In loving Memory of Stacy Erra

Stacy Erra was an early member of the Sirens as well as the founder of our sister club, The Lavender Jane Gang, a group of women bikers who worked hard to maintain their sobriety. Stacy was a fierce and charismatic poet. Some of us were lucky enough to witness her breathtaking reading from the stage of the Women's Motorcycle Festival in 1988. When she was finished the room was briefly frozen in silence, and then erupted in wild cheering and applause. I looked around me and noticed that I wasn't the only one fanning myself. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Stacy read her poetry in various East Village venues including St. Marks in the Bowery, as well as at Carnegie Recital Hall.

Stacy never accepted traditional women's roles and, according to her lover, wore a motorcycle helmet in her high school yearbook picture. She supported her performer's life working as, among other things, a carpenter, taper, and a wallpaper hanger. Stacy struggled mightily with her addictions, sometimes winning, sometimes not. AIDS was already ravaging her body when she joined us, but at that time there were few treatments, and no one had even begun to consider the needs of women with AIDS. Disease and organ failure progressed quickly and Stacy searched in vain for adequate health care at the end of her life. The stigma of AIDS was so great at that time that her family requested her obituary state the cause of her death as cirrhosis of the liver.

In the winter of 1989 Stacy rode her 700 Shadow over to visit friends, not knowing that she would be too weak to ride it home. Soon after, she slipped into an hepatic coma from which she did not recover. Stacy was a very complex person. She was mercurial, fascinating, and very intense. Those of us who were drawn to her light are deeply saddened that it was extinguished too soon.


Tribute by Cheryl Stewart