From left to right - Haines Ely, Terence McKenna and Chamba
Haines Ely M.D. on his friend, Chamba Lane
Chamba and I have had lives which intertwined like snakes. I first met him when I sold him a pipe on Haight St. in 1967. He wasn't "Chamba" then. When he moved here he came to me asking if he could do the Earth Mysteries show on the radio. I told him no, the show was not up for grabs, and suggested he do a show about the rabble, the political stuff. He would often come to my house unannounced for dinner while my kids were growing up. He had a standing invitation. We were the family and kids he never had. We always made a "Chamba plate," figuring he would show. In 1994 Chamba and I traveled to the jungle in Chiapas (during the revolt) and crawled though Mayan ruins with Terence McKenna. After my drug bust I had to distance myself from Chamba because he was pro pot and I was sober. We talked and had lunch at Asian Gardens, but I didn't go to his parties. When Chamba came back from Costa Rica feeling poorly I picked him up at the airport. I did lab tests and X-rays on him the next day and was the one to inform him he had lung cancer. I think my first expression on greeting Chamba on the other side would be "I wish I had spent more time with you."