When your fifteen minutes of fame comes right from Andy Warhol himself, what do you do for an encore?
If you’re Cleo Odzer, the answer is quite a bit.
Cleo lived as a hippy in Goa, India, becoming heavily involved in both drug use and trafficking there. She returned to New York, stopped taking drugs and went on to earn a PhD in Anthropology. Cleo worked full-time in Communications for a substance abuse not-for-profit, wrote three books — Goa Freaks: My Hippie Years in India, Patpong Sisters: An American Woman’s View of the Bangkok Sex World, and Virtual Spaces: Sex and the Cyber Citizen. This, plus a cable TV show and Web projects.
In the late-90s, I maintained the Max’s Kansas City Web Site. Cleo Odzer, a MKC regular some thirty years before, sent me the Andy Warhol column seen below. We emailed each other fairly often. After a while, the messages reflected that she was increasingly unhappy with life in New York.
Then Cleo Odzer sent a message that she’d gone to Goa and was overjoyed to find that many of her friends still were there. I didn’t receive any more emails from Cleo after that. A year or so later, I did a Web search and discovered that she’d died. Cleo Odzer, following in the path of Hesse’s Goldmund, found that a trail that’s smooth and downhill at eighteen is rough and steep decades later.
But just the other day, I heard from Cleo again. Someone brought in a bag of books to donate — one by Cleo Odzer. Through writing, we transcend time and space and so never end, becoming like the angels.