Page 128 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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108                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               On May 30, 2001, Mark Thompson wrote:

               Dear Jack,
                   It was good speaking recently. Thanks for agreeing to
               see me on Friday, June 15. I really look forward to catching
               up . . . and . . . to discuss the Robert Opel [murder] case [at Fey-Way
               Gallery, South of Market, July 8, 1979].
                   What was your relationship to Opel? Did you know him
               well, or mainly in the context of his gallery?
                   What was your view of the man? Do you have any insight
               into the personal factors that may — or may not — have contrib-
               uted to his demise?
                   You once mentioned to me that you had met a man (at
               a party, I believe) who claimed he knew who was behind the
               murder. Can you remember what he said? Was it a police con-
               spiracy? A hit job by a rival drug dealer? Maybe a combination of
               both? There were a lot of hysterical rumors floating around after
               Robert’s death. [Opel had famously streaked the live telecast of
               the 1974 Academy Award Oscar show when David Niven and
               Elizabeth Taylor were at the microphone.] Can you remember
               other theories or views about the circumstances relating to his
               murder?
                   The autumn of 1978 through the summer of 1979 [precisely
               when I was editing and writing Drummer] was a very volatile
               time for San Francisco: [the] Jonestown [Massacre committed
               by San Francisco gay messiah Jim Jones], the Moscone-Milk
               assassinations, Dan White’s trial and subsequent City Hall riot,
               and then the Opel murder. What is your perspective of that
               period? It seemed like the end of an era. Why and how did
               these tragic events follow so closely and what impact did they
               ultimately have on . . . the gay community?
                   Finally, I would enjoy hearing about where you are today
               concerning the past. Do you entertain fond memories, regrets,
               sadness — or a bit of each? Are there lessons for today’s genera-
               tion from what transpired in the past? . . . .
                   All best wishes,
                   Mark [Thompson]
                   ©Mark Thompson. Used with permission.

               In the zero degrees of separation, the soigne party in question was
            a cocktail benefit sponsored on Sunday, March 4, 1990, by Drummer
            owners Anthony  DeBlase  and Andrew Charles, and  Drummer  editor

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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