Hey…It’s Monday…it’s a gray cold day where I am …and his smile is so sunny.
This documentary, reviewed in the most recent issue of White Crane is a MUST SEE.
Tickets are $25 and vailable at BGTix.com
GO! RISE! SHOUT!
Emile Norman (pictured here, front, with his late life partner, Brooks Clement), a sculptor, jewelry artist, and mosaicist whose most well-known work is the massive mosaic and sculpture adorning the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco, died in Monterey last Thursday. He was 91.
Since 1946, Norman lived and worked at his studio-home in Big Sur on Pfeiffer Ridge — where he lived and worked with his partner Brooks Clement until Clement’s death in 1973 from cancer. Up to the end of his life, Norman lived and worked at his ranch in Big Sur, along with his managers who helped take care of him.
Norman is the subject of a 2008 PBS documentary, Emile Norman: By His Own Design, a wonderful tribute to this eccentric and lovely artist.
Philip Pullman, the irrepressible agnostic author who scandalized Christians for portraying the church as evil in his His Dark Materials series and for bragging that his books are about "killing God," is, thankfully, at it again.
Our friend, White Crane contributor, and author of Stonewall: The Riot That Sparked The Gay Revolution, David Carter sends this…
Dear Friends, The first rough cut of the full-length PBS film on the Stonewall Riots — now one and a half hours long — is close to being assembled and we are looking for era maps of Greenwich Village to use in the film.
I will make inquiries at the usual and obvious archives and collections, but we all know that one can't assume that one will find the best such map in any one collection … and that any friend who either lived in New York at the time or has moved here since and who loves the Village might have a much better map than even New York's most famous archives might own: so if any of you happen to own a map that was made in the late 1960s or early 1970s of Greenwich Village, especially one that is detailed or features the area around the Stonewall Inn, and you would be happy to share it with the world in an American Experience documentary … please let me know. The filmmakers are on deadline for submission of the rough cut to a film festival and need a PDF of such a map ASAP … they'd like to receive the PDF this coming week if possible.
Some of you may be familiar with the Rise Up & Shout! project with which White Crane has been associated. It started in Los Angeles, with people like Brian, Malcolm Boyd, Don Kilhefner, Mark Thompson (I'm leaving out many, may other names of people…this kind of thing takes dozens of people…just don't have them in front of me as I write. I'll find them and include them later, promise) working with young GLBT people in L.A. to produce a talent show showcasing their various and sundry talents.
More importantly, it offered young GLBT people a chance to come in contact with elder GLBT people and let the intergenerational transfer of wisdom and experience mingle with the exuberance and freshness of youth. The first Rise Up & Shout, was a live stage production at the Barnsdall Park theater, directed by award-winning Broadway director, Jim Pentacost, and benefited White Crane, among others. And it was filmed by Brian Gleason.
That film will now receive the wider audience it deserves when it is aired on the Sundance Channel, later this month. The schedule is:
Mon 06/22/09 9:00PM Sat 06/27/09 3:35PM Sun 06/28/09 06:40AM
This is MUST SEE TELEVISION folks! Stirring, inspiring, touching. Worth getting cable for, even.
Check your local listings, as they say, for airtimes in your area.
BUT DON'T MISS THIS WONDERFUL FILM.
Time lapse video of night sky as it passes over the 2009 Texas Star Party in Fort Davis, Texas. The galactic core of Milky Way is brightly displayed. Images taken with 15mm fisheye lens.
I was sad to read that Bea Arthur passed this weekend. Over the years I've heard rumors that she was a Lesbian, and it isn't hard to believe. But I don't know it for a fact. It would fit, though, with my remembrance of this strong, smart, brave woman. I had personal history with her.
In 1976 I moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco, where I had just been "the naked guy" in Clint Eastwood's The Enforcer. I had no lines, but because I was required to be naked in the scene, I was given my Screen Actors Guild card, the holy grail for a budding actor. Much to my chagrin, you won't find me in the credits, but I'm the naked guy on the bed in the scene when the bad guy, whose being chased by Dirty Harry, falls through the skylight and crashes into the midst of a porn movie being shot. My mother was so proud. All I see when I watch it now is that I once had a beautiful head of hair.
But I digress…I moved to Los Angeles (as crew with A Chorus Line, another story), and, as is my wont, got involved with SAG union activities. I was serving on the SAG Morals & Ethics Committee in 1977 when Anita Bryant announced that she was bringing her pitiful, small-minded ignorance, intolerance and fear to California in the form of support for State Senator John Briggs' Proposition 6, the Prop 8 of the day, that would have forbid Gay people…or any of their supporters…from holding teaching jobs in California. Nice, huh?
I decided that the Screen Actors Guild needed to be the first industry union to come out against Prop 6, and that the only way to accomplish that was to get some big star power to appear before the Morals & Ethics Committee and demand it.
Enter Bea Arthur. Ms. Arthur had just made a splash in Norman Lear's Maude, and would receive the first of two career Emmy's (the other for Golden Girls) that year for her groundbreaking work as the title character. On television, there just wasn't a bigger star. And if the only role she'd ever played was Vera Charles opposite Angela Lansbury in Mame, she would forever be a star in my firmament, (and opposite Lucille Ball in the film even if Lucille Ball was miserably miscast).
But I digress, again…It was just about this time of the year that I sat down and wrote a letter to Ms. Arthur, outlining my idea. I mailed the letter and didn't think anything more about it. It was a shot in the dark.
Weeks later, May 16th was my birthday, and I was getting ready to go out on the town with friends. Literally, just as we were heading out the front door, the phone rang (cell phones were still a Dick Tracy fantasy…I could still decide whether or not I was going to stop and answer). I picked up, said hello, and heard the unmistakable, gravelly contralto of Bea Arthur,
"Is Bo Young there?"
"Speaking," I said, my heart pounding out of my chest, my wide eyes popping out of their sockets as I pantomimed to my friends at the door, who were wondering what was going on.
"Well hello," she growled on, "I just wanted to let you know that I received your letter and I wanted you to know I'll do whatever you want me to do."
To which I responded, with breathless gratitude, "Oh god bless you Ms. Arthur!"
To which she responded, "What's this 'god bless you' shit?…I didn't sneeze."
The surprise was finding out, later, just how shy a woman this powerhouse actor was. When I met with her she insisted that I write something for her to say when she came before the committee because she was sure she would become tongue-tied and not be effective. Maude. Not effective. Right. She did everything I asked, just as promised, to perfection. Reading my lines to the committee, which immediately came through with the required vote, which then went on to the larger Steering Committee of the Screen Actors Guild, which was the first industry union to oppose the Briggs Initiative. As a result I was brought into the campaign as "assistant state press secretary" to Sally Fisk.
Later, I had cause to call Ms. Arthur again, to see if she would appear at a fundraiser we were holding for No On Six. Unbeknownst to me, she had undergone a face lift just weeks before, and as a result her face was still puffy and black and blue.
She still had bandages on her face, albeit small ones…and she appeared at our fundraiser.
She said it was more important than what she looked like.
That's the kind of person Bea Arthur was.