Sunday, August 27, 1:15 PM, Sunny Valley, Oregon
Honey Lee Cottrell, her ex-lover and and most wellknown collaborator, made the collage above in San Francisco, on Sunday afternoon, and emailed it to me. She said she wouldn't be going to work this week.
I went to check Tee's blog and lo, she had just died during the hours Honey was composing this picture. It's one of their best collaborations yet.
Honey and Tee virtually created lesbian erotic photography during their prolific and imaginative time together as lovers, lesbian historians, and sex educators. They changed the way women use a camera, and the way a woman is perceived on film.
Tee in particular knew more about lesbian artists' history, from ancient times to present, than anyone else in the world. She once sent me to the National Gallery in Washington with a note that I should buttonhole one of the curators and make them show me every Romaine Brooks painting in their collection. I did. She's the reason I have portrait of Renee Vivien's grave. I am one of her protegeés... and I feel like I only learned a thimbleful of what she had to offer.
We saw her at her home in Sunny Valley in June. Played some Canasta. She couldn't eat this giant chocolate pie that someone brought over so of course I did the gallant thing. I took her dog for a walk and got to hug and squeeze her and say everything to her, which I couldn't really do with Tee in the condition she was in.
I have not had one word from her
Frankly I wish I were dead
When she left, she wept a great deal; she said to me,
"This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly."
I said, "Go, and be happy
but remember (you know well) whom you leave shackled by love
"If you forget me, think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared
"All the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and crocus twined around your young neck
"Myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with all that they most wished for beside them
"While no voices chanted choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song..."
Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard.
from the Tee Corinne Updates Blog:
"Details of Tee's memorial services will be posted soon.
"Anyone who wishes to contact Jeanne, her designated Executrix, will find her accessible at: geeknee at a1pro dot net.
"All Tee's mail will be forwarded to: P. O. Box 633, Merlin, Oregon 97532.
"Virtually all of Tee's estate will become the property of the University of Oregon, Special Collections and University Archives in the University of Oregon Libraries.
"In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tee's name should be made payable to Tee Corinne Fund, with "Tee Corinne U. of O. Libraries" in the memo line, and should be mailed to the Library Development Office, 1299 University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403-1299."
Tee is survived in her immediate family by her younger brother Billy McClellan, last located in Kaawa, HI. Neither Honey nor I have heard from him in a decade, and Tee hadn't heard from him last I checked, in June. No phone number that I know of. If anyone knows how to reach him personally, please contact me or Honey Lee.
Honey Lee and I would appreciate hearing from anyone close to Tee. I know we're not suppposed to send flowers anywhere, but I think we should send flowers to each other! You know how much Tee loved them. If you don't feel like posting anything publicly here, please do email or call us. -- sb