From Tracing The Hapsburgs To Blogging


The tangled social webs we weave. In a widely read New Yorker piece a few weeks back by Tim Page about living with Asperger’s syndrome, the author mentions other people he suspected of having the same condition. One of them was encountered in the late 1970s, “a ragged, haunted man who spent urgent hours dodging the New York transit police to trace the dates and lineage of the Hapsburg nobility on the walls of the subway stations.”

The man in question, John Yohalem, is alive and well. He wrote a letter to the editor and, course, blogs as well:

As it happens, I may or may not mix well with other children in age-appropriate ways (can I give you my card? can I form yours into a paper plane and hurl it across the street?) and I certainly get down and dirty with the minutiae of pointless tasks (let me show you my mandala art work sometime), but I have never been homeless or institutionalized (not even close) (unless you count college as an institution) (or the Democratic Party and that joke was old in Will Rogers’ day) but that was definitely ME back in the late 70s scrawling the genealogy of the Habsburgs, the Capets, the Hohenzollerns and the Comneni on the blanker spaces of the New York subway walls.

Hey, man, this was the age of Keith Haring.