CATCHING UP WITH THE COCKETTES
Jon Sims Center, San Francisco.
“A riot of color” and “the air was intoxicating” were among the comments overheard at Catching Up With The Cockettes a group photographic exhibition and installation co-hosted by the Jon Sims Center for the Arts. Curated by original Cockette and archivist Rumi who succeeded in his impersonations of Mick Jagger and Tina Turner in the legendary gender-bending hippie side-show.
Many former members of the group turned out for festivities including Kreemah Ritz, Fayette, Sweet Pam, Ocean Moon, Cactus, Tahara, Jet, Ralph, Scrumbly, and John Flowers. Also among the guest were formal GTO Miss Ricky, Supervisor Matt Gonzales, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld (Dr. Hip), novelist Herb Gold and Chet Helms of the Family Dog.
Rumi offers the Cockette’s collection on-line for countless others to enjoy and share.
Quotes about the Jon Sims Center opening“Thank you for a truly wonderful, historic evening. You worked so hard, but it is much appreciated by so many. You are truly a Living Treasure.”
-Burl Willes“Your exhibit captures a human quality that was missing at Yerba Buena. Original posters, copies of telegrams, quotes, and more esoteric photos, including the page from Hibiscus’s scrapbook, made it all seem more immediate. The sum total was to make this exhibit somehow more alive, more moving, and more pensive. You deserve kudos for your work. All of us who followed the Cockettes caught a bit of the esprit de corps. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are correct to say that there is a little Cockette in all of us…San Francisco is a bit of a haunted city for us survivors, and the ghosts wear glitter and tap shoes. Rumi, you seem to have the gift of not only remembering, but of telling the tale, and it was done well and with heart. You’ve done yourself and a legacy proud. I salute you for that.
-Astrid Mac Creadie“From out of the past comes this present via Rumi who has magnetized the work of photographers and poster artists who were there when it was happening–The Cockettes. Thank you Rumi for this insight into part of your life, those fab shows and times that whirles us into its vortex.”
-ruth weiss and Paul Blake