Sunday, February 21, 2010

An interesting article on The Plays of Clay Shaw

These homoerotic scenarios and allusions to homosexuality suggest that Clay Shaw was aware of the gay milieu and his own desires at a relatively young age, and further supports the sustained importance of this aspect of Shaw’s personal life. While I will later further discuss the literary and biographical connections between Shaw and non-normative sexuality, specifically S/M, for now I only mention that these gay resonances in Shaw’s work reinforce his longstanding same-sex desire. Given the need for mid-century gays to be discrete, Shaw’s sexual identity led to his involvement with the gay subculture of New Orleans, which then included such figures as David Ferrie and Perry Russo—and, according to some reports, Lee Harvey Oswald. Jim Garrison called Oswald “a switch-hitter who couldn’t satisfy his wife” (Phelan 151). Sources in the older gay community, both unknown and as famous as Gore Vidal,2 claim Oswald was a gay hustler who worked the New Orleans bars. When asked if Oswald seemed gay, New Orleans attorney Dean Andrews said that Oswald “swang with the kids” (Kirkwood 138), the Latino “gay kids” whom he called “Mexicanos” (130). Andrews remarked that he didn’t know “squares” to hang out with gays, reckoning “birds of a feather flock together” (138). Andrews, who received a phone call from “Clay Bertrand” asking Andrews to defend Oswald soon after Lee’s arrest, claims these gay Latino youths had earlier accompanied Lee to Andrews’ law office (these were likely anti-Castro Cuban exiles). The sunglasses-sporting “hepcat” Dean Andrews was known in the New Orleans gay community as a sympathetic lawyer. Andrews said he had already received multiple requests from this articulate gentleman “Clay Bertrand” (a name Andrews took to be a pseudonym), to defend gay youths who had been arrested.
Clay Shaw was the only person ever to be prosecuted for the murder of President John F. Kennedy. He died of lung cancer in 1974. Or did he?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cannonfire post, alleging that Gore Vidal and Clay Shaw were friends and/or lovers, is spooky, and all the more so in light of Vidal's outspoken defense of Oklahoma City mass-murderer Timothy McVeigh as a "true patriot."

" ... whatever became of Clay Shaw? [His niece] answered that he went off to stay with a friend who maintained a villa in Italy. Presumably, Shaw there spent his few remaining days in peace ... Who among Shaw's friends had a villa in Italy?"

SALERNO, Italy (Reuter) - American author and social critic Gore Vidal was rushed to hospital in the southern Italian town of Salerno Friday after suffering a hemorrhage but was in a stable condition, doctors said. Vidal, 70, was taken to the San Giovanni hospital shortly after 6 a.m. following a rectal hemorrhage. A hospital official said he would undergo tests Saturday and a decision would be made then on how long to keep him in hospital.
Vidal has a villa on the Italian coast.

“Ive had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang... Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.

"[Kennedy] didn't impress me as a good president ... I'd known him all my life and liked him, but he wrecked his chances with the Bay of Pigs ... Then, because everyone was so keen to elect Bobby once Jack was gone, lies started to be told about him — that he was the greatest, and the King of Camelot.”

Vidal adds menacingly: “Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking people like me are looking for heroes. There aren't any, and if there were, they would be killed immediately.”

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Shaw dying of lung cancer: Ruby died of lung cancer, what...4 months after being diagnosed? I believe Judyth Baker and the cancer virus. The lung cancer virus, supposedly possessed by Oswald in Mexico City, trying desperately to pass it on to an assassin close to Castro.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the only references you'll find on the Net to Vidal's "significant other," Howard Austin, is this:

John Gilmore reminiscing:

According to my agent at William Morris, George Litto, I fit the bill perfectly. The contract was sent over by Litto to my personal manager, Howard Austin, who was then handling Tony Perkins. Howard was Gore Vidal's live-in secretary. They stayed together in Vidal's Upper East Side place.

I often saw Tony Perkins in Gore's apartment. Once he came with an attorney who was helping him out of a vice jam. Tony was on a day bed, wringing his hands and crying.

After he had left, Howard told me about Tony's exploits in the subways and movie theaters. He couldn't stay out of the back rows and public men's rooms, and was in hot water for groping a cop staked out to collar "sex offenders."

Apparently Vidal met Austin in the mid-1950s in Hollywood while working as a script doctor there. Fifty years later, only now do we learn that our "teenage role models" like James Dean, Sal Mineo, Tony Perkins, and a young and sexually ambivalent Dennis Hopper, were all members of director Nicholas Ray's personal "gay harem."

Safe bet that Nick Ray and Howie Austin were good buddies too. This also makes me wonder about Paul Newman, who was part of a strange threeway with Joanne Woodward and her "fiance" Vidal.

Another thought comes to mind: Since James Dean, Dean Stockwell, and Dennis Hopper all hung out at old queen Samson de Brier's "occult salon" (frequented by Kenneth Anger), was Gore Vidal in his "Hollywood period" ALSO a big fan of Aleister Crowley and "Do what Thou wilt"? Iconoclasm can take you some odd places, especially if, like Gore Vidal, you're a "Dorian Gray" type ...

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memo -March 23,1967-David Lewis.David Lewis ,a bus station express handler,
in New Orleans, Louisiana ,has receivedconsiderable publicity in recent weeks in
connection with investigation of assassinationof the late president JF Kennedy,which isbeing conducted by New Orleans districk attorneyJames C Garrison. News Media have reported that David Lewis (father 4 children ) possesses the names of FIVE individuals who plotted the assassinationof the late President Kennedy.David Lewis also reportedlyclaims to have been acquainted with Lee Harvey Oswald.1967 New Orleans investigator David Lewis reports to the _ _ _,that Raul Torres, Sergio Aracha Smith, Carlos Quiroga,(names 3 out of 5 ) were principal suspects in the D A Jim Garrison case in the assassination of JFK. .David Lewis former worked in David Ferrie squadron.George Clark Johnston claims he lived with David Lewis 1407 Conti St apt C New Orleans Lousiana (but was it at the sametime David Lewis was married to his Wife Anna Lewiswith their children?.)Bob Guzman Of New Orleans said David Lewis is a protegeof Jack B. Martin and Martin brought Lewis to Guy Banister'sOffice promoted Lewis for a job with Banister.Anna Lewis said I graduated may 31 moved there `1961,I got a job at Thompson's (hotel restaurant bar)Saint Chartles Ave, I met Dave Lewis when working at Thompson'sSaint Charles Ave ,sat on porch we stay a hour . ,talking he told me to watch what i am saying because there is undercover _ _ _ also Guy Banister men .Anna Lewis said I give you a description of David Lewis he was 5ft8,he wore black suit,white shirt and black tie his shoes were black,and he might not have had two nickles to rub together but his shoes,suit was immaculate.(perfect)David Lewis died May 5,1998.died cancer.anna lewis said :We started hang around more or less would meet at Thompsons Restaurant ,discuss the Cuban Situation what we were going to do __!We would go to the 500 club Carlos marcello was a very nice distinguised looking gentleman,if you didnt know he was involved mafia you could have really fell in love with him, andI saw David Ferrie at the 500 club was mostly meeting place besides thompson (restaurant) St charles ave,Thompson's(Restaurant Hotel Bar Club) was for poor people place the 500 club was for high class.We were there at 500 club David Ferrie was there with us (lee ,anna,David ,Judy) Carlos Marcello, and , Jack Ruby .anna lewis saidDavid Ferrie my opinion was a kind man ,he conned people into doing what he wanted them to do ,into doing,what he wanted- just like Lee Harvey Oswald too. And David Ferrie didnt like me. I was at his apt he had microscopes little tubes he burnt stuff in and I thought he was a druggie / drug dealer.Anna Lewis said :David Lewis was a follower not a leader he did what you wantedhim to do and they type of person you would expect to hang around with Lew Harvey Oswald.David Lewis could tell jokes,did practical jokes pranks on you ,but you couldn't do it on him,
because he went into a tizzy which Lee Harvey Oswald was same way.Lee Harvey Oswald did not consume alcohol neither did David Lewis.I met Judy (Baker) one day we were at Thompson's Restaurant.Lee Harvey Oswald was a possessive man when he told Judy ( Oswalds Girlfriend Judyth Vary Baker) to jump she better ask how high .Lee was a very quiet man he definitely did not look likesomeone that would kill the president ,He listen to other people talk,what they had to say, but he never commented on anything but whenLee Harvey Oswald did speak you had better listen to him what he hadto say, Like Judy ( Oswalds Girlfriend Judyth Vary Baker)was like him,and Lee does not like to have somebody talk when he is talking.

4:37 PM  

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