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650                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            tographic transparencies and Super-8 films projected over the heads of
            thousands of revelers onto white panels from Christo’s famous “Running
            Fence” (1976) that so recently had famously been stretched for twenty-five
            miles over the coastal hills of Marin County north of the Golden Gate
            Bridge. No one then had a clue that the white fabric panels on which I
            projected our gay faces were a ghostly foreshadowing of the panels of the
            AIDS quilt.
               The photographs for my Night Flight article were shot by frequent
            Drummer photographer Efren Ramirez.
               The Titanic 70s was an art explosion in gay culture, and the salon
            around Drummer was epicentric to it.
               To this day I own and love several Ed Parente sculptures. One is a
            bouquet of eighteen male fingertips with a single yellow butterfly speci-
            men perched on the tallest finger. The other is a mask of a woman’s
            face wrapped in white silk and creamy lace which Ed found blowing
            down Castro Street; I have always called the sculpture “The Dead Bride.”
            Both are encased in Parente’s signature Plexiglas boxes. In the same way,
            I treasure even more the large photographs that my bicoastal lover Robert
            Mapplethorpe signed to me.
               As gay art galleries opened up, so did gay businesses. Paul Hatles-
            tad, during the 1970s when we all wore gold chains around our necks,
            was nearly electrocuted when he was wiring his and Wakefield Poole’s
            new boutique on Market Street at Castro. Because the chain was a ring,
            the electricity traveled around and around his neck without killing him,
            although his neck was permanently scarred 360 degrees every one of the
            twenty-five times the power surged around his neck.
               It was a coincidence that the name of what became their very success-
            ful boutique was “Hot Flash” whose symbol was a lightning bolt.

            II.  The feature essay as published in Drummer 20, January 1978

            The First Manhattan-izing Party in San Francisco. . .


                           Night Flight 1977
                        The Night Everybody Was a Star
                     & the Virgins Jumped into the Volcano

            SAN FRANCISCO. DECEMBER 31, 1977. NIGHT FLIGHT was a
            golden New Year’s Eve night in the Golden Age of San Francisco — and
            a shock to the old over-easy attitude of Sodom-by-the-Bay. Manhattan


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