Friends of the late ‘Honk for Hemp’ hold up familiar signs one last time and donate his hemp clothes | News, Sports, Jobs


photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

Erica Kellerman stands at the intersection of 11th and Massachusetts streets on Sunday, holding signs that once belonged to her neighbor and friend Thomas Trower, who recently died. Trower was a longtime cannabis activist, known as the “Honk for Hemp,” who was regularly seen around the city center with signs since the early 1990s. Kellerman also distributed wardrobe items. of Trower’s hemp.

Friends of cannabis activist Thomas Trower gave the local icon a memorial he surely would have loved as they stood on the corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets and asked – one last time – to pass the cars for “Konner for hemp”.

Hundreds of drivers honked their horn not just once, but repeatedly – once for the cannabis cause and many more as a clearly emotional tribute to Trower, who stood around the corner downtown for more. decades clad in head-to-toe hemp asking passers-by to support his cause: the legalization of not just hemp but all cannabis plants.

Trower, 70, lived to see the legalization of hemp in Kansas but not marijuana, even though dozens of states have legalized the plant for recreational or medicinal purposes. He died on August 9 at his home in Lawrence.

In 2019, he said of the picketing he had been leading since 1990: “It is a futile and symbolic gesture, but someone has to do it until it is fully legal.”

photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

Motorists honk their horns at Sunday’s memorial to Thomas Trower, Lawrence’s “Horn for Hemp” guy who died on August 9.

Sunday’s memorial was hosted by Erica Kellerman, neighbor to east of Trower on Lawrence and good friend.

“It was a terrible tragedy,” Kellerman said of Trower’s passing. “The purpose of this memorial is simply to keep the word alive. “

Kellerman’s sister Ashley Foster and Kellerman’s fiance Zachery Burris and brother Joe Gorman were also on hand Sunday to help lift Trower’s well-known signs – “Honk for Hemp” and ” Save Trees / Free Hemp ”- and to give her wardrobe of hemp clothing – all medium, as Kellerman noted, except for an assortment of large hemp gloves.

photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

Items from Thomas Trower’s hemp wardrobe were donated Sunday by friends of the “Honk for Hemp” guy, who died on August 9.

Passers-by stopped at a table draped in shirts, sweaters, cardigans and other Trower items, all made from natural hemp. One basket contained dozens of woven hemp bracelets. All of the items were free for anyone who needed them or just wanted a keepsake, Kellerman said.

As for the locally known signs, Kellerman said they would be donated to Lawrence’s Cycle Works, a store Kellerman said Trower “liked.” She said she hoped they would one day find their way into a museum.

photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

Erica Kellerman and others hold a memorial for Thomas Trower Sunday in 11th and Massachusetts streets. Trower, known as “Honk for Hemp,” has stood at the intersection on weekends for about three decades to protest the legalization of cannabis.

photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

Thomas Trower’s friends were giving away woven hemp bracelets on Sunday as a keepsake for the “Honk for Hemp” guy, along with all of Trower’s natural hemp clothing.

photo by: Kim Callahan / Journal-World

A group of motorcyclists paid tribute Sunday to Thomas Trower, the guy from Lawrence “Honk for Hemp”, who died on August 9th.

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