Page 448 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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428                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               My review was reprinted by leather scholar Joseph W. Bean in his
            history of IML, International Mr. Leather: 25 Years of Champions (2004)
            published by the Chicago Leather Archives and Museum.
               In fraternity in Drummer, I promoted Dom-Etienne, who was already
            a legend as a bodybuilder and dancer and artist from the 1950s, because I
            wanted the DNA I was injecting into Drummer to show off its gay leather
            roots out of the heartland in Chicago.
               Some people — who don’t know we suspect they’re playing “Where’s
            Waldo?” — say they got stoned at Woodstock in 1969, and thousands
            claim they were in the Stonewall Bar which must have been as crowded
            as the Black Hole of Calcutta. In the 1960s, I was carried out of Mayor
            Daley’s office during a civil rights demonstration while working with
            The Woodlawn Organization (TWO) in August 1962. I was laid by my
            first leathermen in Chicago in 1964, and I was beaten up by the Chicago
            police during the Democratic Convention in August 1968. Wonderfully
            turned on by the eroticism of it all, I always ran off to the nearby Gold
            Coast bar for comfort and safety and sex.
               Chicago-San Francisco connections were everywhere in my extra-
            curricular Drummer life in the 1960s and 1970s. Cliff Raven aka Cliff
            Ingram, another member of the extended Renslow family, was the artist
            who tattooed David Sparrow and me in 1969. Raven had taken his name
            from advice given him by Chicago personality Samuel Steward who had
            pulled off the double-identity act of being both a university professor at
            DePaul and a tattoo artist in the Loop — until the university stopped his
            moonlighting. Sam in his tattoo parlor lusted, as did homomasculinist
            photographer Renslow and artist Orejudos in their Triumph Gym on Van
            Buren Street, for the hot young sailors coming into the Loop on leave
            from the Great Lakes Naval Training Station where the glittering North
            Shore of Chicago sucked them down from industrial Waukegan.
               With his credentials from Gertrude Stein, Sam Steward was the ava-
            tar of intellect and esthetics within the Renslow and Orejudos salon. Sam
            was a kind of Super-Ego to their Ego and Id. He taught Renslow how to
            tattoo and tutored the tastes of the twenty-year-old Orejudos whom he
            casually schooled in the homoerotic ballet photography of George Platt-
            Lynes who was a friend of Stein and Toklas. To them Sam sent a black-
            and-white snapshot of himself appearing as an “extra” with the New York
            City Ballet. (This impressed Orejudos.) Sam was a teacher and a reporter;
            he was a constant analyst collecting information and statistics about the
            emerging Chicago gay sex scene, leather culture, and tattooing folkways
            that he personally reported to Dr. Alfred Kinsey at the nearby Kinsey
            Institute. In the Titanic 70s, he pumped me to keep him up with every
            detail of the latest sex fads in San Francisco.

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