Dad, AIDS and Reflections on 10 Years Since I got Joe Average’s Autograph


I am having one of those stream-of-consciousness kind of days, although the degree to which I am conscious would be fair game for discussion.

April 1 was my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 79 today or, to describe it the way he would (making fun of newspaper death notices), “in his 80th year”. Alas he died suddenly, just a month following his 75th birthday – a wonderful occasion the entire family had gathered to celebrate in grand style following Dad’s slight stroke (from which he had completely recovered). He dropped, while working in his beloved garden, and died of massive heart failure.

Dad was a great guy, to put it mildly, cursed with one of those birth dates – like Christmas – which had other distractions. Today we celebrate fools.

Tomorrow, in a meeting with her church congregation, my Mom is going to present her story – the story of both she and Dad – raising two sons who, it would turn out, are both gay and two daughters who are not.

I was thinking I would like to show lj my autographed poster of the XI International Conference on AIDS. The painter of the work depicted on the poster, Joe Average, signed a copy for me as he and the then-Minister of something-or-other unveiled a commemorative stamp in Toronto well in advance of the July, 1996 conference. (I shall be volunteering for the upcoming conference in Toronto this August.)

My photograph of the poster is crappy. The focus is wonky becuase I didn’t want to be directly in front of it (due to the reflective glass).

These posters blanketed Vancouver in 1996, one of the hottest summers on record there at the time, and glancing at my copy in the dining area brings back wonderful memories.

I have a bad kink in my shoulder radiating to and from my right eye and temple. It is, without a doubt, a migraine. It is a sign of my addiction to blogging that would have me sitting up – to say nothing of writing – today.

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