Founding the San Diego LGBT Center

My name is Bernie Michels, and I have been a Boston Prime Timer since November 1991. I usually don’t brag about this, but I was the chair of a small committee that founded the LGBT Center in San Diego in 1973. Boston could use an LGBT Center as the center of Gay and Lesbian life in Boston, just as the centers are in many U.S. cities, such as New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The reason that we don’t have a center is that each of the Gay organizations in Boston is jealous of its independence. That includes the Boston Prime Timers.

The LGBT Center is still going strong in San Diego, occupying several buildings, and has a budget of over six million dollars per year. San Diego celebrates the founding of the center every five years through sponsoring a gala at one of the local hotels. I recently went to San Diego last October to celebrate the 45th Anniversary. Not only did they pay for our entrance to the gala, for me and my partner, but they celebrated the birth of the center and my role in it.

We founded the center because we experienced a gap in Gay life in San Diego. Presently, the center is not only the center of Gay life, it now sponsors discussion groups for people who have recently come out, a free library of Gay and Lesbian books, a program for transgender people, a residence for younger people who have been thrown out by their parents when their parents learned of their sexual orientation and an apartment house for older people. Our committee was not initially accepted in San Diego at the time of the founding. In fact, many people questioned why we needed a center, but now the LGBT Center is firmly established as the center of Gay life in San Diego.

I moved to San Diego to attend the School of Social Work at San Diego State University. I requested that my second year placement would be in working with the Gay and Lesbian community. I was the first openly Gay person to apply to the school for admission, but they accepted me. I ended up teaching the first Gay studies course in San Diego, by being interviewed by a local TV station, and by being on the front page of a local newspaper. I was also invited to speak before several groups within San Diego. Being the first openly Gay person at the school was traumatic, but I had a full-time partner at the time, and he eased the trauma for me.

I had come out with the Gay Liberation Front in Los Angeles in 1979 and 1980. In fact, I participated in the first Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles, down Hollywood Blvd. I was a little on the older side, being in my early thirties at the time, but my participation was accepted.

I moved to Boston in 1976 to attend a Ph.D. program at Brandeis University. I finally completed the program in 1987, and I taught sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston for twenty-six years. My present partner, Herb, lives in Montrose, California, in the Los Angeles area. I am going to visit him shortly, which I am looking forward to. He comes to Boston for one week of each summer.

(For more information about the San Diego LGBT Center, please visit their website.)

Board Election Results

At our last meeting, we held Board elections. Winners were as follows: Harry Fullerton, who was re-elected to the Board, John Kinsherf (also re-elected), Dave Bachofer, Mike Ferrara and Mark Roy. Write-ins Coley Kelley and Helder Lemos tied for the final (currently vacant) seat on the board, but both declined the position, as did runners-up Steve Vorenberg and Kerry Marshall.

Inman Sq. LGBT Luncheon [April]

The second luncheon will be Monday, April 16th, 2018, at S & S Deli from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The cost of the luncheon will be $11 (or you may order from the menu). Future dates will be the third Monday of each month, March through December. S & S Deli is at 1334 Cambridge Street.

Please RSVP with Bob Kingston-Parrott by calling (336) 324-9256 or e-mailing sslunch2018@gmail.com. You can also sign up with Bob at one of the other community meals.

Should you need to get there by T, take the Red Line to Central Square, then catch either the 83 or the 91 at the bus station on Magazine St. just south of Mass. Ave. Both buses stop on Hampshire St. between S & S and Ryles (just before the intersection with Cambridge St.). Alternately, you can take the Green Line to Lechmere and take the 69 bus down Cambridge St. to the intersection with Hampshire St. S & S Deli also has off-street parking.

Join us and bring a friend!

April Mt. Vernon Dinner

On Wednesday, April 11th at 6 PM, we will be dining at the Mount Vernon Restaurant & Pub. From now on, rather than sending in a Tear Sheet, just come and order off the menu.

The restaurant is at 14 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145 and you can view their website here. It’s located just a short walk from Sullivan Station (Orange line, buses) or the following buses stop in front of the restaurant: 89, 89/93, 90, 92 and 101. For more information, you can call them at (617) 666-3830.

Funky Hair Party

hosted by Phil Putnam

WHAT: Funky Hair Party at Phil Putnam’s.
WHEN: Sunday, May 27th, 4-? PM.
WHERE: 175 North Avenue, Haverhill
FOOD: Please contact Phil to discuss what you should bring [see roster].
COST: $2 to the host for incidentals.
RSVP: Please call or e-mail Phil.
MAXIMUM GUESTS: 25.

DIRECTIONS: Take I-495 to Haverhill, take Exit 51 toward downtown Haverhill a couple of tenths of a mile, take a left onto Marsh Ave.; in about three tenths of a mile, Marsh Ave. becomes North Ave.

Member Stories

If you have a story that you would like to tell, either about being a member or about what the Prime Timers have done for you, feel free to submit it Harry by e-mailing it to everharry@aol.com or mailing it to 3 Vale View Road, Wakefield, MA 01880. If it would be difficult for you to type this up, Harry can help you by recording your story; just give him a call at (781) 587-1429.

Below is one sent in by longtime member, Ruby Katz.

Reflections

What does Prime Timers signify for me? Sam Goldfarb brought me to the club during the 90’s. We were at the Living Center. Although the audio system was shabby, I was introduced to a panoply of older gay men and contemporaries.

Then, as now, I feel this is an apt antidote for the bar culture. In those early days, as now, I hardly drank and I am a non-smoker. Thus I got quickly bored. I did far better in baths. (As an aside, I got raped in the Club Baths on La Grange Street in the old Combat Zone. Consequently, I had to stop that activity.)

Within the Prime Timers, I recall going out to varied suppers–to the S & S, Captain’s Wharf, Amrhein’s and so forth. Culturally, it was indeed very rich. Since the costs went up, we stuck with Club Café. I really love continuing Sam’s legacy, the support peer group. It’s gratifying to speak candidly within an intimate group.

Twice a year, I ventured out to Provincetown for Spring Fling and Halloween, both of which are a supreme joy. I have drawn very close bonds with the Connecticut and Rhode Island chapters.

Then there’s the annual pilgrimage to go to Ogunquit at the Yellow Monkey. They have an outdoor jacuzzi which is a balm.

Thus, my participation in the Prime Timers has broadened my experiences, open-ended friendships and relationships. I feel inspired.

May Dinner

Tuesday, May 29th
Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM

Choices: (1) Statler Chicken, (2) Salmon Filet, (3) Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli, (4) Steak Tips.

Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave, Boston. (617) 536-0966

Nearest T Stop: Back Bay Station on the Orange Line or Arlington Street Station on the Green Line. The Inbound № 9 Bus from Broadway Station (Red Line) stops across the street at Berkeley St. & Columbus Ave.

Cost: $28.00 per person includes Soup/Salad, Entree, Coffee/Tea, Dessert as well as Gratuity.

Your payment must be received by April 16th.

Should you need a tear sheet to send in, the most recent one can be found on the forms page.

2018 Ogunquit Trip

The Prime Timers will once again enjoy their Spring Getaway Weekend in Ogunquit, Maine on Friday and Saturday June 1st and 2nd with check-out on Sunday the 3rd, 2018. Our host will again be the Yellow Monkey Resort. The following are the rooms that are being held for us, all of which have private bathrooms except Tara #5 & #6.

UPDATE: All rooms have now been filled. Please contact Harry to see if he can arrange you a room at the resort next door.)

Rooms $/Night Bed Size Extra Bed(s) Room Extras
Brown #12 $115 Queen Queen, Double Kitchenette
Brown #14, D $93 King    
Brown #15 $87 Queen    
Brown #16 $98 Queen Queen, Twin  
Brown #17 $98 Queen Double, Twin  
Brown A, B, C $93 Queen Twin  
Brown E $98 Queen Twin Kitchenette
Hideaway #1 $109 Queen Single Porch
Hideaway #2, #3 $104 Queen   Sundeck
Hideaway #4 $114 Queen   Sundeck, Ocean View
Hideaway #5 $114 Queen Queen Sundeck, Ocean View
Main #6 (Penthouse) $135 Queen Twin Private Sundeck, Kitchenette, Outside Stairs
Main #3 $93 Full    
Main #4 $100 Queen    
Main #5 $98 Queen    
Stone Hill $130 King Pull-out Couch Private Sundeck, Kitchenette, Fireplace
Stone J, K $87 Queen    
Stone L $93 Queen    
Tara #1, #8 $93 King    
Tara #2, #4, 10 $87 Queen    
Tara #3 $98 King Single Balcony
Tara #5-6 $76 Queen    
Tara #7 $93 Queen Single  
Tara #9 $93 Queen    

The rates are as quoted above and tax is included. All rooms are suited for single or double occupancy. If there are more than 2 people in a room, there is a charge of $15 per extra person per night. See the table above for rooms with more than one bed or additional room features.

Each room is unique and furnished with antiques collected over the years by the owner, Peter. In addition, the Yellow Monkey offers a clothing-optional hot tub and sundeck. The town has many restaurants serving excellent food, unique shops, and several gay bars. A movie theatre is also located in the center of town. The beautiful ocean and beach are just a short walk from the Yellow Monkey and the beach has a gay section. The Marginal Way is a 1½ mile walk along the ocean, with breathtaking views, connecting Ogunquit with Perkins Cove, where you will find more restaurants, shops and boating adventures.

A continental breakfast is available each morning at no additional cost in the kitchen/dining room located in a separate building behind Tara House.

We are planning a Friday evening Happy Hour at Briar Cottage at 5:00 PM with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages provided (for which there will be a charge of $5 per person). The charge for the Happy Hour should be added to your room charge and paid at the time you send in your room check or money order (or pay via cash or card at April’s meeting).

Make your reservations early to ensure your personal preferences. Since all rooms are unique and vary in price, please indicate your first and second choice on the tear-sheet. Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. When submitting your reservation, please include a check/money order for your first choice. If it cannot be accommodated, you will be contacted about a refund or additional charge for another room. Every effort will be made to accommodate your preference.

This year, because we are in Ogunquit for the weekend following Memorial Day, the Ogunquit Playhouse will be open for the summer season. The musical that week will be Smokey Joe’s Café, with a lot of familiar hits of our day! Friday offers an 8:00 PM show, on Saturday there are shows at 2:30 PM and 8:00 PM, and on Sunday there is a show at 2:30 PM. Tickets range in price from $52-$120 depending on day, show and section. If you are interested in tickets, you can call the theatre directly at (207) 646-5511, e-mail them at boxoffice@ogunquitplayhouse.org or purchase tickets online at their website. You can also call Norman Pelletier at (978) 475-5504 for assistance with the Playhouse.

All requests for rooms must be received by our Office no later than Friday, May 18th, in order to allow the Yellow Monkey to sell rooms that are not reserved by us.

If you have any questions, please contact Harry Fullerton at (857) 544-3630 or everharry@aol.com.

See you in OGUNQUIT!!!

Zeitgeist Stage Company presents Steve by Mark Gerrard

Zeitgeist Stage Company continues their current season with Steve by Mark Gerrard from March 2nd through 24th at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts.

As Steven, a former Broadway chorus boy turned stay-at-home dad, celebrates yet another birthday, he finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty. Is his partner of 16 years, Stephen, cheating on him? Is his best friend really dying? And what, exactly, has he done with his life? As the play progresses, we see him grapple with infidelity, polyamory, child-rearing, and looming death. Midlife ennui has never been so simultaneously dramatic and hilarious. A new Wicked comedy about Being Alive, What I Did For Love and All That Jazz!

The show features Adam Boisselle, Mikey DiLoreto (ZSC’s The Boys in the Band), Alex Jacobs, Mike Nilsson, Jenny Reagan (Good Television), and Victor Shopov (Bent).

Reviewing the premiere production at the New Group in New York City in 2015, The New York Times noted, “Steve holds up a clear but compassionate mirror to anyone who’s been part of a post-passion long-term relationship. It earns both its laughs and its tears with uncommon honesty.”

Steve performances are March 2nd through 24th at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 PM, Friday at 8:00 PM, Saturday at 4:00 and 8:00 PM, and Sunday at 4:00 PM with talkbacks following the Sunday matinees.

Single tickets are on sale for Steve here or call (617) 933-8600. Subscriptions and more information can be found at Zeitgeist Stage Company’s website.