parents, protectors, punk

Bee's picture
Wed, 03/09/2011 - 21:00 -- Bee

So the First Official Houseguest was. . . drum roll please. . . Stella!

The punk ethos is largely anti-heroic and as such does a disservice to pioneers and progenitors. We all want to pretend that we are self-invented, lawless, new. But we all have parents and protectors, we all need a place to start. Even if our work is about ripping it all up and starting again.

Olympia has been that place for many musicians, writers, and artists, not because the town is amazing (it is in fact pretty awful) but instead because we went to Evergreen. Or wanted to. Stella was the quintessential Olympia artist-activist and remains one of the very few people I would cite as influential from that scene.

We met over the merchandise tables of one of those large unwieldy events I used to organise in Portland and became fast friends that afternoon. We have remained so as our families and circumstances changed.

We've gone on holidays together, had champagne breakfasts on hidden beaches, celebrated Thanksgiving in several cities. Visits with Stella & Al + Cypress have happened in Olympia, Portland, Seattle, Astoria, Vancouver BC, New York (state and city) and Cambridge England.

Our daughters were little, now they are grown.

The trait I value most in friendship is loyalty, best expressed with continuity. It is easy to lose track of people, very hard to stay in touch, particularly when we all persist in moving around. Stella isn't just an interesting person I know - she is a fine and decent and faithful friend.

It was not only an honour but also excellent fun to spend time together. We have so much in common: a particular history, and similar vocabulary, but also a theoretical framework.

Who else would climb with me to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral to talk about art and revolution?

We went to see the Nancy Spero show at the Serpentine, toured the Tate Modern, had high tea at the Kensington Palace Orangery. I showed her my favourite parts of the city, Southbank and the Barbican.

Stella was the perfect inaugural houseguest.