The Rare Man


“HEY ACE COME OVER HERE! I GOT SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU!” shouted the Rare Man.  He was sitting on the sidewalk on the other side of the street leaning against a building.

“Oh wow, it’s the Calendar,” I said. Rare was holding up a copy of the 1991 Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar with his picture on the cover.

“Yep,” he said.

“Man let me see that thing,” I said. I leafed through a couple of pages.  It was a bit surreal. I haven’t looked at a copy of that thing in 25 years.  So it was like a magical object that had manifested from another dimension.

“I was on the Dan Rather CBS News feature about the calendar, wasn’t I?” said Rare.

“You sure were,” I said. “That issue with you on the cover was one of our best-selling issues.  That one and the one with the Naked Guy  were the two best sellers.”

“How do you like it? RARE!!!”

“The Naked Guy committed suicide, didn’t he?” asked Rare, sadly.

“Yes he did,” said.

“The Naked Guy was in Playboy magazine, wasn’t he?”

“Yes, they did a feature on him. Hey can I take your picture holding up the calendar?” I said.

“Sure,” said Rare.

And that was a little surreal.  Taking a picture of Rare holding up a copy of a picture we had taken of Rare on the same block 27 years ago. Like being stuck in a tape loop or something. (Maybe 27 from now I’ll take another photo of Rare holding up the photo of him holding up the photo.)

“You take it easy, Rare,” I said.

“You too, brother,” he said.

We pushed knuckles together in a show of manly solidarity.

“How do you like it?” I said as I was leaving.


It’s an odd thing being an artist.  It’s like your past is artificially preserved.  And it constantly boomerangs back at you.



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