Page 290 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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270                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               We were an arty little salon in Kalamazoo and we were about to
            become an arty salon in San Francisco. Jim Stewart was manager of the
            Campus Theater which was a commercial movie house not connected
            with Western Michigan University where I taught film and creative writ-
            ing. In a freezing February 1973, I drove my tan Toyota Land Cruiser
            through huge snow drifts to meet Jim Stewart at his theater. On the tele-
            phone we had donned our professional disguises as the “film professor”
            and the “movie theater manager.” Upon first meeting to arrange student
            screenings at student prices, gaydar instantly bonded us, and we exploded
            laughing at the big fat joke and the power it gave us to shape the taste
            of that open-hearted town with films by Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger,
            the brothers George Kuchar and Mike Kuchar, and Jack Smith (“Flaming
            Creatures”) tucked in among Bergman, Antonioni, Bunuel, and Fellini.
               Had we known then that in four years we’d be creating together a
            magazine that did not yet exist, or that I’d be editor in chief of Drummer
            and he’d be managing the Drummer bar at 11  and Folsom — the heart
            of SoMa — for publisher Embry, we’d have said without any amazement,
            “Mais oui!”

               The Longitude and Latitude of Tribal Identity in San Francisco

               The intersection of 11  and Folsom was to leather culture what
               18  and Castro was to gay culture. One was ground zero at
               midnight; the other was ground zero at noon.

               So, in the way of small, prosperous, and liberal towns, two gay men
            set out to coordinate cultural bookings at our three film venues — mine
            at the university and at the Genevieve and Donald Gilmore Art Center
            (Kalamazoo Institute of Arts), and Jim Stewart’s at the Campus Theater.
            The adventure made us fast friends, but never sex partners. We both
            liked the same type — which in this instance was the ever-ready David
            Sparrow who was everyone’s type. (David Sparrow and I were domestic
            partners from July 4, 1969 to March 17, 1979; we were married by the
            Catholic priest Jim Kane on a rooftop in Greenwich Village on David’s
            twenty-seventh birthday, May 7, 1972; George Chauncey Agustinella was
            our best man.)
               After David Sparrow and I migrated full-time to San Francisco,
            vowing we would stay together and do everything “except shoot up with
            needles,” the soft-spoken Jim Stewart, who was dark-haired with Mapple-
            thorpean dark circles under his romantic eyes, telephoned long distance to

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