AIDS WALK 2016

images It’s the only time Central Park resembles Japan.

I’m humbled by the thousands who participate, and ashamed not being one of them.  Truth be told, I’m not very good in such a massive crowd, much more trouble than I’m worth.  I can just see it…middle-aged woman down on three mile mark…gasping for breath.  For me, it’s better to write a check, in this case, anyway.

I never lost anyone close to this mysterious disease, but have friends who have in its onset when there was no hope in sight.

Joe MacDonald, a model I worked with, was the first fatality I remember, his death, lavishly written up in New York Magazine.  Handsome, sweet, throwing his blazer around my shoulders as if he were Errol Flynn and I, Olivia de Havilland.

I know two women who defied all fears despite the lack of initial knowledge.  Emma, I’ll call her, went to her local hospital to hold AIDS babies, when no one would go near them.

Another lady, Mary, living up to her name, sat at the bedside of so many stricken men whose families had abandoned them – listening, writing letters, holding their hands.  I see them both once in a while on the street, pillars, letting us all know, there was nothing to be afraid of.

Reminds me of something the hairdresser, Maury Hopson, wrote in Vanity Fair about his friend, Way Bandy, the well-known make-up artist who died at 45, in 1986.

‘He squeezed my hand, then just let go.  I looked at him then and said, “I’m so proud of you – look what you’ve done, you’ve just slipped over to the other side, and that he’d done it, with such bravery.  I mean here was this person who was a make-up artist that you think is some big sissy, and he had gone out, like a fucking gladiator.’

A remembrance, more than worth remembering.

Susannah Bianchi

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Fashion, friendship, Health, History, Love, media, men, New York City, words and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to AIDS WALK 2016

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, we’ve come a long way with education and treatment, but so much more to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. micklively says:

    I recall when AIDS first broke surface in the media. It was like we’d been transported to the Middle Ages: folk ostracised for being ill; others saying it was all divine intervention, calling for cancellation of all treatment and research; some even suggesting deportation or a cull was the way forward. I am so pleased to see that enlightenment has prevailed, thanks to the dogged determination of some very brave people.
    I take issue with “mysterious disease”. There is little mystery. It’s a logical consequence of systematic destruction of natural environment: we cut down rainforest, the monkeys die out and simian diseases need to find a new host.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember it and how anyone somehow resembling gay was ostracized. I’ve had a gay friend since the 60s (when it wasn’t fashionable). It was a scary time. Fortunately he was in a monogamous relationship but my husband lost a childhood friend to it before there was hope.

    Like

  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Fear from the unknown is what it was. Education has prevailed thankfully. Hopefully some day there will be more…~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MJ says:

    I think of Vince, and Eddie, my friends and former classmates. Gentle, sweet-faced Eddie, a light that shined too briefly with the Martha Graham Company before this darkness came…and Vinnie,
    and his letters from the road, brightening up my days while I worked at a job I hated, until he came back to star on Broadway in “Grease”. I owe him more than I can say. Just three years earlier, he’d literally saved me from breaking my neck during a rehearsal. Seeing me unwittingly about to step backwards off a 20-ft platform, he coolly grinned and grabbed my hand, then yanked me back to safety, “JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY!” said Vin. Heaven rest him now…and Eddie…and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A terrible disease that’s afflicting far too many people. And like ANY disease, needs to be stamped out. So much courage, and so much work still to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

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