Saturday, December 31, 2016
My Most Personal Death Of the Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I met David Berry, the most famous person I have actually known, almost twenty years ago, at a time in my life when I was very active at the LGBT Center on West 13th Street. Though he did not look quite like this, then, he was nevertheless tall, handsome and striking. Of course, many of us, including yours truly, were hot for him, but with David and I, it was the meeting of the minds; we were both writers, both arts oriented, good with words, and David was able to understand my issues, and discuss them with me, better than many a therapist I have consulted.
David's claim to fame was this--he wrote "The Whales Of August." It was semi-autobiographical, and first presented, in New York, in a production that, while not quite successful, got enough attention to have it turned into a star laden Hollywood film, with the likes Of Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, and Ann Sothern. It was the final film for Lillian, for sure, and may have been for at least one of the others. It was a visually gorgeous, wonderfully acted film, of a kind not often seen--then or now. David adapted his own play for the screen, and told many a tale about being on the set. And how much he adored Ann Sothern, and how wonderful she was to him.
Because of this, David was able to get through to me, like no one else, on a preconceived notion I had developed to combat my issues--the idea that fame and money solve all your problems. By chronicling his to me, I learned this not be so. David never told me to stop writing--he admired much of my work, including some short stories I went over with him--or seeking approval, but not to depend on it bringing me personal happiness. And that, if it comes, fine; if not, that is fine, too.
I wish David could know how happy I am today. and how much, in his own way, he steered me toward it.
Rest In Peace, David. You will be deeply missed by this still artistic aspirant.