It’s AIDS Walk time again, and while the Geezer and I were immersed in our meetings in the Valley, they marched and ran in Balboa Park. At the start of the ceremonies, they unfolded an AIDS Quilt block made by Stir M’s quilt makers in 2002 that includes a panel for my friend Dale. (Has it been that long?) This was the second panel I made for Dale.
The first panel was a many layered thing that told the story of his loves in colorful layers glued and sewn on. When it was done, we sewed it into a block that went off to AIDS Quilt Headquarters…which moved to Atlanta and changed the rules.
When it became impossible for our small impoverished chapter to bring Quilt from Headquarters to San Diego, we decided to apply a little creativity….with permission. I duplicated Dales block, but this time I kept the background a solid color. Here it is finished in May of 2003.
The new panel was sewn into a block made up of locals, and shown many times before the chapter was dissolved.
We brought the blocks home….four of them, and the Geezer installed grommets on our garage floor.
Dr. Jay and I had just been talking about the continuing spread of AIDS yesterday evening. Then this morning, this treat in the paper. I hadn’t seen this panel I made for Dale since it was last used at a Mama’s Tree Lighting fund raiser. Then, this morning, there it was in black and white on an inside page of my local section.
“Look, Geezer, look,” I said with great surprise, “There’s Dale.”
I still feel passionate about his too early death, but I no longer cry when I see his name, I smile.