Michèle Goycoolea Crawford

Growing up, I never got the impression that Quentin’s life-style was scandalous. The whole family was a little nuts, but Quentin was the only one who’d made a living out of it. We were proud of him. When he visited what he called "Doris Day Country" (suburban New Jersey, where we lived), I think he felt cozy. He took off his shoes, had a glass of Chivas and ate heartily. I was happy to see him so relaxed. At our wedding—all dressed up with the scarf, make-up and blue hair—he definitely overshadowed the bride. And then there were our lunches at the Cooper Square Diner, after which I always felt a renewed sense of identity. He continually reminded me that one could give everything else away except one’s identity: that you had to hold onto for dear life!

Knowing him broadened my life immensely. He gave me far more than I ever gave him. It’s hard to live up to his example because he was so extraordinarily original. I only hope that my children will someday discover this heritage and that it will broaden their horizons as well. To Ian Quentin (his great-great-nephew) at his christening, Quentin said, "Don’t let the name give you any ideas." But I hope it will. He leaves us not only a legacy of self-determinism and individuality, but also of honesty and tolerance. He was the last of the eccentrics in our family and it is with deep sadness and sense of loss that I say goodbye to him. He marks the end of an era for us, no less than for the world.

Copyright © 2000 by Michèle Goycoolea Crawford and Estate of Quentin Crisp. All rights reserved.
Quentin Crisp at the wedding of Michèle Goycoolea and James Crawford. Copyright © Pratt family private collection. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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