The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana

The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana

Tony Dokoupil

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0307739481

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A haunting and often hilarious memoir of growing up in 80s Miami as the son of Big Tony, a flawless model of the great American pot baron. 
 
To his fellow smugglers, Anthony Edward Dokoupil was the Old Man. He ran stateside operations for one of the largest marijuana rings of the twentieth century. In all they sold hundreds of thousands of pounds of marijuana, and Big Tony distributed at least fifty tons of it. To his son he was a rambling man who was also somehow a present father, a self-destructive addict who ruined everything but affection. Here Tony Dokoupil blends superb reportage with searing personal memories, presenting a probing chronicle of pot-smoking, drug-taking America from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the aftermath of the Great Stoned Age. 

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stone-and-timber Tudor-style mansion built in 1907 by J. P. Morgan as a gift to Reverend William S. Rainsford, who lived there until his death and the home’s eventual resurrection. It was a place where kids are meant to stare silently at their soup or stay home entirely. Initially my parents felt uncomfortable in such splendiferous surroundings, which stirred up feelings of fakery and shame, and made my father walk so self-consciously that anyone looking on would assume he had a severe sunburn.

only downstream dealer who could sell big enough to fill the role. Bobby was also the ideal behind-the-scenes complement to my father, who could be recklessly confident. My father and Bobby met in a bar in Brooklyn to discuss Charlie’s offer. It was typical for a gang to consider a new partnership. Everybody in the big-time dope world was incomplete: They had a source but no market, or a market but no source. Dope circles were always forming and reforming on this basis, molding into more

and crackle of life. Some people call it the funky chicken dance, which makes it sound kind of fun. My father nearly died, but he kept on working. Late in the summer of 1984, he and Willy agreed on their biggest load yet, an eighteen-thousand-pounder into New York City. Told to secure space, one of my father’s gophers rented a warehouse on Hunts Point in the Bronx. My father signed off on the selection, and even delivered one of the two truckloads of dope, sticking around long enough to process

noticed men standing around without luggage, not even glancing at him, like they were pretending they didn’t notice him when in fact his presence set off pinball madness in their brains. My father tucked into the bar for a drink, something brown and fiery. He wanted to clear his head. Like golfers, drug dealers learn to account for the elements: I’m high, my father thought. It’s just the drugs talking. When the suits were still standing there a couple of rounds later, however, he hustled

the perimeter of the house, a mansion in the mountains outside Albuquerque, and decided on a spot near the foundation, a few steps from an old pine tree. She paused there, poised between one era of our life and the next, looking warily toward the tree line. On a cloudless southwestern night the stars throw off enough light to read a newspaper, and my mother could see she was alone. She thrust the shovel blade into the ground and turned up the soil. Nothing. She thrust the blade into the ground

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