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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                449
             pal Jack McNenny who was, in the zero degrees of our salon around
             Drummer, also a friend of Wally Wallace and a founding member of
             the Mineshaft. Jack McNenny owned the scatalogically named flower
             shop “The Gifts of Nature” on the northeast corner of Sixth and Hous-
             ton where he provided Robert Mapplethorpe with flowers for his photo
             shoots at his 24 Bond Street loft. (See “Take 2: Pentimento for Robert
             Mapplethorpe ” and “Take 3: Adventures with Robert Mapplethorpe”
             in the 1994 erotic memoir Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera;
             thanks to the request of Tony Deblase, “Take 2” was first published as the
             lead cover article in Drummer 133 (September 1989). Jack McNenny was
             also the New York distributor for my Mineshaft-like Man2Man Quarterly
             ’zine which I began as a “Virtual Drummer” in 1979.
                Through hundreds of visits, I experienced the Mineshaft as the
             1970s quintessential frame of homomasculine sexuality. Years later in San
             Francisco, on March 28, 1990, Wally Wallace recalled again that this
             first Drummer article gave the Mineshaft some welcome initial traction
             because it was like an alert, an invitation, sent out worldwide to Drum-
             mer’s passionate subscription base which Wally Wallace always considered
             the house magazine of the Mineshaft where “a regular Saturday night
             drew five hundred or six hundred guys and I’d have fifteen guys on duty
             at the door, the coat check, and the bars. The night of the annual Barnum
             and Bailey Circus, I’d have a crowd of a thousand guys.”
                Actually, this Drummer 19 “Mineshaft” article is a prequel to a sec-
             ond Mineshaft feature that I wrote for the next issue, Drummer 20 (Janu-
             ary 1978) titled: “Pissing in the Wind: Wet Dreams, Golden Showers (Or,
             A Night in the Mineshaft Bathtub).” Writing as a gonzo participatory
             journalist a month after the publication of the first Mineshaft article, I
             went into erotic detail about the fabled extreme sexuality of the Mine-
             shaft. These two articles might be read together.
                I like to put gay history into objective correlative context that is as
             sensual and descriptive as possible. I also like to back up my pioneer
             eyewitness testimony with internal evidence from letters, interviews, and
             printed articles.
                Without initial irony, the Mineshaft was situated in the Meatpacking
             District of West Greenwich Village. In the pre-dawn hours on the shared
             loading dock, Mineshaft members, arriving and leaving, crossed steps
             within inches of butchers in bloodied white aprons shouldering huge, stiff
             carcasses from waiting trucks into their meat-cutting shops. It was very
             Twilight Zone: two worlds existing in the same dimension, each invisible
             to the other, one leathery and dark, the other bloody and lit with extrater-
             restrial fluorescence.

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