Also on this website:
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life With the
Navajo (with Walter Williams)
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of
Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe
LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
Why gay people should NOT Marry
Shame on the American People
The "highest form of love"
cause of homosexuality
What Jesus said about Gay
The purpose of homosexuality
of Gay Spirituality
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
"It's Always About You"
Not A Wave
The myth of the
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection,
The Nature of Religion
Gay is a Blessing
Gay Spiritual Functions
"The Evolution of Gay Identity"
"St. John of the
Dark Night of the Soul."
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
Let Me Tell You a Secret
Religious Articulations of the
The Collective Unconscious
Driving as Spiritual Practice
Prostitution and the Nature of Evil
Hu: "God is present here"
retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Seeing with Different Eyes
experience at the Servites' Castle in Riverside
Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis
The Techniques Of The World Saviors
Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the
Part 2: The
Part 3: Jesus
and the Resurrection
Part 4: A
Course in Miracles
Secret of the Clear Light
Understanding the Clear Light
Souls Get Reincarnated
About Alien Abduction
In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke
and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.
Michael Talbot, gay mystic
Guy Mannheimer was Toby Johnson's first lover.
They met at a Gay/Straight Men's Gathering in San Francisco in Spring
1972 co-sponsored by Gay-Rap.
Guy was living in Menlo Park, CA at that time. He and about 6 other
people, gay and straight, were living in a house--called Werder
House (2100 Santa Cruz Ave.)--that had previously been the home of
members of The Grateful
Dead. Toby used to hitchhike down the Pennisula to see Guy.
That next summer Toby was on staff at the Mann Ranch Seminars (see The Joseph Campbell
Connection). About halfway through the summer, Guy joined him, and
then remained on staff for the next three years. (Also on staff in
those days was a wonderful woman named Marty Kent Jones.)
Mann Ranch Staff 1973 (?)
Guy on the left, then Toby, then Geri Olson, below Nina ?
(The long haired blond woman is Janice McHugh, a
Canadian "undocumented alien"
living as a "hippie-chick" in San Francisco, who'd come to live in
Toby's household on Arguello Street)
In 1973, partly because their friend Peter Goldblum was teaching in the
training program--and partly because Toby had met Terry Carlson who was
then working as a Psych Tech at Mt Zion Hospital Crisis Clinic and
convinced him that was a good job--Toby and Guy moved to Napa and
trained to become Licensed Psychiatric Technicians at Napa State
In 1975 they returned to San Francisco, living in an apartment on 18th
Street, between Noe and Sanchez, just down the block from the center of
the Castro District. Toby got a job--as hoped for--at Mt Zion. Guy had
found psychiatric nursing to be uncomfortable, and declined to follow
that vocation track. During that time Guy discovered BAGL, Bay Area Gay
Liberation, and then got Toby interested also. It was that involvement
that indirectly led to Toby's work at the Tenderloin Clinic and the D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance
(perhaps the most important thing Toby Johnson actually ever did to
affect the course of gay history).
After about six months, Toby and Guy parted amicably, though not
without pain. They remained friends.
In the late 70s, Guy became partners with Dan Hampshire. They lived
together until Guy's death from AIDS in 1989.
Guy was a second generation Holocaust survivor. He'd been born in a
displaced persons camp in Switzerland. His father, an attorney, had
returned to Germany to help other Jews get out of the country; he was
arrested and died subsequently at Auschwitz. Guy's mother, Rita,
remained in Switzerland with her two children. After the war, she moved
to New York City where Guy grew up.
Guy's whole life was colored by her experience of losing everything. It
tormented him AND it made him especially sensitive to others' suffering.
When Guy and Toby met, Guy was in growth-oriented psychotherapy with
famed gay psychologist Don Clark. Clark was an important influence in
both their lives.
in the 1970s, Guy studied calligraphy with an old Jewish wiseman in San
Francisco. As an exercise he produced a sampler with a quote from EM
Forster. Though the wording is slightly off, it's a wonderful quote.
Toby Johnson used Guy's sampler as a frontispiece for his novel Secret Matter
Guy was surely an example of that
aristocracy: sensitive, considerate and plucky.
Here's the panel for Guy in the AIDS Quilt.
Note the pink triangle and yellow triangle combined to form a Mogen
About Esther Bell:
One evening in 1975, Guy and I had gone
to a movie in the area of San Francisco called North Beach. It was cold
and dark when we got out. We went down to the corner to wait for a bus.
Already at the bus stop was a very old lady. She immediately engaged us
in conversation, and then when the bus arrived asked for our help to
get her up the steps. She had severe emphysema.
Over the next year, Guy and I became
friends and occasional caretakers of the old lady. And after Guy and I
broke up, I took over the job on my own. My oversight of her lated
about three years, after which her relatives had her put in a nursing
home where she subsequently died, probably at age 90 or so.
Her name was Esther Bell. She
entertained us with stories of her life. As a young woman, she'd been
the jewelry and high couture buyer for I. Magnin's Department Store inn
downtown San Francisco. She told how she regularly sailed on the Queen
Mary steamship from New York to Marseilles to travel to Paris to seek
out upscale merchandise. Occasionally she travelled with Mr. Magnin
Esther also produced a line of her own
jewelry, under the name Estabel.
She gave us some of her pieces (which
unfortunately were later lost in a robbery of my home).
Most of the Estabel line was broaches --
most with a floral theme or insect theme: enamel pansies, for instance,
and painted or enameled wasps.
Meeting Esther Bell was one of the
highlights of our lives in San Francisco in those days.