Letter to Patti

Dear Patti,

I just wanted to reach out to you about your memoir Just Kids, and let you know how much I loved it. We were assigned to read your book in my Music Writing class at Fort Lewis College through out the semester, and I’m so happy we did! To be honest, I was not extremely familiar with your band Sonic Youth, and didn’t even really know about you and Robert’s relationship before being assigned this book. I’m happy it was that way, because I was able to dive deep into your writing and see what was the story behind the music.

I found the words you used to describe Robert, and interactions with him to be so heartfelt, and genuine. It was like I could hear you telling me the story in person, and I haven’t even heard your voice before. One moment that stuck out to me the most towards the ending of your memoir, was the scene you describe of the last family photograph taken before Robert’s Death. “I held Jesse in my arms, and she reached out to him, smiling. ‘Patti,’ he said, pressing the shutter.’She’s perfect.’ That was our last photograph.” I’m a huge cheese ball for family, and that moment you spent with Robert and Fred seems like a memory you will never forget, and cherish for the rest of your life. I couldn’t imagine raising a child after your love has passed away, and I think your writing displays how mature and dedicated you are.

Seeing the hard times you have faced through out your life and seeing where you now is truly inspiring. From barely having money for food, a place to stay, and bouncing from job to job to being a bad ass punk band member, I think you prove a lot of stereotypes wrong. Just because people may struggle through out their lives, doesn’t mean that they don’t have potential, and it definitely doesn’t mean they can’t make it. I wish every 20 something person going through a hard time would read this. (Except for when you guys find the embryo in the glass jar in the abandoned small pox museum, that kind of grossed me out.) It would help a lot of the youth in todays culture to see another perspective to learn from, and look up too.

It is evident that pursuing art was something that kept you and Robert alive at times, and it is so beautiful to see where that art takes you. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the world, Patti, you truly are one of a kind.


Michelle Olson

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