My son Richard lived with me in Oakland when he was going to junior high (or middle school as some call it). When it became time to go to high school he went to live with his mother so he could attend Alameda High School.
Many of the other kids had been together through school before, so he didn’t have a lot of friends. And I didn’t help matters any because being in the ticketing business, in my forties and loving rock and roll, he and I went to see the Who, one of my all time favorite bands. Some of his schoolmates saw him there and made fun of him for having to take his father with him to go to a concert at the Oakland Arena.
He had two friends that I knew he did things with: Harry, a brilliant young man who I was sure would solve all the world’s problems and Chris. Chris lived at home in his mother’s basement, but was very artistic and he and Rick would do things together that I didn’t think my son would like.
Chris was overweight, I don’t think had many other friends, told Judi and me when we had him over for Rick’s birthday things about himself that we really liked.
I think he lost touch with Chris, whom as far as we knew, was still living in his mother’s basement. I guess he suddenly made the decision it was time to do something he wanted, left the basement, took BART to San Francisco across the Bay. He became a wardrobe assistant at Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running and constantly changing silly show in the City. He started designing the huge hats that Beach Blanket was known for, and we lost track again.
A few years ago when Runway became popular with Heidi Klum, we saw Chris as a budding designer. He didn’t win, but he certainly out-charismed everyone else.
So last night while channel surfing I came across “Mad Fashion” on Bravo, and there is Chris, the head of his own studio (Chris March Designs) in a wonderful old building in New York on a half hour show with he and his staff designing a knock out dress for a fashion model to wear to the Met Ball with her boyfriend John Legend. And after much travail and changes it worked out great.
And he mentioned that in high school he didn’t go to the prom because the school wouldn’t play disco because it was gay. He obviously has gotten beyond that; he is dressing women for Mardi Gras, for all the awards shows, and for the greatest proms in the world.
Update: Chris is on facebook and I sent him a message and he responded quickly and friended me…..luckily (?) I lost another soul today so he is on my list. He was very happy to hear from me and Judi, and hoped that Richard, whom he had lost track, will get back in touch with him soon.