07 April 2012

A Hair-Raising Easter Memory

1961 Pontiac Tempest

Plain Grandma drove one of these. It seemed an appropriate memento of Easter weekend for the year I woke up with gum in my hair after being told explicitly to spit it out and brush my teeth before bed. (I did brush my teeth but I put the gum back in my mouth afterward, then went to bed).

Waking before anybody else the next morning, I discovered an nasty, tangled lump of hair and bubble gum on the back of my head. I panicked. With a pair of blunt-tipped scissors, the kind kindergarten-aged kids were allowed to have, I sawed it out. I thought this move would help me keep the secret that I didn't do as I was told.

When my mother noticed this offensive, nearly-bald spot on my head she asked me what happened. I really didn't want her to know that I kept the gum in my mouth. At that point I began fabricating the the most vivid, imaginative, colorful tale I'd ever told. That explanation was followed with a day-long question and answer session that would have given any interrogation on Law and Order a run for its money.

Today, like then, I cannot offer any real reason a random, black Cadillac-driving, plaid-suited, flame-haired, busty woman would bring her hateful, blonde-haired, pigtailed daughter to our house on Easter Sunday where they would tie me to a chair to steal a plug of locks from the back of my head.

After several performances I was instructed to repeat this lie to Grandma when she arrived with Easter baskets. Her hysterical laughter should have been my cue to give it up, but I persisted until I was threatened with being left behind for our upcoming vacation to Florida.

This story has become a celebrated part of our family history and it's always good for a laugh or two.

Happy Easter, everybody!

02 April 2012

30 Years, Tens of Thousands of Lives

San Francisco, 1982 - Rink Foto
This retrospective is bringing back a ton of memories for me:

San Francisco AIDS Foundation: Our History in Pictures

I remember the conversations I used to have with my friends back when "gay cancer" was in its early stages. Most of those guys died, horribly, in what should have been the prime of their lives.

I'm grateful for the progress we've made. I just wish it could have happened sooner.

The retrospective will be on display for 30 days during the month of April.