Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in BLOG | 0 comments


Me, after modeling for Shiseido – photos by Jane Schonberger, 1984

It was three weeks today — thirty years ago and three weeks that Sam Todd disappeared off the face of this earth and left us in his wake wondering what happened. The theories we compiled in those first few days had dried up. The harsh reality of mortality had raised its head and caught us unaware.

The police, finally arrived 5 days after Sam disappeared, and brought dogs to sniff Sam’s things and head out onto the icy streets of Manhattan to try and find a scent. What I know now is that they did not bring body sniffing dogs–they brought drug sniffers. The dogs sniffed around the loft sniffed Sam’s clothes, left us alone. There was nothing there. Except at one point one of the dogs growled at one of our guest’s crotch. He grabbed his balls and asked what the dog was looking for?


I don’t remember much more except the bitter cold face of winter–the way it cut through to the bone and the constant worry that Sam might still

All that's missing are the peacock feathers. photo by Jane Schonberger

All that’s missing are the peacock feathers. photo by Jane Schonberger

be out there in it. One cold night we realized being warm was over-rated and ran down to the subway to give the bums there blankets and brandy to keep them warm. We left the door open downstairs and found guys sleeping on the stairs in the morning where it was warmer. If only Sam were with him, but he wasn’t.  Every once in awhile the cops would show up and ask questions.  We had spent hours hanging posters and flyers, papering the city with Sam’s face, but the same posters three weeks later were hanging in tatters or being replaced by new flyers, hung by new people who had the energy and the innocence to believe someone would come forward. I drank. I did other things too. I forgot.

One morning I woke up with the Balinese rock star’s hands around my throat. The phone rang. My mother or was it Sam calling? I rushed out of the bedroom and to answer the phone. “Are you okay?” my mother asked. She always knew when I needed help.

I stayed on the phone until he finally left, then I asked her to hold one while I ran and locked the door behind him. I didn’t tell her she might have just saved my life. 1984 was a brutal year. I thought it was going to be really cool and awesome, instead it almost killed all of us. I remember stepping off the curb and someone grabbing my arm and pulling me back, just as a bus raced by. I hadn’t seen it. See these are the things I know about 1984–the stories I repeat because I know what happens in them. I am saved. I am saved again. I survive. Sam, it seems, did not.

I wonder as I write this if there is someone out there reading it who knows what happened? Will we ever know?


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