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  •  I mentioned up thread that piano bar I frequented. (10+ / 0-)

    All the young guys who went in there were broadway queens and some were my good friends. But I went there for the older guys and spent a lot of time with them, especially Jack and Emory, both of whom eventually dropped dead at their barstools, literally IN the bar. I learned quite a bit about being queer pre-stonewall and from Emory, stories of the all-gay/lesbian hospital unit he served in during WW II. You heard that right.

    Perhaps I was an "old queen" before my time, too, but because of how the community has changed (and because of the internet, too) mine (I'm 44) was probably the last generation to get their gay history as oral history even though there were plenty of print resources to supplement it.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:22:52 AM PDT

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    •  I had a favorite piano bar, too. (9+ / 0-)

      And the older guys were a part of the draw for me as well, though initially I went for the showtunes.

      My favorite pianist (now dead) was enormously talented and funny as hell. Way back in the '50s he'd been one of the showgirls at Finocchio's here in the City, and boy did he have stories to tell. We became quite good friends and I had him over for dinner several times, to the delight of my other guests.

      There were also dear old queens like Cecil, who passed away only to have the bar promptly install a small brass plaque on his favorite stool at the bar.

      My best friend and I became regulars there, and it certainly wasn't for the cruising.

      There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

      by slksfca on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:31:46 AM PDT

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      •  There was a pianist at our bar (10+ / 0-)

        "The Briar Patch" named Beverly Siscoe, who is probably no longer with us. She was from Revere, and knew I was from the Boston area--a rarity in Houston in those days. Every time I walked in to hear her she'd play "Southie is My Hometown" as I came through the door. She and the owner had some great leitmotivs for certain regulars including "Granada" for my friend Jack (he often was called upon to sing it). The owner would stop mid-song if he saw Jack coming and launch into "Granada" and Jack would wave at the crowd like royalty and everyone would rush to greet him. Those were fun days. They're also long over.

        What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

        by commonmass on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:45:43 AM PDT

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        •  LOL (9+ / 0-)

          When "my" pianist saw me entering the bar, he'd stop playing in mid-song and coo into the mic, "Well, well, well, Scott's here. What's the matter, hon — streets not busy this evening?"

          I made the mistake of taking a first date there one night and he pulled that. Embarrassing! ;-)

          There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

          by slksfca on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:55:47 AM PDT

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          •  Oh, do I have a story for you. And it's about (8+ / 0-)

            Boston, how topical is that? The Boston Eagle is owned by this guy Jack and his partner. Jack is perhaps the most notorious gay bartender in Boston and that notoriety is for being stunningly rude. He owns the block (and several other South End blocks too, apparently) and doesn't give a damn if you drink in his bar or not. He either likes you or he really doesn't and he happened to like me and my ex-partner Patrick. If he liked you, and saw you in line for a drink on a busy night, he'd cut you to the front of the line and have your drink mixed before you could get there. He did that for us at Pride one year and I thought we were going to be lynched on the spot by the other patrons! He could also be a vile racist.

            He used to call my ex "Dr. Dildo" (he was a surgeon), and usually called me "Mary". Once Patrick and I went in there wearing nearly matching vertically striped casual oxfords. Jackie says "Well if it isn't Dr. Dildo and Miss Mary. You two look like a couple of French awnings!".

            Jack's still around, visit him some time if you get the chance. He's a hoot.

            What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

            by commonmass on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:03:35 AM PDT

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            •  LOL (8+ / 0-)

              I love that. "A couple of French awnings." Hah! The cutting remark is also, for better or for worse, a part of our gay heritage. Just watch Boys in the Band if you don't believe me. ;-p

              Oh, and I would certainly make a point of visiting the Boston Eagle, just to get to see Jack if nothing else!

              There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

              by slksfca on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:10:34 AM PDT

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              •  There's nothing else to see as it's often dead (6+ / 0-)

                except late at night as it is the cruise bar of last resort of an evening.

                There is one other thing to see though: the men's room. Now, I may be from Boston, but I lived in the South for half my life. One thing I've noticed is that on the whole, Southern queens are dirty birds and in a good way. There's one bar in Houston who's men's room consists of stainless steel troughs on three sides with slightly tilted down mirrors running the length of the top, the room lit only by a couple of black lights. That would never do in Boston, oh no. There's some royally uptight queens, the Boston crowd, and the men's room at the Eagle can be seen from the front door of the bar. Open that door and there's a urinal, right there, not two feet inside that door. The queens take turns going in there one at a time. Having recently moved back from the South, that really gave me a tickle.

                Boston, I have decided, is one of the worst cities in America to be gay in not because it's not tolerant--it is, supremely--but because I just don't care for the attitude of the gay people I meet there.

                What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

                by commonmass on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:16:13 AM PDT

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