Last week’s chapter found Jimmy and Eric having lunch on Capitol Hill at a place called the Hawk and Dove. Unlike most of the places mentioned in the story, the Hawk and Dove (or Hawk ‘n’ Dove to be more precise) is an actual bar/pub/restaurant in Washington that’s been around for many years.
Opened originally in 1967, it has changed quite a bit since then. Indeed, that’s true for the Capitol Hill area generally, especially the Capitol itself and the surrounding congressional complex. Once considered the people’s house, the Capitol has been turned into an armed fortress these days that’s really only for political insiders, not ordinary Americans.
It’s a disgrace, but I digress.
The point is that the Hawk and Dove was a popular gathering spot on Capitol Hill back in the 1970s when our story takes place. While I’m told the current version is nothing like the original, feel free to check it out if you’re ever in Washington.
Most of the other places mentioned in the story are real in some sense as well. They’re fictionalized versions of actual places that existed in Washington a half century ago. In some cases I’ve tried to stay true to the original. The Hide and Seek, for example, is a fictional version of the Lost and Found, the biggest gay bar in Washington for many years back in the 1970s and 1980s.
I’ve tried to stick close to the original for many of the other places in the story like Exiles & Castaways and Outlaws. In some cases, however, I’ve taken liberties in one way or another for narrative purposes.
In tonight’s chapter, for example, you’ll be introduced to a place called Head & Tails. It’s an altered and somewhat cleaned up version of the Cinema Follies, which had a tragic but somewhat colorful history.
In trying to capture the era that I’m writing about, I’ve relied on accounts from others who were alive back then as well as on a lot of documentary records that have been collected and preserved about gay life in Washington by The Rainbow History Project.
The Project has done great work in preserving gay history in Washington. Feel free to contribute if you’re interested in supporting that work . . . and be sure to mention me if you do 🙂
So, yeah, there’s a lot more that goes into writing a story like this than meets the eye; and while I think I’ve done a pretty good job of capturing the era, I’d be the last to say I’ve gotten everything exactly right.
But feel free to let me know if you have questions about any of the places mentioned. I’ll do my best to answer them, but keep in mind that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the many gay establishments that existed back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in Washington.
In any event, Jimmy and Eric discussed a variety of things over lunch at the Hawk and Dove, including Jimmy’s new outfit and his reaction to the bars he had visited that weekend. When Jimmy complained at one point about not having a job, Eric told him his job was to keep Jeff happy and that he should be getting an allowance for doing that.
In the ensuing discussion, the two exchanged thoughts on allowances and open relationships, revealed some secrets to one another, and finally got around to discussing the club Eric had mentioned to Jimmy when the two first met Friday evening.
Jimmy seemed interested in joining the club initially as a way of making some new friends. But once Eric explained how the club worked and what was involved, Jimmy became less certain what he wanted to do.
Toward the end of lunch Eric suggested the two visit a place called Head and Tails where Bobbie worked as a dancer and where Eric thought Jimmy might be able to get a job if he was still interested in doing so. Jimmy quickly agreed and that’s where this week’s chapter picks up.
I hope you’re reading this introduction since I left town on Wednesday and will not be back until Sunday. Scheduling these posts and a new chapter in advance is always a challenge for me 🙂
Hopefully everything worked out fine. If so, have fun reading Chapter 13.