February 17, 2011 10:05:00 AM
Remembering the original cool cat
I recently learned that V.P. Ferguson died last year in Paris, France, and is buried there. He had lived on the East Bank in Paris for many years, exactly the place where that cat should have lived and died.
V.P. graduated from Lee High School in Columbus and later attended Ole Miss in the early 1950s.
Why, you may ask, is this noteworthy?
Simply because V.P. was the first hippy in the world, and I mean the world.
He was a hippy years before the word hippy was even coined. Just ask those who knew him in high school and college. They can verify this fact.
Keep in mind this was the late 40s and early 50s when V.P. attended high school and college and years before hippies and flower children appeared on the social scene.
V.P. was smoking pot when most people thought marijuana was just some place in Mexico.
V.P. would sit around in the grill at the Student Union Building at Ole Miss sometimes dressed in a flowing Hindu robe complete with turban or some other outlandish outfit and smoke pot.
Fellow students would ask him, "What are you smoking V.P.?" as they noticed a peculiar smell. "Just a little grass, man, just a little grass," he would reply.
He was, indeed, a legend in his own time.
Editor''s note: This letter was published with the knowledge and permission of Ferguson''s children who live in Columbus and said their mother always told them the pot growing in a window box for which Ferguson and his roommate were ultimately kicked out of Ole Miss allegedly belonged to Ferguson''s roommate, Mose Allison.