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P.S. Better save this one, because these pizes are few and far between. B-

31 Beekman Street
New York, New York 10038
March 23, 1971

Dear Reggie, 

I decided to write you while the thoughts were hot, in other words the big show opened last night, and folks were invited in the typical caste system, we were in "Top drawer" status, in that we came at 6:30 for a Preview, then to cocktails, upstairs, and then a fine dinner with wine, expresso coffe, and a goodly gathering of the "In" crowd. Later we went back downstairs to greet the hordes that had been invited at 8:30.
The "In" people include Norman, Ernest Crichlow, Ted Bates, and of course Richard Hunt had mostly white artist friends, (except for Mel Edwards, who by the way will not be in the Whitney show and says he's encouraged 8 others to pull out), guys like Bud Hopkins, oh yes Richard Mayhew was one of the "Ins", but mostly people like Ed Taylor, and "Big Mama" was there but his star has sank-sank and frankly nobody talks to him, oh yes Brooks Dendy was there, and of course Mr. Extromm or something damnmit, and Hunt's dealer, San Dorskey, the shirtmaker. There were all the trustee type, and museum people around, but not many Black artists. Romare ran over and kissed M.E. and squeezed me around the waist, and Annette looked beautiful, really beautiful, Hunt was his reserved self and!!!This was probably the most photographed show ever, every damn time a Black person opened his mouth 8 or 9 cameras were on top of them recording it all for the front pages of the Pittsburgh Courier, believe. They had us identified, and if ever I thought I looked white, forget it, they photographed me every time I turned my head, and every other Black person. 

When we desecended to the lower level the second time it was as if they'd thrown open the gates, seeing the contrast makes one understand why people pay high membership dues. We'd been drinking boooze as if there was no tomorrow earlier, now dad it was$1.25 and folks were coddling hot watery former potent drinks as they pushed and shoved to spew out their helloes. Ben Wigfall, Al Loving, (going to be in the Whitney, I gave him hell and said we'd meet at the barricades, W.T. Williams in show too, Vincent Smith, in show, and I said, "man I cannot understand why you are in it. Al Loving and those cats yes, but you. "Well he shrugged his shoulders and said "I ain't gonna sell noway, so why not?" Vincent is a sad case somehow, so Black and yet somehow defeated or something. Ed Wilson was there and he's participating in the "Rebuttal show", Felrath Himes, an "in" guest isn't participating in the Whitney show nor the "Rebuttal",