Authur Warner Spiked
Authur was certainly the best educated and arguably the most influential of all the East Coast homophile leaders until in 1967 he was upstaged by Frank Kameny with his “Gay is good” slogan. When Authur, in coat and tie, tried to quiet and disperse the Stone Wall rioters he lost more support, but his organization continued to function with some success until.
Authur was the second son born to a dominating uneducated Jewish farm girl, whose husband also tried to “pass” as gentile. His parents made a considerably fortune as wholesale grocers in Newark, New Jersey. His ambitious mother moved her nouveaux riche brood to Princeton into a French style house with wrought iron decorations that bordered the Institute for Advanced Study, close by the Graduate School. Albert Einstein and other geniuses had to pass by it on their way to their more modest residences closer to the main campus.
It had long been the custom of English aristocrats to have both a French and German governess so that their children would grow up learning both those languages. Mrs. Warner presumed to hire the retired German governess of the Governor General of Australia to enlighten her two sons. That old bird was a very effective teacher, but a bit too strict. Authur became obsessed with cleanliness. When he went to restaurants, he would imperiously demand a second glass of ice water from the waiter and proceed to dip the silverware into one of them to rinse it off and dry it off with a napkin to the astonishment of the waiter and the embarrassment of his companions. A more frequent taboo was to pull down the sleeve of his suit jacket, which he always had made to be overly long to cover a door knob whenever he opened one, though he tried to to attract as little attention as possible when he was doing it. Another bizarre eccentricity,which only a select few were privileged to observe, was that when things dropped on the floor of his house he would only pick them up once a week, after which presumably he did appropriate ablutions. This germaphobia, however, in noway interfered with the preference that he developed during his teenage years for poor, unkempt and often dirty black males. They were very plentiful in Newark where he attended a private high school for his whole life he remained what was called a “dinge queen”. He could not get into a prep school because those in the know knew that he was Jewish and Jews in those days were not admitted to prep schools.
Mrs. Warner loaded her house with silverware , candelabras, serving dishes, etc., fancy sets of ornate books, a grand piano, and somewhat gouache plastic pillows on the wrought iron furniture in her sun porch. She gave fancy dinner parties, enticing some of the scholars from the institute with fine wines and food,creating some sort of salon over which she grandly presided.
Mrs. Warner was delighted when both her sons graduated with honers from Princeton and from Harvard Law School. Authur interrupted his Law School to serve as a navel officer in World War II. While serving, he was arrested in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, for soliciting a black male. Though he went back to finish his law degree, that citation barred him from ever practicing law, even after he managed to get his discharge upgraded from undesirable. So he told his doting mother that he really didn't like law anyway after all. She helped him get a Ph.D. from Harvard in English history. Sir Llewellyn ,one of her “friends” from the institute and a great expert in English history helped with his dissertation. Authur taught for two years at the branch of University of Texas, El Paso, didn't like it, probably because the students who, were none to bright and eager, didn't like his imperious style. So he returned to live the rest of his life at his mother's house.
About that time Authur somehow connected the owner of the Club Baths which had facilities in about thirty cities. The owner made so much money that he thought about running for Governor of Florida but he had a lot of legal problems with local police departments and local DA's. Authur persuaded the millionaire to donate money to his organization in return for Authur's astute advice to the local lawyers representing the various bath houses.
Authur loved driving whether to get away from his mother, to explore, or to cruise I was never quite able to figure out. He bought two identically models of a Naash that had a back that could be converted into a bed. He loved the deep south and often traveled it for months at a time. While there he would stop when he saw a chain gang working on a road side. He would approach white guard who was bored to death holding the shotgun and chat him up. The guards were always intrigued by Authur's conversation. He would find out from them which of the black convicts was going to be released and when and where. Then he would show up there to greet the man as he came out. He would welcome him, invite him to dinner, have sex with him either in the back of his car or in a hotel realizing that the man was horny and would not cause any trouble.
Another of Authur's games was to wave to black men on the highways. One of his best stories was that he attracted a careful of five black guys. They followed him to a small shoulder off the highway and agreed that one at a time they would get in his car and he blow them giving them each five dollars a piece. When the fifth began to approach his car which have been revved up he zoomed away, presuming that they had intended to roll him. His presumtion must have been correct because they pursued him at high speed for miles along the New Jersey highways. Occassionally if he trusted one he would talk him back to the gardener's cottage on his mother's land pretending that he was the gardener.
In his old age Authur finally “confessed,” in fact bragged that both of his parents were Jewish. He went on to claim that his mother was not Ashkenazim but in fact Sephardi because she had what to him sounded like an Arabic name to him but was in fact wasn't. Those Jews who lived lived among the German more tolerant Muslims were generally more prosperous and educated then those who lived among the more persecuting Christians. But those Sephardi who fled from Spain after 1498 and settled in Genoa of the Lowlands look down on the Ashkenazim that they found there. So from trying to pass as a upper class gentile, Authur decided to pass as a upper class Jew.