Remembering the PTown of the Clinton Era There was something about that time; the Clinton Era, the prosperity, the sense of a new generation of high-brow gays up in Provincetown. Wally White's Lie Down With Dogs came out in 1995, and it caught the mood of that time, its very zeitgeist, with remarkable unconscious precision. For a brief moment, White was the chronicler of the age.
(Gay film producer/actor Wally White;
with Randy Becker in Provincetown, as the lead in Lie Down With Dogs, Miramax Films, 1995)How different this dawning era will be: two Bush Administrations , the Iraq war, and a dissolving economy separate this time from that Wally White moment like a vast impeccable ocean; a barrier which cannot be breached. We can never go back. I recall being up in Provincetown on a hot summer night in 2001, and Bowie's All the Young Dudes was playing in the little bar, at the A-House. The door was open, it was hot, August, and the bar was filled with smoke (no smoking ban yet; that would come 2 years later); and it is odd, but that song made me feel that Wally White was being serenaded, and bid adieu. I was correct; an era was closing.
We do not know what changes Obama will bring, along with the forces which are in the saddle now, and ride our nation. But we can know for certain that it will be different. In any case, I remember with fondness Wally White. My husband had never seen two men go at it the way they did, Wally and Randy Becker : Macho, very butch, but full of sensitivity. He told me he experienced White almost as a revelation from a distant land. How often these life-transforming moments will come in the form of a look, a gesture, of someone in a film. My husband has now been dead almost three years. My hat's off to him, and to Wally White. . .