Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Today is Michael Tolliver Day in San Francisco

And this was on page one of yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle.

God, I love this town.

P.S. When you get to the article, click on the small photo for a larger portrait and caption.


johnieb said...

It must be a wonderful place to live. I always have felt drawn there, partly an artifact of consumerist ideology through the MSM: likely, but also, personally: I am the product of a wartime leave in California, which got my Daddy out of the Navy a little earlier. My Mama hitched a ride on a freight cross-country the next Spring: comfortably into her second trimester, poor lil timid Mama. I need to call the woman; she's ninety-one on the 21st, Lord willing.

Ed said...

I love it! And I love Michael Tolliver. Does that make me a Mousketeer?

Kirstin said...

:-) That's great.

I love this town, too. (And right now I'm loving the Ranch.)

Jane R said...

What's MSM?

johnieb said...

MainStreamMedia (excluding a certain worldwide member NPO).

johnieb said...

Please, SVO: that only makes me think of the end of Kubrick's *Full Metal Jacket*; it is the Land of the Business, after all.

(exit, stage L, of course, humming "Who's the Leader of the Club...").

Poor Jane R., forced to grow up aboard and miss much of popular culture: Quelle horreur! (Is that even remotely right?)

Jane R said...

Quelle horreur is exactly right.

Now, all y'all, I am moving into library mode shortly, so don't be too worried if I blog less. This is my Precious Research and Writing Time so I have to go at it.

The weather, by the way, is gorgeous beyond belief, with that wonderful Mediterranean light. I read somewhere that there are only a few regions in the world with Mediterranean climate: countries around the Mediterranean obviously; this land here; a part of South Africa; and I can't remember where else. (Now you know why South African wines are so good.)

Go have a look at janinsanfran. She has some amazingly good posts. (Serious social-political-cultural stuff.)

Grandmère Mimi said...

What a lovely piece on Maupin.

I've only been to San Francisco once and only for a long weekend, but we had a lovely time. The food was delicious. I want to go back.

johnieb said...

I flew from the SF airport, and I believe I went over the Golden Gate in a taxi, but I remember very little. I had been sleepless for a week; perhaps I was dozing with my eyes open. It was 3 May 69, an anniversary I remember.

Ken said...

I am on an opera discussion list in which the "discussions" are frequently vituperative. smarmy, and ill-informed. I believe the un-PC word for that is "bitchy." Plus ca change....

I started attending the opera in 1960. I was 16 years old. Opera in those days was a gay haven. I didn't know that back then. Later I learned it was the only place gay men could go to avoid the nightmare of constant concealment. I learned a lot more about a particularly edgy sense of humor born of fear and risk than I knew existed. And I didn't know it was specifically gay until years therafter.

This entire "underworld" (minus Orpheus) was verified for me by an older man I know--I believe older than I am--who is a retired college librarian. He is gay. He told me in private email he is as disgusted by the word "queer" as he was in the Sixties, when being outed as a homosexual could have cost him an apartment and a job if it came out in the open. He identified a generation gap between men his age--a decade older than Maupin--and guys in their 30s who benefited from men at the Stonewall in 1969 getting the shit kicked out of them by "fag-bashers" and cops.

Robert found it just vulgarly exhibitionistic to dress up in a beard and facial hair like a Stravinsky character. I can understand why: styles change and gratitude may not be in great supply. Freedom sometimes creates excess, straight or gay.

Someone else I used to knew said that back in the Seventies, New York became Open City: the Continental Baths in the Ansonia Hotel was a place where nobody knew your name and a burned out Eleanor Steber sang torch songs instead of Mozart. The cubes-for-rent had a bed and can of Crisco. The hetero version was Plato's Retreat. There really was an anonymity trade at Plato's that reminded patrons (I was not one) of Georg Grosz.

The poster's laconic and terrifying end to the posting was "And then came AIDS."

Maupin surely knows how incredibly fortunate he is. He is a survivor. Randy Shilts, who wrote the first "insider" book on the epidemic, was not. I wonder whether Maupin carries survivor's guilt, and whether it seeps through. I mean to read and see.