Rogue thoughts about a rogue, sooner or later to be put into order.



And my farts go like the wind, too. I have never met a bigger bully in my life than Robert Williams Billings. I cannot exactly recall the very first sighting, but it must have been during my Introductory Holography Class at Gallery 1134. The Billingses apartment shared a wall with the Intro Lab, and right on the spot, at 9:30, Bob would appear and chase us out with a stare. A man's gotta sleep.

One time Billings tried to sue Robert Sherwood and Doug Miller for having their companies named Robert Sherwood Holographic Design and Doug Miller Holographic Design because the similarity in name to their own Holographic Design Systems (the company they set up with Libo when he was working there) and they were siphoning off business.  How did they know?  Because they were receiving mail for them because it confused the Post Office and UPS. 

So a suit was filed, and Sherwood went out getting depositions from experts in the field that Holographic Design was not too unusual of a name for someone in the field, and finally there was a court date and they were all there, Bob with an inept wet behind the ears lawyer, and when the judge read the complaint he threw the whole thing out.  So Sherwood and Miller were out a few kilobucks for the lawyers' fees, plus the time and aggravation, plus not getting the satisfaction of having their lawyer ask Billings to produce the letters which they had unwittingly opened that started the whole mess in the first place.

There was a little faggot that Bob hired especially for his whipping boy.  Daniel was his name, and he was a commercial artist whose job was to produce layouts for Bob's TransAdCo company so that he could show them around. 

This poor soul went through hell on a daily basis.  He was fairly mincing, I remember him going "Ooh, ooh, Mrs. Billings," like a femmy version of Toody (or was it Muldoon?) of "Car 54 Where Are You?" fame.  He was definitely a dyed in the wool dicksmoker, dressing like Fred Schneider of the B-52's with suit jackets that were maybe just one size too big.  He never confessed to being a fag, for now he was a born again Christian, (? and ??)  although he professed to having been an "avaricious Sybarite" in college.  But now he was reformed.

The poor kid lasted about two weeks.  There was no doubt that his function was not to make art but to take the brunt of Bob's venom.  He took it, until he wised up.  Which didn't take too long.

I saw him after that at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with a girl in a black leather jacket, another born again Lesbian who wouldn't give up the trappings of her past life, but he told me he was certainly very glad to have gotten the hell out of Gallery 1134.

Going with bob to take out oil tank in woman's apartment and not getting it done.

Bob called her Louie

Bob giving al a hard time for eating his melon with salt, just like an old mexican peasant

Art Camiri, Coherent laser repair man, said that he thought that john sabotaged his Krypton to have an excuse for doing something; things that he's never seen go wrong did; Bob even asked him; Bob gave him a hard time; he complained, his manger told him they'd pull that laser if he got in the away again.

John's car getting crunched on Washington street.

The year after the first ISDH I was hanging out at the Smith and Cvetkovich lab with Tom, and I decided to plant some LFC Holo Workshop brochures on the windshield of the cars parked around Gallery 1134.  Tom and I were sitting outside behind their lab and we saw a figure run out and take all the brochures off the cars and rip them up in rage and throw them into one of their tree pots.  It was joined soon by the all too familiar figure of the devil himself, Bob.

The figure had to have been Loren from the actions and the way she moved; from a distance we couldn't see the features distinctly, but could tell that the pigtails were missing.  Later I found out that this was the Loren of the dyed blonde bowl cut hairdo incarnation, which is still the way she is.  So anyhow the students didn't get their LFC propaganda.

The following week, I personally gave a coupla students LFC brochures and some invitations to the Great Party at Victor Heredia's.  I remember one guy who was a bushy‑bearded hippie type and they must have been doing Single Beam Reflections that night because he had an espresso maker, the stove top kind, an object I had wanted to holograph back then.  But I guess that they must've snitched, and that prompted Bob to write the letter (enclose as an appendix) to the President of LFC.

When TJ told me of the letter, I immediately asked him if that hurt his job.  He said no, but dear old Mrs. Crist drafted the reply that is also in the appendix.

My wife at the time, Georgette, and I arrived at the opening of Nancy Gorglione and Greg Cherry's magnum opus Equus Underwater, she hotter than hell in her Op Art mini skirt, digging the artwork, meeting and greeting. Georgette and I were hanging out by the trinket desk, and I noticed Bob was leering at her, wondering who was that gorgeous dish with Wesly. (For all her schizophrenic faults, she was not without an abundance of feminine charms.)

I told her, in a stage whisper, "See that guy checking you out over there? That's that Bob asshole I told you about, and now he's even uglier without his beard!" He high-tailed it out of the room. I had been waiting almost 10 years to see him on the street so I could give him the finger, but this was much more delicious.

I found about a show that was there from two of the artists, Mary Harman, and Charley Lysogorski. Mary was dropping off pieces for the ISDH '91 at LFC, and then she was going down to Gallery 1134 to drop off pieces.  Charley called from Ann Arbor to tell me that he was in it too, and we arranged to have dinner after the opening. 

So I called up the usual bunch of friends and students to arrange a rendezvous there, even Steve Smith since it would be fun to see him in the hallowed halls of the Chicago Museum of Holography since the doors had been opened by the Nancy Gorglione show.  After all, I had been anointed the peacemaker for the holographic wars in town by Rudy Guzik, the director of the local chapter of SPIE.  It could have been nice if we all went out for dinner together.

When I got to the ranch to pick up Georgette, she was upset because one of her earrings had broken.  She felt that something bad was in the air, and it was a night of the full moon.  I myself told her that if Lysogorski would rather go out to eat with Loren and that bunch instead of going out with us that would be fine, since I was tired and had an upset stomach and a headache to boot.  But we got there late, at about 7:30, so that we wouldn't be there an uncomfortably long time.

We followed Alan Frolichstein to the door, who was arguing with his wife or girlfriend.  We got in to see that the crowd was small, but were greeted by Steve Moore who had been there for a while.  Rick Bruck was there too, arriving a few minutes before us.  I saw Loren in one of the dark corners of the gallery as we walked in, but didn't see her after that, figuring it would be best to avoid any confrontations.  So we checked out the show, which had in addition to the other two artists mentioned above were some classic Rudies, a few new Mike Medoras, and some Bob Connollys, one of which, "Post-War Centaur", was cracked.  It actually was not a bad show, kind of what I was looking for 12-13 years ago when I first got into the medium and thought that 1134 could be a showcase of the art of holography..

Talking to one of my SAIC and Holicon Lab Assistants Steve Moore there, he said when he had arrived at about quarter to seven that cops were leaving as he stepped into the place.  We were trying to figure out why, like maybe someone had taken a swing at the Connolly piece in a heated debate over its merits or something.  Maybe they were just the guys on the beat checking in for their pay-offs. One of Bob's powers as a precinct captain in a skid row neighborhood was the capability to raise the dead, amongst other things.

When we decided to leave, Loren appeared at the entrance, and started talking to us, saying that she heard that I was teaching at the 'Tute, and we had a somewhat rational conversation, introducing her to Georgette and blowing her cover if she ever tried to take classes there, as she has threatened to do but not with my money.  Loren thought that she had never met her, but was reminded that they did meet at Nancy Gorglione's show, which Loren thought was two or three years ago but was only eight months beforehand.  And I even complimented her on how nice the place looked, and in general thought that well, maybe a leopard could change its spots.  Bob seemed to come out of nowhere, conspicuously absent all this time.  But it figured that he would hide and wait until it's all over just to turn all the lights off on anybody that wanted that one last look.  He even sheepishly said hi to me, the guy who I've been waiting to give the finger to for all these years.  I did, only the finger was behind the back.  So the five of us took off to an Italian restaurant, and we had an enjoyable dinner, the best time I had in a long time.  We sat at a table for six, and I jokingly said that the empty chair belonged to the Lasersmith, and that set the tone for the evening, everybody joking about him.  But I was so surprised by Loren's behavior, and I told those guys that maybe she was turning over a new leaf.

But the chair really belonged to Matt Schreiber, my trusty grad student, but he couldn't make it because he was involved in the

Here is what happened, according to Matt: he got there at about six or so, and was going to wait for everybody else.  He had brought a friend, one of the students from Columbia College he had met when he was living in the Herman Crown Center, a kind of generic dorm for students of the two schools above and Roosevelt University.  So they were playing with one of those "snap bracelets", a piece of spring metal coated with plastic and decorated with embossed gratings, so that when you slap your wrist with it wraps around the arm.  Being of an inquisitive nature, they wanted to find out what happens when it is dropped on the floor; will it wrap, or bounce?

While they were running this experiment of Newtonian importance, they were sighted by Bob, who blew a gasket.  "Are you guys gonna buy that?" he bellowed.  At first they thought they he was just play yelling at them, as who could really get upset over the dropping of a fifty cent trinket?

Well, Bob could.  All that piss and vinegar built up inside of him just had to boil out, and so he physically ejected them, kicking them in their asses all the way down the stairs and out the door.  But that wasn't enough; the guys thought, well, OK, we're out of here, we won't go in again, we'll just wait for Ed outside, but it was not over, as Bob got into a fighting chubby, and then proceeded to throw the first punch.  Since Matt Schrieber is just five foot four, Bob had the advantage over him, but with the help of his friend, they got Bob down on the ground, telling him to chill out.  Matt spat in his face, and they broke it up.  They got to their car, and as they were leaving the scene they got pulled over by the cops.

They were taken to the station, where they met Bob.  He wanted to press charges, and so did they.  The cops were going to let them all go, but then I guess Loren showed up and backed up Bob's story, and Matt and his friend got booked!  Fingerprints, mug shots, the works!  Plus a place to sleep, courtesy of the Chicago Police Department!

Matt felt bad vibes about the whole thing, even before he left from the school.  He had heard horror stories from myself and Larry Lieberman, whom he had worked for, and he felt like some disaster was about to befall him.  He had never been there before, but the insane karma of the joint got him, a totally innocent person.  And his friend, not even connected with holography at all, a person Matt had met here in Chicago, now has an arrest record for the stupidest reason in the world.

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