|Revere High School Blood Drive 1977|
Review of My Friend Dahmer by Carlo Wolff for the Chicago Sun Times.
The launch was what you'd expect. An attractive young woman offered wine and nibbles. Derf was signing books. The usual suspects were milling around, chatting, sipping and considering the art.
One gallery was dedicated to items associated with Dahmer: old high school flyers, Derf's casual doodles from more than three decades ago, and some photos. Each was utterly normal and utterly devastating.
|Coolin' out Revere-style|
Henry was at the opening. I asked him about the photos.
"I just always had my camera," he said. Henry was a shutterbug back in those days at Revere High, constantly taking pix and submitting to the yearbook.
High school yearbooks. Remember the covers?
The display includes Derf's 35-year-old draft of a rejected yearbook cover depicting his rendition of "The Spirit of '76"--with Dahmer as the drummer. It made me swallow hard.
Derf's doodles of "Dahmer's Interpretation of a Telephone Pole," or the darkly ironic depiction of the nascent cannibal as a bag of groceries evoked all those adolescent jokes that seemed so very funny back then. The note explaining that Dahmer was sitting across the table from Derf in the school cafeteria as he sketched took my breath away. The precision of Derf's drawings of then odd-man-out Dahmer made my heart wax tender.
Haunting doesn't cover it.
|Revere PowderPuff football, 1977|
It's close to you too.
The display will be up at Busta's place through April 21. It was so emotionally wrought, I was unable to properly take in each item amid the other people. After I read the book I will probably return to the gallery at a slow afternoon hour and grieve over the whole terrible beautiful thing.
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Today's photos feature life in and around Revere High School when Derf and Dahmer cruised the halls.
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