Watching: Marga Gomez’ performance: Lovebirds

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San Francisco Bay Area residents: go see Marga’s show, Lovebirds at The Marsh in San Francisco. Here is the  SF Chronicle review. It is set in the 1970s in Greenwich Village, and Marga plays several characters, female and male, whose lives all intersect in their search for love during those wild and crazy times…my coming of age era. One character, Barbara Ramirez, changes her name to Dahlia (kind of like Phern), is a Women’s Studies major at NYU, coming out and looking for a woman at the lesbian bar, Bonnie and Clyde’s.  A butch lesbian named Turkey falls in love with her instantly, but Dahlia only has eyes for her professor Aurora. Sound familiar? When they started playing Rock Your Baby (listen) at the bar, I was transported. Except I was at the San Francisco bar, A Little More…which is where I think the real Marga was.

For those of you who want to stroll down memory lane, here is an  interview with Lynn Keller, a Bay Area filmmaker and photographer, whose show,  Fierce Sistahs: Art, Activism, and Community of Lesbians of Color in the Bay Area, 1975–2000 was on display at the San Francisco Public Library in 2010 and I saw it. Here is an excerpt:

“When I arrived in ’75 there were already a number of spaces that had been created, and many more were created over the next 10 years. There were bars like the Jubilee, the Driftwood, and the Bacchanal in the East Bay, and in San Francisco we had Maud’s, Wild Side West, Mona’s 440 Club, Peg’s Place, A Little More, and others. But what I thought was especially cool were all the non-bar “women’s spaces” — places for political activism, education, and networking. It’s funny, “women’s” was code for lesbian in those days. There were bookstores like Old Wives Tales on Valencia in San Francisco, and A Woman’s Place Bookstore on Broadway and College in Oakland. There were also cafes, which were amazing places to hang out and hook up with people. There was the Full Moon and Artemis cafes in San Francisco, and the Brick Hut Café in Berkeley.

The bookstores were amazing spots to hang out. People were very well connected. There were actually physical bulletin boards for jobs, housing, events, rides across the country, etc. This was how we networked back then, before the Internet and cell phones.”

That’s how it was.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shrinkrap305
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 22:46:24

    I saw “Lovebirds” when it ran back in the Fall, and loved it! It didn’t conjure up the same memories for me as it did for you, obviously, but I did use to hang out in a few “women’s” bars back in that era myself, even though I am straight…in particular, Maud’s and Amelia’s (now the Elbo Room on Valencia). I remember back then feeling a little curious about my own sexual orientation, but being put off because at that time the culture at the bars was so predominantly “femme/butch” and I didn’t feel that I fit into either category. I used to go with another straight friend, and after a couple hours at Amelia’s or Maud’s we would head to the *most* hetero bar in SF at the time, the Balboa Cafe, for a different type of cruising. it was quite a culture shock going from one place to the other!

    Reply

    • phernhunt
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 02:46:11

      I have seen all of Marga’s shows, I just love her. She puts herself into everything. She is very much like Lily Tomlin. I love going down memory lane with this stuff. That happened to me, as you know, when I read the novel By Blood by Ellen Ullman.

      Reply

  2. Amy P
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 00:25:49

    Okay Phern when are you going to write your book?

    Reply

  3. Jerry Polon
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 06:41:42

    Wow, you didn’t miss a thing back in the day, even when you were “just starting out.” What a fond remembrance, more than a snapshot, a tangible piece of you.

    Reply

    • phernhunt
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 07:22:38

      Thanks Jerry. As you can see, I have restarted my blog, now with a different focus. Lots of ideas, lots of articles to write, including a desire to document my early San Francisco memories.

      Reply

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