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The Aids Quilt - In Memory of My Uncle, Pol M. Olette

Updated on August 25, 2013

AIDS Quilt Display - Delgado Community College, Student Government Association - New Orleans, Louisiana - March 19 - 26, 2013

Back in the 1980's, most of the World did not even know what AIDS was. I remember hearing a little about it but it was not until Rock Hudson passed away in 1985, that the disease was highly publicized.

We knew that it was considered a sexually transmitted disease, but most people did not know that many died, and still do, just because they had a bad blood transfusion or direct contact with bodily fluids.

AIDS was and still is very alarming and a very dangerous disease. It still has no cure. I surely didn't think that any of my family members would be stricken with it, but I was wrong.

My Uncle, Pol M. Olette passed away of AIDS in 1989. This website is dedicated to him and the countless others that have contracted this deadly disease.

Please take a look around at the quilt and its information. It travels around and is shown at different public events. This year, it will be shown in various locations.

Go see it when you can. You probably know a person on it. You can also click on the link below and add new people to the quilt as it grows larger and you can also donate to the cause of AIDS prevention.

Thanks for the visit!

Photo used by permission and sent to author by the Names Project

purple star
purple star
2012 Aids Conference
2012 Aids Conference

The History of the AIDS Quilt

This site is not only dedicated to my Uncle, but to the countless thousands who have died of AIDS. They are commemorated on the AIDS Quilt.

The AIDS Quilt was conceived in 1985 by a San Francisco gay-rights activist named Cleve Jones. Jones participated in March of every year to commemorate the deaths of 2 San Francisco political figures. During the marches, Jones learned of over 1,000 individuals who had already died of AIDS.

The AIDS Quilt started in 1987 by a group who wanted to remember those that they thought would not be remembered. They started by collecting names and commemorating them on 3x6 feet panel sections. The AIDS Quilt was born.

In 1987 at it's first appearance, it had 1,920 panels. Today, it has over 48,000 panels and is displayed across the country. It is now very difficult to display it in full form as it takes many volunteers to set it up and is so large (1.3 million square feet) and heavy (54 tons). Over 94,000 names are on the quilt and 18 million visitors have seen it. To date, over $4 million has been pledged to AIDS because of the quilt.

If you would like to see the AIDS Quilt or donate money to the cause, visit the "Names Project" at the link above.

AIDS Quilt
AIDS Quilt
AIDS Quilt
AIDS Quilt

The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project

The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project
The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project

We've seen the quilt in photo and in person. There is a lot of work there but seeing it does not make us understand the struggles of these individuals or circumstances surrounding these people of God who were taken too early.

Have a look and the personal interest stories in this book will grab you and fill you with compassion.

 

Visiting the AIDS Quilt

Have you ever seen the AIDS Quilt in person?

See results

My Uncle, Pol M. Olette (1931-1989)

My Uncle, Pol M. Olette (1931-1989)
My Uncle, Pol M. Olette (1931-1989)

Block 2464 From the AIDS Quilt - Block that Includes my Uncle

AIDS Quilt
AIDS Quilt

Panel From Block 2464 That Has My Uncle and His Business Partners

Panel from block 2464 of AIDS Quilt
Panel from block 2464 of AIDS Quilt

My Uncle and his Sister, My Mother Yvonne M. Olette (1921-1999)

My Uncle and his Sister, My Mother Yvonne M. Olette (1921-1999)
My Uncle and his Sister, My Mother Yvonne M. Olette (1921-1999)

Famous Celebrities who have Died of AIDS - Not all are on the quilt

Following are just a few of the famous celebrities who have died of complications from AIDS. There are many more. Use the WebApp Search function link if you would like to see if someone you know is on the quilt.

  1. Arthur Ashe - Tennis Star
  2. Tina Chow - Clothing Designer
  3. Brad Davis - Actor
  4. Easy E - Rap Artist
  5. Perry Ellis - Fashion Designer
  6. Halson - Fashion Designer
  7. Keith Haring - Pop Artist
  8. Rock Hudson - Actor
  9. Liberace - Performer
  10. Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographer
  11. Freddie "Mercury" Bulsara - Musician with Queen
  12. Rudolf Nureyev - Dancer
  13. Anthony Perkins - Actor
  14. Robert Reed - Actor
  15. Jerry Smith - Football Star
  16. Isaac Asimov - Author
  17. Tom Villard - Actor

Celbrities Who Have Died of AIDS that I have Contacted Over the Years or Seen in Person

If you know me already, I have collected autographs for many years. In my quest for autographs, I have contacted the following celebrities who graciously answered my requests for autographs. All of these celebrities have died of complications related to AIDS.

In addition, in November of 1978, I saw Queen in concert and got close enough to snap these shots of Freddy Mercury. That was quite an experience.

All of these individuals, except Isaac Asimov, who received AIDS during a blood transfusion, are on the AIDS Quilt and their quilt sections are shown. If you would like to see other celebrity sections of the quilt, please launch the WebApp link above and do a search to locate them.

Queen with Freddy Mercury (1946-1991) at a Concert I Attended. November 1978 (Taken by Author)

Queen with Freddy Mercury (1946-1991)  at a Concert I Attended. November 1978 (Taken by Author)
Queen with Freddy Mercury (1946-1991) at a Concert I Attended. November 1978 (Taken by Author)
Queen with Freddy Mercury
Queen with Freddy Mercury

Freddy Mercury on the AIDS Quilt

Freddy Mercury Aids Quilt
Freddy Mercury Aids Quilt

VIdeos of the AIDS Quilt

Rock Hudson (1925-1985) - Autographed Photo he Sent to Me in the Early 1980's

Rock Hudson (1925-1985) - Autographed Photo he Sent to Me in the Early 1980's
Rock Hudson (1925-1985) - Autographed Photo he Sent to Me in the Early 1980's

Rock Hudson on the AIDS Quilt

Rock Hudson Aids Quilt
Rock Hudson Aids Quilt

The AIDS Quilt Songbook

Aids Quilt Songbook
Aids Quilt Songbook

This book is full of songs that were written by many individuals, some that have the AIDS Virus. The songs depict the struggles of AIDS victims, either directly or metaphorically. The compassion that is felt for victims and family members are written in song.

These will make you tear up and be more aware of this ongoing epidemic.

 

Signed Photo Sent to Me by Tom Villard (1953-1994)

Signed Photo Sent to Me by Tom Villard (1953-1994)
Signed Photo Sent to Me by Tom Villard (1953-1994)

Tom Villard on the AIDS Quilt

tom villard
tom villard

Letter Sent to Me in 1982 by Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

Letter Sent to Me in 1982 by Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Letter Sent to Me in 1982 by Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

This letter sent to me by Isaac Asimov and is the property of the author, tvyps

Isaac Asimov is not on the AIDS Quilt at the request of his family, but he may be at some point in the future.

What Are Your Thoughts on the AIDS Quilt and this Site?

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    • OMENA777 profile image

      OMENA777 5 years ago

      I love your lens on the AIDS quilt. a wonderful tribute to your uncle.

      Check ut my lenes on squidoo on Tribute to people living with HIV/AIDS

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      This lens certainly quieted my thoughts. We sometimes forget how truly blessed we really are and Aids reminds us.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Lovely tribute to your uncle and introduction to the Names Project for anyone not aware of the AIDS Quilt. I've always thought that a quilt was such an appropriate way to remember so many disparate individuals tied by this 'common thread' of a dread disease we still haven't got under control.

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 5 years ago

      What a bittersweet memorial. You have compiled a magnificent article & your memorabilia is unrivaled. Simply stunning. Thanks for sharing your passion for a great cause. Cheers~cb