This was sent in by an old friend (writer and book dealer Robin Marchesi) – an occasional follower of jot. It concerns another old friend dead these seven summers…
Not long ago, I stumbled on a sheaf of papers acquired in the mid 1990s. I recalled the old friend, who left them with me.
His name was Derek Briggs and he was educated at Culford School near Bury St Edmunds, where he was recognized as a brilliant scholar. He made it straight to Kings College, Cambridge, but only lasted a year, before being sent down. As I recall marijuana was involved.
He went to London in the early 70’s where he established himself, as an underground figure with an esoteric air, exploring the varying options on offer, without visible means of support, other than his quick wit, intellect and charm.
No enemy of almost any drugs, he evolved from being a ‘pre-digital’ ‘couch surfer’ in London, to a world wanderer; in a permanent struggle, with himself, to survive, in the semi mystic state, which had become ‘normal’ to him.