The Road Kill Recorder Retrospective

THUMP _____________________________ THUMP

It all began when I first started to drive after college. The NorthWestern Pennsylvania country roads were winding and remote. The wildlife challenged the traffic with fatal results.

Being the sort of person who rescued caterpillars from the swimming pool skimmer and such, the roadside carnage was difficult for me to see. I started this postcard publication to "lighten" that experience.

The "Road Kill Recorder" also known as "RKR" was mailed once a week. I'd keep count of recognizable and unrecognizable dead things I saw driving around. Every issue had a feature road kill event and my week's count of dead things.

During the early 80's I was way into doing mail art. I had a mailing list of 400+ people. My involvement doing internet art is very similar to my mail art then. I love sharing...

I picked about 15 people to send the RKR. Some were local friends. Others were places like Ralph Records in San Francisco because I was such a great fan of The Residents and SnakeFinger. I remained anonymous.

I went to the printer with my original pen and ink drawings twice a month.I'd glue them to cardboard that came out of my dad's dry cleaned and folded shirts.

Before long receivers of the RKR wrote back- they responded! I held "contests" with the prize being a date with the anonymous RKR Scout. I started getting fan mail. I kept my identity secret- other than the return address.

One day I got a really special fan mail letter. The sender was so stoked about my Road Kill Recorder. He sent MONEY and a couple addresses of his friends to get the RKR too. WOW. At the time he wasn't the superstar he is now; this special fan letter was from Penn Jillette!

When we finally met years later in San Francisco, Penn and his crew were expecting the author to be a zitty faced teenage boy- instead a cute girl in a mini skirt walked in. Their jaws dropped! It was so funny! My anonymous thing worked, and the RKR subject matter was not something expected from a girl...

Ha Ha! See what you think

©2007 Leslie J Michel

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