When Then Was... Now!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November Anniversaries (c) Jerry Pritikin

I'm just over a month away from my 77th birthday. If I don't look into a mirror, I can often forget how old I really am. However, I know I do not need a mirror to remind me that I'm getting older because, the ass I never had is sagging and the dust in my apartment accumulates faster then I can keep up to clean up.   For me, it's the fifty-first anniversary of my meeting the # 2nd of my 3 lovers. It was on our first anniversary that JFK was killed. 

I have not watched any of the JFK 50th Anniversary shows. There's nothing there that I have not seen before. No sense wondering what if, because we will never know. This month also marks another Anniversary of the killing of Mayor George Moscone and Gay Icon Harvey Milk. I knew them as friends,they fall into that "what if ?"category,too.
This is the lessor of my known images of Harvey Milk taken on Orange Tuesday 6/7/77... However what I love about it is MILK forever NOW! (c) Jerry Pritikin 

With Harvey Milk on the day he was the acting Mayor of San Francisco 3/9/78 Photo:Danny Nicoletta

With my friend Mayor Moscone,  Opening Day of the 1978 Gay Community Softball League.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hey Yogi... it's over! 38 years ago I played on my first gay softball team... and now it's over.(c) Jerry Pritikin

 This was the only time that Jack"Irene"McGowan,Me in the middle and Mark Brown(sitting) that they were not yelling at one another!
Jack"Irene"McGowan one of the cofounder of the 1st Gay Softball League in the country and controversal manager in the league. That's S.F.City Hall in the background.(c) Jerry Pritikin
I was always into the game and depended on my knuckle ball and control. In the Opener of the 1978 season I gave up one run before 2,000 and ZERO runs before 8,000 fans for the Annual Police/ Gay Charity Game.

Gus Torez,knocking one out of Lang Field. He was the Leagues MVP in '78 and the reason I learned how to pitch... Thank you Gus!
For most of the 21st. Century, I played in the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association's Senior Cup softball tournament every September. I played on my first gay team in 1975. It was sponsored by AL Hanken's "Round Up" Bar. He belonged to the S,F. Tavern Guild. Jay Platt was the Manager, and I was a 38 year old rookie playing 12" ball. I started out as a third baseman, until Jay recruited Gus Torrez who also was a 3rd baseman. He was a San Francisco banker with a small child. I remember seeing him at batting practice and knew at once that would have to  find a different position to play.  Jay handed me the ball and said pitch batting practce. It turned out to be a turning point for me. I never played team ball since grammar school. I learned to throw a knuckle ball that danced in the bay winds. Hanken dropped us as our sponsor when he found his lover in the arms of Dr. Jim Halloran, our shortstop. Jay found us a new sponsor. Oil Can Harry's, the best gay disco bar in San Francisco. I had a radio show via the cable Viacom TV news/sports show channel 8. By osmosis I wrote sports/ and free lanced photography for several gay newspapers... and involved with a few start up magazines and newspapers.  I enjoyed the spotlight of pitching. I  was knocked out of only a few games over 4 seasons. I was a good fielding pitcher and had my shares of base hits with a few being extra base hits. 

The 1978 season turned out to be one heck of a time for me and my teammates. Mayor Moscone accepted my invitation to throw out the first pitch in front of 2,000 fans.
Before the game, George pitched batting practice to the Oilers and used my glove. I was the Opening Day Pitcher. When I was introduced,I heard a lot of boo's. This was orchestrated by Jack McGowan,who happened to be handling the mic. McGowan was one of the founding fathers of the league aka "Irene". I had a love to hate relationship with a few associates who were as stubborn as Billy Martin.  We had quite a few non-gay players, so during Irene's introduction ceromony, he would always ad "one of our own kind" when introducing a gay player on our team.  I had a fine over all pitching record going into the season. The 1978 season came with a unique incentive... the Championship team would represent S.F. at the 2nd Gay World Series in N.Y.City. We wound up as the Wild Card at the end of the season. I went 6-0 in the play-offs including a double header wins over the runner up team,the Sutter Mill's Gold Diggers for the Championship. The Oilers were blessed to have teammates from all walks of life,including Vietnam Vets,city firemen,a teacher and a doctor. However when we arrived in the" Big Apple", we were kicked out for having too many straights on our roster! 

In 1979, I played on the first gay senior's team in the nation.  Jack McGowan's FABULOUS 40s. It was the only time Jack respected me when playing on his team! We always had a feud going. The Fabulous 40's turned out to be a really was a good team and we came within a run of representing S.F. at the 3rd. Gay World Series. 

In 1981,I was playing for the MINT, Ron Lezell of the Mint team talked me out of retirement, and we made it to the play offs. I got former MLB player and friend Glenn Burke to strike out swinging on a knuckle ball. I have played for many teams over 30 years. Mostly as a pitcher. However for the past 13 years I played as a catcher. It seems most senior teams are over stocked with pitchers. I was able to get Bubbies Kosher Pickles(A legend in its own brine!) to sponsor several of our teams. The one thing I never did over my softball playing days was manage a team.  I equated that as bad as playing in the game of politics, especially when friends are involved. For over 10 years I played in the Chicago Metropolitan Sport Association's Senior Cup Tournament, winning a Championship, and 2nd place win in the Rocker Division for Bubbies sponsored teams.

I contributed to Bob's Big Bats Division Title in 2011 with some timely hits,a few walks and made some good plays at home plate. However last year was a different story. It rained the first day and we had to play on the wet grass and then on the muddy infield. I had a hit and a walk, and for the first time ever I swung and miss on a pitched ball... not striking out. I also hit into my first double play. A line drive speared by the 1st baseman and he caught the runner off base.

This week, I gave much thought about playing one more time. However at 76... I realize that mishaps happen on the field and there was talk again of rain for this weekend. So I decided to hang up my spikes, not with a bang. At least in my lifetime I got to know what it was like to play on a Championship team several times. I excelled when needed. The best highlight from anyone game that stands out for me was in the 1978 Police / Gay Softball game. The Crowd was over 8,000. Again, I was booed when the P.A. announcer introduced me. I left in the 5th inning,shutting the fuzz out and at one time retired 9 in a row and 7 on 7 pitches. I was looking forward to playing in the Gay World Series. 

In the mean while I played several regular seasons in the CMSA. Since the inception of the Senior Cup I have played for most of their 13 years. I won the OLDEST PLAYER AWARD 4 Times. Friday I decided not to play this year. The possibilities of rain added to my decision. I managed not to see this year's edition. Sadly I did not see many of the old timers that has been part of my September tradition.

I'm putting together a unique photo exhibit in Lakeview for October. I'll post more about that in days to come. I'm still looking for a doc-maker ... 
Gay Bleacher Bum... Mark Twain said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Franciso!(c) Jerry Pritikin

Winning my 3rd of 4 Oldest Active Player Award in the CMSA's Senior Cup Tournament-2011
The Championship Bob's Big Bats-2011 It felt good contributing to the Throphy in the Rocker Divison. Can you find Waldo?

My introduction into the National Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame. I knew quite a few players inducted at this years event. I received a standing ovation after my acceptence speech.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today was worth the battle for Equality By Jerry Pritikin/Chicago

                                                                             Just a proud American who happens to be gay!
                     This image was taken in 1977 at the S.F. Hay Pride Parade- I knew they had good parents.
 For Harvey Milk and all the pioneers in the the Gay Rights movement who never  stopped marching... it is NOW,more then ever on the road to equality.
 On the Day Harvey Milk was the Acting Mayor of San Francisco- 3/9/78 Photo credit:Dan Nicoletta
            My iconic image of Harvey Milk that has become a footnote in Gay History 6/7/77

             This is my Exhibit of my 40 years as a one man army in the front line of Social Justice!

Chicago 6/26/2013:  The news from the Supreme Court has brought all GLBT families closer to the fight for Equal Rights in America. It didn't happen over night and I want to thank all those courageous Draq Queens in San Francisco and Stonewall in New York who paved the way for us starting along time ago. Thanks to the Lawyers,politicians and pundits who helped all of us in our battle against ignorance and right wing bigots and closed minded religious leaders who tried to block us. Cheers and Tears for all of them past,present and in the future. Jerry Pritikin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jerry Pritikin's SPIRIT of 76 Photo Exhibit for PRIDE MONTH at Chicago's Human Thread Gallery

That's a young me on th left and Nancy Pelosi and the Chairman Curtiss of the Democratic National Party1976. Photo Credit George T. Krause S.F.
This was the end of one great day of Adventure that started in Miami Beach stopped at the Everglade National Park and just in time to shot the sunset at Naples Florida.Thank you Richard!
I had sent advice to Amy who had a Lemond Ade Stand in Plains,Georga. This is her responce 

The story behind the message on this T-shirt is pure Mayor Moscone wit... it was taken at his offfice at S.F.City Hall.(c) Jerry Pritikin

Note the price of a dozen Donuts! (c) Jerry Pritikin...

Just this year,The Twin Peaks Bar at Market & Castro was declared S.F. Landmark Status and was the first Gay Bar in America who took off the paint from their plate glass windows that allowed people to look in or OUT in 1971


Last month a Columbia College Chines student(who happens to be straight) I knew informed me about a gallery looking for a GLBT Exhibit at the Bridgeport Art Center for June's Pride Month. It's a non-profit owned by a Japanese-American. The location of the exhibit is in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, known for being the home neighborhood of 2 former Chicago Mayors-the Daleys , as well as the home of the Chicago White Sox. And I happen to be a Jewish Openly gay man who was tabbed by Cubs Hall of Fame Announcer Harry Caray as the Teams #1 fan in 1987. He introduced me a few years earlier as a guest on his 10th Inning Show as John Q. Public,the Fan!  I roamed the Friendly Confines for over 25 years and became part of the lore of the fans in the cheap seats... however there are no more cheap seats in the bleachers.

What is interesting, where as most Cubs fans who do remember me, are not aware I was gay or a known photographer in San Francisco between the early 60s until the late 80s. There will be all kinds of images at the Human Thread Gallery on the 5th floor. Attached is a taste of what to expect- The Exhibit runs from June 17- until July 8th. Tell you friends...
ALL of the © JERRY PRITIKIN images on this blog
cannot be reproduced, re-posted elsewhere or published without PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION