Today they announced that David Bowie died yesterday. This news made me feel sad, like I had lost someone I knew, but of course I did not. The thing is my grandmother talked about him all the time. She followed him in the tabloids, with Rhoda Barrett on the news, and regularly would watch him on the Midnight Special. She would talk about how he and his wife both looked like girls, he was seen wearing a purse, and he had on full make-up while performing on TV. One night she even let me stay up and watch him perform a number on Midnight Special. He was gloriously beautiful. My grandmother talked about him so much, I thought she must know him.
As I grew up I learned what it meant to be a celebrity and have everything you do securitized in the media. My grandma did not know David Bowie, but in some ways I still felt like he was a distant relative. He also stood as a beacon of what it meant to be different. Even in the middle of nowhere I could see that individuals did exist in the world. There was hope.
In 2014 I had the good fortune to see the David Bowie exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2014/10/an-iconic-vacation-to-chicagoland.html ). The exhibit reminded me of how iconic Bowie is. Today the news came Bowie became a was, not an is. I know like many I am wishing him well in the great beyond and thanking him for being something glittering and bright in my world. Good night, sweet prince.