JMS is asking for help from all fans in a (geographic) position to do so. Without further preamble, here’s JMS:
Though in this case the historical entity being reclaimed is…well, me, basically. I’ll explain in a moment.
First, an apology and explanation for being absent for so long. The last few months have been probably the most hectic in terms of deadlines and work in the history of my career. The work has been great, but there’s just been a bucket of it and it’s all been due at once. I’ve turned in the latest draft of World War Z and it’s now going out to directors, I’m now on the third draft of the Silver Surfer movie which is also being fast-tracked, Changeling starts shooting in almost exactly two months, I’m hip deep in comics work and finishing the final touches to a TV project that we will be taking out to sell early September, and I’ve started the screenplay for They Marched Into Sunlight for Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks company. All of this, in addition to a personal tragedy – the recent loss of my father in law – has put me way behind the eight ball of late. But I’m finally digging out from under…which brings me to this note.
While I was growing up, my family moved around a lot. Sometimes as often as two or three times in a year, sometimes staying put for as much as eighteen months. (No, we weren’t a military family, it’s a long story.) Every six months on average we were in a new town, city, state, new school…it became a blur after a while.
So when I turned twenty-one, I asked for only one gift on my birthday: I wanted my past. I wanted a list of where I’d lived and when so I could start putting together something vaguely resembling a sense of continuity. It took a long time to get that information together, and some of it was still sketchy, but at least I had something in hand.
And promptly proceeded to lose it.
I literally just found the envelope with the information in a box that hadn’t been checked properly and had been sitting around for years…simply years, I tell you. I’ve gone on-line to try and find photos of some of those places, but obviously it’s difficult at best, most people don’t generally run around taking photos of the front of their houses or places of work and put them on the nets for all to see.
Then it struck me: invariably, at conventions and the like, I see B5 fans and others who tell me what the show has meant to them, and is there anything they can do in return. I’ve never had a really good answer to that question. I do now.
So I put this proposition out into the ether to see what happens.
Appended to this note is a list of places I’ve either lived in, gone to school at, or in general am trying to get a handle on from my past. I may, in time, use this information and these photos in an autobiography (yes, I’m giving it some thought, no promises). If you reading this live in the vicinity of any of these places and want to take some good digital pictures of them and send them along, that would not only be great, but if I do write that book, and use the photos there, though there won’t be a payment for them, I will be sure to give a proper photo credit with your name at the back of the book. (So BE SURE that the filename for any photos sent along has your name included for reference later.)
Honestly, I’m very curious to see what this turns up. Here goes. Again, some of these are general, I don’t have street addresses for a few of them, so just a photo of the residential parts of the street in those cases would be great. These are all places I lived in (plus some schools and a couple of other places) from the start until shortly after I graduated high school, in chronological order.
I don’t want anybody going out of their way on this stuff…if it’s convenient and you’re in the area and can grab a good shot, terrific, but honestly, this is an indulgence on my part and a favor on yours, so don’t over-extend.
Graham Avenue, Paterson, NJ
East 11th Street, Paterson NJ
River Street, Paterson NJ. (Looking for not only a sense of the
residential area, but my grandmother used to own a bar on River
Street, don’t know if it might still be there or not.)
Van Houton Avenue, Paterson NJ
Hamilton Avenue, Paterson NJ
275 Dakota Street, Paterson NJ
Blessed Sacrament School, Paterson NJ (three blocks from River Street)
Clarence Street, Los Angeles
Utah Street School, 174 North Utah Street, LA CA
Grape Street, Los Angeles
St. Aloysius School, 2023 East Nadeau Street, LA
Pine Street, Napa CA
St. Stephen School, possibly located at 131 Midland Avenue, Kearny NJ
Butler Street, Paterson NJ
Our Lady of Lourdes School, 186 Butler Street, Paterson NJ
Clifton Avenue, Newark NJ
Summer Avenue School, 257 Summer Avenue (now Roberto Clemente) Newark
Aberdeen East Apartments, L-11 Sutton Drive, Matawan, NJ (Now Long
Brook Apartments) (Note: I THINK this is the right place, but the name
change has thrown me and I can’t tell from the online real estate
shots…it was called Aberdeen East Apartments when I was there, that
much I know for sure.)
St. Benedict School, 165 Bethany Road, Holmdel NJ
Lloyd Road Intermediate School 401 Lloyd Road, Aberdeen, NJ
Barrington Gardens Apartments, 129 Belaire Court,
Matawan, NJ (there are two apartments side by side there…I was in at
the end of an apartment building that faced out onto a courtyard
bordered by another building, and when I looked out my window on the
other side I could see into a big forested gully)
Matawan Regional High School, 450 Atlantic Avenue, Aberdeen NJ
323 Main Street, Matawan, NJ
Inglewood High School, Inglewood CA
Lennox High School, 11033 S. Buford Avenue, Lennox CA
1250 Fifth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA
Chula Vista High School
First Baptist Church, 494 E Street, Chula Vista CA
310 North Convent Street, Bourbonnais, Illinois
Kankakee Community College (especially looking for any shots from
900 West Spring Valley Road, # 148, Richardson, Texas
Richland College, 12800 Abrams Road Dallas TX
555 Naples #304, Chula Vista, CA
65 Mitscher Street, Chula Vista, CA
Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road Chula Vista, CA
3987 Debbyann Place, San Diego, CA