High Times Greats: The Life And High Times Of Tom Forçade

in Culture

High Times founder Tom Forçade would have been 74 today. To pay tribute, we’re bringing you this story, written by John Holmstrom and originally published in the October, 1989 issue of High Times.

Tom Forçade was born on September 11th, 1945, in Hayward, California. His father, Kenneth, is remembered as the toughest guy who ever lived.

Even though he weighed only 170 pounds, he was an outstanding college football player. Lining up in the backfield, in the now-defunct position of running guard, he was a ferocious blocker and a formidable ballcarrier. According to the “Forçade Legend,” Kenneth was never knocked off his feet on the playing field. True or not, this statement underlines a family belief that Tom Forçade lived by: by force of will, you can do anything.

For fun, Tom’s father was in the habit of visiting the toughest saloon he could find, and announcing in a loud voice that he could whip anyone in the bar. As each eager opponent left his barstool to take their turn at the smaller man, he’d knock them silly, one by one.

This unyielding intensity drove him to great accomplishments in his chosen field, engineering. After serving in World War II as a civil engineer on the Alaskan highway, he traveled the world, planning and building massive construction projects, from airports to factories.

In 1957, when Tom was only 11, his father died in a car crash. This sudden, tragic event forced Tom’s mother to take a job and find a permanent home. After a lifetime of moving, the family (Tom, his mother and sister) returned to their roots and settled down in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tom’s mother remembers her son as a model child, “very sensitive, shy and patriotic—a good Boy Scout and Explorer. He hated controversy …

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Author: High Times / High Times

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