Old 02-14-10, 03:49 PM
  #41  
Sueno Natasha
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NYC
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Bikes: Diamond (Greg)

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Originally Posted by JunkYardBike
...I thought it might be useful to have some information about Diamond published somewhere on the internet...
Then let this serve as a brief obit, for today is the 20th anniversary of Greg’s death. On a whim, I decided to google him (with his whip-smart command of grammar, he would’ve been the first to remind me that “google” is not a verb…) -- if only to find a trace of him in the ether, and came across this thread. Greg would be so pleased to read all the discussion regarding his work. And being the detail-oriented perfectionist that he was, he would want a friend to set the record straight. I'm afraid that I can't speak to the specifications of his framebuilding (I think he'd prefer some mystery there) but I can clear up some of the conjecture surrounding the date of your frame, and I hope, give you a sense of who he was.

Greg died from complications of AIDS on February 14, 1990. He stopped building frames about 18 months prior to his death -- when he turned all his energies to advocating for housing for people with AIDS. And he almost lived to see the result of his efforts; the following July, Heath House (an AIDS hospice) opened it’s doors in Santa Barbara. Greg also spent a lot of time near the end of his life speaking to students, church groups, and community organizations about living with AIDS. He was open and honest and bravely spoke the truth about a disease that, more often than not during those early dark times of the epidemic, brought out the worst in our society: discrimination, fear, and contempt.

But as evidenced by this thread, that was only one chapter in Greg’s life. He was a Master framebuilder -- a true artist, as anyone lucky enough to own one of his frames will attest (myself included). He hand crafted every piece of his frames and wouldn’t hesitate to start over if he didn’t think it turned out perfect (much to the chagrin of those clients who were not quite prepared to wait as long as they eventually did).

Greg was also a musician, playing acoustic guitar (both six and twelve-string) in local coffee houses as well as participating on stage at the Summer Solstice festival in Santa Barbara. His repertoire ranged form Bluegrass, to Classical, to Celtic traditional, to his own arrangements and compositions a la Leo Kottke (Cripple Creek was his favorite -- he was a huge fan), practicing for hours on end with the same tenacity and drive he displayed in his other pursuits.

Greg had many friends among the various communities he touched and is sorely missed. I'll always remember his wicked sense of humor, his love of the absurd, and his complete focus and dedication to whatever was occupying him at the moment -- be it framebuilding, music, or fighting intolerance.

Shortly after moving to NYC, I rode my Diamond Frame in the NYC Century Bike Tour (the 50 mile version). I circle Central Park when weather permits (OK, mostly in the spring and summer) and ride along the Hudson. It’s safe to say that my Diamond Frame (in “Maureen Maroon”) is my most prized possession. I didn’t have the funds to build out my frame until long after it was built and have always had a nagging suspicion that Greg would cringe at how the bike shop handled it. I would love to find someone in the NYC region that understands steel frames who could refurbish it properly. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks for providing a forum for sharing Greg’s art!
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