photos, Aug 17

Back before we all had cell phones, it was not as easy to keep in touch or get info to a friend. This was especially true if your friends moved frequently or lived in squats.

People used all sorts of methods to get around this: pagers, inexpensive voicemail services, notes on doors, etc..

Around here, we also had Merlin. Merlin was a fixture in the neighborhood, he lived in front of the Con-Ed substation on Avenue A. Everyone knew Merlin and Merlin knew everyone. More than once as I walked by him and said hi, he would stop me to relay a message from a friend.

15 years ago this week, I walked by as he was being loaded into an ambulance. He had not looked healthy for a while. I ran into Blackout Books where some meeting was going on and gathered a crew to go back and gather his belongings off the sidewalk so when he got out of the hospital he'd still have his things.

I forget if it was that night or a day later that Merlin died.

Every year since, someone puts up a memorial on the anniversary of his death. Today's photos are of this year's memorial. Most of the flowers had already blown away by the time I got there.

Some coverage of Merlin from other places: