Today is day 31 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life. On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle. It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride. Please click here to support my ride. I have a $3000 fundraising minimum. Every little bit helps. If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month. I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.
It’s finished. This is the 31st post. I still have a bunch of people to write about. There’s Spencer. His funeral was the first open casket funeral I’d ever been too. He was such a beautiful man. I watched him lying there in that casket and thought “this is what it all comes down to”. He was already very sick when I met him. And all the make-up in the world can’t make that look go away.
There’s Paul. He worked with us at Old Repulsive. He had a bad limp that I think was from polio but I don’t remember. I didn’t know for a long time that he was positive. He worked as hard and as long as he could. And then he couldn’t. And then he died.
I wonder about a group of guys we used to refer to as “The Founder’s Queens”. They were a group of young men back in 1984 that worked for Founder’s Title on Polk Street in San Francisco. I know their recording clerk is gone. I saw him about two years ago and he didn’t recognize me. I didn’t change that much. I have always thought that those boys didn’t make it. They were young and fabulous and going out to the clubs every night. Guys like that didn’t make it.
And there’s some famous people I left off. Most notably Tony Richardson, Anthony Perkens and Isaac Asimov. And Willi Smith and Tina Chow. Brad Davis, Howard Rollins, Christian Haren, Peter Allen, Liberace, Roy Cohn, Tom Waddell, Robert Wagenhoffer, Alan Wiggins, Perry Ellis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Randy Shilts. This list goes on and on.
AIDS is now a pandemic affecting 33 million people worldwide. It’s believed that the first diagnosed case of AIDS in the United States occured on 1969. A 16 year old teenager who they refer to as Robert R died on May 16, 1969. He had strange symptoms that no one understood. His Dr. was wise enough to save tissue samples. In 1984 Robert R was diagnosed with AIDS.
I’ve been on the field at Candlestick Park a couple of times. I was part of the first “Until there’s a Cure” day. We made a big AIDS ribbon on the field. I remember back then a couple of the Giants were popping off about it, but today I can’t remember exactly who. I know it was the so-called God squad. I always thought those guys were missing the point, if that’s what they got out of their bible study, the time could have been better spent taking extra BP.
Today I ride, because the Ride ends when AIDS ends.
If everyone who came to PBE donated $10 towards my ride, I would be the top fundraiser for San Franscisco. That’s how many folks come here. I ask you all to look back on the last 31 posts. I know at least one of them spoke to every single person in some way. If you haven’t already, (or found more money) please sponsor my ride. Thank you.