Hansen, Joe

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Billy Glover:

I thought you might find some of the material in 2 letters I find from Joe in 2000 and 201, since he mentions dealing with publisher and books.

11-1-00: to show we have always had communication problems he starts off saying he must have the wrong phone # as it is a 213 and he assumes I'm still in LA. then, " Morris Kight has called me a couple of times. He doesn't sound as robust as he used to, of course, but he always has a lot to talk about, and is keenly interested in the doings of the gay community, and particularly the archives. I don't think he gets around easily these days. and I know, because he told me, that he misses being able to talk to you.

"The landlord here has told me my rent will be going up as of January...just luckily I've found a small house to move into...31691 Fairview rd, Laguna Beach.

"I'm finishing my novel and translations of my books are coming out in Germany and France with rewarding regularity. alyson (now owned by the Advocate) is re publishing the Dave Brandstetter mysteries one by one, and are pleased with the sales. And a new collection of my mystery short stories, Blood, Snow, and Classic Cars, should be out in only two weeks! It's published by Leyland, in San Francisco (aka Gay Sunshine press). Meantime I've signed a contract with a French producer for a film of Backtrack, though so-far that has meant very little money.

"But I'm to talk to an American film producer over lunch this coming Friday. This has been pending for a long time, since just about the moment I went into the hospital June 13th and stayed for a month. Michael Kaplan, the producer, has been busy jetting around the world in preparation for his big film "Pearl Harbor" to be released next January (budget $143 million), but he is finding time to fit me in. His agent told my agent that not only Kaplan but "a number of prominent people in the picture business" are keen to do something with Joseph Hansen's books. Talk is cheap, of course, moreso in Hollywood, perhaps, than elsewhere. But there's no harm in hoping, is there?

"I get absolutely no news from the Gay World, or almost none. But Ross Ingersoll, bless him, sent me a book called Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 1928 to 2000 by David Ehrenstein, and i see that Harry Hay succeeded in convincing the writer that whatever comes out of Harry's mouth is gospel. There are pages of Harry's self-aggrandizing fantasies. Ehrenstein I don't think ever herd of Tangents, and so makes no mention of our pioneering coverage of the gay element in Hollywood films by Lee Atwill. I was proud of corralling Lee to write it for us, and proud of Don for publishing it, even though he didn't care a damn for movies. Ehrenstein does cover Dale Jenning's successful court foray against police entrapment all those years ago, and that's a real plus for this book. He is also good in his section on the impact of AIDS on Hollywood's relaxing for its bias against gay subject matter. There's my book report. You've probably already heard about this title on those TV book weekends you watch.

"As you know, to your sorrow, I had a garage filled with the books Jane and I collected over our fifty years together. Well, I at last found a bookshop pleased to get them, and over a period of four days last week, they trucked them all away. Most were still in their cartons, you'll remember, but many had been put on shelves Jim Schneider got for me. Now those shelves are empty, and Jim is coming soon to visit, and to take the shelves to the Archive, where they'll come in useful. I simply had to shed the books. I can't afford to pay storage on them. And where i'm moving there's only an open carport, no garage. anyway, it was time to say goodbye to these beloved friends and companions of a lifetime. Jane liked the shop that got the, Acres of Books in Long Beach, and so i guess she'd feel I did the sensible thing. They paid me $2,500 for them and that seemed more than fair.

"All right, it's sunset time, and I must think of fixing myself some supper. I hope you are feeling well, and that you're seeing a doctor who's keeping close tabs on your prostate and other possible trouble sites. Do write me letter when you can. I'll enjoy hearing from you again, love JOE"

I know you will know the "feeling" when you hear Joe fussing about Vern changing his words in his biography of Don for Before Stonewall, in the 2d letter.1-13-01:

"Thanks for sending me your letter to Jim (Schneider, and the archives was shen our HI collection had been joined with ONE/IGLA, later to be removed). Its good of you not to forget me. I 'm not on the mailing list of the Archives. I can, of course, check on their website, which may or may not be just as useful, depending on whether they keep it up to date. Jim doesn't tell me about what he's been doing in connection with the archives, but I believe its largely through his initiative and energy that things have lately progressed as far as they have. Jim is a dynamo.

"You know, I believe that Vern Bullough somehow ended up with Wayne Dynes' job as editor of the book on gay pioneers. And this week Vern sent me his version of my piece on Don Slater. He made substantial cuts. He also did some rewriting. This entailed "softening" my portrait of Dorr Legg.

"Now, it is terribly important that chapter on Don Slater be in this book. But I can't let Vern's version stand as mine. So I have given him notice that he may not publish "Don Slater (1923-1997)" by Joseph Hansen. I don't know why he didn't suggest changes and request that I make them myself. this is the way professional editors work with writers. I know. I've been a writer for a very long time.

Vern may, when he gets my letter, agree to print my piece as I wrote it, though I would certainly need to see the typeset proofs before I gve him the go-ahead. I don't know which way he will jump. Frankly, from the evidence of the revision he sent me, I'd say age is taking kits toll on him-there are many typos, errors or punctuation, and even some serious blunders as listing 1923 (instead of 1953) as the date of the founding of ONE.

"So,here i am at the tag-end of my connection with the Movement, involved in another conflict. Would you consider writing the piece on Don for the book? No one knew Don better, and better understood and shared his mind-set than you. Don must not be left out of this book, and I urge you to write the chapter, since I know you can do it and do it well., love Joe"

(He gave Vern's address in Westlake Village. But the problem was cleared up. Vern had sent me his note to Joe on how he had met Don.

I don't think we ever heard any more about movies, and I don't hear Huntington library using his material they got, nor how his finances are now for his son.

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