By this time, I had a little money coming in as I was back at Saint Francis, working as a Licensed Psychiatric Technician.and I had enough for a deposit on a place which was equal to a months rent. Actually, I may have had to have first and last months rent and a deposit. I found a studio apartment on the 13th floor of a small highrise about a block from work. Polk Street was still a gay neighborhood and it was an ideal place to live at the time.
Once I got settled in at the new apartment, David eventually came back down and continued to live with me there. It was a little tight in a studio but we made do. Mary Jo continued to be my best friend at the time and came over to visit regularly.
Mary Jo was taking photography classes at the San Francisco Art Institute and I would visit her there from time to time. I eventually enrolled there in a film making class. I was paying for the class out of my own pocket of course and it seemed like most of the people going there were a few years younger than myself and had rich parents that were paying their way. It was a great school in that they had great resources but for me it was too espensive to continue there. I also had problems with my own self esteem and my film making ability that precluded me from enjoying my experience there.
During the time I was attending at the Art Institute, I was working on a project I called “Ennui.” It was dialog I had written some years earlier when I lived with Mary in Seattle. I wanted to make a “narrative” film and so I rewrote some of that dialog and started making my little film with Mary. Essentially we would make que cards and pretty much read our dialog from the cards. We would set the camera up on a tripod and then film a scene. Most of it was filmed in consecutive order so there would not be as much editing required.
My instructor at the Art Institute was totally into non-narrative film. We spent a lot of time blowing out eggs and filling them with paint and then droping them and filming the paint splatter. In these “art” films, there was no story line or beginning, middle or end. They were stoney psychedelica for the most part. This was not the kind of film that I had much itnerest in at all and at the time, I felt inhibited and self consious about the kind of film that I wanted to do. My peers at the Art Institute seemed pretentious and disengenuous to me and so I did not continue there.
I did eventually continue with film making at City College in San Francisco. It was also around this time that I believe I connected with some of the people that would later form Frameline which would be an organization that would do the annual L.G.B.T. film festival. At that time, it was just a few guys getting together to look at each other’s super-8 film. I believe Marc Huestas might have been one of those people. I remember meeting in a flat on Guerrero around this time. I remember a couple of years later I would run into one of those original film makers and he had some mysterious disease. Every time I would see him, his health was deteriorating further.
By this time I had made some new friends on the psychiatric unit where I was working. I don’t think any of the gay staff remained in the closet by this time. It was a time of gay pride. The staff was also ethnically diverse. I don’t think I had ever known anyone from the Phillipines before working there. We had a staff member from Yugoslovia as well Sweden. There were Hispanics and African American’s. There were also people that identified themselves as “witches” and “warlocks” and believed in the occult. It became apparent that people that work in the psychiatric field tend to be diverse and interesting.
My mom, Darlene, Chris and Misty came to visit during this period and I borrowed a fold-away bed from Jim over in Hayward and we had people sleeping wall to wall in the little studio. By this time, I had acquired a sound camera and was taking a lot of super-8 sound film and got film of the visit. I got some definitive film of my mom singing, telling a fortune, telling and telling an original story.
She sang some of the lullaby’s and songs that she sang to us in our childhood and now sang to Chris and Misty in theirs. She had a beautiful voice.
Mom had been telling fotunes ever since I could remember and people always loved it. She never attributed it to any supernatural but it always seemed supernatural anyway.
While mom was visiting, we spent an evening with my step-brother, Jim, in Hayward.