S CLAY WILSON…The night that changed his life….

July 16th, 2010

S Clay Wilson was trying to get home from a friend’s house November 1, 2008, the night his life changed forever. We will never be certain if he fell or was attacked, since he has no memory of it. The numerous injuries on his face and head made him look like he was beat up. Two good samaritans found him unconscious between parked cars, face down in the rain, and called an ambulance. (I have tried to find them in order to express my gratitude for saving his life, but have had no success.) He’d suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, bleeding in three hemispheres of his brain. He spent three weeks in a coma, and we had no idea how severely impaired he was for many months. Once he began to speak again we realized he hadn’t just “awakened” to resume life as it had been before.

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GET OFF THE FLOOR, SAM!

January 16th, 2020
Sam Vaughn Show n' Tell

Sam Vaughn Show n’ Tell

An old pal of Wilson’s, the artist SamVaughn stopped in last Saturday to say Hello to Wilson, and show us some of his recent works. We always love an episode of Show & Tell, so Wilson was riveted by the work. He loved listening to Sam’s distinctive, blustery voice, and did his best to join in the conversation by making a few unintelligible remarks. I’m pleased our caregiver Rena was there to catch the two of them in this shot.

In the past, whenever we were driving on 17th Street, Wilson would always roll down the window at Guerrero Street, by the 500 Club, and holler in Sam’s husky voice,”HEY SAM, get off the floor”.and we’d continue on our way. There’s a story about that having to do with Sam being in his cups in there and falling over off the barstool, onto the floor, and just staying there. I think that’s when Wilson strolled in, stepped over him without so much as a pause, and said that to him just before ordering himself a drink. So he loved yelling that ever after, in passing. Ever since Wilson’s injury, I’ve taken over the tradition should we happen to drive past there together. It always makes Wilson smile, remembering it as I say it.

I’ve been sharing some of Wilson’s Hawaiian shirts with his pals, since he’s not been wearing them much in the past few years. He’s got a wild collection of vintage ones, plus some with pinup girls on them, festooned with palm trees or fishnet stockings. I wanted  to share some with Sam, who is tall enough,and the perfect size. He was already wearing an Hawaiian shirt, in fact, so I put 5 of them in a bag, along with a gorgeous black leather jacket, and an overjoyed Sam left with his gifts. He’s always loved Wilson’s iconic shirt collection, and I’m happy to give them to someone who would love to actually wear this memorable, festive regalia. Good memories, with great affection attached.

Great seeing you, Sam! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2020!

January 6th, 2020

IMG_8126

 

You’ve been wondering where we are?

We’re both still alive, first of all. I hope I didn’t worry anyone too much, but I had lots of oral surgery for Xmas, and barely managed to write something on Facebook (at the last minute) so I fell down on the job entirely where the Holidaze were concerned. It’s the first time I’ve done such a thing….but I did only a tiny bit of decorating on Xmas Eve. We were alone for over two days here, and while I LURV being home ALONE with Wilson, it was particularly difficult on a Holiday while picturing most people in the company of other loved ones. Or at least loved ones who can TALK! Man…I kept Wilson cheery, but can’t say the same for MYSELF. Same thing with New Year’s Eve and Day. Rena took this time off to….shocking!…..ENJOY HERSELF and get some rest. She’s doing an Herculean job of lifting Wilson way too much, so I let her take a break. Tomorrow we expect delivery of an electric LIFT, so if figuring out how to use it doesn’t kill us or Wilson, hopefully we won’t ALL end up in hospital beds. We’ll have to hire a WEIGHT LIFTER to take care of the THREE of us! I’m way to crippled now to lift him, as he is not only frail but completely uncooperative. He refuses to help unless it has something to do with getting back in bed. Otherwise he won’t stand up. Now very skinny, but it’s 6’4″ of skinny dead weight, WEIGHS A TON…so it feels like 200lbs, easy.

Wilson scared us this morning. We couldn’t wake him up for at least a half hour. Cold cloths, jiggling the bed, hollering. Nothing worked. This has happened a couple of times when I’ve been here alone – for even longer – your mind races, thinking NOT NOW NOT TODAY and informs me just how much I’m in denial. I am not even CLOSE to ready for his passing. I picture an afternoon with the whole house neat & tidy…all the mail opened & read…my hair freshly washed, and Wilson shaved & handsome. Well, that last part’s always true! He looks better than ME most days. But there’s clutter from sorting, and my GOD I need a shower today! I leaned in, kissed his cheek, and whispered into his ear “Wilson..please come back to me” and he squeezed my hand, then closed his mouth. Another kiss, and he lifted his lids, looking at me, and I pushed my heart back inside my chest.

“Good morning sweetheart!” I gushed. “Do you want some breakfast?” and he opened his mouth wide, like a baby bird. *sigh*…… Good grief! What a way to start a Monday morning!

So I hooked him up to oxygen while Rena made breakfast, and I laid down with a cup of coffee and this greatful reprieve. He’s awake. That’s a start. I can work with that.

Yeah…so we’re alive another day, and his eyes are bright again, and when he looks into mine I can tell he sees me. All is good.

Happy New Year, y’all! Here’s some photos. I haven’t taken many lately, so these old

HappyHilodaze

HappyHilodaze

IMG_7928 IMG_8051 IMG_8123 IMG_8146gems will have to do! Thanks for looking in, and thanks everyone for your donations. I just got a suction machine AND a nebulizer, so we can do a better job at keeping his airways open. Again…thank you all. Love & Peace in this New Year. And good health, most of all.

Fabulous drawing of W and redheads by Sabeth

A Tribute to S Clay from some Pirates!

November 20th, 2019
PIRATES;A Tribute to S Clay Wilson by Stephan Lausl

PIRATES;A Tribute to S Clay Wilson by Stephan Lausl

The past few months have sped past at an accelerated pace, and I’ve not been posting anything. I’m so ashamed! I’ll try to keep up, and keep you posted a bit more often. My apologies!

I noticed this stunning drawing on Twitter on Sunday, and showed it to Wilson. It’s by Stephan Lausl. Wils mumbled his enthusiastic approval and I wrote to the artist immediately! I thought I’d share it with you here, since Wilson can’t draw any pirates himself. He posted two other strips today which are INCREDIBLE, so if he gives me permission, I’ll share those, too.

Wilson was recertified for Hospice care this month, I am sorry to report. I had hoped he was so much better they’d throw him off. But he’s frail and less perky, and takes midday naps now pretty regularly.

Rena stopped taking him out for walks around the block last year, when his weak, wobbly gait made it too dangerous. He would push her into the wall, then careen over towards the curb and shove her along the parked cars, looking like a couple of DRUNKS stumbling down 16th Street! The final straw was when he slid down and parked his butt on the sidewalk. She’d never let go of him in the controlled drop, and managed to haul him back up, hollering, DEMANDING he start WALKING..her speech peppered with profanity…til she realized passersby had stopped to observe. Good thing she usually wears scrubs! “He’s my patient” she explained, exasperated. “I’m trying to get him back home!” They were tentatively satisfied, and instead of perhaps calling the cops, or catching it on their cellphones, they continued on their way, leaving Rena and Wilson to proceed in their customary War of Wills.

It’s STILL GOING ON, of course! Recently I noticed her just simply lifting him off the bed, or out of his chair. On Saturday she was rubbing her shoulder in pain. “You’ve injured yourself”,I observed. “You’ve just got to stop lifting him!” She laughed at herself and said “I know. I just can’t stand BEGGING him for 45 minutes any more, trying to get him to stand up.” I pushed the transport chair into the bathroom as she backed up. Then I leaned over, wrapping Wilson in an embrace from behind, and in a soft voice, I said into his ear,”Darling. Rena can’t lift you up. She’s in terrible pain now. Will you just hold her hands and get up, under your own steam?” “YEAH” he said, reaching out to her. She held both of his hands as I released his shoulders. “Ok…GO honey” and he rose to his feet all by himself! “Are you KIDDING ME” was written all over her face, but all she said aloud was “I got you, Wilson. Now just sit down right over here”.

Oh happy day! He stood up! What an ORNERY old bastard, torturing Rena like that. I laughed, saying “You’ve opened this can of worms. You’re going to have to put them all back IN!” I was happy just to see he was not helpless…and that he was F*CKING WITH HER! How very extremely WILSON of him, the old pervert. We have to make him stop that, or pretty soon he really WILL be took feeble to stand up on his own. But HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS just loves the extra attention. Even when it might cripple both of us. Isn’t he adorable?

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving. I’ll take some more photos of our charming old fart, and post them for you soon. Thanks to all for your continued support, and for your generous donations to the Trust. We couldn’t make it without you!

Looking Spiffy Today – Thank you all!

August 3rd, 2019
Birthday outfit

Birthday outfit

I had to show you how cute Wilson looks today in one of the shirts I got him for his birthday. He’s sparkling clean, fluffy, and in a fine mood. Stripes are everywhere, on the bottom of his pants, and his jazzy pink & orange socks. He likes to recline in his new transport chair with his feet up on the ottoman I found for him, instead of those awful chair pedals that attach to it.

Thank you everyone who donated to the Trust for his special holiday! I’m going to get him new bedding &pillows to replace the sadly wilted & lumpy stuff with which I’m currently torturing him, since they’re no longer what they once were. Rena hung the new curtains, which inspired him to holler an unintelligible statement of approval once I turned him around to look. All three of us like the wild red diamond shapes, which look handpainted, with tassels hanging from each center. So much more cheery than the faded & worn pastel striped upholstery fabric I hung over the windows at LEAST 6 years ago.

All smiles

All smiles

It’s my aim to brighten up and make more cheery the room he spends so much time in. He’s very sensitive to such things, and appears to be happy about these minor changes. Thank you for making it possible!

It Was A Very Happy Birthday!

July 30th, 2019
Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Sneering, perhaps?

Sneering, perhaps?

A glance out the window

A glance out the window

Wilson awoke on July 25, his 78th birthday, with bright eyes, after three days spent asleep most of the time. It was reassuring to see that just like a Nebraska Farm Boy, however, he awoke at every MEALTIME with predictable regularity…even though it seemed like he might be slipping away from us for good the rest of the time! It was a stressful 3 days, checking his temp, running the oxygen, and checking his vitals 24/7.

I guess he was resting up for the festivities?

I read him all of the fabulous Facebook greetings, reported all of your donations, and opened his cards for him. I didn’t arrange a party for that day, since he’d been so PUNY, so I’ll put together a little gathering in a couple of weeks to make up for it. He can only handle a few people at a time anyway, so it will be a modest production.

I couldn’t get a smile out of him for these pics, but I did have a laugh myself when he appeared to SNEER at me, as though he thought I might snatch that cash from his pal Maddog, in New Jersey! He loved all the cards & messages, and the Checkered Demon (in the Checkered box!) from Kevin Webster.

Thanks to everyone for the calls & messages, and for your generous donations to his Special Needs Trust. He looked pleased every time I announced one to him, as he still likes to feel he’s “earning” money!

Love to all…..Lorraine

Show ‘N Tell Sunday

July 17th, 2019
Don"Ace"Williams

Don”Ace”Williams

Ace came for a visit a couple of Sundays ago, bringing a collection of Wilson’s illustrated letters from years ago for a session of Bedside Show ‘n Tell. I left them alone for much of the time, so they could enjoy their time together without interruption from “The old Lady”. Turned out Ace needed no interpreter to aid in communicating with his silent old friend.

Wilson had to remain in bed, as our effort to get him up was met with Wilson’ characteristic resistance, and though we tried, it was impossible for us to get him to stand without putting us in traction. We gave up when I realized Wilson’s tiny butt was lower than the mattress, which can be the point of no return if you aren’t careful, and instead of getting up, it could turn into a controlled descent to the floor! That’s when a call to 911 for some strapping Firemen to come help is necessary. They can lift him back onto the bed like a butterfly, but then we’d be faced with trying to get him back out of his transport chair, later. I’ve never called for help twice in a day! The humiliation would be just too much. They might think those old geezers were too inept to take care of him, and decide to take him with them. No thanks! So we got him gently back into his original position, and Ace sat on the other bed right next to him. It worked out just fine.

I took pictures with both Wilson & Ace, but he kept tilting his head back – chin in the air, so all I could get was his NECK, basically. So I cropped him out.  I’ll post some other recent pics of Wilson from another day soon. Thanks for spending such a long time with him, Ace. He was noticeably cheered up by your visit!

S.Clay Coming Home This Week

April 10th, 2019
Weirdos in the hospital!

Weirdos in the hospital!

It’s been a harrowing 2 1/2 weeks. One in the ICU, where it took everything to convince the rude doctor to even TRY to bother saving his life. He didn’t want to send a probe into his stomach to find out why he bled in there. After only two days, he strolled in and said “We shouldn’t even put in a feeding tube. He’s DYING, so why prolong the inevitable?”

He said that in front of Wilson, who understands what is said. I was FURIOUS.

And to ME, with no gentility nor preparation. I told him it’s not a conversation in which Wilson can participate, since he can’t speak. We will NOT scare him like that!

I fought for him every day in that unit, where many mistakes took place…..then went home and collapsed.

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Before he was moved upstairs, out of the ICU, he had the probe performed. He has an eroding esophagus, and of course, terrible lung congestion which they suctioned. It’s considerably better but not perfect. They removed the feeding tube, and he’s eating bland puréed food & thickened water. He has some dangerous swallowing issues, but we hope to move on to finely chopped food soon.

But we have been LAUGHING a lot! Yesterday Rena showered him in the deluxe bathroom in his room. I trimmed his 2-week whisker buildup, then shaved him. He looks beautiful, and was so happy with all the attention he was positively beaming. He looked at Rena so adoringly while she dried his hair we both laughed…”He’s NEVER looked at me like that” she said, acting annoyed but secretly pleased. It bordered on the bizarre, actually. He was virtually SWOONING, looking up at her, while I took pictures. I’ll post them just as soon as I figure out how to use the new phone.

This afternoon, at around 1 o’clock, I happened to ask when they planned to discharge him.

“Oh…in about 45 minutes” said the Case Manager.

WHAT? I was home, doing a few things before going to the hospital. They’d have driven past me! We need a new hospital bed, groceries, and some extra organizing…like removing the beds we’ve got in there, and rearranging things! Another nightmare. Now I’m hoping he’ll be discharged on Thursday morning, and we’ll be ready. But I won’t know til later in the morning.

Wish us luck! It’s going to be challenging to lift Wilson in a sling, and swing him into a chair…then back again. He is extremely frail now, but with the right equipment I’m hoping for the best. I look forward to having him back home…where love resides. I’ve gone to check on him in the night many times, forgetting he’s in the hospital.

I miss having him here at home so much.

P.S. The photos are from yesterday. Wilson is in the book (and on the cover) by Jon B. Cooke. Other artists included have been taking selfies with the book, and posting them on Cooke’s Facebook page. I wanted to have Wilson join in this tradition, even though he’s in a hospital gown! The one wearing shades looked a bit too “Weekend at Bernie’s”, so I’ve added ones that show his beautiful Baby Blues.

Wilson in ICU

March 25th, 2019
Facebook post

Facebook post

i hope you can read this! I’m rushing to the hospital and don’t have time to write this all over again. I will post again tonight. Hoping for the best.

Chrissie Hynde is Badass!

February 12th, 2019
Checkered Demon Ring

Checkered Demon Ring

The late Chris Van Laer made Wilson & me Checkered Demon rings, as a gift.. He started by surprising me with this one, which proved to be too small. He made two more, with the 3rd one perfectly sized with a little bigger face. Wilson’s much bigger one came out perfect on the first try.  I knew immediately I wanted to give this to our beautiful friend, Chrissie Hynde. She’s been wild about Wilson for decades, and always gets in touch whenever she plays in San Francisco. And crazy about Wilson’s art since the beginning. I hoped she would like this very special gift, and was thrilled when she finally received it and got in touch. Last year she sent a photo of just her hand, which I posted at the time. But this photo is really great! Thank you, Chrissie, for posting this gorgeous photo of yourself, wearing the Checkered Demon ring! Wilson couldn’t stop looking at it, taking this iPad out of my hands so he could look at your beautiful face. You are so badass! And we both love you.

The Checkered Demon Pays a Visit

January 16th, 2019
Checkered Demon

Checkered Demon

Wilson received this lovely shirt from Ed Tharp a few weeks ago. What a terrific surprise! Now, of course, the world of Facebook is clammoring for them, but since Ed is not in this business, the two extra he made are not for sale. You’ll just have to gaze at it from afar,in appreciation. It’s pretty fabulous!