Jimmie Spheeris: Back Cover: Isle of View

Photo by David Gahr: From Isle of View
(in the NYC apartment Jimmie and Idalie shared)

Idalie sent us this story about the day she met Jimmie:

It was October 4th, 1970. I remember the day because it was my birthday. My sister had come to spend the weekend with me in the city. We had made great plans... but the night before, I had broken up with my boyfriend and I was too sad to play. Sitting in the window seat looking out my living room window at the park across the street, I was deep in my own pity party. My sister was there with me, trying her best to comfort me.

Rochell, my roommate, came in. There was someone with her... Jimmie. She rushed over to introduce him to me, not knowing that my eyes were red, wet with tears. It was a very awkward moment.

A bit self-conscious, trying to be polite without looking him in the eyes, I complimented him on the beautiful jacket he had on. And it truly was extraordinary. It was short, made from the silkiest curly sheeep skin, mostly white with just a few yellow strands running through it. "Well, I said, "it was nice meeting you. My sister and I are on our way out. See you later..." and we were gone.

A few hours later, after much walking and too many tears, we returned. The apartment was empty. When I went into my bedroom, there on the bed was the beautiful jacket Jimmie had been wearing. On it was a note... "Happy Birthday with love from Jimmie."

Jimmie would literally give you the shirt off his back. If someone complimented him on something he was wearing, he gave it to them. Not right then. But a few days later, he would wrap it up and leave it somewhere they would find it. Material things meant very little to him. It meant more to him
to give to others. He is truly the only non-materialistic person I have ever met.

The adventure began for me that day. And what a wonderful ride it was.

The Jimmie Spheeris Memorial Gallery: jimmiespheeris.com

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