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One year ago when I came to do the Philly AIDS Walk. I got excited when I saw portions of the AIDS Quilt. It was then that I decided that I wanted to honor Alan and remember him during this his 25th anniversary year. I said that I would arrange to have the panel that I created at this year's walk and it was. I walked and raised funds in his memory as he would have done if he were alive. I am amazed having scanned many of his articles and press releases all he did to spread the word about HIV and AIDS events while dealing bravely with his own issues.

Alan and I were lucky to grow up in a time where we were encouraged to be outside with our neighbors. Our only technology was speaking to each other. We developed lifelong friendships. Our friends always supported Alan with his Muscular Dystrophy carnivals or our local neighborhood paper.

We were fortunate to have both of our grandmothers. The first and last week of each summer Alan and I spent with grandma Sloane. She introduced us to Philadelphia, movies and culture. We often visited Grandma Yoffee for a meal. She would never notice how Alan hated green peppers and how fast I would have to eat them when he put them on my plate when she wasn't looking.

I remember our walks as kids, many Sunday mornings, to the bakery for large chocolate chip cookies. Alan and I would talk about our plans for the day as well as our lives on the mile return home. I am lucky to have had shared so many fond memories with Alan. After his death I made the most important investment. A fire proof file. A way to keep Alan's writings safe and preserved.

This file holds copies of many of the articles he wrote over the years from the school newspapers; entertainment interviews; articles on Philadelphia people, places and issues as well as hundreds of press releases. I would visit Alan every few weeks and work with him on what needed to be done for his latest project.

Alan used to say that his job at PCA was a dream come true. He said that it was hard to believe that he got paid for a job he enjoyed doing so much.Ó Alan helped raise thousands of dollars in prizes for the senior emergency fund luncheon. Alan helped publicize the special Olympic events and always volunteered on the day of the event. He enjoyed doing all that he could to spread the word about a good cause which also included dance, theatre and the elderly. Doing his press work he had no problem sharing information that would benefit others.

The quilt that I made I wanted to be simple with pictures which represent very important people and times in his life. They include: A baby picture of us, who as he once said, shared a womb with a view; his good pal and grandmother, Betty, who often shared each otherŐs company and caring; A frequent vacation spot Hershey; the family gatherings like JoeyŐs graduation were always special to him; being seated on SantaŐs lap is just a sample of his outrageous Christmas cards; a mural painted on his wall featuring a scene from his favorite movie; a picture with Dr. J. and his friend Arnold, whom he met as a nursing home volunteer, represents his enjoyment of his profession and volunteer work. Also, included in the quilt are a postcard from AlanŐs memorial service with his picture and a quotation which aptly describes his passion for success. The quilt would be incomplete without a picture of Alan and Mom, the one who gave him a great deal of support during his illness.

An article written about Alan by the publisher of a weekly Philly paper said about Alan:

"He was like the man behind the curtain in his favorite movie - behind the scenes, working miracles that have nothing to do with magic and everything to do with good will."


CBS Radio: Section of AIDS Memorial Quilt Installed at PCA

PCA Press Release: A panel memorializes former PCA employee who died of AIDS

Press Release: AIDS Memorial Quilt Installation Honors Philadelphia Publicist


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