Monday, May 19, 2008

Every time I see your face/It reminds me of the places we used to go/But all I got is a photograph/And I realise you're not coming back anymore

I'm not a particularly nostalgic person. I don't think of the past and long for my so-called salad days; nor do I look the future with hopes and dreams. I live in the present, perhaps to my detriment. Maybe I should look to my past more for lessons I've learned. And it's probably not good that I don't plan at all for my future, but hey, it's worked out okay for me until now.

Yesterday work prevented me from joining Steve in meeting up with Duwan Dunn, an old from from way back in the day. Duwan is a photographer and always had a camera in her hand. Actually, back then, many of us in our crowd documented our every little moment, staged and not. Anyway, Duwan gave Steve a disk loaded with her photos from the early to mid-80s and a lot of pleasant memories were evoked when we looked through them. Honestly though, in all these intervening years, I don't remember the specifics of most of the photos I'm in. But here's my favorite:

I believe this was taken in 1982, and possibly in this weird place in north county we referred to as The Bombed Out Building. But it's brilliant, isn't it? Duwan entitled it "Cathy Calls Hell."

I have absolutely no recollection of these next two photos being taken. That's how often we had photo sessions -- they all blur together at this point. From the titles (and the tell-tale streetlights), I know these were taken on Euclid Avenue. Our gang spent a lot of time on Euclid. Back then the CWE was the purview of the artsy, the edgy and the fabulously gay. It had not yet been countified and inundated by the cookie cutter Preps who eventually took over. On the steps of where Golden Grocer now resides we used to gather and just hang. My first wedding shower, such as it was, was held there. Once we found a box of old silk neckties and spent a couple of nights feverishly selling them to passers-by. Lest you think we were awful punk rock panhandlers, I assure you it was more performance art than anything else. We were the local color people came to the CWE to gawk at. We always had a boombox blasting music and we danced and danced. On one perfect night we formed a Soul Train (named after a segment in the eponymous show) and danced down the middle of Euclid, gathering strangers until our single file line was several car lengths long; we took it all the way down to Left Bank Books. It's a little hard to believe that very little to no alcohol nor any other substances were involved. We were just young and crazy and happy.

This is Duwan and me. I don't remember this vintage dress, but I wish I still had it.

Steve, an unremembered person (I say Frank, Steve says not), and me.

I love this shot of a young Steve. I don't think I've ever seen this photo before, and I'm pretty sure it was taken before I came around. But I really love it, from the paisley shirt and windbreaker to his rock star-thin hips to his fabulous jaw line.

OK, so maybe now I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

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