February 22, 1987 was an unusually social Sunday for me. I spent the early part of the afternoon at a brunch in the West Village at the apartment of my friend Marc, a fellow I dated briefly the previous year. (We met when he walked up behind me at Uncle Charlie's bar and snapped the back of my suspenders). After brunch a group of us went to a mid-afternoon tea dance at a club in Chelsea called Tracks. From there I taxied down to SoHo to attend a 5th anniversary celebration for GMHC (Gay Men's Health Crisis) held at the Puck Building. That was followed by dinner at Taste of Tokyo and then a brief visit to the club Palladium on 14th St.
I didn't get home until late and when I sat down to watch the 11:00 news I was shocked to learn of Andy Warhol's death. He died from complications after having simple gallbladder surgery. He was just 58. (Somewhat overlooked was the death on the same day of talk show host David Susskind.) A contributing factor to his death was the fact that he put off the surgery for so long, which took a toll on his overall health (he was deathly afraid of hospitals.)
I felt somewhat of a connection to Warhol because, like me, he grew up in Pittsburgh and was of Slovakian parentage (my maternal grandmother was born in Slovakia). Seven years after his death, while I was in Pittsburgh to attend my father's funeral, I visited the newly opened Warhol Museum with my brother, his fiance and my two young nephews. It was ironic that the museum (at the time the only one in the US devoted to one artist) was here because Warhol apparently was ashamed of his Pittsburgh roots. And in present-day Pittsburgh, a number of Warhol's silk screen creations can be found in one of the concourses at the city's airport.
(Many books are available about Warhol's life and his body of work. One in particular that got a lot of press when it was published in the early '90's was The Andy Warhol Diaries.)