Pictures sure do have a way of coming back around, for better and for worse. Sometimes they flaunt you, and sometimes they come back to HAUNT you.
Here’s an example – my father was in the Navy back in the 70’s and while in Italy he “got it on” with two chicks, and someone happened to snap a quick pic (for posterity, I guess?). Decades later an old Navy buddy of his reached out and informed him that he was featured on an Italian porn site. Consequently, his nickname became Poppa Georgio, henceforth… 😉 True story. Did I mention that he went onto become a Pastor? You can’t make this shit up! Sorry to spill your beans, Dad, errrr, Poppa G… 😉
While you will not find me on any porn sites (foreign or domestic), I DO have one such picture, one that has resurfaced in one form or another over the years. Back in 1998 my Missus and I made our way to the Pacific Northwest when we were 18, essentially traveling 3,600 miles to be homeless, not knowing anyone (or anything, if your were to ask our parents at the time). When we first rolled into Seattle we stayed at Tent City II, an organized encampment on Beacon Hill, adjacent to downtown. (What a view!)
Alice Wheeler, a renown photographer responsible for MANY of the pictures you’ve seen of the Pacific Northwest music scene over the years, especially late 80’s/early 90’s, happened upon us while doing a story on Tent City. Admittedly, I was a walking Kurt Cobain emulation at the time, which caught her eye, and we ended up striking up a conversation. We talked about music, her works, which I had seen all over the place, we talked about my music, why we traveled so far from home, what our plans were, etc. During the conversation she snapped up a couple shots of me amongst the tents, with glorious downtown Seattle in the background (is that the King Dome back there!?). According to us, we had reached the Promised Land and we were gearing up to hit the Stratosphere. I’ve been doing this Marytree thing a long time, and yes, my delusions of grandeur are still quite intact… 😉 I digress…
I did not realize at the time how many times this picture would come back around in one form or another, immortalizing such an pivotal time in our lives. Since then, this photo has been in the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project, aka the Jimi Hendrix Memorial Museum), a book called Outcasts and Innocents and various articles and publications over the years. Every time I see it, every time it comes back around, I’m reminded of that moment in time, and I am reminded of just how powerful determination and drive can be, no matter your age or situation.
A couple weeks ago the Seattle Times reached out to follow up, recap the story and find out what I’ve been up to lately. In short, as the line in Shun says, “The fire is burning white like never before…” Marytree lives and breathes still, out of drive and determination, yes, but also out of stubbornness, and lots of piss and vinegar. 😉
My undying thanks to Alice for capturing this moment in time, a picture that evokes the flashing of our lives before my eyes (in a good way!), one that reminds me where we’ve been, what we’ve done, the experiences we’ve had,. Also, my thanks to Erik Lacitis for reaching out to me, being interested in the story and taking a walk down Memory Lane with me.
Here’s the link to the Seattle Times article; be sure to read through the whole thing, I am but a brick in the wall on this one, there’s LOTS of great works with their backstories. I am amongst good company, indeed…