A dinner party Joanne Smale will never forget!
A dinner party Joanne Smale will never forget!

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It was March of 1987 and 27-year-old budding impresario David Lavin won a 3-year million-dollar sponsorship program from the Toronto Star to promote a series of lectures without any editorial caution from the newspaper. Headliners in the program included Hunter S. Thompson, Noam Chomsky, and a ‘70s themed drug culture discussion that imported Eldridge Cleaver, Timothy Leary and Abbie Hoffman as guest speakers. Joanne Smale (seated between Cleaver and Leary) was the lead publicist for the event that was an immediate sell-out. She recalls not remembering too much about the after-show dinner party at an Italian restaurant but listened intently. Lavin is on the opposite side with glasses on and, sadly, Abbie, seated directly across from Smale, is obscured in this picture. Lavin’s account of this night can be found in paras 8 and 9 here.  

Seated either side of Smale are former political activist turned Republican candidate Eldridge Cleaver and Timothy Leary who by this time had shaken his messianic promotion of LSD and become a proselytizing computer geek.

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