Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Salute to Lee Balterman 3/31/11 by:Jerry Pritikin

Top Picture and 2nd Lee Balterman with Nurse Misha, 3rd Lee at the Apollo 11 Astronaut Parade and 4th Lee Between friends and Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams

(Chicago March 31,2011) I spent time with my good friend Lee Balterman today, on the eve of the 2011 Cubs Baseball Season. I first met Lee on the last day of the 1984 "ALMOST" Cubs season, and today we spoke about the good times we have had since. Many of times we spent New Years, Opening Days and 4th of July and often with our sidekick Carmella Hartigan. After Carmella died in 2002, we have hardly spent time at Wrigley. A few years ago, Lee had a stroke and it looked like he might be meeting up with Carmella, Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray and my dad in the Heavenly Confines. However, be that as it may... he has bounced back like a cat with nine lives. He gets around with a wheel chair, but his mind is a sharp as a Ginsu Knife! In the past few years he has spent much of his times putting his thousands and thousands of negative and slides in order. He has had shoots with several Presidents,Astonauts, Movie Stars, Athletes and street people. Over the last 40 years he has spent many shoots on Milwaukee Avenue, showing the great changes during that time. Lee has had several succesful shows at Chicago's Daiter's Gallery. At 90, he does not use glasses and still takes his camera with him whenever he leaves his apartment at the Kenwood Senior Assistant Living on Sheridan Road. I have noticed that over the past few years, that Lee gets more hits then most of my postings, and for sure, more than the Cubs on most days. If you have any questions or comments that you would like me to give to Lee, please do. I am one lucky fellow, over the years Lee has documented many years of me as the Bleacher Preacher in and around the Friendly Confines. Tomorrow, along with Lee, we will not be at the Cubs Opener... but I'm not complaining. I spent on the avaerage 5 hours at each of the thousand games I witnessed since the mid 80s. Please come back and spend some times in my archives, and later this year... I will be featured in an upcoming documentary about my photographs of San Francisco in the 1970s.
Cheers for Now... Jerry

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today, I went downtown and took advantage of the early voting for the run-off for Alderman in the 43rd ward. I voted for my friend Michele Smith. When I was known as the Bleacher Preacher and roamed the Friendly Confines of Chicago's Wrigley Field, it was said I could smell the scent of a TV camera from 50 yards away... today it was over 100 yards. Probably because there were TV reporters and camera crews on hand at the Daley Center. A group made up of students from Howard University (Washington D.C.) were on their spring break, holding a rally against guns and teen violence. They were armed with handmade signs. The main speaker was the well-known Chicago Priest, Michael Pfleger. He's been an advocate for many years speaking out against the plague of senseless shootings that have taken too many young lives in Chicago, especially within the black communities.

I wished I had known about the rally, because I would of brought my anti-gun poster, which I had made back in 1999(see attachment). I have been an anti-gun advocate since the early 1960's. I recall too well the assassinations of J.F.K., Rev. Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and my friends Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone back in the late 1960s. I remember the good Senator Joseph Tidings of Maryland, who took on the National Rifle Association after King and Bobby were gunned down in 1968. I found out then about the powerful influence the NRA had on elections. It collected money from all over the country to oust Tidings in 1971, and almost everyone else since, who has tried to talk common sense with the NRA. Before I arrived at today's event, rolled up diplomas had been passed out to the onlookers, and on a signal from one of the speaker, they were opened up. They contained the names of 68 school-aged Chicago shooting victims. It was a unique way to show that these kids will never get their high school diplomas.

The Governor of Illinois announced his plan that increase the tax by a dollar on a pack of cigarettes. I believe that cigarettes should be banned altogether. Cigarettes now kill thousands of smokers of all ages. However, our wise politicians prefer to collect taxes on them, because it pays for so many federal, and state-funded programs. I have a better tax idea based on the same principal for selling guns. We all know that guns kill, but the powerful gun lobby wants you to think it's not the guns that kill. With my idea, we can tax the gun buyers and gun sellers to death (pun intended) for a change. The tax can be based on how many bullets the guns or the clips hold. Also tax the bullets... like the old luxury tax. The only exemption would be for state and local law enforcement. I also had an idea... it's like the sick jokes of the 1950s, except it's not a joke. I believe that the NRA should give shooting lessons to street gang bangers on how to hit their targets. The saddest element of the news these days seem to be how many innocent youth get shot. Often these are the good kids, who get good grades and seldom are absent from school. Ironically, the NRA might be willing to do that, providing they get a tax incentive write-off for their effort. ALL PHOTOS (c) JERRY PRITIKIN

Sunday, March 6, 2011

C.David Kulman... A Gay Original! By Jerry Pritikin

Friday September 28-2012

I just received word that my good friend and first client Davis has past away. It's a shame some of his clients matches were not made into movies or books. Here is something I Posted over a year ago... it will give you an idea of the One-of-a-Kind Gay Original!

Back in 1974, C.David Kulman, aka David the Matchmater, went into business on Polk Street in San Francisco, as the first openly gay dating service in the country. Those were the days before computers and video cameras. From his apartment, decorated in early St. Vincent
DePaul furniture, he set up shop armed with a Polaroid camera and 5" x 7" cards on which he listed the information needed to match up his clients. He had a background in show biz, and was now a cross between Yenta, the matchmaker in Fiddler on the
Roof, and Dolly Levi from Hello Dolly. He spoke with a New York Jewish twangy accent and wore a distinguished graying Van Dyke beard. He began advertising in the San Francisco gay newspapers. His tag lines were MEET THAT SPECIAL MAN and DO I HAVE I GOT A MAN FOR
YOU. His service was for relationships only, not one night stands. His clients came from all walks of life, including married men who worked for Fortune 500 Companies, business owners, and even a few clergymen. He matched his clients, usually within the same age bracket, with similar interests. As time went by his membership fee's went from $150 up to $600 a year.

I was then a part time publicist, who specialized in gay clients and businesses, at a time it was not fashionable to be openly gay, even in San Francisco. I enjoyed promoting unusual clients. David the Matchmater's ads caught my attention, and I contacted him. I felt I could help promote his business in both gay and non-gay media. I had several stints as his PR guru, starting in 1977. He advertised on my TV Gay Sports Show ( really a radio show on Viacom cable channel 6). I also got him to advertise in various gay sport leagues' programs. Over the years I was able to introduce him in an article in the Advocate (national gay newspaper) and in a San Francisco Examiner feature story. David was the first openly gay business in San Francisco to advertise in the personal columns of both the Chronicle and the Examiner. He was the first gay business to advertise nationally in the Yellow Pages. I also placed him in several timely mentions in Herb Caen's gossip column in the Chronicle. In 1977 he donated 6 annual memberships to the Bay Area's PBS/KQED TV Auction, for a PBS fund raiser-- another gay first in the nation. In the Summer of 1980 I placed David on one of the first gay stories originating from San Francisco on the new CNN network. The same year I contacted Phil Donahue and he flew several of David's clients and myself to Chicago to be on his ToDAY SHOW segment. The response was so great that David began to get inquiries from all over the country prompting him to open offices in San Diego and West Hollywood.

Now 85, David resides in San Diego and has retired from the match-mating game. He writes about show business and does restaurants reviews for the Presidio Sentinel Newspaper. He keeps himself busy going to plays and movies and dining out several nights a week,and has a cat named Samantha. He was a one-of-a-kind gay original. I am sure many of the men he matched were lucky to have used his service and I'm certain many of them are still together today.
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