Che McPherson

I lived in this 3 story Federal style house with its spicy iron ore spotted face brick for years.

During the years I lived there the block changed from rooming houses and collectives to single rehabbed homes. We were an artist collective and the Block Association (they incorporated!) sarcastically referred to my house as Christian and Her Community.

I lived with a cast of characters. Seriously. Characters.
Famous and infamous visitors were frequent, some were serious (visiting writers lecturing on tour) but mostly it was a gleeful and talented freak parade.

Armin would be in the basement fixing the isolation tank or helping me frame pieces. I would try to tame the massive over grown yard. A sink fell off a bathroom wall. Part of the house was rehabbed, the other in decay. Sub Genius ruled and Philo Drummond (who I met when he was living in St. Louis) visited. Wade Rathke spent a week in a first floor room. Geoff Dugan visited and various other artists and writers. Not a party house but a Haute House where living was an adventure.

Charles the dog got into the act by swiping a plate of brownies off the top of Dobbs (he owned the house) car one day while he was unloading. Dobbs had placed the plate from Cookies, Cookies, and More on the car roof and when he exited the car he found Charles on top chowing down. I witnessed this event and it was hilarious.

One early morning the high heel of my shoe poked through the layers of ancient linoleum on the kitchen floor and I was stuck for one minute. I was chatting with a house mate Paul in this kitchen one night while he was baking and I saw a rat cross the floor. He noticed me tracking the rat, jumped up on a chair, and told me to hand him the bowl he was stirring.
Ellen had a baby grand piano on the first floor.

My first floor art studio was a fire waiting to happen where I blasted Patti Smith and Nick Cave while painting. The second floor studio was where I published Velocity magazine.

Hide and Seek was the game of choice in our house. From my third floor window I would watch hundreds of crows roost at twilight in the dozens of trees in the back yard. Race Young once lived in Hampton Hall and would call and ask me to wave to him from my window. I waved.
Daily performances were common and you'll have to click to biggify to see the guy on the john reading the paper.

In San Francisco with accomplices:

Deconstructed self portrait with cigarette.

With my sister Efficient in front of The Avon in Tampa. Glistening black vitrolite.

Thanks Dobbs, those were some of the best years of my good life.

Just arrived, an email from Dobbs, my former dazzling landlord and still one of my best BFs:
I wish I could have made the cast of characters in the background a little more prominent– Paul on the crapper, Ellen with the tv magnifier, the MLK t-shirt on the clothesline and the washing machine it, and what's hiding behind me that can't be seen at all is about a size 50 pair of jockey shorts hanging on the line. And we tried to get Alex to stand on the hood of the car but it was a hot day and he kept jumping off because of a serious case of the hot foot. At least Grace Jones mounting the steps is clearly seen.

And speaking of cast of characters, we really did have a few rotating through that place, though I've forgotten probably half of 'em.

One of the more interesting moments happened before you were there when I was coming out of the kitchen one evening and met my cousin Jay walking down the steps with a strange black chick. He properly introduced us and said he was driving her "home" and would be back in a few. When he got back I asked him who she was and he said she was a hooker he'd picked up over on the stroll.

Did you know Robert Anton Wilson spent 4-5 days in your old room when we brought him to town for a lecture?

Those were some of the best days of my life too. I kinda wish I had a do-over on my time there.

No comments: