mitchtv's Journal - Archives
I got tired, besides I always have partner in the next room. Also, I'd have to learn how to lose 30 or40 years, At 66, they are not interested
A truck drove by with guns blazing, Ilooked to the locals, and noticed that they were not panicing but rather stepping behind the abundant monuments and statues. A few moments later came a truckfull of military at a respectful distance,
circa '69-'70 It had an extemrly colorful representation from all parts of the Gay world in SF; There were several squads of police encircling Speedway meadows with all the accoutrements de guerr. From mounted to the infamous "Honda Hogs" on their Honda 90s Of course Tac Squad was there too. They knew who to grab first. Well no one blinked and went on to enjoy a day in the park, The FootlightsClub , a gay commune was there along with "The Honeymoon hotel" house that was a core house of the Cockettes,( see " Elevator Girls In Bondage"). Our house was there, too.So ther was a lot of genderfuck and sequins , a few, elaborate headdresses. Plus the usual Gay Lib regulars. THE POLICE, all the while hiding in the bushes surrounding Speedway. Apparently when the afternoon waned on with no provocation. The pigs started rounding up the Tenderloin crowd (Lots of Drag) and putting them in the black moria. Everyone on surrounded the event and jeered the police as one by one the queens were escourted into the awaiting paddywagon. We gave each and everyone a round of applause and they waved to the crowd back. sadly there were few camera phones around, like none.they got a few of us but they had to do it publically, in front of a disapproving crowd. San Francisco was considered a Gay friendly city.
I became a steward . and thanks for reminding me of the value of the membership and what they put into it. When the union is strong in the unit you find few of the gripers. But always remember that the shop stweward is the face of the union, unfortunately many stewards are just slackers and coast. That should be taken care of by the membership and the officers must listen. Remember, the lousy stewards are there for a reason, to assign to the non members and scabs who always end up in trouble and in need of representing. The biggest gripe by members I saw was the enormus resources being used by the union to save the jobs of workers the members themselves believe shuold be canned. Always remind them of our leags duties to represent everyone, and ask them if that isn;t what they'd want for themselves
and a lot of Gay stuff in SF, too. They tried like hell to make a problem at the first Gay In in GG Park, but failed. The tenderloin drag queens they carted off from Speedway Meadows came off as heroes to the motley assortment of gays and friends who had been surrounded by every conceivable police weapon in their arsenal. For a fucking Party yet. Picture it, Honda Hogs, mounted police , TAC squad all hiding in the bushes around Speedway ready to pounce, Finally they managed to get a few queens for something and drobe the black moria into the center of the meadow. They were waving to the cheering crowd as they were carted off. All and all a PR loss for the pigs
they were indulging in entrapment at the restrooms in their Union Sq store. We militants thought that their Gay customers should be aware of their involvement ,. I was wearing part of my Postal uniform (illegal for me) I was set upon by a woman and her Hubby who push me around then marched off. I sent a kick that did not connect, but made a great photo for the cops who then picked me up and brought me to jail I think Northern Station on green st( If that is the right time I went to jail). I was eventually released to a Gay Lawyer and Got probation, as they had no witness. The gay Lawyer insisted upon being "paid" I was cheap enough to accommodate.
I lived in SF in those days, Noe Valley, I remember the firebrand that was Cleve Jones, he's down this way now. I grieved personally when White shot the Mayor , who I knew from the political circuit. Thank you for the memory, It hurt so much then and I was in a work group with Dan White's nephew or cousin or some relative. It was very uncomfortable
the majority of the Gay population of Laytonville Ca in the 80's
John Mc Namara (johna)
Daniel Ware (Angel of Light)
Link (angel of light ) in India
Hibiscus (Angel of Light)
Thomas Nevin (Bon Vivant)
Preston Conser(murdered) in Lisbon
Jimmie Gutierrez (presumed)Poet and lover of Alan Ginsberg
Mark Smith in Sonoma
A patial list of friends and aquaintences who left way before their time . It;s been many years and my memory is clouding , please indulge me while I unload my failing memory. I may update from time to time as they come back to me
In a very nice section of town, Barrancos , if I remember correctly, suddenly the lights went on the secret pol;ice all over the palce, "hands on the table" They went through everyone there. They claimed to have found a joint under my/our table. I was searched, being the long haired gringo , and they nabbed me with a pack of American flag rolling papers. Their questioning led nowhere, and one said something about hippie bums with no money, ehrn I pulled out a large note from my Frye boots,and since I was with the son of a general and two aristoratic girls, their attitude changed. I was taken to my hotel, my funds were checked,as well as my ticket out of Peru' I said "fine" I'll leave now, but the attitude had become Welcome to peru, don't leave, you must visit Mach Picchu. As General Rene Schneider had just been murdered in a CIA kidnap attempt, I changed my itinerary, and followed their suggestion
They put us in some old dungeon built by the Spanish, but I was with some infuential people so they checked my cash , and let me go.
It was a "wide open " bar. I had been trading joints for drinks with the bartender, small wonder it got busted. Sorry I returned to Calif , and missed the fun.
if memory serves me it was in 1968 , I think, a young man named Gayle Whittington was being mistreated by management (I forget the real issue, it might have been a dismissal) There was another at the INS blgd on Sansome sT.where I'm sure my pic was taken. BTW, you are a young gay to me. I remember marching outside the Women's House of Detention on Greewich Ave with Allen Ginsburg in the early 60's , but that was for marijuana.
you just gotta get out! Believe me No one else was even thinking about helping me
I was arrested in a Gay demonstration in SF.
The "civil rights"lawyer blew me for his retainer. I git out of jail that's what's important
His name was Billy Joe Beckwith (BJ) and it was a demonstration outside Macy's on Union Sq.
I feel history demands the truth. This was in 1969, I believe
also posed for "Christmas cards" as long as I'm confessing.
The War at Home
This story took place in the late 60ís
The S. F. Examiner had written some pretty unflattering Things about S. F.ís awakening Gay Community. The war had infused aggressiveness into the Gay Guys. They were sick of being kicked off the podiums and daisís, and not having any input at the table, so to speak, thanks to the straight radical who dominated the ďmovementĒ. It was time for action.
The word spread, and before you knew it, we had a medium sized picket line, with a respectable volume in from of the Examiner building on 5th street. There were some veterans of the really first picket line at States line in the financial district, that we had organized for Gail Whittington, who was pursuing an anti Gay discrimination case against them. We had signs, present were Stevens McClave (Gay is Good), activists like Gary Allender, Gary Weinberg, and Leo Laurence. Thatís where I met Pat (brandy) Brown, John Mosher, and Tom Peele. It was there I met the then Rev Michael Itkin of some bizarre Catholic sect. I donít know why but Gary (Juanita) W. hated him with a passion. It was a strange crew and we were loud.
Then someone threw some purple printers ink out the Examiner window, and thatís when the trouble started. Outraged, we quickly started smearing the ink all over the building and making handprints on the walls. The Police, always in the mood to attack gays, started in, and thatís where Brandy taught me one thing, THE VALUE OF LEADERSHIP.
A snarling, scratching, high kicking bunch of ďfagsĒ threatened to turn the incident into another Stonewall. Quickly, however the Tac Squad took over and Brandy, our vanguard, was captured, and Tom Peele earned his nickname Emma, from his high kicks that day. It was considered by many present to be the birth of the newly formed Gay Liberation Front, and the original purple hand logo for the group was chosen from the mess on the examiner wall that day. (It was later replaced by less esoteric symbols like the lambda and the pink triangle, and more appropriately so).
We were on a roll, and Rolling Stone magazine, and its editor, Jan Wenner was next. He acted like a self-righteous, straight, asshole, and he though he could disrespect the gay crowd with impunity.He would rue that day...
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