A FREE-FALLING PLACE: AIDS ON FIRE ISLAND, 1979-1989

This is the companion page to A Free-Falling Place, my radio piece on AIDS and Fire Island, as heard on KCRW’s UnFictional under their title The Ghosts of Fire Island. Aired in conjunction with World AIDS Day 2013.


MEET THE GUESTS

Robert Delgado, 1982
 
Psychiatrist. First came to Fire Island in 1974; has been a half-year resident since 1999.
Jack Dowling, 1957
 
Painter, printmaker, writer. First came to Fire Island in 1952. Watch an interview with Jack on YouTube.
Michael Fisher, 1985
 
Painter, photographer, assemblage artist. First came to Fire Island in 1976. [WEB]
Jim Fouratt, 1960s
 
Longtime gay rights advocate/activist (Stonewall, Gay Liberation Front) and music industry impresario (Hurrah, Danceteria, Mercury Records). First came to Fire Island in 1969 with photographer Peter Hujar. [WIKI]
Thom 'Panzi' Hansen
 
Gay activist (Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Imperial Court of New York) and founder/instigator of the annual “Invasion of the Pines” on Fire Island since 1976. First came to Fire Island in 1972. [WEB]
John McCleery today
 
Writer. First came to Fire Island as a child; began renting there in 1979.
Esther Newton with Cherry Grove resident Kay, circa 1987
 
Professor of Women’s Studies at Michigan University and author of Cherry Grove, Fire Island: 60 Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town. First came to Fire Island in the 1960s as an anthropologist. [WEB]
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Psychiatrist (retired). First came to Fire Island in 1979.
Christopher Rawlins by Megan Greenlee
 
Architect (Rawlins Design Incorporated) and author of Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. First came to Fire Island in 1998; has been a summer resident since 2001. Currently restores “Gifford houses” on the Island. [WEB] Photo by Megan Greenlee.

 

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

01 / Architecture of Fire Island: Architect Christopher Rawlins discusses the evolution of architecture on Fire Island.
02 / Demographics of Fire Island: Narrators discuss the people in their social circles.
03 / The Grove vs. the Pines: About Cherry Grove and the Fire Island Pines, the two “gayborhoods” of Fire Island.
04 / The Invasion of the Pines: Thom Hansen (founder of the Invasion) describes its inception, while the others add local color.
05 / The Meat Rack: A vivid description of Fire Island’s infamous cruising area.
06 / Women on Fire Island: The role and status of women (particularly lesbians) on Fire Island.

CREDITS
Produced, edited, and mixed by Myke Dodge Weiskopf.
Supervising producer for UnFictional: Nick White.
Technical assistance from Lori Ann Brass, Ann Heppermann, Jasmin Lopez, and Dylan Peers McCoy.
Special thanks to Jim Fouratt, Gina Garan, Jon Kinnally, Ann Magnuson, Eric Marcus, Carl Meyer-Curtis, and Chris Young.
Dedicated to the ghosts of Fire Island.

VIDEO