AIDS Affects U.$. All -- The photography and Words of Morgan Alexander

A Project of The International Humanities Center

The Photography of
Morgan Alexander
   

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DAVID "GRANNIE" MATTHIAS
Ambassador Hotel, San Francisco
1990

Copyright © Morgan Alexander 2004

   Formerly, the chief surgical nurse at the United States Navy's Bethesda Medical Facility, Grannie lived in his small room with 5 cats and over 300 stuffed animals on the walls, each one commemorating a friend who has died of AIDS. He also had an aquarium filled with trinkets to remember the babies who were born and died of HIV virus and was an AA sponsor.

   The eldest son and heir in an old french family, Grannie was raised in Europe. Through an arranged marriage, he had 4 children with a wife he grew to love & never tried to hide his homosexuality.

   While a Fleet Marine Corps nurse during the Korean War, he lost his hearing when a 120mm mortar shell exploded in the surgical tent. He was awarded 9 purple hearts.

   His luck ran out in 1984 when after a violent mugging, he received two units of blood, one coming from an HIV-positive donor.

His door was always open at the Ambassador and he had many visitors. He died in 1993.
   

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