Completing a project that has turned out to be centered in the 1960s and,
frequently, on the topic of childhood has made me mindful of how many of
the pleasures of the culture of that decade I first shared with my siblings,
Bob, Eleanor, Bill, Tony, Charlie-all dedicated connoisseurs of music,
movies, and personalities even then. My sister-in-law, Jean F. Moon, was
my first friend who shared my fascination with the art and writing of the
period. Well before the '60S began, my mother, Mary Catherine Townsell
Moon, had already set me on my way as the multimedia aesthete I have
remained by making me my first hand puppet, showering me with pic-
ture books and phonograph records, and always staunchly supporting my
efforts to understand and practice culture making. I thank her for passing
on to me her deep enjoyment of and respect for those processes.
I contemplate with sadness the irony for me that my father Sylvester F.
Moon, who was born the year Henry James published A Small Boy
1913, has died this year, 1997, as I complete a work of the same title. This
book, undertaken as a work of mourning, must remain one for me
a de-
gree I could not have anticipated when I began it.
The way this book has remained steadily focused on New York has also
given me many welcome opportunities to reflect on my youth there, which
I rejoice in having squandered in the company of Millie Seubert, Leslie
Dwinell, and Mary Lamasney, and on the streets of a city that was pass-
ing through one of its most culturally vibrant periods. Thanks to Nick
Deutsch for first taking me to the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, to see
Charles Ludlam perform his play The
Bourgeois Avant-Garde.
Sedgwick, too, for sharing many New York aesthetic adventures with me.
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