Wednesday, 18 March 2015 04:29

1978- 525 Haight Street

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My place in the upper Haight was had become too cramped and I wanted a little more space. I started looking around at apartments and found a place at 525 Haight Street that had been bought and renovated by some gay people. At the time, this block of Haight street was pretty desolate. Almost all of the businesses were boarded up. There had recently been a major bust of prostitutes and drug dealers that had been doing business openly there for a while. People on their way to the upper Haight tried to avoid walking through this dark, foggy, crime infested area. The only people that had been populating this block were the black underclass of pimps, prostitutes, dealers johns and junkies.525Haight2

The rent was cheap, though and the apartment meant my needs and so I moved there. Shortly after moving in, I wrote to my brother, Roger, telling him I wasn't sure if I would be shot soon. Being six foot, four inches at the time was probably to my benefit. No one ever accosted me. 

San Francisco was on the verge of explosive gentrification. It would become an issue between the African-American community and the gay community. Many successful upwardly mobile white gay people with disposable income were buying up run down and sometime derelict buildings throughout San Francisco to renovate them as homes or income properties. In spite of rent control, the constant change of hands in real estate sent property values sky rocketing. Eventually this would result in a large part of the black community being displaced to Oakland, Richmond, Antioch, Vallejo and other outlying areas of primarily the East Bay. San Francisco would become increasingly white and yuppified (young urban professionals) and guppified (gay urban professionals.

I was ambivalent about the changes. On the one hand, there were places of blight like Haigh and Fillmore in which there were blocks of empty, burnt out, rat infested buildings in which no one lived and primarily traversed by pimps, protitutes and junkies and gentrification reclaimed those buildings for renovation and inhabitation. But when the buildings were renovated, property values all around would go up and rents would go up and even with rent control, the black families that had lived on the periphery of these areas were priced out of the market and were forced to move. Gay white men with good jobs and disposable incomes were about the only ones that could now afford to live in the City and later it would be the dot com yuppies. The city would never be affordable in the way it had been when I had first arrived with the hippie influx of the sixties.

The seemed primarily gay for a moment in time, though... through my jaded gay eyes anyway. There were really about five neighborhoods in San Francisco that I remember having large gay populations and those were the neighborhoods in which I lived: Polk Street; The Castro, The Folsom, Pacific Heights and upper Haight. We were everywhere in mass. It was the peak of the gay party sensibility of promiscuity, poppers, and dancing. Drugs of choice were pot and cocaine for many, meth for others. It seemed like there would never be an end to the party. It was frenetic. 

For many, though, including myself, it seemed to be going nowhere. Sex was easy to come by but intimacy was elusive. There was a steady stream of casual one night stands. There was sex in bathhouses, doorways, parks and alleys. How was is possible to be surrounded by hot gay men and be totally unable to connect emotionally with any of them? How could someone having so much sex feel so alone??

fullbeard1I was continuing to see my therapist. When I had first started seeing him, I thought John was going to come to couples counseling with me but John had no interest in working on the relationship and so then I recruited my therapist to help me build the strength to break my addiction to John. I was finally finding myself again but it seemed like there wasn't much there. I had a few friends that I saw superficially but my life really consisted on work, getting high and having recreational sex. I desperately wanted more in my life. I wanted to feel complete on my own but I also wanted a relationship. 

My therapist suggested that I try to meet men in environments other than bars and bathhouses. He suggested that I become involved in organizations that gay men attended that centered on other activities besides getting high and having sex. One of the first organizations I got involved with was a gay camping and outdoors group I quickly realized I had no interest in camping or going out into the wilderness even if it was with other gay men. I got involved with a group called Black and White Men Together that met a church in the upper Haight. The first night I went, I just walked around the block a couple of times, unable to work up the nerve to actually walk go in. The following week, I did make it into the actual group. 

B.W.M.T. was an organization of primarily black men and white men getting together to discuss issues having to do with racial issues in the gay community and issues that came up in relationships between black men that were into white men that were into black men. It was called a "rap" group, a term that had been left over from the sixties. At each meeting, there would be about twenty men. Occasionally there were Asian men or other ethnicities. There were incredible facilitators in those early meetings I attended and there were some great groups. It was also a great place for cruising.

After the rap group part of the evening, there would often be a potluck and social part of the evening. Usually I fled immediately after the rap part as I was terrified of having to make small talk with anyone. I was not good at it and it made me pretty anxious to consider it. As long as I was part of a structured, facilitated group, I could quiet my anxiety enough to participate but unstructured socializing at that time seemed impossible. I was good at having sex with other men but terrible at trying to have a conversation in a social setting. Actually, I could fake it, and when people from those days discovered my social phobias, they are often surprised as I could appear to others to have no such problem. Marijuana only made it worse and everybody smoked pot in those days.

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Palouse- Click for story
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
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2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
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Amber- Click to read story.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
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The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
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Click to read "Introduction."
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2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
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Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
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Article

01. Introduction

03- Dads Family

03- Photos of my Father and his family

04- My Mother's Family

04- Photos of my Mom

04- Video of my Mom

04- Walling Family Reunions

04-Audio Files of My Mom

04. Billie

04. Ole

04.1. Forbidden Dreams of Love

04.2. Flames of Forbidden Love

04.3 Mom Writing Her Life Story

05- Jim Tarbert

05. Roger

1950's Grandview to Toppenish

1957-1958 1st Grade

1958-1959- Third Grade

1959- Palouse

1961- 4th Grade- Last time I wore a dress

1962- Abilene

1963- Escondido- Early 60's

1964- Darlene Marries Chuck

1964- My Beatle Haircut

1964-The Luv Please

1965 or 1966- Steve Castle

1965- In Foster Care

1966 Living with Darlene & Chuck in Seattle

1967- Juvenile Hall

1976- I Praise Thee (poem to Stanley)

1976- My Second Lover, Stanley Dunne

1976- Paul McCartney and Wings

1976-1330 Bush Street #9J

1977- 1667 Haight Street

1977- Trip to San Diego with Mary Jo

1977-1980- Tumultuous Relationship with John Perry

1978- 525 Haight Street

1979- September- Dad is Murdered

1980's- AIDS- Death and Dying

1980- Winter- First Trip to New York

1980- Word, Sound and Power

1981- Milton- Falling in Love

1982-1993 465 Waller Street

1982-1994 Computers to MacNursing

1984- 33rd Birthday

1985- Graduation from Nursing School

1985- Trip to Hawaii (Oahu)

1988- MIdnight Caller

1989- Earthquake!

1991- Aug 10th- Mom Passes Away

1991- Black Males in Oils

1991- Crack of My Life

1993- Move to Vallejo & Our First Home

1995-1. Road Trip to Washington

1995-2. Surprise Trip to Vegas

1995-3. Grandmother Rogers & Aunts Visit Darlene's

1995-4. Amber

1998- Camping at Russian River

2000 -Thoughts about Progressive Christians

2000- Resignation from John George

2001- April- Trip to Cancun

2001- Peace and Justice

2001- September 11th

2002- April-Puerto Vallarta & Blue Bay Getaway

2002- Nov 12th- My Stepfather, George McHenry Passes Away

2003- Trip to D.C. and N.Y.

2004- Feb- Road Trip to Baha Mexico

2004- Walling Family Reunion in Spokane

2005- Christmas Poem

2005- Darlene Visit for Pride Celebration

2005- Trip to Orlando

2005-1. Europe- London

2005-2. Europe- Paris

2005-3. Europe- Venice

2005-4. Europe- Florence

2005-5. Europe- Rome

2005-6. Europe- Athens

2005-7. Knee Surgery & Tongue Biopsy

2006 Christmas Poem

2006- February 23- Times Herald

2006- Palm Springs White Party

2006- Trip to Seattle

2006-July 8th Solano Peace and Justice Coalition BBQ

2007- Feb- Carnival Destiny- Our First Cruise

2007- Tre and Casey Visit

2008- Aug 15-18 Spokane Visit

2008- Psycho Song

2009- Honored by Vallejo Gay Network

2009- Women in Oils

2010 Christmas Poem

2010- Feb. R.C. Mariner of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruise

2010- June 24- Badlands

2010- Trip to Seattle

2010-1. Europe- Amsterdam

2010-2. Europe- Paris

2010-3. Europe- Barcelona & Sitges

2010-4. Europe- Madrid

2011-1. Feb. My Fabulous 60th Birthday Weekend

2011-2. April- L.A., Palm Springs & "The White Party"

2011-3. Poem- Girl From Medical Lake

2011-4. Old Man Dancing

2011-5. May- Misty and Alex Visit

2011-6. August- Darlene and Sean's Visit

2011-7. Alex 16-18 & Pics

2012- March- Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera with Family

2013- Wedding

2014- Christmas Poem

2014- First Gay Cruise

2014- September Road Trip to San Diego

2015- Seasonal Affective Blues

2015- Second Gay Cruise

2015- War on Christmas poem

2015-"Badlands" and Gay Bar Etiquette

2015-September 8. Political History

2016 Do Not Speak for Gay Males

2016- April- Palm Springs RV Adventure

4/4/2016- Not Going Along to Get Along

9/4/15- Liberals vs Conservatives

4th Grade- Click for story.
Me in 3rd grade- Click for story.
2005- Darlene Visits for Gay Pride- Click to read story.
Earthquake! Click to read story.
1957-1958 1st Grade- Click to read story.
1973 "You have to be hurt..." Click to read the story.
Women in Oils- Click for story
Cockettes & Angels of Light- Click for story
1974- On Larkin Street- Click for story.
Photos of Dad & His Family- Click for story.
Second Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Black Men in Oils- Click to read story
My Mother- Click for more photos.
1958-1959- 3rd Grade- Click to read story.
Forbidden Dreams of Love- Click for story.
1973- Psych Tech Program- Click for story.
5th Grade in Abilene Tx- Click for story
Click to read "Introduction."
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click for story.
Where I was born- Click for story.
Escondido 1960's- Click for story
Amber- Click to read story.
The Psychedelic Experience- Click to read story.
2005 Darlene Visit for Gay Pride- Click for story.
Palouse- Click for story
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Beatle haircut- Click for story.
1970's Promiscuity- Click for story.
2015- 2nd Gay Cruise- Click to read story.
1982-1993 Waller Street- Click to read story.
Darlene Marries Chuck- Click for story.
2001 Trip to Cancun- Click to read story.
Grandview- Click for story
Gay Disco 70's- Click for story
Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1967- Summer of Love- Click to read story.
1964- Luv Please- Click for story.
Me in my 20's in 1970's- Click for story.
2014- Road trip to San Diego- Click for story.
Me in first grade- Click for story.
My Dad's Family- Click for story.
1974- First Trip to Europe- Click to read story.