James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Archives June 2011

Ed Lucas Diaries, August 1967-July 1988

Edward Karl Lucas was born in San Francisco on June 24, 1947. He attended Bellarmine College Preparatory School in San Jose, a very good Catholic Prep School. He was a Drama major and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1960s. He took classes at ACT (American Conservatory Theatre) in San Francisco in the early 1970s and was an extra for them as well. He had some speaking parts with Berkeley Rep. around the same time.

His friends describe him as very well-educated and very witty, an Edwardian gentleman and, at the same time, full of fun and imagination. Ed was an avid reader of novels and of the New Yorker. He was very bright, sensitive and sensible.

He lived in San Francisco and Berkeley. He worked at the Postermat on Columbus Ave. (at Green) in the early 1970s where he sold posters and related things to Carlos Santana and Janis Joplin, among others. He was a college recruiter at University of San Francisco after that, then did apartment rentals at Saxe Realty in San Francisco. He also moonlighted as a bartender at the Hayes Street Grill. He was a member of the Gay Mens' Chorus from its very first days and he continued with the Chorus for as long as his health permitted until around the beginning of 1988. Ed died of AIDS on June 30, 1989.

Ed's 13 diaries were donated by his friends Ernie Guomas and Jim Seger, January 2011. The diaries chronicle Ed's activities as a UC Berkeley student and in San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s. He notes movies seen, parties he attended, and men he dated, among other things. His thoughtful observations are a nice counterpoint to the whirlwind of life at the time.

1. August 1967-September 1968
2. October 1968-December 1969
3. January 1970-December 1971
4. January 10, 1972-October 3, 1973
5. October 24, 1973-March 5, 1975
6. March 20, 1975-March 12, 1976
7. March 12, 1976-January 11, 1977
8. January 12, 1977-September 13, 1978
9. September 13, 1978-June 1980
10. July 17, 1980-September 26, 1982
11. September 1982-August 1985
12. August 14, 1985-December 31, 1987
13. January 1, 1988-July 4, 1988

The Lucas diaries complement the Vincent diaries (GLC 45) and Gary Fisher papers (GLC 51), two other gay men who lived in San Francisco and died of AIDS. The Ed Lucas Diaries detail an earlier time period than the other two.

The Ed Lucas Diaries (GLC 68) are available through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hormel Center's Frameline Video Archive Project

The Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival donated its entire movie archive to the Hormel Center of San Francisco Public Library. The gift includes not only the films shown in the Festival for the past 35 years, but many film submissions never screened. As you may imagine, preserving this collection is central to the Library's mission and of vital importance to the LGBT Community. Just this spring The Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center began to digitize this massive collection. The photograph above is from the futurist Japanese film Summer Vacation:1999 by Shusuke Kaneko. This boys' school charmer features a terrific all-girl cast. (And ssshhhhh! This movie will be shown for free in our Koret Auditorium, Thursday June 23 at noon).

Project Consultant and film historian Jenni Olson went through the collection and selected films she determined to be highest-priority for saving. We sent 14 films, some of them beginning to deteriorate and at risk of being lost forever, to the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) for digital preservation. To find out more about this Frameline Archive Project visit www.sfpl.org/frameline . Come hear Olson speak on Tuesday June 7 in the Koret Auditorium at 6:00pm. She has wonderful stories to tell about the films we are preserving. On stage you will also meet Frameline Festival Program Director Jennifer Morris and Hormel Center Program Manager Karen Sundheim.

And don't miss a rare opportunity to see some of these historical gems screened in their entirety! Every Thursday in June at noon we will show one or two of the finest in our collection. On Thursday June 9 we show Olivia (Pit of Loneliness), a 1951 French lesbian boarding school drama. On June 16 Director Reno Dakota will be here for the showing of his award-winning movie American Fabulous (1991). That's the cover of the video above left. And on June 30 we'll show both Boy! What a Girl!, the 1945 all-Black cast musical starring Tim Moore as the bald, cigar-smoking female impersonator Madame Deborah (see photo above right). We'll also show Out of the Shadows, a rarely screened documentary portrait of African-American Gay and Transgender men in Washington DC, narrated by the late poet Essex Hemphill.

We are hoping to continue to digitize this precious international movie collection over the next couple of years. It is an expensive project and its completion will depend on donations.