Page 45 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 25
                Even before the beginning of the 1970s, he was aware that our ath-
             letic night-trips in bars and baths and barracks were like the wild treks
             big-game adventurers once made into uncharted continents from where
             they would bring back exotic and enchanted cargo. Even in the heat of
             fuck, he once told me decades ago that someday he expected that all of us
             in the 70s would be tales told in bedrooms around the world. What no
             one planned on was the mass death by plague of so many storytellers and
             photographers who could have kept the true brilliance of the 1970s alive.
             So with his books of fiction and nonfiction, we can sit on the ground and
             tell the sad stories of the death of kings, and their enchanted sex lives that
             were surprisingly artful and personal during a revolution of the species
             that may never come again.
                Jack Fritscher, who taught university film courses in the same city
             where I was the manager of a commercial movie theater, frequently refer-
             ences Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon in which
             the viewer sees a rape and murder through the eyes of four different par-
             ticipants. Each account is different.
                As an eyewitness-analyst, Fritscher is the first to warn that conflict-
             ing eyewitness accounts of an incident may prevent its “truth” from being
             known; that is why he, an eyewitness, has interviewed and cross-examined
             so many other eyewitnesses to testify before the jury of his readers.
                Rashomon has become a catch-word for the difficulty of verifying
             what “really” happened. Seemingly conflicting accounts only make the
             event multifaceted. It’s much like viewing a cubist painting by Picasso,
             or an all-angles painting by Duchamps. In Gay San Francisco: Eyewit-
             ness Drummer, Fritscher writes a multi-faceted “autobiography of us” that
             could be called History Descending a Staircase.
                Mystic chords of memory echo through the fog trailing the freighter
             SS Jack Fritscher as it steams in under the Golden Gate Bridge that appears
             significantly on the cover of Some Dance to Remember. That freighter is
             laden with enchanted cargo from a foreign country: the Past. Brawny
             seamen appear on deck. When it docks, be there. That’s an order.

             Jim Stewart (b. 1942) was for many years the department head of the
             Social Sciences and History Department at the Chicago Public Library.
             Previously, in 1976 he was one of the first artists in San Francisco to
             move South of Market to Clementina Street where he was a key force
             in the creative epiphanies of the SoMa art scene with friends such as
             Chuck Arnett, Robert Opel, Camille O’Grady, and David Hurles. While
               managing a commercial movie theater, he had met Jack Fritscher in 1973
             and lived in Fritscher’s home for six months after moving to San Francisco

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