Michael Schramm was my first close student friend at San Francisco State. I met
him the first week of school that fall of l960, and for years he was to be a
close young gay friends and provide many hundreds of hours of challenging
Mike was the son of Wilbur Schramm, a professor of mass communications at
Stanford University, and a noted scholar in that field of study. Mike was a
brilliant young man, another Mensa member with an incredibly high I.Q. and a
sophomore at State when I arrived.
Mike had one of the fastest and most retentive minds I ever encountered. He was
also a very attractive young man, slender and rosy cheeked, with blonde hair,
and very blue eyes at the top of a very pretty face. Mike was also gay. He was
also neurotic, hyper active, a self-styled psychologist who loved to wallow in
other people's minds and lives.
Mike seemed to remember everything his life had exposed him to. He forgot
nothing. He was extraordinarily sensitive both to his own behaviors and to the
behaviors and predispositions of others. He fell in love weekly, sometimes
daily, and never really knew how to pursue his loves. From the first time I met
him, he sensed I was gay, and told me of at least half-a-dozen loves he had
experienced during his first year at college.
His major love and sex interest at the beginning of his second year was a young
activist named Jefferson F. Poland. Jefferson was a beautiful smallish young man
with a muscular and slender build, dark piercing eyes, a sweet and inviting
smile when he wanted, and a great little compact body. He was a political and
social activist; no cause or movement escaped Jefferson's attentions.
When the infamous House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) came to San
Francisco in the spring of l960 to hold hearings investigating "subversive
communist plots and threats in the Bay Area," Jefferson Poland, and hundreds of
other students, protested vigorously at the San Francisco City Hall. As a
result, Jefferson had been washed down the half a hundred marble City Hall steps
by police and firemen trying to "restore order."
In falling down those marble steps he had suffered a broken ankle and was still
limping a little when I first met him in September. He and I had a number of
conversations over lunch and in my office, and I was attracted to him,
especially when he produced a birth certificate "proving" to me that his middle
initial, "F," actually stood for "Fuck."
Jefferson was also quite at home in the gay world, because he believed in the
power and the beauty and the joys of sex, no matter the gender, the age, or the
kind and type of sexual activity. Jefferson was a devoted and zealous believer
in nudity. The first time he visited my Westgate home, he stripped to his cute
bare body after his first drink, and after my permission, of course.
From then on he didn't even ask. And I always enjoyed the cute Jefferson. He was
indeed very attractive and had a huge dick and a huge set of balls.
Most of the time Jefferson wanted to talk and plan protests and campaigns, not
have sex. In the fall of l960 Jefferson had gotten involved with issues relating
to his commitment to sexual freedom, "the right of anyone to have any kind of
sex with anyone else whenever the two want, and the responsibility of the
government to stay out of all matters pertaining to sex between and among
people, including adult sex with so-called minors." Jefferson's agenda was an
extensive and exhausting one. He championed more causes than a dozen people
could have managed. During my first year at State I worked with him to get the
funds for and build an outdoor "Free Speech Center" in the heart of the campus,
a center with a large platform and public address equipment which would provide
opportunity for all people who had messages they wanted the public to hear to
present those messages.
We finally did get our Platform, and a budget for it, and during the years I was
there we had an array of interesting public speakers at the Platform during the
two noon hours it was available and during the late afternoon hours.
I remember Malcolm X, Norman Thomas, Governor Pat Brown, Richard Nixon, Eric
Hoffer, Martin Luther King, Harry Bridges, and Fred Schwartz, among the better
known guests. I remember also dozens, if not hundreds, of students and
non-students who just wanted to stand on a platform to advocate something or
reject something. The idea was a wonderful one for a college campus, and the
Free Speech Center was a lively place indeed to spend a lunch hour. Jefferson
Poland gets a doff of the hat for helping found it. I did not maintain contact
with Jefferson after l965, but later in the decade he did found and head the
"League for Sexual Freedom," and he was involved extensively with most of the
protest movements of the l960's, the countercultural protests against the
Vietnam War, the draft, and even, according to Martin Duberman, in the Stonewall
protests in New York in l969.
In his book, Stonewall, Duberman recalled that Jefferson showed up at both the
protests in l969 and at the first Gay Liberation Front parade in Los Angeles on
the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, June, l970: "Karla....ran into two
male genderfuck friends, Mother Boats and Jefferson Fuck Poland: Jeff was
wearing a woman's bikini bottom, long hair--and nothing else." (Stonewall, pp.8l
Included in my collection is a photograph of Jefferson, taken in San Francisco,
April, l963, which shows Jefferson holding two signs, one of which says
"Legalize Cunnilingus and Fellatio;" the other, "Support our picket. Write to
Governor Brown." Jefferson Fuck Poland, with a big smile and twinkling eyes, is
naked except for a bra and a g-string. The place, our Free Speech Platform at
San Francisco State College.
But back to Mike Schramm, and Jefferson Poland. In l960-6l Mike's big objective
was to woo and win the heart of Jefferson and to settle in to a life in which
all of Mike's sexual fantasies about Jeff would be fulfilled. When Mike
inaugurated a crusade, he did so with great fervor and dedication, and only
after an abundance of preparation and materials.
That year, Jefferson lived in an apartment a block or two from city hall. Mike
staked out the apartment for weeks, compiling an hour to hour dossier on
Jefferson's goings, and, Mike hoped, comings. Mike followed Jeff to school, to
meetings, to classes, and back home. Mike came to know almost everyone Jefferson
knew and knew Jefferson's schedule probably even better than Jefferson. After a
few weeks, Mike had several spring-binders full of Jeffersonia. Their purposes
and contributions to the quest I was never certain of, but I didn't have to be,
since Mike knew precisely how his collected materials would be used to win the
battle for the mind and body of Jefferson Poland. Having done such extensive
preparation, how could he fail in his quest even if the use of the preparation
were vague? Jefferson would be so overwhelmed that someone cared so much to know
him so well that he would surrender immediately and completely.