Saturday, November 26, 2005


Watch the video
I used to own an antique lighting shop in Greenwich Village in NYC. One of my employees and dearest friends was in the terminal stages of AIDS.
George Albert Flimlin was born on July 4th. However, he had never had a birthday party on his birthday.  His family, including five brothers and sisters, always celebrated his birthday before or after.
In 1991, we decided to throw a birthday party for him in the shop on July 4th itself.  This would be George's last birthday party and the only one he ever had on July 4th.
George, Nelson (the boy in the box) and Tony (the African American who does the vogue pose with Nelson) have all died of AIDS.  I don't know what happened to Muffy, (the boy who uses his AIDS as a weapon). 
I filed legal charges.  The Rivoli workers missed a day's pay and had to attend the hearing where it was agreed that the employees of Rivoli Pizza and those of Uplift Lighting "would have no verbal or nonverbal communication" for the next twelve months.
In the years that followed, I always showed this videotape and urged my employees to boycott the corner pizza parlor.  It always angered me when they didn't.
At the "arbitration hearings", the woman "hearing officer" actually told the threatening Arab that he "looked good on camera". 


Blogger Bill Streeter said...

This was incredibly compelling footage. Thank you for sharing that. You captured almost every emotion in those few minutes. Joy, love, sadness, anger, fear, and it was all real.

7:07 AM  
Blogger dltq said...

This was really a great story, and as Bill said it covered a lot of ground. Hearing her take on it at the end gave it perspective.

These jerks were just that: Jerks. To me, they are neither Arabs or WhatEver, but jerks who happen to be of Arab heritage. In these years of growing schism between civilizations, my opinion is that we need to be extra careful about how we label people.

Those guys deserved a finger for how they talked. And that should have been the end of that.

Sad to hear about the deaths. This footage keep them alive for those who did not know them. Thank you for sharing.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Bev Sykes said...

How wonderful that you have the footage, and important to show how terrible humans can be to other humans. I wonder how they would have felt if someone had disrupted one of their parties because they are Arabs.

I'm glad you have those memories. Too many people gone to this horrible disease.

12:46 PM  
Blogger jonny goldstein said...

You keep on delivering great stuff.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Larissa said...

George was my cousin. That footage was at first a fun look at his life and birthday. It ended in sadness and intense tension, something not associated with a party.

He is still missed.

Gef Flimlin

8:48 PM  

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