Another St. Louis Character (And An Enigma)

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This is Susan Stone, or perhaps David Stone, (I’m just going to use the female pronoun.) She has been around for years. You see her at public events where there is live music like the Pagan Picnic. She is a fixture at Earth Day. Stone performs a lumbering, uninhibited improvisation she calls The Dance of Life.

I’ve photographed her many times before but never did a post about her. My guess was that she had some serious disability and I didn’t want to seem to make fun of her. However, I had a chat with the Pagan Picnic house photographer about her. It turns out her story is complicated.

There are thousands of videos on YouTube by and about her. She has a website. It is unclear whether she is a transvestite or transgendered. Someone wanted to make a documentary about her but it looks like the project never got going. She told the videographer a story about a life of great suffering. No way to tell if any of it is true. She has had some serious run-ins with the law, and not about her lifestyle.

So I present this simply as reportage, one of the many quirks of life in our very mid-American city. One thing is for sure: we have experiences like this almost exclusively in the city proper. If you are in the nether suburbs, going from big house to shopping mall to salon to soccer field, you will not encounter these parts of St. Louis life.

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