The Aids Quilt - In Memory of My Uncle, Pol M. Olette
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!
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.
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?
My Uncle, Pol M. Olette (1931-1989)
Block 2464 From the AIDS Quilt - Block that Includes my Uncle
Panel From Block 2464 That Has My Uncle and His Business Partners
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.
- Arthur Ashe - Tennis Star
- Tina Chow - Clothing Designer
- Brad Davis - Actor
- Easy E - Rap Artist
- Perry Ellis - Fashion Designer
- Halson - Fashion Designer
- Keith Haring - Pop Artist
- Rock Hudson - Actor
- Liberace - Performer
- Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographer
- Freddie "Mercury" Bulsara - Musician with Queen
- Rudolf Nureyev - Dancer
- Anthony Perkins - Actor
- Robert Reed - Actor
- Jerry Smith - Football Star
- Isaac Asimov - Author
- 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)
Freddy Mercury on the AIDS Quilt
VIdeos of the AIDS Quilt
Rock Hudson (1925-1985) - Autographed Photo he Sent to Me in the Early 1980's
Rock Hudson on the AIDS Quilt
The 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)
Tom Villard on the AIDS Quilt
Letter Sent to Me in 1982 by Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Isaac Asimov is not on the AIDS Quilt at the request of his family, but he may be at some point in the future.