Hey! Look what I bought at the 25 mile sale last weekend:
Love at first sight! This photos dates to the 70s or early 80s, yet evokes that ‘Mata Hari on an antique French postcard’ kinda vibe. Sadly the vendor had no personal connection to the photo, thus didn’t know the story behind it.
Not knowing can be half the fun though! In instances like this I like to fabricate an entire life story for the depicted; then convince myself such stories aren’t works of fiction, but in fact manifestations of my psychic abilities. I’ve since christened this woman Sue, the ultimate adventuress.
Sue grew up in a conservative Detroit family, and was a good little girl until that fateful day she saw the MC5 live. From that day on her parents abandoned all hope. She dropped out of college to go hitch hiking along the west coast, spending 6 months in a Haight Street commune. It was there she learned about holistic medicine and eastern philospohy.
Many war protests, incense sticks and acid trips later, she had a fling with a rockstar who shared her thirst for the exotic (she won’t identify him to this day, but swears he’s among the most famous). What a jet set whirlwird romance they had! Morocco, Lebanon, Nepal, India…. now she was really immersed in the ways of the east. They were having the times of their lives. But then his career forced him back west, and sadly they never met again. Alone and lonely in a far away land, she sought comfort in spirituality. And so her quest for enlightenment began.
Het globe trotting adventures continued for 3 more years. She visited elaborate mosques with whirling dervishes, a synagogue in Tel Aviv, Buddhist monastaries wafting with incense, and Hindu temples where rats were considered dieties. Being vegetarian, she almost converted to Hari Krishna; and swears she ran into George Harrison and Pattie Boyd at one point.
But ultimately she became wiccan. She much preffered to worship the goddess, and considered it complimentary to the womens lib movement occuring back west. Eager to fight the good fight once more, she booked a flight to NYC and gave the cause her all. To commemorate, she also legally changed her name to Athena.
The battle was won, years went by, and when she least expected it, she met the love of her life. Bob is an orchestra conductor who loves greyure cheese, Fritz Lang movies, and collecting piano rolls. He also gambles a lot on horse races, but Athena forgives him for that.
Today, Athena owns a yoga studio, which also serves as a metaphysical store and belly dance studio. She’s one of the best belly dancers in Philly, and is in even better shape than her gradnchildren. This photo was taken at her first performance way back when. But if you could see what she looks like today, you’d assume it was taken last week.