My intrepid writing coach just came home from a month in a castle in Scotland and kept applauding yesterday as I updated her on the last ten weeks in the life of this little fw2w blog. Much, beyond the most visible appearance of five new blogposts, has occurred_ none of it anticipated, and she thought some of you might be interested in knowing of these inner happenings.
This is the last week to see in person the Hampshire Bookshop exhibit at Smith College. The display in the Mortimer Rare Bookroom of Neilsen Library closes at the end of February. It was a delight to be able to look at photos of Marion Dodd and others as well as publications of the Shop that I had only read about. A visit here would combine well with a look at the Kathe Kollwitz exhibit at Smith’s Art Museum. Free parking is usually found along Elm Street.
I say “see in person” because this HBS exhibit is going to be digitized and made available online. It was in regards to this, a request for permission to publish from Smith Library, that I learned that fromwickedtowedded has been included in the show, printouts of the blog post on the HBS displayed as examples of its “Legacy” alongside photos of the Hestia Mural downtown that includes HBS founder Marion Dodd.
Thanks to Mt. Holyoke archivist Debbie Richards regular retweeting of the blog posts to LGBT archivists the post “Intro to the 1970s” reached Dyke, a Quarterly, which reposted it, generating some discussion, new following, and record “views.” Artemis Crow commented, “As queer space becomes increasingly hostile to lesbians, these old lessons on how we organized on our own become so much more valuable.” That fw2w post was also included by editor Judith Sara in the December 2015 online issue of the Valley OLOC newsletter. Thematically focused on Lesbian Herstory, the OLOC newsletter also included info about the blog and a photo and article about Green Street by Kathy SanAntonio.
On the research front, I found a story about a Springfield gay bar owner who had to go to the emergency room to get eighteen stitches in his arm because he tried to break up an argument in the bar and got attacked with a nail file. Local restauranting historian Jan Whitaker responded to fw2w’s request for more information on the Springfield bars with a lot of data she found on GenealogyBank, a searchable database that includes the archives of the Springfield newspapers. Thanks to her encouragement I subscribed to this service, handy for those of us with no academic database access, and have been researching news coverage of the bombing of a Springfield gay bar. I also learned who to contact to (successfully) obtain permission to republish the very first news coverage of the Gay Movement in the Valley.
More recently, the blog Only in Northampton posted a flyer for the Nutcracker Suite, a 70s lesbian enterprise, asking for information on behalf of a friend of a friend. An out-of-state professor (who has a double-focused doctorate in what we used to call women’s studies and phys. ed.!) is interested in 70s feminism and its connection to women’s self-defense and martial arts. I’ve shared with her the factual chronology I have on this and forwarded her query letter to those I know were part of that history. If you or anyone you know was part of the Nutcracker, student or teacher, please let me know so I can pass on more info to you and the professor, including how she may contact you if you wish.
This little flurry of first time audience feedback, connection with other enthusiasts and the accomplishment of some new publishing procedures has been very exciting and affirming. Did I say surprisingly gratifying? Back to regular posts soon. Coming next; “T” Is For…