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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 7, July 1973
File 002
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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 7, July 1973 - File 002. 1973-07. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 5, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2967/show/2947.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1973-07). The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 7, July 1973 - File 002. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2967/show/2947

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 7, July 1973 - File 002, 1973-07, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 5, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2967/show/2947.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 7, July 1973
Contributor
  • Frank, Phil
Date July 1973
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 28912012
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 002
Transcript ttie 1 &WN<TIUS VOLUME 4 NO. 7 FOUR YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE GAY COMMUNITY JULY 1973 After The Fire^yjp stairs.. by Bin Rushton Associated Press reporter Eric Newhouse stood nervously on the front steps of the Metropolitan Community Church Monday afternoon, wringing his hands and grimacing as he asked whom he could interview about the fire at the Up Stairs Bar the night before. Members of the fire-stricken congregation eyed Newhouse with equal, if somewhat dazed and wearied, reserve. After staying up all night together, after contacting friends and relatives of two dozen dead and missing (including their own minister, the Rev. William Larson, the much-photographed body burned in the Chartres Street window), they found Monday's news coverage turned largely on the indelicate phrase "hang-out for homosexuals." They found their tragedy compounded by an unprecedented Police Department statement in an equally unprecedented article in the Monday States-Item that alleged that "thieves" hung out with those helpless homosexuals, all of them trapped together in a burning hell on a Sunday afternoon that left their charred bodies "stacked like pancakes." But Newhouse persisted, worming his way into the faded turquoise double-parlor of the shotgun double near Coliseum Square that MCC calls its New Orleans home. Under a faded religious print over the mantle, seated on two aluminum and green plastic lawn chairs facing the rest of the occupants of the room, Newhouse had his interview with Courtney Craighead, senior deacon of the MCC congregation and one of the surviving escapees of Sunday's blaze. "Well, what kind of a man was he," opened New- house, probing for the real story about William Larson, deceased clergyman of the only Christian denomination in this country that dares openly minister to gay people. "Well," began Craighead, "he believed in freedom and love, because he wanted the right of the individual to make his own choice." Deacon Craighead's remembrances continued for a sentence or two before Newhouse broke in for another question— "What was he doing at the 6ar?" Suddenly aware he had stepped a bit too far, Newhouse lamely retreated: "Had he made arrangements to go see friends?" Craighead recoiled: "Oh . . . ," he paused. "1 don't know . . . ." The interview didn't last much longer, because soon WWL was also knocking at the door. There was a noticeable increase in tension. No cameras inside, please, pleaded Craighead. (One survivor had already lost his job as a result of the inflammatory publicity.) And please, no film or snapshots of our memorial service at St. George's Episcopal Church later that evening, either. The congregation, its friends, and mourning lovers would prefer to remember their dead with no further damage or losses .... Monday morning, in one of the bars along Iberville Street that caters to hustlers and sailors and an occasional conventioneer, a drunk and tattooed witness of the fire has just hustled me for a whiskey and coke. "Once again we've been used," he muttered, tottering on his bar stool and staring wet-eyed at the tourist throngs crowding the glass-strewn and bloodied sidewalks of Iberville at the Chartres Street corner. "That's okay," he snarled, "it's just faggots that's dead." He turned, slowly: "Gay people just got ripped off for 45 lives." And then, a bit more angrily, looking toward the crowds again, "You can go into any goddam place and find a ho-mo-sexual." He fumbled with the States-Item page open to the burned body in the window, moving it back and forth in front of himself as if the picture might suddenly change or go away. "He caught the windowsill on fire." Looking up at me again: "The smell of that flesh And pausing, looking down again, pulling up at his shirt. "I've been stabbed," he pointed, "and shot," he pointed again, "and you can outrun those mothers. But you can't outrun flames." He slumped over the bar again, gripping his whiskey almost enough to break the glass. "Hey ... look ...," he began anew, leaning near.
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