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S. Clay Wilson Turns 77 Wednesday, July25,2018!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time zooms by in a drawing by Kliban

Time zooms by in a drawing by Kliban

Wilson turns 77 today. It’s been a very rough month, with a trip to the ER only ten days ago. He was groggy and congested in the morning, even though his blood pressure was good, and he didn’t have a fever.

So I called 911, and we spent the entire day at Davies Hospital, having tests & scans done. Around 6pm, they finally released, rather than admit him, and we took an ambulance back home. There was no diagnosis of anything, but a suspicion that the shunt in his brain might not have drained a buildup of fluid as fast as usual. It was two more days before he perked up, and his eyes resumed their blue, wide-eyed expression. I must have checked him at least five times during the night, and hovered like a hen over him during the daytime.

Sitting up at dinner on the third night, after Rena left for a vacation at Disneyland, Wilson was a bit puny, and kept his cuddle buddy, Mambo, close by. It was so cute, I placed him on Wilson’s shoulder and took this photo.

Mambo, the smiling giraffe

Mambo, the smiling giraffe

He has been gradually improving over the weekend, while the fabulous Paula O’Rourke came to help out in Rena’s absence. He used this time to be as obstinate as possible, making it difficult to get him up, get him moved over by the windows for a cheery meal, and just generally reduced us, at times, to near BEGGING for his cooperation. It was an exhausting five days! I am so glad Paula was available to assist. He alternated between staring at her with enraptured interest to glaring with what we refer to as that “stink-eye”, which can reduce a person to tears sometimes, if he does it for too long. The brain is a mystifying thing, I must say. Especially HIS! Even with this devastating injury, he is still creative. Even if it’s occasionally in the torture department.

Tuesday, Rena returned to work, and Wilson resumed actually WALKING UPRIGHT, and smiling at me as I held his hands, guiding him across the room or down the hallway. I will have to nominate him for an Academy Award this year for his performance in the production of “Torturing My Wife (and everyone else)for No Good Reason”!

I hope you will remember to send a donation to the Trust for his birthday, if you can. Yesterday the washing machine died, and flooded the entire back porch laundry room. It took nearly two hours to clean up the deluge and dry things off. What an awful time…at day’s end, for this discovery! Thankfully, Paula was still here to help throw things into the garbage outside. It was a terrible mess. It’s a used one, which would cost more than I paid for it to get it repaired AGAIN. (Since it was already chewing holes into everything, I’d prefer to replace it.) So until later, it’s back to the laundromat over on 17th street with everything piled onto my walker. Our car, you might recall, was totaled last Valentine’s Day. It was too damaged to afford getting it fixed, so we have been living like real hermits ever since. I was hoping to get another used car this year, but first it’s going to have to be a washing machine. *Sigh….*

If it isn’t ONE THING, I always say, it’s TWO.

Happy Birthday, my darling!

Happy Birthday, my darling!

Back to party plans;

I will try to get it together by Saturday, and invite a couple of people over to celebrate Wilsons birthday with us. Today just isn’t possible, so I’ll open his mail with him at lunchtime, and show him his gifts & cards. He will be happy to see his pals just as much in a few days…and I will be ready then, too!

It's a nice day for...

It’s a nice day for…

So today is a nice day for BIRTHDAY PART ONE! Please write Wilson a birthday note or an anecdote about him, and I will read it to him!

I’ll read belated ones to him at BIRTHDAY PART TWO, on Saturday.

Thanks so much for looking in on him! And thanks in advance if you donate to the Trust, for the Washing Machine Fund. Not glamorous, but so very much needed. Cheers from the Barbary Coast!

Chrissie Hynde at The Masonic June 22!!!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018
Checkered Demon ring

Checkered Demon ring

Great news! Chrissie is coming to San Francisco June 22, 2018!

This is her hand. She is wearing the Checkered Demon ring by Chris Van Laer, may he Rest In Peace. He never got to see this photo, but he knew I was sending her the extra ring he had made. She LOVES it!

Sadly, I can’t take Wilson to the show, even though we are invited. He has suddenly become much more wobbly, and is also unable to handle too many people all at once. He becomes very fearful and claustrophobic.

I am EXTRA DISAPPOINTED since Friday, June 22 is MY BIRTHDAY

That’s whazzup for now.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Paula O'Rourke & Wilson

Paula O’Rourke & Wilson

The fragrant roses on Prosper Street

The fragrant roses on Prosper Street

Julie's memorial day

Julie’s memorial day

Our friends had a memorial for the beautiful Julie Willing. It started with the brass band playing in a procession from Dolores Park, through the neighborhood to the school across the street, where they played for about an hour. I took Wilson out to join in this joyful celebration of Julie with her husband Tim Dougherty and their daughter Siobhan, and a crowd of their friends and Julie’s family. It was so good to spend some time with them. I miss her so terribly much! It was wonderful to see the fabulous Paula O’Rourke again, back in town from Barcelona after so many years. She hasn’t aged a day! Wilson liked all the attention. I think he gets a bit weary just looking at Rena and me all the time!

I wore the delicate scarf Julie gave me over 15 years ago.

Yesterday, walking back from the clinic, I noticed this huge rose bush. Wilson and I always loved it, and stopped to smell their incredible fragrance whenever we happened by and it was in bloom. I took this photo to show to him when I got home, telling him how BEAUTIFUL they still smell! His eyes were wide with wonder, smiling as I shared this with him. I was so glad I could bring him this little moment of joy.

 

St. Patrick was sober again this year.

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
Tiny Shamrocks & Ladies

Tiny Shamrocks & Ladies

Wilson skipped his traditional Guinness & shots of Whiskey again this year. He hasn’t had a drink on this day since 2008, and no longer misses it. But the first year after his injury, whenever his former drinking pals showed up, he’d throw his arm around a shoulder and try to drag them on over to the door, saying

“LETS GO HAVE A POP!”

I spent about a year repeating a concept I was trying to imprint in his mind, which was;

IT’S SOMEBODY ELSE’S TURN. You drank your trainload of booze. You had your turn. Now pass it along.

It took awhile, but eventually he grew fond of that idea. He still is.

March roars like a Lion

Monday, March 12th, 2018

This has been a cold month in our usually moderate California. Even WORSE across the country to the site of those Nor’easters…one after another. I hope everyone is able to stay warm. Our heating bills are bad enough this year to just about break our budget. I try to LAYER, but sometimes wearing gloves in bed can get depressing. I put fingerless ones on Wilson sometimes, even in the daytime!

Yesterday I was horrified to find he had pulled his colorful Tinkerbelle blanket off, wadded it up and put it under his head, on top of his pillow. He still had his little giraffe cuddle buddy, Mambo, nestled next to his neck. I use long garters on the covers at the foot of his bed to keep him from uncovering himself in the night, so I can see I’ll need to clip Tinkerbelle in with his other blanket. Otherwise he might end up completely uncovered in our freezing cold bedroom. He cannot problem-solve….he cannot cover himself back up. But he did look awfully cute, so I took a picture before putting the blanket back over him.

Blanket Wars

Blanket Wars

Valentine

Monday, March 12th, 2018
Choose L O V E

Choose L O V E

I made this Valentine for 2018 and promptly forgot to put it on here! All the hearts are a series of Valentines from Ken Alexander over the years. I love every one of them!

I hope your Valentine Day was filled with love.

Gallery

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

To view the Gallery of Wilson’s drawings, please click on June 2013. To enlarge, just click on them. Some take awhile to load, so please be patient. I don’t actually know what I’m doing.

Wil Eisner Hall of Fame

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
Hall of Fame Nominee

Hall of Fame Nominee

Please Vote by March 16

Please Vote by March 16

Wilson has been nominated for the Wil Eisner Hall of Fame! Please go to eisnervote.com and follow the instructions. ( I’m sorry this is NOT a link to it…I’d love to make it easier for you, but I don’t know how.) The list of nominees is very prestigious, and you can vote for four people. ¬†Four people will be inducted. Two women were already automatically put through, so congrats to them. Please vote for Wilson, as he deserves this honor. When I told him about it last night, he was positively BEAMING! He really does understand things I tell him, and this brought a smile to his lips, he was so pleased. You must register first, which is really easy. The site leads you right on over to the list, to vote. The voting closes March 16, so do it now lest you forget. Think IDES OF MARCH, which is the 15th. If you don’t vote by then…well….that Ides thing could get you.

Christmas ? When did THAT Happen?

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Christmas came & went without posting a greeting, or pictures, or even getting to the Post Office to send off any cards or little gifts. I will catch up, and get it all out and on the way in the coming weeks! We were thinking of you…but some of my own health issues have been getting in the way lately. I promise to be better in 2018 about communicating. I tend to close down when pain takes over. The past few months have been filled with tragic loss and with my own increasing physical pain. I will make more of an effort again, promise!

Meanwhile, here are a few pix of a very worried-looking Wilson, (I asked him if he was worrying, and he said “Yeah!” With a bit more prodding, I ascertained he was fretting about the future, about seeing his friends, and about me being so much more crippled lately. After talking awhile he stopped looking so disturbed, but by then I forgot to take a happier picture!) and some living room decorations. We really did have a cheery day together, and enjoyed having the whole time to ourselves. I shaved him, gave him a manicure, and read all of your cards & letters to him. It was like having a party with lots of people over, but no cleanup and no lingering stragglers hunting for their hats.

Wilson, worrying

Wilson, worrying

Tiny Tree for 2017

Tiny Tree for 2017

Mantle Miniatures

Mantle Miniatures

Owl twin

Owl twin

Tinkerbelle, Fairies, Checkered Demon & Pisa

Tinkerbelle, Fairies, Checkered Demon & Pisa

Eddie Bear, age 30

Eddie Bear, age 30

Kvon Behpour, my friend with a tree. Favorite XmasCard!

Kvon Behpour, my friend with a tree. Favorite XmasCard!

Time Has Been Flying Past!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

S. Clay Wilson by Drew Friedman S.Clay Wilson turns 76!

By Drew Friedman

Rena acts out Hairspray

Rena acts out Hairspray

Jim McCrary comes from Kansas!

Jim McCrary comes from Kansas!

The Dead Cat & Mouse

The Dead Cat & Mouse

The time between July 25th, Wilson’s Birthday, and Halloween seems to have FLOWN past. Lots of visitors, doctor appointments, and nonsense. When you get older, it seems like time goes by in massive chunks instead of day after day. Every time I make a plan to accomplish something, life gets in the way and things get farther out of control. I keep trying to “get organized”, then notice how much farther away I am from even being able to SORT MY SOCKS!

I’m beginning to think a snow shovel is the solution. Just shovel it all out the door! I can’t keep up with Wilson’s STUFF. Can I possibly keep looking at every minuscule piece of paper? I noticed years ago that he couldn’t even bear to throw away a paper clip. Now I’m infected with that same mental illness! I’m not going to ever use that clamp…those folder tabs I bought seven years ago. I’ve been tossing things in the file cabinet all along anyway, and almost NEVER retrieve anything from it. Please, Lorraine, throw something away! Put a box full of unused “office supplies” out on the sidewalk…It’ll be empty in minutes.

Sigh. These dilemmas pester my mind while I try to simply remember what I did with my favorite reading glasses, or the stamps I swear I just bought a week ago.

Wilson is relieved of such concerns. He worries about almost nothing. If he does look worried, or seem to have the blues, I do everything I can to find out what’s bothering him, and make it all better. Keep him smiling. It’s become difficult now that he rarely speaks. He’s become almost totally silent now, but is engaged in listening&watching constantly. I know he understands most of what he hears, because I see it on his face. And he will sometimes burst forth with a stream of totally unintelligible words, letting us know….SOMEthing! So yes…he is very much in there, and very sensitive. I try to keep him comfortable, comforted, and cozy in his diminishing world. And make him laugh.

I hung the cat & mouse up on about the 22nd this year, and before I got around to it, our neighbor Smithy took a photo & posted it on Facebook. I was so grateful, as people were beginning to ask.”Have you hung up the Dead Cat yet? Are you going to?” Oh yes. Always. It’s Wilson’s tradition, and I’m sticking to it.

If I could remember how to insert photos in the text, as I write, this would look a LOT BETTER! I can’t figure that out tonight, so I’m just going to keep showing you some photos, and writing. We will get to the bottom…probably tumbling and rolling, like children down a grassy hill….then come to a stop, arms splayed…out of breath. But I’ll keep at it til I’m done. But it might not be pretty! Sometimes the writing muse has left the building just when I feel I must try, at least. This sounds woefully uninspired, I know, but stick with me. I won’t trouble you much longer.

Below, a new book with a 12-page interview about my relationship with Frank Zappa. The book is filled with entertaining interviews well worth reading, not found in the numerous biographies about Frank, nor in his awful autobiography which was edited & orchestrated by the willfully disobedient and deliberately inaccurate wife Gail, who preferred her version of things. Sigh…..Frankbegged me not to read it…ever. And he apologized profusely just in case I did. He asked me for the front page article with our pictures on it, titled “2A-go-go2 Jail”to use, but Gail quickly disposed of it. It was another 25 years til I saw it again..on GOOGLE! She also took my name out, as well as the real story about our relationship, which lasted until his last year of life.

Here, in this amusing, informative book, is the REAL skinny.

Then, my introduction to Wilson’s biography, Volume Three, “Belgian Lace From Hell. It’s a doozy. And so is the whole book, filled with more art, and many stories of life after his Traumatic Brain Injury. It is the perfect ending to this Trilogy. I hope people will get this last volume. It’s well worth having all three volumes, to see the art, as well as his post-injury drawings. While they are good, it shows how his ability begins to leave him in the following two years…from hospital to home…as the characters soon just stand in a line across the page, diminishing in number with each drawing, unable to figure out what to do. They are mute, and confused…very much like their creator. It is heartbreaking to witness….

IMG_9421 IMG_9429 IMG_9649 IMG_9650 IMG_9652Here’s Wilson at the clinic, trying to be a patient patient. Pensive…finally relaxed. He’s had some skin problems we’re getting a grip on…he’s once again peaches & cream, but can’t tolerate a beard. It gets all crusty underneath, like he’s allergic to it. So I miss it, but he will have to present

Birthday drawing by John Riddell

Birthday drawing by John Riddell

a bare face from now on!IMG_0188He walks home with Rena holding fast onto his hand, and frequently to his safety strap. We must have ahold of him in case he decides to just suddenly SIT DOWN! It’s a long drop to the pavement. We’ve managed to avoid it so far.IMG_0190

Sports Humor

Our beautiful neighbor, Julie Willing, passed suddenly on Nov7th. We are all devastated by this loss. She has been such an incredible friend for all this time…my saving grace in the early, stormy years with Wilson, and the heart of our block. Her husband, Tim and their daughter Siobhan …words fail me. They have been a constant since I moved in in 2000, and Wilson warned “stay away from the neighbors!” Haha…he was like my parents…if you got close and it didn’t work out, they’re NOT LEAVING. But of course, I fell in love with them, and soon Wilson was to join our spirited backyard gatherings. He was shy at first…then brought them inside for his outrageous Shown N Tell sessions. They hadn’t been in here, yet Wilson had lived here for at least 30 years! Oh how I loved this velvet-voiced woman, always so willing to laugh. So warm and smart.

IMG_0386Our Faire Julie. R.I.P.IMG_0451We loved Halloween with these inventive characters! Julie & Tim Dougherty with daughter Siobhan. She is taller than them now! Taller than EVERYONE!Julie & Tim Dougherty & daughter Siobhan

 

Thanks for reading this disjointed piece. I just wanted to catch you up on some of the past couple of months. I’ll post a bit more very shortly! I’ve been getting behind in writing my thank you notes to the generous people who’ve donated to Wilson’s Trust. I do apologize. It got away from me…having health issues of my own of late…but be looking soon! I will email each one of you shortly. Until then, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make it possible to have movies, wifi, and phone service. We couldn’t possibly make it without your donations, and I promise to catch up. I got kind of overwhelmed around July, but will catch up,as I said. Much love to you all!