This is a somewhat whimsical, quirky little piece whipped up in a hurry back in 1982, for a tag sale I was having in my apartment prior to moving to New Hampshire with then-girlfriend Jeannine. I can't really remember how successful it was, or how many people actually made the trek up to the third floor to go through my stuff.
But as light-hearted as this little sign is, it actually signified a very big and serious change in my life. I was leaving a comfortable life in Northampton -- a town I'd lived in pretty much since graduating from UMass in 1976. I had a great studio apartment right in the middle of downtown Northampton -- low rent, heat included. I wasn't making a lot of money with my illustrating, but I had the steady gig with the "Daily Hampshire Gazette", and my expenses were pretty low. And I had never lived out of state -- in fact, I'd always lived either in my home town of North Adams or no more than sixty miles away from it.
Yet here I was, ready to drop all of this to move to another state, away from family and friends and work, to live in a town I'd only visited once (on a trip to find a place to rent), with a woman I'd been dating only a few months. I can't stress enough how unusual this was for me -- I guess it is a pretty good indication of how head-over-heels in love with Jeannine I was.
The fact that this move would bring me geographically closer to my new friend Kevin Eastman, who I had met the previous year in Northampton before he headed back to Maine, was a minor detail, and one I didn't think too much about among all the preparations for the move. But, as students of TMNT history know, it would turn out to have hugely significant consequences for us. -- PL