Mountain Moving ...
"My sister told me to search my own name on the web, so I did, and to my surprise, I showed up in your article asking what came of a list of performers at Mountain Moving Coffeehouse. I never lived in Chicago, but came through on a tour from my home in Des Moines. I did perform quite a bit for a while, and put out an album on tape called Soft Hills. I moved to Washington, D.C., and lived there for 10 years, and now live in Burlington, Vt. I'm no longer performing. I am an organizational consultant and leadership coach." ... Rose A. Gowdey
Talking to Wally about gay
Read more story below....
life in 1970s, '80s Chicago
The Trip ...
"The first gay bar I went to was the Trip on Ohio and it was on three floors. A restaurant and dining room in the basement, the first floor was a cocktail lounge with live entertainment, and upstairs was the Trip-Hop which was a Disco.
"I found out about the bar when my lover brought me to it. I was 19 years old and that was the summer of 1973. I was due to turn 20 in September '73, and then the 19-year-old beer and wine law went into effect in October of '73, so I was scared shitless because, although I was comfortable with myself, I'd never been in a gay establishment before, and I was also there illegally. I was afraid someone was going to card me, but my lover said, 'Oh they don't card anyone in these places.'
"So I got in and had my first beer. I think it was a Friday night and we went directly upstairs to the disco and I just thought, 'I'm home!' This was my kind of place; men all around and the disco catered, naturally, to a younger crowd, which I was. My lover was 17 years older than me. Actually we met in high school. He was one of my instructors. That was consensual on my part, so don't think he was robbing the cradle. I think I wanted to get into his pants more than he wanted to get into mine."
King's Ransom ...
"Probably the next bar I went to was the King's Ransom at 20 E. Chicago Ave. It was very calm there, and was what they called, at that time, a wrinkle room. I hit it off there too because there were people you could actually talk to, have a decent conversation with. The bar itself was a kind of horseshoe, but at an angle. It was on the garden level, and you had to go down a couple of steps to get into the bar. You walked in and there was a living room set up with a couch and then you went down a couple of steps to the bar. There was a fireplace in the corner. It was very pleasant and to me they were old men, but now they'd be young men to me, because most of the clients were in their mid-to-late 30s, or early 40s. I enjoyed it there, because I fit in, but I fit in most any place. I used to go to all the bars. The Near North Side was my kingdom, whether it be the Gold Coast, the Haig, the King's Ransom, whatever ... I always went wherever I wanted to go. I refused to be categorized."
Chicago Molly ...
"I first met Molly at the Nutbush, but at that time it was called Adron's. I don't think he was actually working there, but he was doing shows there occasionally. He was a western suburban girl. He did drag. Oh did he do drag!! Comical drag.
"One joke he told me, I don't think I'll ever forget. This was when he was at Molly's Follies, and it was in the afternoon. I tend to be a daytime drinker because I like the bar quiet, so I can converse with people. So I was in Molly's Follies alone. Molly was in the bar, and I said, 'Molly, were you always heavy-set?' He said, 'I aint heavy-set, I'm fat. I was so fat as a child that when I went up on the platform to do my 4th grade recitation, I went right through it. My mother was so upset she says 'Doctor, doctor, is he alright,' and the doctor says, 'Yes, he's just going through a stage.' That was his sense of humor. He was a marvelous man. Very funny.
"He introduced me to Roseanne Barr. He had all her tapes from her stand-up days when she called herself The Domestic Goddess, which she never really was. Her whole routine was about how to get out of doing certain jobs. But Larry ( Molly ) loved her. Larry passed away ... oh I don't know when, I lost track of time after 1988."
Memory check: The Trip was located at 27 E. Ohio St.
Snippets of Trip history:
In September 1975, songstress Andy Cahill performed at the Trip every weekend, along with regulars the Sam Hill Trio.
In February 1971, a benefit was held that netted approximately $1,400 which was used to help pay medical expenses for Mary Sue Dujka, a victim of bone cancer.
Paul Carol and Skip Arnold organized the show, which consisted of performers from local bars, all of whom volunteered their talent.
Mattachine Midwest president Tom Erwin ( real name Gertz ) celebrated his birthday on Friday, Dec. 3, 1971. His guests numbered 62.
The Trip closed October/November 1976. The owners were called Ralph and Dean. Any info or memories about the Trip is welcome.
Future historians take note: The memory section in this column contains just that...memories...and are only to be used as a starting point for your research. Send your stories to Sukie de la Croix at Windy City Times. You can leave a message on his voicemail at 773-871-7610. He interviews over the phone, in person, or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
What A Difference
A Gay Makes
U.S.: In Mason, N.H., school teacher Penny Culliton, who was dismissed for distributing books containing gay characters to her high school English classes, is reinstated after an appeal. * Cary Alan Johnson is named executive director of Gay Men of African Descent, a 10-year-old advocacy, support and AIDS services organization. * In Denver, the City Council votes 11-1 to extend health benefits to the partners and families of gay city employees. * International Business Machines Corp. announce it will extend health benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees, making it the largest U.S. company to date to adopt such a policy. * In the dead of night, President Clinton signs legislation into law that gives states the right not to recognize same-sex marriages. A handful of gay activists stage a demonstration outside the Foundry United Methodist Church, President Bill Clinton's church. * Saudi Arabia: Twenty-four Filipino workers receive the first 50 lashes of their 200-lash sentence for alleged "homosexual behavior." Despite protests from Amnesty International, the government goes ahead with the sentence and later deports the workers.
U.S.: The Democratic National Committee adopts resolutions urging Congress to pass a gay civil-rights bill and approve $3 billion funding for AIDS programs each year. * Key West plays host to over 500 lesbians during its 5th annual "Women in Paradise" celebration. Events include a street fair and performances by lesbian comic Marga Gomez and Boston musician Patty Larkin.
U.S.: NOW President Eleanor Smeal breaks new ground for solidarity between lesbians and heterosexual feminists in speaking for nearly two hours at the Sisterspace Lesbian Feminist Weekend in the Poconos near Philadelphia. * In Honolulu, the managing editor of the mainstream newspaper Star-Bulletin, resigns from his post because he has AIDS. In a signed editorial, G. William Cox, 37, writes: "As a journalist, I have spent my career trying to shed light in dark corners. AIDS is surely one of our darkest corners. It can use some light."
U.S.: Mommie Dearest, with Faye Dunaway playing the part of Joan Crawford, is in movie theaters. * In Tallahassee, Fla., a Circuit Court Judge rules that a state budget amendment cutting funds from schools that charter any student group that "recommends or advocates sexual relations between persons not married to each other" is constitutional. State Rep. Tom Bush, who backed the amendment, says that it was aimed specifically at homosexuals. * Approximately 100 people march under the banners of the National Organization of Lesbians and Gays and the National Coalition of Black Gays at the Solidarity Day march in Washington, D.C. The march is organized by the AFL-CIO to protest the economic policies, environmental policies, and anti-ERA stance of the Reagan Administration. * Ronald Crumpley, who was found "not responsible by reason of a mental defect" for killing two gay men in a shooting spree in Greenwich Village, is committed to the Mid-Hudon Psychiatric Center for at least six months. * In Fullerton, Calif., when Andrew Ross Exler, a gay activist running for board membership in the upcoming elections, urges that more books on homosexuality be placed in schools. Trustee Franklin J. Sullivan of the Fullerton Union High School district, along with several members of the audience, storm out of the meeting. * Rev. Jerry Falwell writes in his Newsweek column that: "While homosexuals should be free to live together if they wish, we oppose any law that would grant to homosexual couples the status of 'family' or qualify them as a legitimate minority."