from the AIDS quilt - Tony LoPilato, lower left
To break the chains of ignorance and fear, a band of carolers went to Muhlenberg and sang for Tony and everybody, a lesson on good will. Gay men and those who loved them went on become pioneers in education, activism and care for people with AIDS and HIV.
AIDS took out a whole echelon of Plainfielders-by-choice, who had moved here with high hopes for the Queen City and saved many of its architectural treasures for posterity. Those who recall the times remember their enthusiasm and commitment, a wellspring cut off in full flow when the so-called "gay plague" struck the community.
I remember going into a store that Donald Morris opened on Park Avenue and seeing him whisper to someone a secret he didn't want me, a casual customer, to hear. But I guessed why he looked stricken. All too soon, he was on that sad roster of those who didn't make it.
We'll never really know how much more Plainfield would have gained had current treatments been available in the 1980s. All we can do is remember and wonder.