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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 415
             Steve Reeves shot to international stardom, and I shot all over the balcony
             seats. That summer, the overgrown boy, Schwarzenegger, posing in a mir-
             ror in Austria, was nearly thirteen years old with visions of what dancing
             in his head?
                Hercules imprinted me forever with the erotic metaphor of muscle.
             That day I began my search for the perfect body. I was a Platonist raised by
             two Platonist parents; and that day my mind and my dick knew instantly
             that the noble ideal of an uncompromised man was possible. I didn’t really
             know what homosexuality was. So in memory I wonder if I looked like
             a silly young fairy, standing on my tongue in the lobby of the Madison
             Theater in Peoria, bargaining with the manager to sell me one or two
             publicity photos of Steve Reeves. “It’s illegal to sell them,” he said, “but if
             you never say where you got them, I’ll give them to you for ten cents each.”
             I countered with an offer he couldn’t refuse, and afterwards he who was
             an old man of twenty-eight gave me the photos in gratitude.
                Steve Reeves grew up in Oakland and in San Francisco where he
             built his legs bicycling up the hills. He was a natural beauty with a sweet
             personality. Schwarzenetc, whom I met in 1971 at the Muscle Beach iron
             pit in Venice, was not, never was, never will be. “Vy are you taking my pic-
             ture?” Arnold scowled. “I’m not taking your picture,” I said, “I’m shoot-
             ing him. [Ken Waller].” Waller was a strawberry blond hunk, freckled,
             affable, and my type.
                “You must ask,” Arnold said, “to take my picture.”
                “I didn’t take your picture. In fact, you got in the way of the picture
             I was taking.”
                “Fag,” he muttered.
                “Kraut,” I muttered.
                (We are both of Austrian extraction.)
                As he turned his back to me, I snapped my camera again just to piss
             him off.
                I walked away with four color transparencies of the incident. My
             camera is my eyewitness.
                Arnold was, to my eye, Exhibit A of why steroids as a concern entered
             my 1970s journals of Folsom and Castro which turned into the steroid-
             rage-driven plot of Some Dance to Remember. All these crystal-meth gen-
             erations later, many queer historians do not realize that steroids — not
             coke or speed — were the most abused drug in 1970s gay culture. Ironi-
             cally, steroids became for some a therapy to treat symptoms of AIDS, and
             the hard, basketball belly became an emblem of AIDS culture in the bear
             community.
                Anyway, the harmonious three-way of Embry-Shapiro-Fritscher was
             interrupted when John Embry grew suddenly and then increasingly ill.

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