A Strange Encounter In The Seventies

January 13, 2016 § 2 Comments

New York City, October 1974.

Spend a few years living in Manhattan and chances are that you will witness extraordinary and unusual moments that no one seems to notice, or encounter all kinds of odd types.

My husband Peter was born and raised in Manhattan and even though he rarely ventured far from his neighborhood as would be true of many a New Yorker, he has had a fair share of these serendipitous occurrences.

In the past few days he was reminded of one, which makes for an unbelievable anecdote these many years later.

One afternoon in the Fall of 1974, after school, Peter went out to walk Skippy, the family Boston Terrier — Boston Terriers had not been in fashion since the twenties so there were few around in 1974.

Skippy V

Skippy V. New York City, Fall 2015

Peter and Skippy began their customary walk on the sidewalk adjacent to the building in which they lived.

A couple of hundred feet along, two exceptionally tall, gaunt, androgynous people in matching rock suits, red spiky hair, heavy make up and platform shoes approached in the opposite direction.

The relatively more “manly” of the two strange figures said with a proper London accent, “What a strange looking dog!”

Peter respectfully explained that Skippy is a Boston Terrier.

Both man and matching woman proceeded to share polite and gentle small talk with Peter and Skippy.

The tall man bent down to pet Skippy, doing so with some difficulty due to his skin-tight outfit and remarkably high platform shoes.

Then each party returned to its own any other day in the City.

Peter and Skippy thought not much of the strangers until early that evening when Peter recognized one of the oddities as he was featured on the Six O’Clock WCBS TV news broadcast:

David Bowie and his wife Angie Barnett are in the city for a few days to give a concert at Radio City Music Hall as part of The Diamond Dogs World Tour.

David Bowie Life On Mars 70s

David Bowie. (From the Life on Mars  music video by Mick Rock, May 12th 1973)

Sixteen year-old Peter had never heard of them and Skippy didn’t seem to think of himself as a strange looking dog at all.


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