Page 515 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                495
             sweating muscle, and hearty rounds of applause and cheers. That moment
             defined an existential archetype that Michelangelo could have painted,
             opposite his “Last Judgment,” at the other end of the Sistine Chapel: gay
             sexual outcasts, threatened by plague, surrounded by nearly nude straight
             law-enforcement heroes exuberant with health.
                In 1989 during the Great Dying when I could no longer reach
             “Richard Moore” — John Adams — by telephone, I wrote in my Rolodex:
             “Dead, I think. He just disappeared.”
                The model “Tom”/Leonard Sylvestri, if memory serves, had himself
             gone missing during the late 1970s after he seemed to become ill, grew
             gaunt, and probably went back to wherever he had immigrated from,
             because in the 1970s it was unfashionable to become sick in San Fran-
             cisco. Of course, by the mid-80s, remembering Leonard, I figured he may
             have been one of those extremely early cases of AIDS that occurred in the
             1970s before anyone connected the dots of the emerging pattern of deaths.
             How horrible it must have been for this sweet hot man, leaving the Titanic
             70s party, not knowing what was afflicting him, while the band played
             on.
                Hanging Tree Ranch, an early S&M leather mail-order business was
             famous for employing Richard Locke as a bondage model (Drummer 10,
             page 4) before Locke himself became legendary as the leading man in the
             Gage Brothers’ films, and as a face in the pages of Drummer. Although
             Locke was never on the cover, as editor in chief I produced an interview
             with him in Drummer 24 (September 1978), and introduced him and his
             manuscript for his autobiography then titled I Didn’t Do It for the Money
             to my own publisher Winston Leyland at Gay Sunshine Press. Eventually,
             the synergistic-genius film producer Jerry Douglas published Locke Out:
             The Collected Writings of Richard Locke, Firsthand Books (1993).
                Tuffy’s Sport Shop at 597 Castro was the first commercial and
             community-minded articulation — and “alert”! — that gays could dare
             play the sports we weren’t allowed to play in high school. See more about
             Tuffy’s in my feature article “Gay Jock Sports” in Drummer 20 (January
             1978). My gay sports article appeared two years before Tom Waddell first
             began talking publically in 1980 about creating the first Gay Olympics
             (Gay Games 1982) whose first physique contest Mark Hemry and I vid-
             eotaped as a documentary at the Castro Theater for our Palm Drive Video
             company.









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