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318                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            Night Riot. A week later, Robert Opel appeared as Gay Justice in the
            Civic Center plaza and with a gun acted out “executing Dan White.”
            Six weeks later, on July 8, 1979, a real gunman entered Fey-Way Gallery,
            cornered Robert Opel and Camille O’Grady and Anthony Rogers, and
            in an exchange of words shot Robert Opel to death. To handle the horror
            the leather-and-art salon immediately spun a joke about how cruel a critic
            could be.
               Critics can be merciless. Rewind tape! Five months before the mur-
            der, on January 30, 1979, Camille O’Grady, distressed at a review of Tom
            Hinde’s work in The San Francisco Sentinel newspaper, wrote me a let-
            ter introducing herself. She was that month literally “new in town” and
            she trusted that as Drummer editor I could help rebut the review. Her
            approach to me was typical of the power of not me but of the editorship of
            Drummer. Mapplethorpe approached me in the same way. (Camille and
            I discussed that her letter was both personal to me and an “open letter”
            meant for publication, and that her letter to the Sentinel was also an “open
            letter” which she gave me to publish at my discretion.)

               Camille O’Grady
               c/o Fey-Way Studios
               1287 Howard Street
               San Francisco Calif 94103
               January 30, 1979
               Dear Jack:
                   I have been in San Francisco for about a month — I read
               Drummer, & we have many friends in common both here and
               in N.Y.C.
                   I thought that this article & my reply to it might be of
               interest to you & others at Drummer. Since I don’t know whether
               my letter will be published in the Sentinel, I am sending you
               this copy of it. [Camille included a clipping from page 9 of the
               Sentinel, January 26, 1979]
                   I am reachable through the gallery–626-1000. If you
               haven’t seen Tom Hinde’s show, come by and see it.
                    — Camille O’Grady  ©1979 Camille O’Grady

               This letter opened a friendship. Camille and I bonded (over Tom
            Hinde) within our mutual circle of New York and San Francisco artists
            and writers who traveled back and forth between Drummer and Fey-Way.
            (We also bonded as quivering Catholics, and she gave me copies of dozens
            of her song lyrics and mystic poems. I gave her journal pages from Some

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