South of Market Cultural Center

San Francisco, December 26, 1979 - January 1, 1980



From "The Memoirs - Chapter Eleven" -



            Now, I have always been a collector of sorts, of, well, just about anything, posters, photos, magazines and commemorative issues of anything I could find.  Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda, gay pornography, space flight, Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor, a letter from Pat Nixon, an actual hairclip of Ann Miller’s (BELOW), Dolly Parton, oil spills, monkeys, an Yves St. Laurent peasant dress, Bicentennial junk, and even a full, authentic section of Christo’s Running Fence.  Our costume collection was growing.  Props from all the movies we’d made, flats, lights, tools and paint, ... a decade of collecting.

“Bill,” my friends said, “exhibit your stuff!”




            You can see lots more about my "Salute to the 70's" in "The Memoirs, Chapter Eleven," but meanwhile here's a bit more.


            The Chicago Seven opened the decade, as Judge Julius J. Hoffman handed down harsh sentences against the Chicago convention rioters and their attorneys, dividing the country.  Protesters shouted "We are all outlaws under American law!"

            Can you name the Chicago Seven?  *



*  Well, sure, Bill!  They are (left to right above) Lee Weiner, John Froines, David Dellinger, Jerry Rubin, Rennie Davis, Ton Hayden and Abbie Hoffman.  Their lawyer William Kunstler was also sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court.



            We always followed Patty "Tania" Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army's adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area.






            Golly, look how the papers are parroting the government line already, the first day after the coup!  The rest of the world outside of the U.S. would soon learn that the U.S. planned the coup and assasinated Allende.  Hmmm.




            Our gal.




            We put a lot of hope into Shirley Chisholm.




            But the most fun story of the whole decade, of course, was the Shakespearean rise and fall of Richard Nixon.  I saved it all.  Below, a wire-photo of his resignation speach, our Oval Office reproduction, and the original copy of his resignation latter, initialed by Henry Kissinger.








            Ex-cop Dan White killed gay supervisor Harvey Milk and, in an afterthought, mayor George Moscone.  He received a light sentence because, well, the queer deserved to die.  The city exploded.










            This picture of an oil-doomed duck on San Francisco Bay inspired our "Animal Friends" exhibit.  Viewers looked down into an actual "oil spill" with protruding whale bones and a dead chicken Josh Koral bought me in Chinatown.






            It was that kind of decade.








            I always admired Carl Sagan, of course, and had a little clipping of him and Viking Project Scientist Gerald Soffen standing next to a replica of the Viking Lander on "Mars."




            Kevin and I would reproduce it with our own, full scale Viking Lander in the Space Pavillion.




            I did a little sketch of the only "fashion" of the 70's I could think of.




            With that, Karolyn Kiisel and Sharon Rosenblatt went to work and created one of the most beautiful and dramatic elements in our show.








            The sexy "chulo" look was popular.




            Karolyn even managed to get her hands on an original Yves Saint Laurent "peasant" dress.




            The punk mother dresses in a garbage bag and puts her kid in a Cheer box.  Everybody loved it.




            Sharon always like to pose with her favorite, the "Annie Hall" look.




            It was a stunning show and the "Fashions of the 70's" brought it to life.






            Sometimes it was hard to tell the visitors from the fashions.




            Not to be outdone, our own Maria Manhattan and Bermuda Schwartz, below, created their own fashion on the last day of the show, January first.  Their "women of the future" are happy to leave this decade behind!  






            Our publicity department, of course, went into high gear and we got a lot of coverage.












            Even popular colunmnist Herb Caen asked, "If you're wondering about that billboard visible on the Central Skyway Southbound with what appears to be a portrait of Pat Nixon, ..."











            Meanwhile, our friends Zonker and Mike, in what looks like Dave's Bar, perhaps summed it up the best.





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