Page 120 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 120

100                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            ing in Greek tragedy, suddenly that summer, death, gravitas — suddenly
            death by gun — became possible in our liberated golden dream time when
            we dreamed the happy dreams of urban aboriginals before the political
            and religious poachers arrived with their culture war swinging too far
            right and too far left.
               In this way, newspaper clippings, and my handwritten diary entries,
            crept into my eyewitness journals which created the mise en scene of both
            Drummer and Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco
            1970-1982.
               That autobiographical front-page “death photo” is a measure of the
            zero degrees of gunfire in all this gonzo eyewitness testimony.
               I was there.
               Dodging bullets.


            PIONEER PARTICIPANT CREDENTIALS:
            HIRING ON TO DRUMMER

            In March 1977, when Embry offered me the job of editor in chief of
            Drummer, I was otherwise employed — twice-over. Educated for eleven
            years for the Catholic priesthood (1953-1963), with a Ph.D. from Loyola
            University of Chicago (1968), and a California lifetime teaching creden-
            tial for university lecturing, and working in a permanent position as a full-
            time writer managing the marketing and proposals department of Kaiser
            Engineers, I had also on March 7, 1977, placed eleventh among 1,200
            straight and gay men and women when I qualified as a “Class 8304 Dep-
            uty Sheriff” for the City and County of San Francisco, and was offered a
            deputy’s job which I had three opportunities to accept or decline. I had
            nearly twenty years’ experience writing for magazines and had already
            written five published books [What They Did to the Kid: Confessions of an
            Altar Boy (written 1965); Love and Death in Tennessee Williams (1967); I
            Am Curious (Leather) aka Leather Blues (1968-69); Television Today (1971);
            and Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch’s Mouth (1972)] and was
            in the midst of writing what has been called my “signature novel” Some
            Dance to Remember which I had begun in 1970 and completed in 1984.
               Priest. Professor. Writer. Sheriff. Editor.
               I had lots of choices.
               Q. So why Drummer? Why did I choose to throw in my lot with
            Drummer in 1977?
               A. Because in pre-Stonewall 1968 I saw the transgressive value of
            gay publishing. Gay pop culture had come out of the closet in the 1960s
            the way Black culture and Beat culture had come out in the 1950s. I
            figured attention must be paid. At the Second Annual Meeting of the

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
               HOW TO LEGALLY QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK
   115   116   117   118   119   120   121   122   123   124   125