Page 292 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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272                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               I remember a man, an off-duty San Francisco deputy sheriff,
               coming into the shop at the bar wanting to buy issue 14 of
               Drummer. It had my naked photos of his fellow deputy, Bill
               Essex, in it. Bill had told him to buy that issue as a preview of
               the treat he held in store for him.


               There exists a previously unrevealed timeline of leather history in
            San Francisco. In 1976, the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff issued a Civil
            Service Commission call for gay recruits. Nearly a thousand straight and
            gay men and women took the physical, emotional, and IQ tests. I passed
            as Candidate #11, with a little help from a very handsome, straight, uni-
            formed, moustached sheriff who during the physical testing (October 16,
            1976) held my shins down with his big hands and his big biceps while I
            ground out a next to impossible hundred sit ups. (Rudi Cox became the
            first openly gay deputy sheriff in San Francisco and in the U. S.) During
            the following year, 1977, I turned down that deputy sheriff position on all
            three occasions that the very nice lesbian deputy sheriff offered it to me.
            During the same week, both she and Embry tried to recruit me. She sat
            in the same chair in my house that Embry sat in to hire me for Drummer.
            Upon my turning the sheriff’s job down the third time (in order to take
            on Drummer), the position went to Candidate #12 on the list.
               The hardcore temptation to be a deputy sheriff was as romantic as it
            was sociological, but I was more realistic. At the same workaholic instant,
            I also had a permanent and wonderful job writing engineering propos-
            als and managing my own marketing staff of a dozen writers at a major
            corporation while at the same time I was editing and writing Drummer.
               For me, declining the deputy position probably saved my life because
            when steroids were first released in the 1970s, oral and injectable steroids
            became  the  most  used  and  abused  drug  among  gay  men  who  admit-
            ted using every drug in the world, but never steroids. Because Arnold
            Schwarzenegger, Pete Grymkowski, and the Venice Beach bodybuilding
            set bulked up, the first homosexuals to swallow and shoot steroids were,
            in my opinion of the gossip at the time, some of the gay men recruited to
            be San Francisco deputy sheriffs: a deputy had to be big enough to throw
            his weight around. As a result, many of the first to die of HIV were that
            first wave of gay deputy sheriffs — partly due to the steroids themselves,
            but mostly due to their ignorance in sharing needles to inject the steroids.
            Gay deputy sheriffs who only took oral steroids fairly much escaped alive.
               When Jim Stewart moved from my 25  Street home, he rented a flat
                                             th
            “South of the Slot.” (The term “South of the Slot” defines the area south
            of the Market Street cable car slot — a literal slot in the middle of Market
            Street — which pulled cable cars east and west along Market Street, from

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