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34                                      Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            photo of a place called the Tool Box, men in leather silhouetted before a
            huge wall mural of other men in leather, the work of Chuck Arnett. In
            the summer of 1965, sharing the drive with a stranger, Ohio vanished in
            a rear-view mirror. In Berkeley I turned twenty-one. In San Francisco I
            grew up. In the same summer, Jack Fritscher also arrived at the edge of
            the world, and became another cell in the rapidly growing body of gay
            men. Every day there were new arrivals, men who braved the prairies and
            mountains, in search of a place to call home, to be with their own kind.
            Untold numbers of sex refugees, of gay immigrants, reached the end of the
            rainbow with no money, and no one to call. But San Francisco welcomed
            them all. The earlier arrivals helped provide comfort and sustenance to
            those who followed. The only agenda was brotherhood and sharing, peace
            and love.
               What followed were fifteen years of sexual freedom, sexual anarchy,
            sexual invention and redefinition. It was exciting. Corporal Works of
            Mercy were the order of the day. Practices and relationships heretofore the
            province of only a few, now exposed to the light of day, attracted and con-
            nected men who had at some time thought that they were the “only one.”
            But for subversive sex to open up, expand, be shared, it needed someone
            with the loyalty and passion of a monk to search out, record and describe
            it, write about it, to make it accessible to the uninitiated.
               In 1975 I was living in an ancient three-unit building on Clementina
            Street, south of Market Street, in a cheap apartment directly above Chuck
            Arnett. Chuck was a gentle soul in a seductive body, totally unashamed of
            his passion for heavy-duty sex. Although I saw his well-deserved popular-
            ity, and heard through the floor boards his remarkable sexual stamina, I
            wasn’t aware, at the time, that Chuck Arnett had created the testosterone
            generating mural I had seen in Life a decade earlier. Industrial artist Jim
            Sterling lived a few doors away. Photographer Jim Stewart hosted par-
            ties (and photo exhibitions) in his flat directly across the street. Creative,
            sexually intense, hot players increasingly populated the low-rent South of
            Market area.
               The unseen hand of dignified, hypnotic, and enthusiastically brutal
            sexual buccaneer Jim Stewart instinctively and surely guided me toward
            his longtime friend, Jack Fritscher. At the time, the young men who were
            summoned, then seduced, by the pariah pastel city, also assumed the
            weight and duty of mutual assistance, each looking out for all; in this
            place, whether it was popular hallucination or something more cosmic,
            the 1960s continued right on through the better part of the 1970s. Com-
            ing to San Francisco was rarely something that was decided upon; it was
            a necessity, a force, a duty, a blessing, and out of our hands. When Jim
            Stewart and Jack Fritscher headed west from Michigan, coming to live

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