I was Adam Block's junior year roommate at Putney School. I just received the latest Putney Post and read the obit there and thereby found this blog and have been reading many of the posts there finding bits and pieces of the Adam I knew. As near as I can tell Adam was the only one of us who openly identified as gay at Putney and seemed to delight in shocking the rest of us with his readings of the Marquis DeSade. Naive as I was, I think I assumed that this was just a phase he was going through and expected for him as I hoped for myself that it would play out with adolescence. So, as I finally came out in my early 50's, thoughts of Adam have been with me periodically and I had accomplished enough web research to know that he was in the Bay Area, his critic role, etc, but I had not actually made the step of contacting him. Now I find myself shocked that this is no longer an option.
I was one of the ones who hung out in the potato shed secretly smoking with Adam and others as described by his friend Schuyler herein. I had a different opinion on the potatoes, as instead of digging and handling them, I was the one who drove the tractor the rest loaded with their bushels of the crop. I also remember the incredibly smudged glasses and as Adam's roommate, his lack of hygiene, both personally and spatially. I will always see him in dark blue blazer with copious dandruff flakes covering the shoulders.
Perhaps it is just as well I had not contacted Adam. Like Adam, not only did I like men, I was also devoted to alcohol and other drugs, but I reached the bottom of my downward spiral with addiction in '79, so seeing him actively using would have been very uncomfortable.
I am very happy to see such an outpouring of fond memories of Adam in this blog. The picture from 1965 is exactly how I remember him. I am currently in Portland, near Reed College and glad to know Adam had his stint there. Just as others note, I remember Adam's wit, intelligence, voracious appetite for reading and eagerness to challenge assumptions. I am glad to hear these traits were operative to the end.