Above: Photo taken in Houston, TX, 2003 or 2004. Pose inspired by a photo of the outlaws Jesse & Frank James although I think Doc Holiday a better fit for McEvilley. Like the famous dentist/sportin’ man, McEvilley never compromised his life style and like Holiday he died in bed…no bullets in his back.
A lot of fuss. Many words to remind us of a man of words. McEvilley’s dead but it’s the man I’m remembering, not the words.
Tuesday nights teaching class at Rice. Art & the Mind. Always late. Coffee cups (two of them) loaded. Slide trays jamming. It’s the history of everything he whispered. It was and is because I filmed all his lectures. Forty-two hours of talking, drinking and challenging his audience to join his fierce quest on the edge. “Is this our glory or is it our doom?” he says finally about western civilization. The cups are empty, the lights are dim, the work is done.
[Below, a montage of footage originally composed as a tribute in honor of Thomas McEvilley’s retirement from teaching at Rice University. Film by Brian Huberman.]