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.