Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Dreaming About Tee Corinne

Laurie says:

I was planning to blog about something completely different, but last night I dreamed about Tee. She died three years ago in August and she’s been on my mind.

I dreamed that she was still alive but quite ill and I was going to visit her.  I did visit her in Oregon several times when she was ill and very much alive.  Usually when I dream about people I love who are dead, they are alive and present in my dream and I usually awake feeling good.  Tee wasn’t present in this dream (I was going to visit her) and I woke up missing her terribly.

Tee Corinne

Tee Corinne

As many of the people who read this blog know she is best remembered as a lesbian erotic photographer who did marvelous work.

But she did other work that is less familiar.  These portraits come from a series called Lesbian Muse: The Women Behind the Words (1990).

Taylor

Valerie Taylor, author

Davenport

Doris Davenport, poet

Grahn

Judy Grahn, poet

And she was a writer and a poet.  The making of books was one of her many passions. She self-published a remarkable number of books of writings, poetry and images.

This poem of hers speaks to me, particularly today.

THE RESTAURANT
OR
ALL YOU CAN EAT

My old college roommate,
great love of my early years,
sent the menu of a restaurant near our school:

Catfish, all you can eat.
Fried shrimp dinner.
Fried shrimp dinner all you can eat.
Fresh Froglegs. Froglegs, all you can eat.
Fresh Gatortail.
Fresh boiled shrimp.
Fresh turtle.

These times will never come again.

Fresh combination: Turtle, Froglegs & catfish.
Combination (Catfish & Shrimp).
Half Southern fried chicken.
(Please allow 30 minutes).
Chopped steak (with or without onions).

Plain food. Screens on the windows,
a deck outside where
you can watch the river pass.
Mosquitos. Gnats.

Sirloin strip. Large choice T-bone.
All dinners include:
French Fries or Hash Browns,
Tossed Salad or Cole Slaw,
Hush Puppies or Rolls.

Hot days and warm nights.
The sweat always under your arms,
between your legs.

Swamp Cabbage,
$1.95 a bowl,
95¢ a dish.

It’s true
we can’t go back again,
but vividly, I remember
in my body and my dreams.

9 Responses to “Dreaming About Tee Corinne”

  1. Jeanne Says:

    Oh, Laurie…you so captured the thoughts of many of us who were near to Tee. Thank you for sharing your tender, loving experience. It makes Tee’s life even more vivid and her absence from this earth more painfully sad. For each and any of us to take a moment to absorb her message – your message – makes an autumn day so beautiful.

    Your friendship and devotion to so many things important to Tee made her happy. Continuing to honor her is so very much appreciated; Tee would have liked that especially so.

    The University of Oregon Special Collections is still the keeper of a treasury of all things Tee. Generations will benefit from this vast body of work.

    Jeanne

  2. Ginny M. Says:

    It’s wonderful to be reminded of Tee and part of her legacy. My own encounters with her were primarily through art but it seems that everything she did was (and is) an inspiration to me and others. I still think of her every time I drive by Sunny Valley – and I, too, miss her.

  3. Cassandra Langer Says:

    Bless you for this lovely tribute to Tee. I miss her. We had so many lovely encounters over the years and she was always so filled with hope and optimism despite all she experiened of the dark side. I miss her bright presence and her courageous openess in these less than stellar days when we are fighting so hard for our rights. I miss her lesbian forthrightness more than I can say she was so beautifully, unrepentently lesbian centered. Assimilation was not a word she wanted in her vocabulary. She was an outloud and proud of it, thank you, lesbian to the end.

  4. Sherman Clarke Says:

    Thanks so much from me too, Laurie. I like what Cassandra says and I’d like to add how much Tee let me part of her outloud and proud world even though I am not a lesbian. My visits to Tee (and Beverly) in the years before they died were miracles of brightness and courage and all those other strong characteristics.

  5. Jenny Council Says:

    How silenced someone is once they’re dead. To state the obvious. Maybe it takes an unsettling dream to break the unnatural peace. Thanks for hearing that call and sharing. Now I hear the silence more loudly too.

  6. Laurie Toby Edison Says:

    Sorry to be so long in commenting. I was away at a show and mostly out of web touch.

    It was very good to read all your comments about remembering Tee. They bring her so vividly to mind.

    Thank you!

  7. Jeanne Says:

    Tee’s earth birthday has passed – not without some recognition from many who remembered. I feel re-committed to whatever small thing I can do to keep her legacy alive.

    Jeanne

  8. karen jordann Says:

    As I walk through my house I am reminded of Tee when I look at all the art work of hers hanging on the walls. She is with me at the art classes I share with other former students. There are many reminders of her praise for work done and her incredible tolerance of our groaning about a still life she’d set up, or a new skill she wanted us to learn. What a patient, wonderful teacher she was. What a gift she was. And a sweet friend… Yes, I miss her greatly…and continue to be grateful for the opportunities she presented to all of us with her generosity of spirit. Thanks for the reminders everyone.

  9. Bernie Gardner Says:

    Thank you for helping to keep Tee’s memory alive. I, too, have had dreams in which Tee chose to participate. Usually she is continuing to encourage my creative endeavors. As an art mentor, I don’t think I was at all ready for her to leave. As a friend of 25 yrs, I know I wasn’t ready to let go.
    In my art class tomorrow morning, Karen, Joann, and I will still be asking WWTD?

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