The David Serko Project
In February 2012 I started The David Serko Project. My goal: find people who knew David. I was six years older than David. When I left home to go to college at age 18, David was 12 years old, in 6th grade. After that, I was out of the picture. I missed all of David’s high school and college years. We had spent much of our lives living far apart. I eventually moved to the Pacific Northwest, David settled in New York City after college. He toured the world in “A Chorus Line” and “Dirty Dancing”. I was a stay at home dad with three kids, up to my elbows in diapers. I wanted to know more about his life. I wanted to gather stories from the people who knew him. We would create in effect an “oral quilt” of his life.
It started with a website at davidserko.com then more or less as an afterthought I created The David Serko Project Facebook page. To my surprise rather quickly I began to locate people who knew David. As I began to find people I also gathered tidbits of information about him. Sometimes it might be a comment about a photo I posted (see the comment on the right). Other times someone new might comment and suddenly I would have a new contact, another friend of his to add to our growing list. Over time I amassed photos, video on old VHS tapes, audio recordings, and some of his personal belongings, most I had never seen or heard before. It was a fascinating and wonderful process of discovery.
However, one of the most important discoveries of the Project didn’t occur through Facebook. Early in the Project I was looking for information about ACT UP, the AIDS activist group. David had been a member of ACT UP and had participated in a number of ACT UP protests. I wanted to get a better understanding of the history of ACT UP. As I was reading a Wikipedia article on ACT UP I noticed a footnote link (since removed) to photos of an ACT UP protest known as Wall Street II, March 24, 1988. I had seen a photo of David at this protest elsewhere so I clicked on the link. 📷 The link opened a gallery of B&W photos from the protest. As I browsed through the gallery I found this photo (left) of David being hauled off by the NYC Police. It was a startling discovery. Finding this photo created a ripple effect in the life of the Project opening many doors. Clay Walker, the man who took the photo, and I are now friends. Clay came to the performance of the play in Endicott, NY in July 2014 and stayed at my parents’ house with us. 📷 Clay took photographs of me during the performance... talk about things coming full circle!
Of course, the Project laid the groundwork for the play My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg. Read more about that here.
Interested in knowing more about the life of the Project?
See The David Serko Project Timeline, it has links to videos and other materials from the Project.