Thursday, April 11, 2013

133 North Front Street - Philadelphia - 1918 - Classic Late 19th Century Urban Warehouse/Factory Loft Building


Lois Kibbee – Queen Bee of Closeted Broadway Lesbian (Underground) Society of Yesteryear

A great line in the movie Caddyshack put me on the floor laughing yesterday with an old style vaudeville delivery in the character of Rodney Dangerfield addressing the character of Lois Kibbee, playing the wife of Ted Knight the actor in that movie.

Dangerfield: “Hey Babe, you must have been something before electricity.”


Well it is strange talking about Lois after all these many years later.  

That I see lately so much pain in the Gay community over this equality civil rights issue.

Lois lived her life with a quiet defined demure but determined closeted butch attitude in her acting role on day time soaps and as part time writer, ghost writer then to a famous transsexual, if I am using that term correctly – getting stiffed on her ghost writer’s fee. 

What was a closeted lesbian do in those days?  Sue? Bring attention to herself in public in a world that would discard her if she lost her “straight” mask.

That she and her lover, a failed, never made it, wannabe opera diva, was something in memory's retrospect, equivalent somewhat to a female version of La Cage aux Folles. LOL

Of course I was raised a good Catholic Boy and when I did meet Lois and Elana I had no direct knowledge of who or what they were or represented. I had a idea of what the situation was but they remained totally behind their masks to me a stranger even if I had a blood connection to Elana of sorts.

So much of the ignorance of Catholicism about the basic human sex product that had no source book or words for a modern world moving so quickly and or to help move a shadow world of the arts with its primary sexuality out of the closet back then.

That in retrospect, I was used as a beard on occasion by Elena and Lois in public and didn’t even know it until some years afterwards. Till I thought about it as the Gay community and its dictionary of terms and gestures became more public as they came out of their many times tortured closets into the full light of human dignity as the Creator intended it. 

Such is my slow perhaps dumb nature of things, of words not in use, in vogue or understanding even into the early 1980s.

All I wanted was some mentoring on my writing and Lois very kindly gave time to read and advise.

Thank you Lois.

I never made it to your funeral. I was away in Arizona. Had not heard of it at the time. Sorry. RIP

It must have been something, the funeral like your life.