Page 532 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 532

512                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               For six weeks, from July 13 to August 19, 1978, during the nearly
            three years I was editor of Drummer, Paul Gerrior, who remains a very
            popular actor in San Francisco theater with the Actors’ Collective, starred
            in The Firebirds, a play written by Max Frisch, and presented by the San
            Francisco Actors Ensemble, 2940 16  Street. My protege Tony Plewik,
            whose work I often mentored in  Drummer, was photographer for the
            show which featured a fetishized fireman with fireman boots in a fire-
            man uniform. Paul Gerrior, who was the perfect Jungian archetype of a
            very hairy muscleman with a Marlboro face and chin, played the part of
            “Sepp Schmitz, a wrestler.” He was also one of the men influencing my
            creating the positive aspects of the muscular character of Kick in Some
            Dance to Remember.
               In the intersecting worlds of leather, film, and theater during the
            1970s, Paul Gerrior appeared regularly with the San Francisco Actors
            Ensemble, beginning in 1972 with his starring role in Lucifer and the Good
            Lord. “Sepp Schmitz” was his ninth role in SFAE plays including Ghosts,
            Detective Story, Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, and as Judge
            Brack in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. When my background in Tennessee Wil-
            liams converged with Colt’s iconic actor, Ledermeister, my esthetic and
            erotic fate was sealed. Most gay men then alive lusted after him. Naturally,
            every play he appeared in sold out with standing room only. I couldn’t
            keep my eyes off him on screen, on stage, or in bars like the No Name
            and Ramrod, or in Riley’s Gym (which became the Golden Gate Gym)
            which was one of the gyms where our salon worked out. In fact, once in
            the mid-70s when he wrecked his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and broke
            his leg, I marveled that the next weekend he was back in the Folsom bars,
            stoic, smiling, and very handsome with his leg in a plaster cast — and on
            crutches. I remember thinking: Omigod, I can finally catch him! Know-
            ing that cruising can become stalking, I behaved.
               In 1972, I was artist enough to recognize Ledermeister in a piece of
            street theater that reflects exactly how roleplaying mirrors reality. I was
            walking east of 15  Street and Divisadero where David Sparrow and I
            were living with Allan Lowery, owner of the Leatherneck bar, when the
            spontaneous apparition every documentary filmmaker desires appeared.
            There, sitting with his legs down in a manhole, with his butt sitting on
            the pavement of the little side street, wearing all his Pacific Gas & Elec-
            tric lineman gear, and one of the white-cotton wife-beater tank tops he
            famously filled out, was Paul Gerrior, Ledermeister, peeling the ends off
            wires with a knife in his big hands between his knees. Instead of cuming
            right there, I sprinted uphill back to my bedroom at Allan Lowery’s think-
            ing the apparition would be gone before I could get my silent Super-8
            camera. I ran downhill and knelt in the street, twenty or so feet away

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   527   528   529   530   531   532   533   534   535   536   537