On March 28th 2022 Everett sent me an email, saying:

Wanted to let you know that Raindrop went to be with God yesterday. I know you loved her. I’m gonna take her to the vet now.  I wrapped her in a white sheet tied in a lavender chiffon curtain. Glad she died at home. She hated the vet. Like she was going to the electric chair. Another vet once said she was the most anxious dog he’d ever seen in his life. I told him just to use a gentle shhhhh.” 

Raindrop was Everett Quinton’s adopted daughter dog, who he doted on and spoiled with love. I met her ten years ago when I went down to his place to interview him for Housedeer. I had already loved Everett to bits for a very long time then, ever since I first saw him on the little stage at One Sheridan Square in The Mystery of Irma Vep, in 1985. Like so many countless other people have said, no actor has ever made me laugh the way Everett could.  With just his voice, a little laugh from his vast collection of various giggles, or his making the sound of an ice cube dropping into a highball glass with his mouth, he could bring the house down. (Anyone who’s seen him perform will know exactly what I mean.) 


Everett and Raindrop, West Side Highway, March 2013  Romy Ashby

Everett & Raindrop by the River April 2013  R. Ashby

I sat beside Raindrop on the sofa for the interview, and Everett cautioned her to not growl at me or bite me, and she didn’t. She behaved herself. She was a character. She was an extremely intelligent girl. She could read the words FED EX on the side of certain trucks passing on Hudson Street. She hated them with a passion, and she let everybody know. Other trucks just like them but without FED EX on the side held no interest for her. She noticed terrifying cats in shop windows and they noticed her. She was a hunter, and she was exceptionally good at grabbing rats off the street.

In the interview I asked how many rats she’d caught, and Everett said:

“Four. She’s caught four rats. I called the vet and asked if it can hurt her and he said, ‘Is she eatin’ ‘em?’ And I said, ‘No.’ She doesn’t eat ‘em, so it can’t really do anything to her. My little baby Raindrop was an impulse. I came home from my sister’s one night and saw her on Facebook. “ This dog needs a home!” When I first got her she was emaciated. You could see her ribs. I thought maybe she was some kind of whippet. But a year later when she had put on a layer of body fat, I realized that she had been dying and I started to cry. But I didn’t know I was getting Attila the fucking Hun! She loves to catch rats. It’s the terrier in her. 

“One hot night we were walking on Downing Street and there was a mountain of black shiny garbage bags full of refuse outside this one restaurant. And millions of rats were running all over them. It was like a moving, gray-velvet ribbon all over this black shiny stuff . Zillions of rats just flying around the bags. And I know they’re plaguy, verminy, flea-bitten things, hahaha, but it was fascinating. They’re fast. That’s what scares us. If you have mice in the house they’re tiny but if you open the light, it’s that fast-moving thing that scares us.”

Raindrop & Everett, West Side Highway March 2013 R. Ashby

This week, ten months after the passing of Raindrop, Everett died too. When the word came that he had, I imagined the pageant that Raindrop must have given him when she saw him get off the elevator at the entrance to heaven. I remembered him talking in the interview we did about how ridiculous it is that some people just can’t accept the notion of a dog having a soul and going to heaven. He said, “You can see how the world is fucked up just by the notion that animals have no souls. I always say that Jesus had to be ascended bodily because if he was still here the constant rolling over in his grave would create earthquakes that would do us all in. And also, if there were no queers there would be no fucking pearly gates!”

Terrifying Deli Kitty & Raindrop's face between her paws Romy Ashby

During the lockdown in the early days of the pandemic  I recorded a few phone calls with friends in case we all perished, and today I listened to Everett talk about little food pleasures he was having. I’ll share those here for anyone who might like to try something that Everett considered heavenly:

“I discovered this culinary miracle: I was sittin’ here one day and I had this can of black-eyed peas that were gonna go bad in June. So I said, we gotta eat those! I didn’t want to throw them away. So I went to bed and I dreamed this. You ever go to Cowgirl, that restaurant on 10thStreet? You go in and they give you this little appetizer of black-eyed peas in salsa. So I went and I got a jar of salsa and I threw it on a can of black-eyed peas. No fuss no muss! The first time I did it I rinsed the peas. But then I thought, I ain’t even gonna rinse ‘em! I threw ‘em in the bowl and it was heaven! It took five minutes, and lunch! 

“And you know what I have developed? It’s called Dirty Cream of Rice. One day I got this chicken. I had to boil it, and I put all this fabulous stuff in with it and I decided the next day to break it up and make a little soup out of it. And then the next day I thought, well, why don’t we put some cream of rice in it? And it is fucking great! So now I can make this meal—it sounds like nun food—with two potatoes and two carrots and two stalks of celery. The first time I did it I sautéed ‘em first and then boiled ‘em. But you don’t even have to sauté ‘em first! You just throw ‘em in with a cup of water and you boil it. And then I have these vegetable bouillon cubes that are vegan, and you just throw one into the water and it cooks in like ten minutes. And then! You put in: cream of rice. And it’s like—it’s heaven!”

Until we meet again, sweet Everett. Thank you for everything.

Romy Ashby 25 January 2023

For anyone who would like to read it, here is a link to a PDF of my Housedeer interview with Everett. It is 7.5 MB in size so it can take a little time to load. 


1 comment:

  1. He sounds like a wonderful human. I wish I had known him, Romy. And his mischievous and sweet Raindrop.