“Crazed Hippie Reaches Quarter Century” read the invitations for her twenty-fifth birthday party. I wasn’t invited. To be fair, I did not actually know Parris when she was twenty-five. I just love the picture. (Thanks, Dave).
I met Parris for the first time at the 1975 Kublakhan in Nashville. A bunch of us were having a party in the women’s sauna and she walked in. I came to immediate attention. One thing led to another and before the day was out we were having wild…
… chicken fights in the hotel pool. That’s me, about to pull down Ro Nagey. I’m mounted on a girl named Applesusan, and Parris is in the water, behind whoever’s under Ro.
A room party at that same 1975 Kublakhan, with Parris reading Joe Haldeman’s tarot cards. I think she liked Joe better than me, actually. Fortunately, Joe was married, so he sold her to me for two goats and a pregnant guppy. (I finally paid him at the 2005 Conquest in Kansas City.) Despite my wise purchase, I still went ahead and married Gale a few months after meeting Parris. Oops.
When I finally got together with Parris again, it was the 80s, I was divorced, and she was living in Portland, Oregon and waiting tables at a lesbian feminist restaurant called Old Wives’ Tales, where she was always getting in trouble for playing politically incorrect music. She wanted me to move to Oregon and I wanted her to move to New Mexico. I won, but I played dirty. I got her down to Santa Fe for a “visit” and addicted her to green chile and sopapillas, so she could never leave. Muwaaahahhaha.
When Parris moved in with me, got a job at Sambo’s, and started swiping my clothes (like the shirt in this picture), I figured that the green chile had done its work and she was here to stay. This was taken in the back yard of the house on Declovina, where I’d strung up a hammock.
Next thing you know, we had a cat, the first of many. Our firstborn was named Mulligan, who looked just like his mother. Mully was with us for many years and lived to be our oldest cat. Though he slowed down considerably in his later years, in his youth he was quite a mouser. I named a brother of the Night’s Watch after him.
She saw the best minds of her generation starving hysterical naked in the streets looking for an angry fix… or something like that.
Never get between Parris and a crab, especially if it’s a blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay. She gets a manicial gleam in her eye, and begins to wield her little wooden mallet like Thor wields Mjolnir. Witness this shot of her at the 1983 worldcon in Baltimore, where the concom made the mistake of combining the Hugo Awards with a crab feast. I lost another Hugo that night, but Parris made up for it by devouring hundreds of crabs.
LACon II was held in Anaheim in 1984. It was the biggest worldcon ever held till that time, drawing 8300 attendees (and twenty-two years later remains the biggest worldcon ever, unfortunately). The con’s mascots were a couple of black rats, who showed up on the publications, name badges, even the Hugo trophies. (I was a nominee in Best Novelette for “The Monkey Treatment,” but lost to Greg Bear’s “Blood Music,” and thus failed to take home one of the famous rat-infested Hugos).
Parris and I were there, of course, all dressed up for the awards ceremony and the Hugo Losers’ Party afterward. I especially like the way my hat was color coordinated with her dress, kinda sorta.
Parris claims that this is proof that I have a really big head.
I say it proves that she is very, very silly.
Maybe we’re both right.
One of the best of the regional conventions of the 1980s was NOSFFF, the New Orleans Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival. A swell con in its own right, and temptingly near the French Quarter. It was through NOSFFF that I met Scott Wexler and Tom Hanlon, New Orleans fans who were also proud members of Endymion, the greatest of the Mardi Gras superkrewes. They got me in as well, and I have been riding with Endymion ever since (Iook for me next Mardi Gras, I’m the guy in the mask throwing beads). Sometimes Parris comes with me to attend the Endymion Extravaganza in the SuperDome. Here she is in the first of her Extravaganza gowns.
All photographs (c) George R. R. Martin and/or their respective photographers. May not be used without written permission.