Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 09
From: Richard Eagan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is with regret that I will not be able to see you all this coming weekend. I am behind schedule in a big way in production of my own work, several shows of which are forthcoming. I've spoken with Larry Mead, Tivo and Bev over the past month or so, and anticipated coming to SLC with my daughter Molly- she is writing, and like so many of her generation feels like she was born "thirty years too late" for "all the good stuff", but I suspect there will be plenty to occupy her and those coming up behind her to make her own grandchildren envious- but in the end, there is thankfully too much to do. "Chop wood, carry water".
Molly's sister Daisy, who spent her childhood being a major star in New York theater is in Los Angeles finishing her undergrad degree in psychology at Antioch, having a relatively normal post-theater life. Molly is an amateur boxer and is the liason for immigration affairs in the office of congressman Maurice Hinchey in the upper Hudson Valley in Kingston. Andrea, as many of you are aware, died of colon cancer in 1993. She authored two books, wrote scads of articles on reproductive rights and women's health issues, co-founded Healthright, organized and sat on the board of The Writers Room in NYC, and was the founding president of the National Writers' Union. I am happily re-married these past twelve years to Liz Ostrow, a record producer currently working as Director of Artistic Planning for the Orchestra of St. Luke's in NYC. It's been a great, great twelve years.
I was a founder of the Brooklyn Woodworkers' Coop, which provided wherewithal for many craftspeople in the seventies, some of whom went on to establish thriving careers in design and fabrication (ask Larry Mead), including two major guitar designer/builders and a model boat builder. My former cabinetmaking partner Doug Yule (he of the late Velvet Underground) is a violin maker in Seattle.
I've been making and selling art since 1978 or so, much of it based on architecture and visual themes from Coney Island, which has led me into the current fight to keep the old place from being re-zoned and condo-ed into oblivion like the rest of New York. I have a show coming up in January at my home gallery, the 440 Gallery in Park Slope. Upstate in Schoharie County, I'm keeping bees and making honey, which is being marketed at upscale foodie joints and restaurants in Brooklyn. As to the rest of my career activity, that's something else you can ask Larry Mead or Bev Grant.
I look forward to accounts of what the weekend brought forth. I hope there is a minimum of sectarian infighting- did anyone follow the Columbia '68 Yahoo group threads? I rather have had my fingernails yanked out. I sincerely hope there will be plenty of Crit/Self Crit sessions to insure we're all still vigilant against those wacky bourgeois tendencies.
In all, no matter what's happened personally and politically over the past forty years, the lessons of life, culture and politics from the years of NY Newsreel, Columbia and the "Mad Dog Collective" have marked every decision I've made, and informed my daily attitude about how the world works. I only wish sometimes it were otherwise, so I could join the rest of the modern world in the Obama Love-a-Thon without being haunted by the knowledge of what "business as usual" means. The post-SDS phrase "racist pig power structure" may sound a trifle dated or quaint, but inaccurate it ain't.
Have fun, and think of me as a sixty-six year old when you screen "Make Out" this weekend.
Steve Packard- your sister Janet handled the closing on our house in Middleburgh back in 1999!