In the fall of 1970, I was an eighteen-year old sophomore at Brooklyn College and still living with my parents in Prospect Heights. I could see Manhattan from my fifth floor bedroom window. The view was interrupted only by the Dime Savings Bank, which seemed to give the finger to me and my dreams of getting across the river and into a new life.

I was six months away from joining the Gay Liberation Front and marching in the first Gay Pride Parade with my first boyfriend, and a year away from dropping out of college altogether and moving into Manhattan for good, where I’ve remained for the last forty years. Before I arrived in Manhattan, one of the ways I freaked out my parents was by buying every issue I could find of Evergreen Review and displaying them prominently on my brother’s bed, which is where all my belongings lived while he was living up at Fordham. I bought the poster version of the August 1970 cover, proudly displaying the iconic Avedon photo of Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky in a nude embrace. It held the place of honor between the Marat Sad poster and a caricature of Pope Paul VI wagging his finger while saying “The pill is a no-no!”

Evergreen Review legitimized so many of my fantasies, actually took them out of the realm of fantasy and into the world of, at first, possibility. It was one of the places, along with The Whole Earth Catalog, The Village Voice, Ramparts, and others, that gave me the counter-cultural education I valued as much as the one I was getting as a classics major–before I abandoned the idea of a life teaching undergrads about the Latin subjunctive and the Greek optative. Evergreen Review, with its wonderful mix of art, music, politics, photography, and sex of every variety was my favorite publication.

I wish I still had those issues. They’d be as valuable to me as a madeleine was to Proust. In my first three years in Manhattan I lived in seven different places with a total of forty other people in various combinations. The magazines are long gone. But just looking at old covers on-line brings back a whiff of my past, along with the fading scent of patchouli and marijuana–and the first visions of the kind of life nothing in my working-class Irish Catholic upbringing could ever have led me to imagine. I owe a debt to Barney Rosset. So here’s to you, Barney. RIP. And many, many, many thanks.