Memories from Sonia Sheridan
John will be with me until my final days, and find the place that he justly deserves...It was not only because of of John's creative soul, but the perfection of his character that he can never leave us. His capacity for loving all creatures, including the cockroach in his refrigerator in Hawaii, was unique.
John said that I was his colleague, not his mother. Yet to me`he was a beloved son, who would be beloved by my biological son Jamy Sheridan. So I have loved and lost the physical John Dunn, but not the eternal John.John was not made for the commercial world, in spite of his company Time Arts, Inc. John was the genius of our Generative Systems group, among the many brilliant people that were, and are involved. John most of all gave me the means to continue being productive in the last 50 years of my life. His computer programs were the only ones with any depth of life in them. John understood life forces in his unique way, that is unmatched. For me John is alive and will be alive in me as long as I live.
The story of the cockroach: Hawaii the year ? I was invited by the University of Hawaii to participate in talking, showing and sharing. John invited me to stay with him high up in a very tall isolated building that looked out over Honolulu. He had a tiny kitchen and a main room with all of his equipment. There were open railed steps that led up to a bright vast view looking way out over Honolulu, with the nearest low buildings the Punahoa school. I had been invited, at an earlier time, to give workshops at the school but was unable to accept the offer. It turns out that was Obama's school.
From that balcony room I could listen to John's DNA music. I loved it for it just fit the bright, cheerful, high up environment. It was very melodic. Even HIV DNA was beautiful.
One day I was down in the "kitchen" - a refrigerator and sink, and a cabinet? I opened the refrigerator door, and saw a huge cockroach. I did not see John coming behind me. He probably was interested now in the food. Unfortunately he caught me in the midst of flushing the cockroach down the sink. Now you know how sweet tempered John is, but this was a John that I did not know. He was furious. He scolded me and lectured, but I do not recall any of the words, only his anger about my killing a living creature. I did not recall if I did this again. I might well have, because There is another story from 1976 in 3M Central Research and thousands of cockroaches in cages (for another time) so I knew the incredible stench of those cockroaches.
Now John must have been on one of the diets, for he had boxes in a cabinet to the direct right of the refrigerator. These boxes were from some diet program, but he kept eating them. So periodically John would go down the 30 ? flights to get something worth eating, like a burger. When I was certain that he was gone, I flushed down a huge Hawaii roach. After eating (he no doubt brought me the same) John would continue composing as I listened from the balcony room, and stared out over Honolulu. I never forgot the beauty of those sounds of DNA, especially slime mold. They became fixed in my memory. I am certain that John checked on his roach.Yet he never caught me again.