Loren and John at ISDH 1982

The first time I ran into John Hoffmann and Loren Billings after escaping Gallery 1134 with my life was at the 1982 lSDH at LFC.  It was just before the opening speech and I was sitting in the very back of the auditorium, talking with former Gallery 1134 alumni, Melissa, whom I had just bopped the night before after years of pining for her; Larry Lieberman, who left there in a hurry on the advice of his lawyer; Victor Heredia, who they put out to pasture but not before getting any use of any of the equipment he had made for them.

Then Posy Jackson of the New York Museum of Holography recognized me and since I had met her on my mystical magical motorcycle pilgrimage to NY MOH and I went down there to say "Hi!" and then the program began and I stayed in the front row to hear Emmett Leith's famous hologenic talk but while that was going on I saw two familiar figures sneak in the back door and sit in the very last row.  It was Loren and John, and they were late because they were trying to snow Dr.Tung Jeong's secretary, Mrs. Crist  (Loren was no match for her!) into believing that it was OK with TJ to let them in for free because he was a trustee of their place regardless of the fact that they had pulled a fast one on him on the Sunday before. 

TJ had gone down there to retrieve some stuff of his that they still had since he was beginning to wake up and smell the coffee brewing about them, which included a box of Russian holograms, the same ones that he had showed at that wonderful lecture that started it all for me in 1978.  He brought the box back to LFC, and I was there when he opened up the box for the first time in many years and took the holograms out and the top one was fine, but the next two were cracked.  Loren told him over the phone it must have happened while he had it and they must have broken while traveling back to Lake Forest in his big Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser boat of a station wagon.

Anyhow Mrs. Crist let them in to hear Emmett's lecture and would discuss the matter with TJ, after a few moments I saw Loren leave, as probably as their eyes grew accustomed to the dark they started to recognize people in the room, like the afore-mentioned four, plus the worst one of them all, Steve Smith, up by the stage taking photos.  But John stayed the whole week trying to blend in and defend himself, but at the grand finale party of this symposium, he was asking me, "What do you think?  Am I an asshole?" and I answered, "Yeah, judging by the company you keep and who you work for!"