by Joey Plaster
As with any community history project, this narrative has been a collaboration. I am indebted to a number of people.
I deeply appreciate Peter Nicholson’s (OC 91) assistance. He was with me as I conducted one of my first oral histories and has since provided invaluable support and incredibly helpful advice throughout every stage of the project.
For reading and commenting on narrative drafts, I thank William Benemann, Roland Baumann, Stephen Calvert (OC 62), Brian Claeys, Alicia Eler (OC 06), Robert Fuller (OC 56), Terence Kissack, Clayton Koppes, Gerard Koskovich, Carol Lasser, Carol Levine (OC 84), Martin Meeker, Meredith Raimondo, and Timothy Stewart-Winter.
I am grateful to the more than thirty individuals whose financial contributions made this website possible, including Richard Bailey (OC 51), Andrew Bernard (OC 76), Donald Downs (OC 62), Gareth Fenley (OC 83), Robert Fuller (OC 56; president 1970-74), Peter Goldman (OC 81), Michael Ieong (OC 87), Michael Jarvis, Ph.D. (OC 69), Anthony Levintow (OC 84), Jane Lincoln (OC 81), Glen Mimura (OC 89), Eric Nilson (OC 82) & Jeffrey Mostade (The Hermes Foundation), Dr. Larry Palmer (OC 60), Bill Pfeiffer, Jr. (OC 74), Christa Rakich (OC 74), Mark Smith (OC 90), David Winkworth (OC 85), and Herbert D. Zeman, Ph.D. (OC 65). Thanks to Mike Nolan and Annette Jeffrey (OC 93) of the Oberlin Office of Leadership Giving and Peter Nicholson for helping connect me with donors.
Thanks to Melanie Hart (OC 00), who designed the website. She has been incredibly thorough, thoughtful, and intelligent with her work.
Special thanks to Professor Carol Lasser for serving as academic advisor to the private reading that launched this project and for later allowing me to mine her vast knowledge of Oberlin’s early history.
Special thanks also to Timothy Stewart-Winter for regularly sharing of his encyclopedic knowledge of queer history, commenting on multiple drafts of the narrative, for being encouraging and delightful, and for many other reasons.
I am in debt to the staff at the Oberlin College Archives, especially Roland Baumann and Ken Grossi, for patiently providing information and material over a period of many months. Thanks to Oberlin Lambda Alumni, especially Carol Levine (OC 84), Diepiriye S. Kuku (OC 97), and Chanel Chambers (OC 97).
Thanks to everyone at the San Francisco GLBT Historical Society, especially Terence Kissack and Jacob Richards, for acting as fiscal sponsor to the project and maintaining an inspiring space for queer history and community. Thanks to Don Frazell for graciously assisting with audio and for answering many technology-related questions. Gerard Koskovich deserves credit for originally inspiring and helping guide the project. Much love to the late Willie Walker, Historical Society co-founder, archivist, and friend.
Thanks also to Stephen Calvert (OC 62) for editing assistance, never-ending enthusiasm, and demands for perfection, all of which have meant a great deal. Thanks to Alicia Eler (OC 06) for fantastic research assistance and for tracking down the perfect photos from the Oberlin College Archives to accompany the narrative.
Thanks to George Galt (OC 69) for providing and allowing me to use songs from Ant Trip Ceremony’s album 24 Hours and to Jesse Sanford and Jason Fleetwood-Boldt for technical assistance.
Most of all, I want to thank the over seventy individuals I interviewed for the project. Their willingness to share their personal histories has made this undertaking possible.