30 June 2006

remembering a friend

I was "organizing" yesterday & came across a letter written nearly 9 years ago by Richard Martin. it was a shock because I left Richard's hundreds of letters with my papers at Kent State before moving here & after his death in 1999 at the age of 52 sent the remaining letters there. this one was never filed & got "lost." he wrote abt giving his last interview following the murder of Versace & going to see a movie: "I knew I wanted to affirm life in some basic way."

I began my correspondence with Richard in the summer of 1977 when he was editor of Arts. he was doing a Smithson issue & Nancy Holt suggestd to him that I write abt "Partially Buried Woodshed." we didn't meet till 1981 in Cleveland during a costume conference. he was representing FIT & I was helping set up the costume museum at KSU.

my admiration for him as art critic & scholar of fashion history was matchd by my delight in sharing our lives. we often wrote several letters a day to each other & on the phone we giggld like school girls. our attempt at romance never quite workd -- partly because of the distance between us & partly because being buddies seemd more permanent than being lovers.

I miss Richard. & when I saw his familiar writing of my name on that envelope yesterday I became teary. but I was lucky because I had as much time with him as I did.

with Richard in spring of 1990 in Kent


Montgomery Maxton said...

this was a very dear post. i enjoyed it. handwritten letters mean so much. i try to send many.

happy blogging, dear.

Malibu Boy said...

This week I was cleaning out old briefcases - and came across a locked one. I remembered the combination and opened it slowly. Hidden within were all the old birthday cards and Christmas cards given to me by my grandparents in the last two decades of their lives. Just seeing their handwriting stopped time for a moment. I just sat in the floor and traced the letters with my fingers. It was the same feeling you get when a certain smell can catapult you back in time.