Burning Man 1987

By 1987, the Man grew to almost fifteen feet tall and took a couple of weeks to build. Jerry was living on Capp Street, with his girlfriend Maria, a fellow named Sigmar (who pitched in on the construction). The man was built on his back porch over a couple of weekends.

Larry suggested they incorporate crossed horizontal members to provide shape and volume. The backbone, legs are arms were made with four by-fours. Two-by-twos and two-by-fours were set perpendicularly across these bones and miter cut at the ends.

Larry and Jerry’s roommate Sigmar decorated the figure by painting a triangular crown including yellow lightening bolts angling off its brow. This time the effigy was about 12 feet tall and the assembly was still straight forward, according to Jerry James.

Larry’s brother Stewart and Stewart’s family drove down from Portland to join in the celebration. Stewart and his son recall being initially reluctant to come to this celebration that Larry was so enthusiastic about. But once in attendance, both were aware that they were participating in something meaningful and important. They vowed to return the following year and did.

Jerry also remembers that “after the fire I had a sense this might be a ritual, and that we would do it again.”