Mary Jane Leach
Subject: Happy New 2006, memories of my Benefit @ A's
Date: 7 January 2006 6:17:50 PM
To: A with lov-e
I was building a wall in a large ground floor loft when the scaffolding fell over, crashing me to the floor. I ended up in a charity ward at a local hospital for the uninsured (the contractor boss refused to recognize my accident, fearing the cost increase for his insurance).
It was at this time, with me in bed unable to walk, that my first wife finally finalized our divorce. It was clear that I had become even less useful. The hospital was a great adventure. New York has some of the most fascinating homeless, poor working class people anyone could ever hope for. Each man's tale out did my own and it was here I made myself a promise to go around the world if I regained use of my legs.
It was also at this time that our world of artists and friends came to my assistance with this benefit at A's... giving me the necessary money to pay my rent and cash for food to survive the months of recuperation in my small Spring street apartment near the Ear Inn.
I heated my small apartment using the ancient fireplace found under the plasterboard in the wall. Food and scraps of wood for the fire were carried over by 'Sam' Tehching Hsieh. Through the winter and Spring I healed.
Finally, taking advantage of the crazy real estate boom in Soho, I liquidated my only asset, which meant at the time, selling my lease for key money... Enough cash to head out on the road first to Europe, across via the Trans-Siberian to Asia. A trip that seeded my destiny with enough inspiration that ended with a return to Asia again a few years later.. A trip that has lasted a life time.
The Backbone benefit confirmed the love and vitality of the A community. A triple blessing of art, love, and salvation. Fulfilling all our spiritual and physical needs, despite our artistic radicalism, was possible, because of this womb of support. Despite grave turns of fortune, 'A' and her cadre were there. We survived because of her artistic vitality. We experienced the best Art earth offered, while sucking the tit of NYC's communal compassion.
Life was perfection... A's masterwork of sociological artistry. A place where politic and human integrity merged to make ideals common place, essence our daily nectar, there in the bowels of the bowery a gaggle of angels.
Robert L. Seltman
Page 2 A>Z
Page 2 A>Z
Contact the author