Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Before the Fall

While getting ready for my imminent trip to the Bay Area -- I leave for the airport in two hours -- I naturally found myself doing the least practical thing imaginable, namely rifling through my many piles of "special" items I'd meant to scan and write about in search of the double-exposure shots of UC Berkeley's Greek Theater I shot in May, 1989. It actually didn't take that long to get what I wanted. And I secured the added bonus of seeing other photos from that roll, which was taken over one of the most emotionally exhausting stretches of my life. This one condenses the mixture of sadness and joy, fear and promise that marked that period, a confused state of mind that led me to the long-term relationship in which I would go on to spend the better part of my existence:

In the backyard of our family home in Maryland with Markus Wiering, Annalee Newitz and my sister Miriam Bertsch in June, 1989, before the Tiananmen Square uprising had been stamped out

That was a very odd time for my family and my relation to it, filled with the sort of drama that our Northern European heritage normally filtered out. But what I remember best about the three week stay at my parents' house in Maryland during which this photo was taken is the unbearable heat and humidity -- they still hadn't fixed the air conditioning unit that broke shortly after we'd moved there a decade before -- and the way it drove me to drink beer during the day as my then-partner and I watched coverage of the Tiananmen Square uprising. That and late-night television sessions in the basement featuring, of all things, reruns of the series Hart To Hart.
Tags: archive, autobiography, family, friends, nostalgia, travel
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