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PRINT April 2003

MILESTONES

1987: Andy Warhol, 1928–1987

The Daily News, February 23, 1987. Photo: Hy Simon.


I KNOW I HEARD about Andy’s death before it hit the papers, so it must have been sometime late that Sunday, February 22, 1987. I was on the telephone with Peter Hujar, meandering through some extended schmooze, undoubtedly about him having AIDS and/or me being in love, when Peter said, offhandedly, “By the way, Andy Warhol died.”

Just like that. It’s Peter’s timing I recall. A little like “PS: Your cat is dead.” Yet I assure you Hujar did not give the news of Andy’s death the backseat out of indifference. Peter was taut with emotion over it. His offhand tone was more typical of the dire deliberateness that muffled so much in one’s world circa February 1987. Those were overwhelming times. Moving day by day toward the future that 1987 was holding before us, you had to hold on very tight. People who weren’t close to the AIDS epidemic may find it hard to connect to the kind of quiet

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