (see below) sing the blues. 

A couple of times, i was back stage with Clancy (late ’70s), and after powdering our noses way too much, drinking way beyond excess, we elegantly slow danced to Boz performing live on stage, giggling in his other’s ears.

I was one of those who never lost my poise when high. I acted my way through life. See, i never had a problem cause the folks around me where the booze hounds, coke heads, and crazier than me ones. This is denial. It was fun until it became life threateningly sad. 

Ahh, Boz, you are there, i am here, Clancy remains in our fractured hearts. 

“Slow dancer, only you can set me free.” 

Clancy was my running buddy. There was never a hint of romance between us until one day he drove up in an over the top expensive sports car with Marc Libarle, Esq. driving. Clancy tapped on my back door (Santa Rosa, California). I came out onto the redwood deck by the hot tub and my dearest drinking buddy shakily got on his knees. It was Spring. It was 2 PM. It was sunny. It was a Tuesday. Drunk and stoned in a trashed designer suit with a Hermes tie splattered with last night’s dinner, tears spurted from Clancy’s goofy eyes. His normally booming voice was low, slow, and gentle. I barely heard his words. His weepy bloodshot eyes held my concerned green ones.

Clancy begged me to come with him, anywhere, right then. 

“Let me steal you for my life, my Bonnie Lass by the Sea, please understand. It is now, or never.” 

I cannot listen to Boz without thinking of the many good times and the happiness Clancy and I shared. We had each other, but there was nothing about flesh or sex. It was a communion of two intellects and two souls too stoned as two prideful balloons floating above the rest of humanity. We were one hubris but two bubbles, so oddly attached, we did not notice. 

I sent him away. We never saw each other again. He wrote and published a few erotic articles about me (or at least this is what others told me). I never read Playboy, or the other mags of this ilk.

Enjoy the music. Boz is as smooth as it gets. Clancy called his client, the San Francisco Tuxedo. If this was true, then Clancy was the right coast (NY) version and Boz, the Alabama incarnation. 

Clancy’s obit is the first comment (see further below). The last time I had any contact with him I left a six-pack of iced down imported beers at his trailer in hotter than the dickens Heber City, Utah. He had been driven there by Warren Hinckle and others because HC was a dry town, in a dry county, in a dry state (No alcohol in Mormon-land except at private clubs as there are zip public bars). 

When I read Clancy’s obit, it was after writing a slow mo mail to Marc and receiving a curt return email yet with no response to my question, “How is Clancy?” Sensing my friend had left the realm of the breathing, I found his obit on the net. Clancy never wore a seat belt. We would regularly go through horrific screaming matches over this detail. I drove my sports car like a race driver (graduate of the Bob Bondurant School of Race Car Driving). Friends called me Bonita Granatelli (as in Andy), and most of them would not get in my wheels. 

After a century of these stress-outs over seatbelt application, Clancy and I decided for the Buddha sake of our friendship, we would ferret out someone to drive us when we went partying. The entire time we hung out together Clancy never drove. I assumed he had lost his driver’s license. Since he had been married three times, any property, law practice, or reputation was also crashed on the rocks at the headlands of alcohol and drugs. 

I have been around high class to bottom of the barrel passionate justice seekers. The advocacy and politics of participatory democracy and civil rights attract swimmers from the deepest end of the pond.

Clancy was the premier empathizer of those who suffered injustice, not including his famous clients such as Hunter S. Thompson, Boz, the Oakland Raiders, a Brit who photographed Vietnam and had a plate in his head to prove it, and several Afro American women who had been raped by their infamous husbands/lovers or music managers. 

He made me regularly go with him (me in a rented nun’s outfit and him dressed as a priest) to an orphanage and hold art classes while he read stories like a blaring fog horn over the chaos of the art projects. Clancy called these forays, Sacred Sanities for the Unseen. I was Sister Bon. He was Father Jon. He was Catholic. I was Zen Presbyterian. The kids loved us. We brought pink colored cardboard boxes stacked inside with cupcakes and cookies. 

Clancy existed on the flickering edge of a candlelight at once surreal and then festive as a Dali painting. 

Take another piece of my heart. 

“Why do all things have come to an end? I don’t know, Lord. It’s the blues, it’s all i was left with.”


John G. Clany’s Obit

“A talented author and dedicated attorney, John G. Clancy Jr., 69, was killed on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, when his car overturned on U.S. Highway 84 between Ghost Ranch and Christ of the Desert Monastery in New Mexico. He was ejected from his car when it rolled and was declared dead at the scene. Mr. Clancy was not wearing a seat belt.

He was returning home from a business trip to Santa Fe.

Mr. Clancy was born in New York City to John Gerard and Edna (Lyons) Clancy on Jan. 24, 1936. He earned his bachelor of arts from Fordham University and his law degree from Columbia University.

After clerking for a federal appellate judge in San Francisco, Mr. Clancy entered private practice. His client list was eclectic. In addition to commercial litigants, he represented clients pro bono, and he represented professional football players and writers, including his longtime friend Hunter S. Thompson.

“He was intensely passionate about justice, about fairness and about equity,” said his brother, Martin Clancy.

The week before his death, Mr. Clancy had submitted a report on prison reform in New Mexico to the state’s lieutenant governor. He also was in the process of getting funding for the Institute for Effective Prisons, which he founded.

Mr. Clancy was a writer himself. He had many articles published in magazines, including Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, Scanlon’s and Rampart’s. He primarily wrote about politics and sports. “He was probably one of the biggest football fans that ever lived,” his brother said. Mr. Clancy moved to Colorado in 1984, while continuing to practice appellate law in California. He taught courses in criminal justice and political science at Fort Lewis College for 14 years. He was also active at St. Columba Catholic Church. Mr. Clancy married Judy Campbell, the proprietor of Smelter’s Coalroom, in Aztec in November 1984. They met when he was negotiating for the National Football League’s Player’s Association when the players went on strike in 1982. She was making cowboy shirts on the Navajo Reservation and went to Albuquerque, where the negotiations were taking place, to find models for the shirts. He is survived by his wife, Judy Campbell of Durango; daughters, Claire Clancy of Durango and Katie Clancy, a student at New York University; brother, Martin of New York City; and sister, Phyllis Clancy of Staunton, Va. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Columba Catholic Church. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, also at St. Columba. Burial will take place at Hillside Cemetery in Silverton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Mr. Clancy’s memory be made to the Carmelite Monastery, 5660 South 151 Street West, Clearwater, KS 67026.”

— Durango, CO Herald 23 oct 2005


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