A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture

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From large cities to rural communities, gay men have long been impassioned pioneers as keepers of culture: rescuing and restoring decrepit buildings, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, saving artifacts and documents of historical significance. A Passion to Preserve explores this authentic and complex dimension of gay men’s lives by profiling early and contemporary preservationists from throughout the United States, highlighting contributions to the larger culture that gays are...

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A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture

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Overview

From large cities to rural communities, gay men have long been impassioned pioneers as keepers of culture: rescuing and restoring decrepit buildings, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, saving artifacts and documents of historical significance. A Passion to Preserve explores this authentic and complex dimension of gay men’s lives by profiling early and contemporary preservationists from throughout the United States, highlighting contributions to the larger culture that gays are exceptionally inclined to make.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Compelling . . . stories and first-person accounts from gay men across the country . . . provide a colorful picture of a landscape that has not really been painted until now.”—The Advocate

“A concept at once original and yet so obvious it is surprising that no one has attempted it before.”—Library Journal

“A rich and detailed examination of an important and heretofore neglected aspect of our urban heritage.”—Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class

"Anyone who shares a love of the past will undoubtedly find this book inspirational and moving. Will Fellows has done an excellent job of...recounting the exploits of past 'bachelor uncles' and 'temperamental men' who saved buildings from the wrecking ball of progress and urban renewal."—Bay Window

"Clearly Will Fellows has hit a nerve with many gay men, and many of them write about their collecting and preserving, from childhood on, often sacrificing friends, livelihoods, careers, and lovers to do so. As with his previous book, Farm Boys, Fellows presents the material in people's own voices as much as possible and the best of these essays (and there are many) are wonderfully readable capsule biographies and histories."—Darden A. Pyron, author of Liberace: An American Boy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299196806
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Fellows is the author of Farm Boys, which was honored as a best book of 1996 by Esquire Magazine and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 1997. He lives in Milwaukee.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Charlotte and me : preservation-minded from childhood 3
In search of gay preservations 13
What these gay men's lives reveal 25
Saving old New England 37
Mark Doty 44
Don Leavitt 50
Mark Sammons 53
Design-minded in the mid-Atlantic states 57
Ken Lustbader 61
James Nocito 65
Dwight Young 69
Greg Kinsman 73
To he rescue in the Atlantic South 79
Allan Gurganus 84
Myrick Howard 90
John Anders 95
Robert Barker 99
Cranford Sutton 103
Domophiles out west 107
Jay Yost 111
Ken Miller 116
Gilbert Millikan and David Richards 121
Richard Jost and Charles Fuchs 125
California conservative 131
Richard Reutlinger 138
Gerry Takano 147
Jeffrey Samudio 150
Jim Wilke 156
Generations of gentlemen keep Cooksville, Wisconsin 161
William Wartmann 174
Al Garland 182
Larry Reed 186
Singular preservationists in the Midwest 191
Dana Duppler 204
Joe Johnson and Ron Markwell 211
Robert Seger 214
Cherishing old New Orleans and Louisiana 217
Curt Greska 230
Lloyd Sensat 235
Randy Plaisance 239
Toward a larger view of gay men 243
Conclusion 259
Acknowledgments 265
Notes 267
Index 283
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