pictures from kathryn's lry archives

kathryn, copyright 1979 michele gauIn high school, I was lucky to have good photography teachers, and access to a top-of-the-line darkroom. I became one of those people who goes everywhere with a camera around their neck. But I slowly came to realize that I had come to see the world differently when in this role - it put me always on the outside - framing things up in my mental viewfinder.

When I attended my first LRY conference, I didn't bring a camera. LRY, for me, was such an “in the moment” and face-to-face bonding experience. So I made a conscious effort to stop viewing things from the outside, and I knew I couldn't do that if I had a camera pressed to my face all the time. So the camera stayed home. This presaged a vast improvement in my emotional life, but the downside is that I have comparatively few pictures from LRY conferences.

Most of these pictures were taken at home or parties and concerts. The same cast of friends, lovers, housemates and traveling companions seems to recur. And a number of them are of me, because, well, those are the ones people tended to send me (“I took this cool picture of you!”), and so they’re what I have to work with. Also, as one of the few people among my high school friends who didn't mind posing for nudes, I wound up with lots of pictures of me that way, too. The conference pictures were mostly taken by friends, with a few exceptions when Keith talked me into bringing my camera anyway (thanks, dear).

I'm appalled at the low quality of some of these images, and apologize for them right now. Some kind of chemical problem happened to some of the negatives. They were rescued from a wet and moldy corner of the the UUA basement - which is where the archive materials we stupidly trusted them with wound up. When I saw what they'd done with the archives, I had to take back my contributions... well, what I could find, anyway. (If anyone knows what became of the LRY Rings, The Coffee Cult High Priestess gown, or the patched jeans with all the artwork on them, do let me know). These pictures also represent my first experiences at scanning straight from negatives, on a flatbed scanner with one of those funky adapters. I still get grumpy about the reduction in image quality necessary to compress files for the web. So please, bear with me.

And in some cases I've chosen to go for image quality over instant gratification, so, depending on the speed of your browser, you may have to wait a bit for some of these photos to load. Hopefully, it will be worth it to you.

Anyway, without further ado, here's what I've posted so far (and hints of what's to come). More to come when I find them (where are those boxes?...) and get around to scanning them in.

Much Love,


the midwest, fall '79 - summer '80 | office and villa, fall '80
joe taco's housewarming party, fall '80 | office and villa '81
spring '81 | star island '81 and villa afterwards | con con '81
tacos on tour, summer '81 | fall of '81 | cog in the eighties
the tribe(s) in the nineties and beyond
how i wound up doing this site

soundtrack notes: you'll notice that at the bottom of the pages i've included song lists. when i was first sorting through my memories and old emotions surrounding my lry experience, one of the things i found myself doing - as therapy, as entertainment, as process - was making compilation tapes. some of the songs in the soundtrack lists were actual soundtracks for some of the events depicted in the photos. other songs fill in the blanks in the action between photos, for those who were there to remember. and in other cases, the songs are not period, but rather, songs that, when i heard them years later, always reminded me of those events back then. some of these soundtrack songs are pop songs that i wouln't otherwise listen to, except that they came on the radio at a crucial moment and, as pop clichés are wont to do, summed up that moment so perfectly that the two are now embedded together in my memory... intertwined forever, with velvet ribbons or barbed wire, or perhaps a bit of both.

for a bit more on this, see the little intro i wrote about why i decided to do the lry memorial room site in the first place.

cha cha cha

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photo of kathryn copyright ©1979 michele gau
site and text copyright ©1999 kathryn price theatana for big electric celt productions