Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Have you seen Johnnie?
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About Johnnie Rodriguez
Last seen in Mexico City in 1956.
Johnnie has been missing for decades. We only occasionally hear news of him. It is said that he ended up to New York City in 1961. He had a small place near where Yoko Ono was living at that time. He would take old flowers from the dumpster of a florist shop and hang them in his apartment to dry and then sell bunches of these dried flowers on the street to make his rent and to be able to buy cigarettes, beans and tortillas and once in a while, a bottle of tequila. Someone said in a letter from the early 1960's that, on one occasion, he was selling dried flowers when a young eastern European sounding man (possibly Lithuanian) walked by as he said "flores secas'. The man stopped for a moment and asked him to repeat what he had said and Johnnie repeated 'flores secas' and the European man said 'Fluxus?' and Johnie replied, "Jes! flores secas." and that this was the beginning of what we now know as Fluxus.
When the family received the above photograph a short note was with it; "Aquí esta una foto mí en la ciudad de Nueva York. Fue tomada por un extraño de nombre Andy no se que me siguio cuando me vio empacar mis latas de sopa de tomate Cambell’s (es la marca) que acababa de comprar y las puse en forma de pirámide. Yo estaba con nostalgia y recordaba Teotihuacan. Él se me hace una persona rara, pero es típica de mi barrio. Contento se me hacerco me agito el hombro y me dijo “That’s it! Thank you man!” quire decir (eso es! Gracias hombre!) y nunca supe gracias de que. Que raro. Aque en la ciudad de Nueva York hay mucha gente rara y el es uno de ellos.
Translated this means more or less, "Here is a picture of me in the city of New York. It was taken by a weird guy named Andy something who was following me around when I was stacking cans of Campbell's tomato soup into the form of a pyramid like at Teotihuacan since I was homesick. He is a strange guy but typical of my neighborhood. When he saw the cans of soup he shook my shoulder and said; "That's it! Thanks man! But thanks for what? I still don't know. How odd. Here in New York there are many strange people and he is one of them."