Ode to Benjamin Harrison Parks

An Ode To my friend Ben Harrison Parks

Ohhhh, oh, oh, oh, ohhh.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
To never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
While you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
But I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could…

Long, long, long ago in a land that now seems so far, far, far away in a culture like so many that have Gone With The Wind, not a fairy tale, but a real story of a Camelot sliding down the sloopy slope into the abyss, a once great King upon his 3rd wife dying and taking a young stranger for his 4th wife ordered all in the Kingdom to share in the experience by switching partners and wedding a stranger.

Benjamin Harrison Parks had had a drug problem in Detroit and came to this Kingdom where he flourished and learned great values. But he and his wife Dottie loved each other and would not give up each other for a stranger. Hearing this, that King ordered the pair to be put in a truck and driven miles away where they were to be dumped at gun point into a ditch. The orders were carried out. Dottie was kicked in the ditch as a farewell.

So the young Ben and Dottie came to me. I was 6 months into investigating that Kingdom – – Synanon. I knew of the danger but not the extent.

Ben was the 1st to teach me about Synanon. It was through him I 1st understood it. I could both respect what it had been and he made it clear to me what it had become had to be stopped. From that day forward he was my constant companion, and source.

Everyone in this world has a talent. Ben parks talent was listening. At my lowest points, he raised my spirits. When I was almost overcome with fear he would remind me how many were depending on me. I either succeeded or fear would be destiny of all.

He would not let me quit. When the Rattlesnake happened, he was 1st to contact major crimes with information that would form the basis of the search warrant and the ultimate arrest of the King and exposure of the Kingdom.

I have always known that I owed a debt to Ben Parks that was beyond a method of repayment. One of the reasons I wrote: “From Miracle To Madness” was so that people could know the important roles so many people played in this small historic episode.

What I remember is when my house was in danger of a California fire and my arm in a sling Ben rallied ex-Synanon people to arrive with vehicles to move out my furniture. At court proceedings he was there by my side. When the woman I loved left he kept me from falling apart and stayed me on course.

That course would lead to decades of my being called a hero. Ben parks was my hero.

But I remember him most for all these years of just talking to him on the telephone.

It is always tough to lose someone who played such a big role in a life. It is tougher when you don’t get a chance to say goodbye. Even tougher still when you don’t get a chance to say, “I love you.”

With forgiveness from Gale Sayers, I want to say:

“I loved Benjamin Harrison Parks. And tonight I want you all to love him, too.”