Tomorrow at this time I’ll be on a plane to LAX. Instead of my usual scrambling to find an semi-interesting magazine at the ‘port, I am already completely decided on what I’ll be reading: Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade. I’m only 5 chapters in, but this compelling biography of a shy English Literature Professor turned S&M porn writer has me hooked. It’s a great read for Bay Area junkies too- the author pulled from Steward’s diaries, which were only recently discovered in an old attic in San Francisco, and although it precedes the gay rights era, there is definitely a sense that California was THE place for social and sexual freedom, even in the 1940s.
I’m pretty stoked to read on for tales of adventure from this friend of Gertrude Stein, lover of Rudolph Valentino and Thornton Wilder, research associate to Dr. Kinsey, and ally to the original Hell Angels’s chapter in Oakland.