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Nine Questions: Dicksmith

Even though my first few hashes were Stateside, I really became a hasher in Okinawa, Japan, and I have a great fondness for other hashers who cut their teeth with the Okinawa HHH. Such a hasher is John Marin, aka Dicksmith.


Dicksmith currently lives near Saint Louis, Missouri, where he hashes with the Bell/Scott and Big Hump Hash House Harriers. He’s been hashing for almost 22 years, and identifies his “hash traditions” as mixed hash, live hare, A-to-B, most definitely including singing. A hasher after my own heart!


So, Dicksmith, when & where was your first hash?

November 1986, Okinawa Japan

How did you find out about the hash?

My Marines told me I was going to the hash with them. Period.

Why did the hash name you Dicksmith?

I was a Navy Corpsman stationed with 3rd MarDiv. Allegedly all we ever treat when we’re stationed with the Marines are STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Since there already was a hasher named “Pecker Checker” I was named “Dicksmith,” as in Blacksmith, Goldsmith, etc.

When & where was your first away hash?

I guess it would be AIH 1995 in Orlando. When I hashed with North County, AIH was held in San Diego, but I couldn’t attend. A year or so later, I was transferred to Chicago and Waukesha hosted AIH. Since I lived on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois, I hashed with both Chicago and Waukesha (some say I went both ways). So since I hashed with Waukesha, I couldn’t count that AIH as an away event.

What are some of your favorite haring techniques?

I love live haring. I’ve hashed in places that were dead hare hashes and I ignored them and set live trails. When you live hare, you are able to adjust your trail to the pack. If for some reason there’s a smaller turn-out than usual, you can make the checks easier; if there’s a large turn-out you can throw in that long check-back to keep the FRBs from running away from the pack.

What’s the best thing about hashing for you?

All the wonderful people I’ve met throughout the years.

What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

I was a Nurse recruiter for the Navy in Chicago and we would bring potential recruits out to San Diego in December. I took two recruits hashing with my old hash, North County. One was a good runner and one wasn’t. Once I got on trail, my SCB genes took over and I deserted my slow runner. Caught the hares but almost lost one of my charges. Some pretty tense minutes that hash!

What is it about hashing that keeps you going?

In my early hashing days, it was the release valve from the pressures of the military. Get out on trail, get some exercise and enjoy the company of like-minded individuals. These days it’s going to the big events and seeing all the old timers I’ve met through the years.

What don’t you love about hashing?

Those who feel that “no rules” applies to every aspect of the hash. I was taught that “no rules” covered the hares and their trail. I’ve seen some pretty unacceptable behavior justified by saying “there are no rules in hashing.”

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