We stayed in San Francisco for three days and, for once, my friend didn't have to worry about who he was and I discovered a lot about the world outside of my little small town. SF wasn't a perfect city, there are no perfect places on this planet, but it was more embracing of the different. To a point, anyway. There were still raids on gay bars and gathering places, but I saw a part of life I'd never have even imagined back in those early days of the '70s.
It was hard to make the trip back to Casa Grande. Back to the 'Real World' where being different put you on the lowest rung of the human scale.
Over the years I'd make various pilgrimages to San Francisco and it always gave me a spiritual lift. The city changed here and there, new buildings and new people, but it continued to have that certain special charm that led me to start discovering the history of San Francisco.
My friend died back in 1994. He was able to find a community where he was accepted and always held out hope for humanity...He always did have a higher view of mankind that I did.
As the years passed and the availability of history books on San Francisco I was able to watch the city grow over time. It's been a long time since my last visit and I certainly couldn't march up those streets today as I did back then. A couple of times I thought about heading back to stay. After being discharged from the military I was given the choice of what city I wanted to return to, a final 'Courtesy' of Uncle Sam, and I very nearly said SF.
When I left San Antonio I was on crutches and told I'd probably never be able to walk without an aid of some sort for the rest of my life (They were wrong), and I had responsibilities so...Back to CG.
I still draw images of San Francisco, still have the memories, I remember how it felt to have my heart beating to the point of exploding, the genuine laughter that would cause me to bend over and trying to catch my breath.
So, here are some of those drawings, all done with love, all done with the hope that maybe I'll see the place one more time.
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