Page 480 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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460                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            rience; especially the young ones we see growing up into new experiences
            they only fantasized about before.”
               Timing is everything if everything that rises is to converge. The mys-
            tique, action, and sexual power of the Mineshaft could have happened
            only in the Titanic 70s, an innocent, but not naive, time which those who
            were there remember, and those who weren’t there often trash out of envy
            and bitterness because they missed the decade-long party.

                            Whoever did not live in the years
                              neighboring the revolution
                                does not know what
                             the pleasure of living means.
                             — Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

               The Mineshaft existed in that wonderful window between penicillin
            and HIV where sex galloped out of the closet completely unleashed in the
            heady first decade of sexual liberation. A real camaraderie existed. A few
            months after the Mineshaft opened, Wally Wallace became ill with the
            kind of heart problems that eventually killed him in 1999. In the first
            Mineshaft Newsletter for 1977, he wrote on page 5:

               A note of thanks to all you guys who thought of me during my
               hospital stay with your prayers, letters, and love. I am doing bet-
               ter every day; but like all affairs of the heart, it will take a while
               to really recover. May I return your love many fold.  — Wally

            In gay iconography, Wally Wallace, guarding the rope and the door at
            the Mineshaft, early in his life became a beloved star to gay and straight
            New York City where James Wallace was known by a single name. There
            was only one “Wally.”

               Jack Fritscher: Describe a cross section of the Mineshaft crowd.
               Wally Wallace: We had every profession and business. Journal-
                 ists. Critics. The cream of the crop. Bob Mapplethorpe, of
                 course. Clergymen. It was a change for men dispensing holy
                 water to receive holy water in the bathtub. Theater people.
                 Directors, writers. Not just performers. Performers of note
                 stayed away, although some arrived in disguises. Nureyev
                 showed up at the door in his huge fur coat, took it off and
                 was in full leather, but the son of a bitch I had as doorman

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