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Photos I took in high school are a big deal

One morning you wake up and all of a sudden, you’re famous in Amsterdam.

James Murphy, a math teacher of mine who was a huge influence on me, posted these photos at some point on his site, and the story got picked up, as they say. Like chicken little, it ran, and ran, and ran, and then it ran some more.

I can’t really be Googled, because I have such a common name: shared by both a huge novelist and the first wife of Mel Gibson as well as a landscape architect and several others I might actually admire. Heck, when I showed up at Oberlin, I opened some mail for a graduating senior with the same name (who sadly, has just died, according to Sergei and Larry). But, using simplest routes, Murphy reached my mother: she lives in the same house and has the same telephone number as she did 30 years ago.

“What’s the hook?,” asked a friend. “Fantastic 80s clothes,” I said. “And hair. My brilliant talent [Damn, I used to make some nice prints]. Earnest smiles that show real pride on real teenagers. Math made visual. Native American stuff. Who knows?”

Now an artist in London wants to talk to me. A very hip friend pointed out that string figures are an element in one of the permanent collections in the Museum of Jurassic Technology in L.A., an institution not unlike my own old Bookworks.

Hello, past. Hi, future. Nice to meet you!

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