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Author: nick fracaro

White Boy

White Boy

(Gabriele’s journal – June 3, 1992) “… white boy pulled a knife on him “I’ll do time for you”…. . (Nick’s narrative – December 3, 2021) The story blew up on my feet one day. A flash of color caught my eye. When I first saw the Polaroid, I never realized its true nature. Now at this same intersection at Canal and Chrystie, three years after I bent down and picked up this strange object, I would, or would not,…

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Stage Blood

Stage Blood

(Gabriele’s journal – June 10, 1992) (Nick’s narrative – December 11, 2021) Blue was visibly shaken when they arrived. He knew innocent bystanders were sometimes the object of their Fury. Frack was the linebacker-sized black cop. Frick was a hippie-biker looking white cop who most often did the talking. “Say hey, Kelly. What have the skells got going here?” I had not met Kelly before today, but I could tell he didn’t like Frick, or Frack. He knew, like everyone…

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Mister Lee

Mister Lee

(Gabriele’s journal – November 28, 1990) (Nick’s narrative – December 16, 2021) “He spit on you!” Blue shook his head disapprovingly. “Never saw you not stand up before. No, I don’t want your knife. And I don’t want no part in no voodoo game or whatever happened here. Take it some place other than the barrel. This is our place.”  “I don’t know about voodoo. But it’s definitely not a game.” I walked over to inspect the ground with the…

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The Trinity

The Trinity

Photo: Margaret Morton (Gabriele’s journal – February 9, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – December 23, 2021) Mister Lee claimed that the inside consisted of many rooms, including one for the Queen of China, the Queen of Germany and the Queen of Russia. His scrawled placard over the door read “House of the United Nations.” Everyone of course chuckled at his incredible claims. I, alone perhaps, believed them as true, or at least as true as my own visions … hallucinations. Reality…

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Geomancer

Geomancer

(Gabriele’s journal – December 6, 1990) (Nick’s narrative – December 30, 2021) In preparing the dirt floor, tilling the ground under the tipi, we had discovered the roots of a tree. I supposed these roots belonged to the lone tree of the Hill’s historical landscape that the Polaroid had captured. Prompted by the enigma, I visited the Manhattan history section at the Central Library seeking to learn more about the site’s past. I read every document I could find and…

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A Visit from the American Indian Movement

A Visit from the American Indian Movement

Photo: Wendy Workman (Gabriele’s journal – December 4, 1990) (Nick’s narrative – January 6, 2021) We never expected the powers-that-be to allow the tipi to stand for more than a day, but before erecting it, we had reached out to representatives of the local American Indian community. We ended up speaking to John Cutnose of the American Indian Community House about our intentions. That December 29th would be the centenary of the Wounded Knee Massacre, and now that the tipi…

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Ghost Shirt

Ghost Shirt

(Gabriele’s journal – January 14, 1990) (Nick’s narrative – January 13, 2021) “You should know, if this tipi were being disrespected, as John King said, AIM would bring a hundred Indians to tear it down.”  Chayton put this statement to me as a challenge, a thinly veiled threat. I decided that what I said next should be my final word.  I walked over to the edge of the tipi, reached into my canvas mailbag and pulled out a meticulously detailed…

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Family

Family

Eddie, Mike, Billy, Donald (Gabriele’s journal – June 4, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – January 20, 2022) At the knife fight that didn’t happen, a huge part of the White Boy story had been revealed to me. But why? Why were the conspirators giving me more of the story, and why, after almost three years of pursuing the story, did the story now appear to be pursuing me. I understood the answer even as I posed the question. It was called…

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