Wednesday, June 22, 2022

AIDS memorial quilt

I was able to visit AIDS memorial quilt exhibit recently on display in Golden Gate Park. I had made the attempt to see them last year, but got a bit turned around and wound up participating in another commemorative event in the AIDS Memorial Grove (also in GGP) instead. Like last year, this year I also participated in the reading of the names of those whom we've lost to AIDS/HIV related issues. At the end of my reading, I added one more name: Gerry, my favorite uncle. 

The day I viewed the panels was a bit overcast and misty--sort of adding to the somberness of the event. Fortunately, there were wee tissue boxes placed at each panel grouping; I certainly helped myself to more than one while touring the quilt. 

Not all was sad, however. So many of the panels showed lives lived with such joy and, sometimes, downright silliness. I really liked two of the panels that were, basically, just well-worn pairs of Levi's 501s---one pair with a blue bandana sewn into a pocket. It brought the vitality of the wearers back to life if even for a moment. I could imagine these men in decades past getting their groove on, as it were, and that made me smile. 

Seeing so many diverse and creative panels inspired me to want to create a panel to honor my Uncle Gerry. Not knowing where to start, I asked my Uncle Jim, Gerry's brother, if he could sort of help me brainstorm ideas. He agreed and we're to meet this Friday for lunch and a chin-wag. I'm looking forward to it. Gerry died when I was a teenager, so I can't say that I knew him as I might have known him now: adult to adult. But what I did know, I loved. To have some of the fuzzy bits colored in by my Uncle Jim, and, hopefully, by my Aunt Nancy (Gerry was married before he came out in the early 70s) would be most helpful. 


Here are a few snaps from the day--



Setting up the exhibit--





Note those jeans!


14 comments:

  1. I am quite certain that my eyes would have leaked big time. And love the idea of you creating a panel to honour and celebrate your most favourite uncle.

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    1. I hope it comes out as well as I would like!

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  2. I love those panels and think it's such a great idea to create one for your uncle. I bet that was a very emotional trip.

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    1. Very emotional. Spent a good amount of time with one of the event volunteers talking about the death of his partner of 33 yrs. We hugged. It was all very moving.

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  3. This memorial quilt exhibit is a very important initiative!
    Many people were victims of the dreadful Aids/HIV disease and deserve to be remembered.

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  4. What a lovely memorial for your uncle. Good luck with your panel.

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  5. This is a wonderful thing to do for your uncle and your family. I participated in making such a quilt, probably among the first, back in the day when the cause was unknown and we wanted to do something. The seventies, the eighties? I can't remember anything but making my square.

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    1. Oh, wow. -back in the early days of the pandemic. The 80s was when it kicked off as the so called 'Gay Disease'. -such a grim time.

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  6. I hope you come up with a great idea for a panel for Uncle Gerry. Can't wait to hear more about it.

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    1. Thank you, Mr. Shife! I hope to glean a ton of info. from my Uncle Jim tomorrow.

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  7. What a wonderful event to participate in. Hope your brain storming goes well. What a lovely idea to make something to honor your Uncle. I worry now about this group of people being the next target for the trump controlled Supreme Court. So sad, so disgusted. Keep us posted on your planning and the actual project. Good luck on all fronts.
    Sandy's Space

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! It was helpful, for sure.

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A piece of your mind here:

Short post on Gerry and Ric

  Uncle Gerry and Uncle Ric, ca. 1973.  In the early 70s, Uncle Gerry and Uncle Ric moved for a time to LA. They'd worked in plant maint...