Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Bust for Harvey Milk 2: Public

In the early evening, there was a public reception where everyone was met by a small army of volunteers wearing "Harvey Milk Memorial" T-shirts...

...and the Bob Ross foundation had paid for a nice spread of appetizers.

Best of all, there were a slew of old left-wingers who showed up...

...including the hyperarticulate and genuinely good activist, Hank Wilson, above.

As people chatted after not seeing each other for years, nobody was paying much attention to the official speakers...

...and when one of the orators started with the line, "If Harvey were running for office today..." he was heckled by my friend Dennis above, who yelled "...none of you would have voted for him."

Also making an appearance was the legendary Dennis Peron, who basically created the template for "medicinal marijuana clubs" thirty years ago.

A couple of the best election night parties of my life were hosted by Dennis Peron for Harvey Milk in his early runs for Supervisor, and what was amazing about them was that they were losing night parties yet everyone would walk out enthralled. Milk kept receiving ever-higher margins of the vote each time and uncorking really inspiring speeches at each one.

Peron moved to England for six months a number of years ago and has been keeping a low profile in public since his return. He didn't go into the reasons, but it probably has something to do with his marijuana distribution history, which included a very high-profile, three-story pot club at Van Ness and Market, which was closed down by the Feds about five years ago.

In any case, it was nice to see specimens of the turbulent San Francisco Gay 70's who had somehow managed to survive, and their presence was a worthy tribute to the spirit of Milk himself.

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