Saturday, June 19, 2010

GLBT History Timeline in current issue of Frontiers in LA

Response to Bill Kelley:

I guess. Reid R was, with his partner, who passed, heading ISHR after Dorr died. I think they were working with Dorr when they had to sue Reid Erickson (the donor/cofounder of ISHR, with Don & Dorr) to keep control of the building at Country Club Place. (We were not there obviously, having moved to Hollywood/Cahuenga Pass in 1965.) I assume Walter Williams had something to do with all these people working together and getting to USC.

The error is that the Don/HIC material was donated to ONE-we never gave it up, Reid Rasmussen, et al, never had control of our material- but we merely moved it into the building which in reality WE (meaning Jim Schneider) got ready for occupancy. John O'Brien and the ONE people screwed it up and USC stopped all communication until Jim talked them into funding the fixing of that fraternity house. (This obviously happened after Don died, but I think Dale Jennings was still around, and opposed the move as he didn't trust John O'Brien, et al.) Then we saw them, as Dorr had tried, stealing our material, and moved out and now are placing our material at Cal State, Northridge.

I think you know that Don & I were the first paid employees of ISHR, but that lasted a month or so until Dorr screwed us. As a typical scoundrel he used that fact to deceive the attorneys by saying Don was no longer a ONE person. We knew that Reed would not let us have the money, he was into education and that was Dorr's area. And that was his motive of course-not so much money or even power, but wanting to be a leader in the education part of the movement. We thought it would not work, and it didn't, but again mainly for the same reason we could not get along with Dorr.

Ironically it was the same reason Jim Kepner didn't most of the time and why he resigned the 2d time (I think in late 1960) when they then hired me to replace him. Why? The same reason ONE lost the right to grant degrees, after having it for a time. Dorr lied to everyone and in both cases refused, for some queer reason, to work with the state and give them necessary information. In Jim's case, he had been told, and thus told others, that ONE was tax-exempt, but in fact Dorr lied and never completed the work. This put Jim in a terrible situation. So he quit. Later obviously he came back on a volunteer basis to work with the Institute, and help on that darn ONE Institute Quarterly. And he was on the ONE European tour when the separation came in 1965, Easter.

There are good reasons to try to understand some of Harry Hay's thinking, since some times he undid the very thing he wanted. And the same is true of Dorr. Don alone, I think, was good all ways. I was terrible, had to learn everything and was not good as a writer/editor or speaker. I just believed in them and the purposes so kept going. The hope is that I did more good than harm. I think Todd's book mentions my disagreement with Joe and Jane Hansen, for instance. I thought they could have done more-mainly by mentioning us in his books, and speeches, etc.

And I had learned from Dorr the financial part a little, and so was not friendly with most of the other board members even though I liked them all. Rodney Riggall, for instance, who did give some money, as did David Kennedy and others, had ideas, not to raise money, but how we could better spend our money. He was wrong. (He died years ago of prostate cancer, and the irony is that, as his partner, Ben Coonfield, who still lives in the family home in Prairie Grove/Fayetteville AR says, his father was an md and attorney, who actually went in court against some md people for malpractice, so Rodney knew things, and he suspected the cancer but could not get the doctors to do anything until it was too late. Rodney had worked in his father's office at the hospital.) David thought changing the bank branch would help us-it hurt us, as we were (and now are) better at the Universal Studio/city branch of B of A as they knew how to deal with non-conforming people and groups. And after David died we moved back. Now it might not make a difference, but it did then.

But due to our purpose and the real world of that time, I doubt anyone or thing could have made a difference. But we did things, and the media ignored them. But Dorr did no better. He then had to fight Reed the way he fought us, but in that case he was right, and won half of the property and Reed's daughter got the other half.

That is a story in itself, as I understand it. Reed said, perhaps truthfully, that he could not put the property into ONE's name right away as the seller was a woman evangelist, new age, who was anti-gay and would block it if she knew who really was buying it. But then he got into drug problems, etc and never transferred it and then the daughter sought it all after he died I assume.

I don't know if there was a possibility that Dorr could have gotten more in the separation, legally I mean, but (I think Todd's book explains this) he screwed himself by lies and deceits and his attorney, Hillel Chodos, did by calling the judge's office and speaking rudely and it was the judge he unknowingly talked to. Murphy's law, what could go wrong did. So, as our attorney, Ed Raiden said- and Lequita, (his asst attorney-forget her name, but think it was McKay) we have no money to fight, but I'm not charging you much and Hillel is charging them a lot, and I know the facts and he doesn't and it turns out the two judges are wise, so I think we just have to sit tight, and he was right, we only really gave up the name, which as the 2d judge pointed out, we had said we didn't want.

ISHR was separate after Dorr's death in 1994 I think. I'm not sure but think it was then that the Kepner library joined with ONE. Don, and Jim Schneider had talked with ONE about rejoining before his death in 1997. We decided to try it, except for Dale, and then had to work to get the building ready, and shortly after had to retake our material as they broke all promises of a separate office, keys, etc.

ONE Institute was not ONE, Inc and didn't have legal title to anything except what Reid, et al, gave them. And us copies. Some board members didn't like it, John O'Brien being one I think, but ISHR did give Todd money. And for some reason decided to quit and give Williams Institute the money remaining.

I'm not sure what else I should mention to give the "fair and balanced' view of the 3 organizations.

Subject: Re: GLBT History Timeline in current issue of Frontiers in LA

Let's see:

One, Inc., founded, 1952.

ISHR established, 1964, and incorporated, 1965, "d/b/a One, Inc.," and being "the financial branch of ONE, INC."

One Institute established (presumably by One, Inc.), 1956, with educational and travel programs, speakers bureau, and quarterly publication.

One Institute ceased operations, 1994.

One Institute Archives initiated, 1994, consisting of Kepner materials, Slater materials, International Gay and Lesbian Archives materials, and One Institute materials. Housed at USC since.

One, Inc. (merging corporation), merged into ISHR (surviving corporation), 1996.

ISHR completes final transfer of One, Inc./ISHR materials and One Institute name to One Institute Archives, 2000.

Copies of One, Inc./ISHR materials also deposited by Reid Erickson with Cal State Northridge.

ISHR funds donated to The Williams Institute.

ISHR dissolved, October 2008.

Have I got this right?

Bill Kelley, Chicago

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