West Hollywood, CA
United States
Santa Monica Boulevard between Fairfax Avenue and Doheny Drive, in sidewalks West Hollywood Memorial Walk since 1 December 1993
269 names
How A Willingness to Learn Became STORIES: The AIDS Monument
In 2010, I Thought It HIV/AIDS Was Over, But That’s When the ‘STORIES: The AIDS Monument’ Were Just Beginning [excerpt]

[…] Within days of my date,  I sat down beside my friend Craig at the same Crunch gym on Sunset where I met that handsome teacher.  Craig is tall (I swear I’m not a height-ist), handsome, and at the time in his early 50’s. He and his husband, Tony, have been together for 30-some years and are this really cool, smart, kind couple.

Craig and I were stretching before a spin class, and I casually asked what he was working on. As I remember it, he mentioned the idea of working with another friend to enhance the AIDS Memorial Walk, the plaques on Santa Monica Blvd, part of the original memorial to AIDS victims in West Hollywood.

These plaques were produced and maintained by the Alliance for Housing and Healing as part of their AIDS Memorial Walk, and often accompanied a palm tree and are a beautiful tribute to the people who died from AIDS and lived in - or had an impact on -this city that lost nearly 1/3 of its entire population in the 10-year span beginning in 1984, when the city was founded.

Craig and many others described that period of time, walking through the streets of WeHo, as walking through a war-zone. Recently-healthy, vibrant, and often young bodies and faces were rapidly replaced with the gaunt, thinning, and hollowed-eyed stares of people who were succumbing to the brutal impacts of AIDS. […]

Photo © Jason Daley Kennedy
plaque for: Mark Harlow

30 November 2020
Jason Daley Kennedy, West Hollywood