Audio Interview, Tony Mascioli, November 2011

  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Fox sponsored this half-hour show,
  • I think it was every week.
  • And because we had a special gimmick on Sunday afternoons,
  • we had play--
  • young musicians from the Juilliard School.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Oh, yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, that attracted their attention,
  • and they asked us if we would like to put
  • the place on their program.
  • Well, we needed all the free publicity we could get.
  • At the time, there were like ten bathhouses in New York.
  • This was 1976, before AIDS.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So I agreed to be the person interviewed
  • for this.
  • A woman interviewed me.
  • And I showed no mercy in the frankness
  • because it was that kind of a program.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So Tim says, "I think you ought to let--
  • I think they ought to put whatever you're doing here--"
  • he says, "They ought to put that in there, that infomercial."
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Do you have a copy of that?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, I only have one copy.
  • I'm in the process of having Greg Winter convert it
  • from that awful VHS, which it has
  • to be done anyway, because it's going to deteriorate.
  • And I wanted to give it to a few people.
  • In some ways, it's hysterical.
  • In some ways, it gives you a sense
  • of what was going on in the '70s.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: This was made in 1976.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And Greg--
  • I never play those things.
  • So he set up my--
  • that player in the office.
  • I didn't want it in here, because I don't use it.
  • But I do have to measure the numbers on the tape,
  • so he converted onto that.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So at that time--
  • I don't know how soon all this is happening.
  • I don't know how long--
  • much time you need for such things, or do
  • you want to even--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Well--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Or do you even want
  • me to attempt to set it up--
  • if I can get it to play, it's going to--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: If Greg is going to make copies
  • for you, if we could get a copy of it,
  • that would be sufficient.
  • The goal is to finish this in time
  • for the ImageOut Festival next year, 2012.
  • That's the goal.
  • Now that means we have to raise--
  • we have to raise a total of 120, but we need 40
  • to do the filming.
  • I've already raised, through the $3 bill campaign
  • and through other people, about 7,000 or 8,000
  • of the forty that we need immediately to go
  • into filming and production.
  • But my personal goal--
  • the Alliance was incorporated in 1973.
  • I want this done by its fortieth anniversary, which
  • will be 2013.
  • I'm shooting for 2012, hoping we can get everything we need
  • and get it done.
  • But by 2013, it will be finished.
  • It will be complete.
  • And I have committed myself to do
  • nothing else but this project until it gets done
  • and I raise the money.
  • Do you know Christopher Layton, the designer?
  • I've been talking to him.
  • And I'm going to ask him for a large chunk.
  • He offered to help finance a new building for the Alliance.
  • Well, I already told him the Alliance
  • doesn't need a new building.
  • As a matter of fact, I'm not sure having
  • a building in this day and age is the way to go.
  • I mean, it's, one, a huge expense,
  • but two, the upkeep, the maintenance, you know,
  • all of that.
  • You've got to have a longevity of financial resources
  • that will continue to feed that.
  • And the Alliance will always be in existence.
  • That's not going away.
  • But would it be better to not have a building
  • and use that money for programming?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, that's an interesting concept,
  • but look at the one in New York.
  • They have a huge place.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I know.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Am I allowed to have a cocktail?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Absolutely.
  • This is your home.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I think I need something to--
  • my eye is really bothering me.
  • Of course, you don't want one, or do you?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: No, I don't.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: The last time I
  • saw you were sitting in that restaurant, you said--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: "I'm having a martini.
  • I deserve it."
  • EVELYN BAILEY: (Laughs) That's because I'd
  • turned sixty-five, Tony.
  • Sixty-five.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: When did you turn Sixty-five?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: October 27th.
  • CREW: October 27th was-- (recording ends)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You think it's not that long ago, really.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I mean, that you had to go into a bar,
  • there was a paid policeman sitting there at a desk,
  • and you had to write your name down-- almost like being
  • in Nazi Germany.
  • If it was even open at all, they had
  • a cop at the entrance sitting at a desk
  • and watching everything that was going on.
  • You couldn't leave with anybody or anything like that.
  • It was all being watched.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, see, and I--
  • you know, I didn't come out until late '80s.
  • So when I came out, the gay community was there.
  • They're visible.
  • They're vocal.
  • They're--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, yeah.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Where did you come out, here?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Here, yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You're from Rochester originally?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yep.
  • But we need to talk to people like you
  • because, yeah, we've got this great resource now,
  • the forty years of The Empty Closet
  • to look at the history from 1971 on,
  • but we need to talk to people like you to tell us,
  • what was it like before 1971 here?
  • You know, what was it--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, you got to remember that I really left.
  • I wasn't here.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But when--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: But when did you leave?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Well--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I came out in 1948,
  • so I can tell you about that.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: So yeah, the '48s,
  • the '50s, that's what we're looking for, you know.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: And please don't be upset,
  • but when were you born?
  • What's your birth date, Tony?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, date?
  • Of the year?
  • The month and year?
  • December 19, 30.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: December 19, 1930.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And I came out at the earliest possible moment
  • when I got out of high school.
  • I mean, I knew where the gay bar was and everything.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: What gay bar?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, there was one
  • on-- it was a mixed place.
  • It was on South-- it was on Clinton Avenue,
  • called the Glass Bar.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: The Glass Bar?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Never heard of it.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, it wasn't
  • completely gay, but mostly.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Was it like North Clinton, South Clinton?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was, well, you
  • have to take those buildings that were there.
  • There was the Seneca that became the Manger, which
  • became Midtown Plaza.
  • There was a hotel there.
  • Not too far toward Court Street, not too far, in the middle of--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, so right downtown, then?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, it was right downtown.
  • And it was on the second floor.
  • You had to go in and go up the stair, a flight of stairs.
  • And it was a very interesting place.
  • Of course, I was just coming out.
  • And you know, they had entertainment of sorts.
  • They always had a three-piece combo
  • playing up on top of the bar.
  • Had a little class to it, you know.
  • Strippers sometimes, female strippers.
  • Not male.
  • And people sat around the bar.
  • It was a sort of happening place for the time.
  • And that was '48, '49.
  • I don't even remember exactly when they closed, because then
  • I went away in '49.
  • And then I came to New York, and then I
  • came back here for a few years.
  • That place wasn't there anymore.
  • Then there was another place called the Oasis.
  • Did anybody ever mention that?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: No.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: No.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, the Oasis
  • was not very-- it was a very short-lived affair.
  • It was on South Avenue beyond the library a little bit.
  • And can you believe, the thing that made the Oasis
  • such a hot ticket was they--
  • you could-- they had a back room.
  • And nowadays back rooms are for sex.
  • That was a back room for dancing.
  • That was a big deal, being--
  • that was quite thrilling, to be able to go dancing with a man.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Why?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Horrible.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Why?
  • We--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, you couldn't dance in-- no,
  • dancing between men and the same (unintelligible)-- well,
  • women danced, even at weddings and all that stuff.
  • But men didn't dance together, and they
  • weren't even allowed to.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Was there a law against it?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, I don't know,
  • but when I was working in Atlantic City during that era,
  • '49, '50, they had a place--
  • not in Atlantic City.
  • You had to drive out in the--
  • fifteen, twenty miles out just to this roadhouse.
  • And you could dance there.
  • But no, it was all very sub rosa.
  • No, it was not legal at all.
  • They could arrest you, I think.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, they would usually
  • raid the place if they saw--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, they'd raid it.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: -- two men dancing.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Just for dancing.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Right.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Wow.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: So like, you know, in '48, '49
  • here in Rochester, how did you find out
  • about the gay community?
  • How did you know where to go?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I was sexually motivated
  • from the time I was six.
  • And I just--
  • I kind of knew a couple of people
  • that I thought were in the club, so to speak, in high school.
  • But we never really got too thick.
  • I had my own friends.
  • I was very much in love with a straight guy.
  • But as soon as I got out of high school,
  • and I was old enough to get served--
  • eighteen then-- I started going to the Glass Bar.
  • I'd go in there and buy one drink, and within five minutes,
  • I'd have five or six beers.
  • That's-- was the style then.
  • People were sending me all the drinks.
  • I was a hot little ticket.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: (Laughs)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I bet you were.
  • I've heard that from other people.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, have you?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • Tim Tompkins said you were something else.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, those were the glory days.
  • And I took every advantage of it of.
  • I was one date right after another.
  • But anyway.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: What year then did you leave for New York?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, I have to think about it.
  • '48 is when I started going to the Glass Bar.
  • There was another place on Front Street, the original.
  • Not the one that later became Martha's,
  • but her husband, Dick, ran a joint on Front Street.
  • Did you know about that?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: I know about Front Street, but I was--
  • I'm trying to find out--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was a--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: -- within that district if there was a few gay
  • bars in that area.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, it was a few feet
  • from Main Street on the river side,
  • when you couldn't see the river.
  • In those days, Front Street was a wall of buildings.
  • You know, you didn't even know there was a river there.
  • And this was a haunt, a dive, just a bar, very--
  • mixed with dregs of humanity, you know.
  • That was for-- that was like the Bowery, Front Street.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So some of them would be in this place,
  • but mostly it was an off--
  • you know, it was a gay bar, so there
  • was that one and the Glass Bar.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Do you remember the name
  • of the bar on Front Street?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Dick's.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Dick's.
  • OK.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was Dick's.
  • And then Martha got involved with him,
  • and then that became an institution later on.
  • I think they moved--
  • two of them moved to another location on Front Street,
  • across on this side.
  • I think they started demolishing that side to open it up.
  • So I'm pretty sure they opened on the other side of Front
  • Street, the two of them.
  • She used to work there as a barmaid.
  • And then they moved uptown, so to speak, on Stone Street,
  • you know, and that part you've probably heard about.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Haven't you?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • Martha, was her last name Gruttadauria?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, I don't know.
  • I don't know what her last name was.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Is she the one who was killed?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: She was brutally murdered.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • Her last name was Gruttadauria.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Was it Gruttadauria?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Really?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: From the Gruttadauria bakery people?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • They were-- I understand.
  • I don't know, because in 1948, I was two, in Boston.
  • But I heard they were mafia, the Gruttadauria--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, yeah.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: -- family.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I don't know.
  • I don't know.
  • There was a sort of a gangstery guy
  • that used to run the Glass Bar.
  • I don't know whatever became of him
  • and why that bar closed, but I know he was making--
  • he must've been making money there.
  • Then-- you know how one thing leads to another avenue when
  • you're telling--
  • but you want to--
  • I can't give it the exact year unless I really
  • do some thinking about--
  • then there was a sort of what elegant--
  • there were two elegant bars.
  • There was one on Gibbs Street, across from the Eastman
  • Theater, called the Town and Country.
  • Did you ever--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, yeah.
  • I knew about that.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And that--
  • now, where does that, exactly--
  • was that later?
  • Was that a--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: That--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: That was in the '50s.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: That was very big in the '50s and '60s
  • if I remember, even maybe up until the '70s,
  • I think it was very big.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, that long?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Two men ran that place.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And then there was one on East Avenue,
  • but not completely gay, which I loved, called the 44 and 1/2.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: The 44 and 1/2?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: 44 and 1/2.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: At 44 and 1/2 East Avenue.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Never heard of that one.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was--
  • I mean, and things were chicer then than they are now.
  • This was a little club that had wonderful singers.
  • I know you've probably never heard of Jeri Southern,
  • but they had the likes of Jeri Southern singing there.
  • You know, she was--
  • she never became any Peggy Lee, but I loved her.
  • And I still have her records.
  • And I caught her act there, just singing and the piano player,
  • you know.
  • And it was very elegant, 44 and 1/2 East Avenue.
  • But I don't know.
  • That only lasted, I think, a few years.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: So tell me, then,
  • I mean, back in '40s, early '50s,
  • was there a sort of mix of the gay community
  • with the straight community at these wonderful clubs?
  • Was it kind of hush-hush, or--?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, like the guy I told you about,
  • Mike Cinani, that I was in love with in high school,
  • he used to patronize the Glass Bar.
  • I used to patronize the Glass Bar.
  • I mean, we're there for two completely different things.
  • That might give me and you a clue.
  • He was looking for women.
  • So there had to be women there, because he was getting them.
  • And there were men there.
  • It was luscious.
  • I mean, I-- well, of course, I was young at the time.
  • But it was exciting.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And then they had the stripper on the stage,
  • right on top of the bar, with the wonderful three-piece
  • music.
  • You know, I found it all very exciting.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Well, what about the community's attitudes
  • towards gays and lesbians?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I tell you, I never--
  • I don't know why.
  • I just never had any problem.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Never worried about it.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No.
  • My friend, my-- you know Frank, one of my best friends,
  • Frank, that-- he's very big.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: He and I went to the same Catholic school
  • for eight years, Mount Carmel on Ontario Street.
  • Now he wasn't always big like he is now.
  • When we were in grammar school, he was a shrimp like me.
  • And they were always just-- used to be like at the front
  • of those processions.
  • You know, they used to graduate the heights.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, anyway, he only--
  • I didn't even know this until recently,
  • but when we came out the front door of Mount Carmel,
  • he used to turn right.
  • And I used to turn left to go to North Street.
  • There weren't very many kids living there.
  • That was all stores on North Street.
  • So I didn't have a whole lot of friends.
  • But he told me recently that he was frequently
  • beaten up going that way.
  • I don't know why, but nobody ever,
  • ever bothered me or followed me or did anything like that.
  • I don't have an explanation.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Now, was Frank Italian?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, we were all Italian,
  • the whole fifty kids in the class.
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And getting their hands--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, Mount Carmel was all Italian.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And getting their hands (unintelligible)
  • with the stick.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Although I was sort
  • of one of those well-behaved little sissies.
  • I wasn't getting too much sticking.
  • But I got a few times.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I bet you were cute.
  • Do you have a picture of you way back then?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I like the picture of me but--
  • I have-- I got to show you.
  • Come on in the office.
  • There's one in Atlantic City that era, 1949 and 1950.
  • Tim's got the good picture.
  • I still have to find it.
  • He ever show it to you?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I don't think so.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Did you see my birthday?
  • It was at my birthday it was taken.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: (Speaking in distance)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance)
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: (Speaking in distance)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • Well, we would--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, the best picture's the one that Tim has,
  • which I have to find, some birthday
  • at the eightieth birthday invitation.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I didn't hear about that.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You didn't get one?
  • I don't know if I have (unintelligible).
  • I'm trying to get organized.
  • Let's see.
  • The birthday invitation--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, (unintelligible) and obviously
  • those pictures.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: (Speaking in distance) I'll send you a list.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance) I think this one--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Kevin?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • Even in New York. (Speaking in distance)
  • And it's not that--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance)
  • (Laughter)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: (Speaking in distance)
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But in the beginning that (unintelligible)
  • just the information (unintelligible).
  • We're (unintelligible) you.
  • And, I mean, that 30-second clip, we couldn't--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance)
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: We could actually--
  • what I'd like to do--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: (Speaking in distance)
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: (Speaking in distance)
  • I put it all into (unintelligible).
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So he came over to my house
  • in his East Hampton, and they said,
  • We're doing a program about East Hampton on ABC.
  • Would you like-- would you be interested in having
  • your place shown?"
  • So Evelyn do you think for a moment
  • that I thought that that was ever going to be included?
  • I figured they're going to take extra like they do,
  • extra footage and then just put it on the cutting room floor.
  • They never even told me.
  • I had signed a release though.
  • They--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: See?
  • Once you do that, Tony.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But they didn't tell me.
  • They made it sound like maybe and maybe
  • not it'll be in the program.
  • I happened to, by the luck of--
  • I happened to find out that they were doing that thing a year
  • and a half later on ABC on a Sunday night.
  • So I sat down.
  • Halfway through the program, all of a sudden,
  • we're driving up my driveway, up 132 North--
  • I thought, oh, my--
  • Well, the thing that's horrendous about it
  • is because in 1990, I really had become quite jaded
  • about that whole operation.
  • I used to joke that I was a scullery maid
  • and I was sick of it all, and God, if you came to get a room,
  • I might hit you.
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So they came-- when they came to film with
  • the cameras--
  • they had these portable type cameras--
  • it was like in the mid to late morning.
  • I look as disheveled as you could possibly look.
  • I had a terrible hangover.
  • I'd been up until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning screwing around.
  • And they're here.
  • And this is all on the program.
  • They're asking me about this, what
  • they call on the Irish kids.
  • They showed the kids I had this little shack in the back--
  • I mean, the health department should have condemned it--
  • and then they were showing me trying to rent it to them.
  • And then they showed--
  • unbeknownst to me until I saw the program-- they
  • went in there with the kids.
  • These were all these young Irish kids
  • that used to come for the summer to work there in East Hampton.
  • And they're calling it a hovel.
  • They said, he wants--
  • I forget, $5,000 for this hovel?
  • They're--
  • ALL: [LAUGHTER]
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So that's all there.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: And you couldn't sue them.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: No.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Because you'd signed a release.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, I just take it as a laugh.
  • I take it as it's quite funny, but I would not
  • want this on this.
  • It's not flattering to me at all.
  • I'm the evil landlord.
  • I look awful.
  • I'm just--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: We're really primarily
  • interested in your Rochester experiences.
  • You know, we'll touch base on your excursions
  • to New York and your businesses in New York,
  • but also, then why did you choose
  • to come back to Rochester?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: To be honest with you,
  • New York just got to be too much for-- you know,
  • as we sit here right this moment,
  • it's the best move I ever made because with my health
  • situation, I really wouldn't be able to handle
  • the demands of Manhattan.
  • That's a very-- you have to be young there.
  • You have to have a lot of energy.
  • I could never do all that walking around
  • and going up and down subway steps and--
  • and even going to all my doctors, I'm at all my doc--
  • I have a slew of them here.
  • I can go in five or ten minutes to any of these people.
  • I don't-- it's not like that there.
  • It's not good for older people.
  • I feel sorry for them.
  • I got out of there when I--
  • just at the point where I thought, you know,
  • I think I don't want to stay too long at the fair.
  • I mean--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: So let me backtrack then.
  • What were you searching for in New York
  • that you weren't finding here in Rochester?
  • You know, you're nineteen years old--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, the high life.
  • Sex and men and--
  • I was completely uncontrollable, smoking and drinking and--
  • you know.
  • At that time, I didn't know I was going
  • to be in the bath business.
  • I had all these little stupid jobs in the mail room
  • at MGM and writing boring stuff for a paper called Construction
  • News, not making much money, living in, you know, real--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Well, I read somewhere
  • you actually got into the bathhouse business a little bit
  • by accident, almost.
  • Is that true?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No.
  • No, there's a real-- there's a reason I got
  • into the bathhouse business.
  • The reason I got--
  • can I be frank?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Absolutely.
  • Yes.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I got in the bathhouse business
  • because my type were businessmen, the young Wall
  • Street type.
  • And I lived on Park Row for many, many years,
  • near Chinatown and near City Hall.
  • And I knew all the places where these guys used to cruise
  • during their lunch hour.
  • And you know, it was in public places.
  • It was all very sort of risky, but not so risky that--
  • they didn't start clamping down.
  • They didn't know it was going on in some of these office
  • buildings.
  • And so I used to do that.
  • But then when they did start to catch on,
  • then they started locking doors.
  • There was a stairway at 120 Broadway that
  • was absolutely unbelievable at lunchtime,
  • men coming and going.
  • And-- what else?
  • You're writing this down?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: I'm just making notes of these locations.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, what happened
  • was I guess when they started getting too many complaints,
  • because sometimes the secretaries would walk--
  • it was a long way from the first floor to the second floor
  • because it was one of those huge, high lobbies.
  • And it was one of those stairways, went like this,
  • you know?
  • Square, square, square, square.
  • And so when you heard the door open
  • up there with those high heels, everybody
  • stopped and scattered.
  • But they didn't-- there weren't that many of them.
  • But you know, there--
  • I guess they complained, because as time went on, they locked--
  • you couldn't get in those stairways.
  • They were locked, except for, you know, fire.
  • You could--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: What years are we talking about there?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: When I was a book salesman,
  • that would have been, because my schedule was my own.
  • So it was in the early '70s.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: '70s, OK.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So then there were also
  • toilets, a few toilets in some of those buildings
  • that were quite crazy at lunch.
  • All this is going on at lunchtime.
  • And, well, they locked them.
  • You had to be working in the-- you know,
  • you had to have a key.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So they were locked.
  • And I thought to myself-- my cousin
  • Bob is a very enterprising person and at the time,
  • so was I, and I said, you know, I knew some of those people,
  • and they have no other outlet, those people.
  • They're married.
  • They have certain trains to catch.
  • They have to catch a train, and that's
  • that when five o'clock comes.
  • Their only outlet is lunch.
  • And I said to Bob, "We should open a small--"
  • we didn't have the money to compete with the biggies,
  • you know, the Everard Bath.
  • These are institutions, the Everard,
  • the one in the East Village.
  • There were, like, about eight.
  • The club baths on First Avenue, the Everard Baths
  • on thirtysomething.
  • The one that became the biggest one of all
  • was on East Fifth Street, and it was huge.
  • I mean, it was a money machine of all time.
  • We were competing with things like that.
  • But they were a completely different market.
  • That East Village--
  • St. Marks-- that East Village, their customers
  • were the gay crowd that were out late hours and stuff.
  • We didn't aim for those people.
  • We aimed for the business people who were limited,
  • on a limited time frame.
  • So we found this small ex-massage parlor
  • at the top floor of a little office building
  • at 1 Maiden Lane.
  • Don't you love them, this address?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: (Laughs) Maiden Lane.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: We found a little--
  • it just seemed perfect.
  • It was two floors.
  • You took the elevator to the top floor
  • and then it wasn't very big.
  • And then above that, there was a staircase
  • that led up to what they called-- the building called--
  • the Penthouse.
  • Don't confuse it with anything too fancy.
  • It was nothing.
  • And we got a lease, and we bought
  • some used lockers from a club in Queens, a straight club that
  • was going out of business.
  • I mean, we did everything for spit and Scotch tape.
  • We bought these used lockers and moved them ourselves
  • with a U-Haul.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Oh, my gosh.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yes.
  • Yeah, that kind of thing.
  • Well, I was, at that time, in my--
  • 1974 we opened.
  • So I was forty-three.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But the building had an elevator, right?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It had one el-- oh, please, that elevator.
  • Yeah, it had this old-fashioned--
  • this is a very old building.
  • It had this decrepit elevator that barely made it up there,
  • but boy, did it get busy after our business got there.
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And for opening night, December 10,
  • 1974--
  • I wouldn't forget it--
  • I used to run an orgy club where I arranged to have
  • orgies in people's apartments.
  • And we moved, like, every-- every three or four weeks
  • we would have it in a different place.
  • And I'd go over there and help them with the lighting
  • and how to preserve their furniture and, you know,
  • I bought the drinks and all that stuff.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: And hire some Juilliard
  • School of Music students to--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No, not for that.
  • Not for that.
  • So, the opening night, I used the mailing list
  • from my orgy club to go to the Wall Street Sauna.
  • And that helped us to get a little bit of a start,
  • 'cause word spreads fast.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But not everybody was working,
  • and this was for people who--
  • a lot of our people took them some time.
  • They don't read gay magazines.
  • They have no access to them, you know?
  • So it took a little time to--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Get established.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: -- to get through to them, you know,
  • through word of mouth and stuff.
  • But right from the get-go--
  • of course, we were--
  • there were three of us.
  • Three of us that opened that.
  • And we worked it.
  • We had no employees.
  • We worked-- it was all nothing but a desk.
  • We did have a cleaning person.
  • But we used to, you know, give out the keys and check people.
  • And we only had a few rooms, mostly lockers.
  • It wasn't big enough.
  • And that opened in '74.
  • And that led to the East Side Sauna in '76, which was much,
  • much bigger and much--
  • well, on 56th Street, right next to Bloomingdale's.
  • You can imagine the different--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I bet the queens loved it.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, of course, all the decorators
  • in town at that time were there.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You know, of course,
  • bath businesses are off now because of everybody's cruising
  • online.
  • But the East Side Sauna is still open.
  • The cops finally closed the Wall Street Sauna.
  • We had a lot of different district attorneys
  • through the years.
  • And we just had one that wasn't going to let it go.
  • He kept sending people in there to see what was-- and it was--
  • the Wall Street Sauna really was--
  • there was a lot of public.
  • The whole thing was so small.
  • There was a lot of sex in the halls.
  • And of course, they were reporting-- they were these,
  • they'd send plain clothes men in there.
  • And--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: How long was that open for?
  • When did it--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, it was--
  • I remember we had a twenty-fifth anniversary,
  • so it was open-- we opened in '74.
  • I bet Bob would know the date it was closed.
  • It was only closed about four years ago.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: OK.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: The East Side Sauna's still open.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Yep.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: How did you survive the whole AIDS
  • era, when they were going through and shutting everybody
  • down?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, well, that's the mystery of all time,
  • that Tim says that I have an angel on my shoulder,
  • because they were closing the bathhouses one by one.
  • And when they closed the St. Mark's, that
  • was a real loss for the people who
  • like to go to bathhouses because that was a huge success.
  • They even showed-- they were doing exposes
  • on television about the bathhouses
  • and showing them from the outside.
  • They even showed the Wall Street Sauna building,
  • this little building on the corner
  • of 1 Maiden Lane and Broadway.
  • I'll never forget, the camera panned right up
  • to the eleventh floor, 'cause then they're
  • saying on television, that's where this men's bathhouse is.
  • This den of sex.
  • And yet, they never closed it in that period,
  • and it was early '80s.
  • They didn't close it.
  • And the East Side either.
  • I don't know, some chemistry or something.
  • We had to have people come in and do AIDS testing,
  • and they had to be allowed to come in there every week
  • or something and set up an AIDS thing.
  • But we were not closed.
  • Everything else was closed.
  • Therefore, we picked up--
  • of course, but you've also got to remember
  • that people were terrified.
  • They didn't know what this was.
  • Bathhouse business was down.
  • It went like that.
  • But we had-- there's that, the negative,
  • and the positive was that New York Metro
  • area is a huge center, with tourists alone every day.
  • So in spite of all that, our business
  • went up, because there wasn't any other place to go.
  • The Wall Street Sauna hardly fit into that.
  • It was not known by tourists and stuff.
  • They didn't know about--
  • you know, it was too far out of the way.
  • That was a limited for that market down there.
  • So we closed it--
  • used to close at nine o'clock at night.
  • There wasn't any business there at night then.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: That was a daytime bath.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • I'm wondering if they just never really realized what
  • was going on during the day.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, it--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Probably must've.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was shown in the expose on television.
  • They showed the outside of the St. Marks.
  • They showed-- I don't remember if they showed East Side,
  • but I know they showed the building at 1 Maiden Lane.
  • They showed that building on that expose.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Oh, they must have known.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, they must have known.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: They must have known.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Either that or one of your clients
  • told them, hands off.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You know that some of the married men
  • that used to--
  • I don't know how moral this is going to be
  • for your high school kids--
  • but some--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, this will never make it in that.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But some of the high school kids--
  • some of those customers used to use to thank me,
  • that we opened that place.
  • They said, "Yu don't know what a service you're doing us."
  • Because they had no other outlet.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: They were so constrained with those train
  • schedules and everything.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Well, you offered a service
  • that certainly was wanted and needed by hundreds of people.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, now, I don't know what
  • that reaction you would get from straight people.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Well, you know, Tony--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: We had to--
  • I got to tell you.
  • I got to tell you.
  • We were a little devious, because we concocted
  • an ad for the gay magazines of New York,
  • and it's got two wine glasses, and this very dejected woman.
  • And the headline was, "It's five o'clock.
  • Do you know where my husband is?:
  • And then underneath, Wall Street Sauna, 1 Maiden.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: That's great.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, it was fabulous.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: That's great.
  • You see, I think heterosexual people
  • do as much of that-- they have prostitution.
  • You know?
  • Marry an ad men.
  • So what's the difference?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, you're talking
  • about doing a documentary for high school kids.
  • I don't think you want to go--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: No.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: No, this part would not be part of that.
  • (Interposing voices)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But it would be a part of your history.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: We would produce almost two documentaries, one
  • for film festivals, and then an edited version for schools.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well I'm in the process of trying
  • to go through all my papers.
  • That ad is a classic.
  • I've got to find that ad.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Where did you run the ad?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: We ran it in a magazine called--
  • oh, you wouldn't know.
  • It was a popular magazine when I--
  • in between of opening the two saunas,
  • I opened the gay guesthouse.
  • That was 19-- the first sauna, '74--
  • no, '73 was the bed and breakfast.
  • That actually came before anything.
  • Then '74 was the Wall Street Sauna.
  • '76 was the East Side Sauna.
  • And there was a magazine very popular
  • in that era in Manhattan.
  • It was a very good magazine, not like these little things
  • that they have in Florida, not hot spots and stuff.
  • It was far above that.
  • It had theater reviews and--
  • what was it called?
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I'll do some research, because it
  • may be that that newspaper or that magazine,
  • there are issues of it saved in some library or archive or--
  • I mean, the Stonewall archives, the--
  • you know, there are a lot of different places
  • where it might be.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I'm disappointed
  • that I can't even remember the name of that thing.
  • And that thing, that magazine practically
  • put my B and B on the map, because they
  • did a travel review.
  • And I entertained the writer, right after I opened it.
  • He gave me a smashing review.
  • And that really helped me get going out there.
  • And here I can't even remember--
  • and he's dead.
  • And his partner's dead.
  • So many people from that era died.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • A lot of people, I would assume.
  • So let's go back, Tony.
  • The first time you left Rochester for New York, you--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: '49.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: You went down to the city,
  • and I think, if I recall correctly,
  • that was when you went to a rooming house
  • and lived on the third floor?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I had $42.
  • So I was living from hand to mouth.
  • My father said-- first of all-- no,
  • he wasn't going to in any way aid or encourage me to--
  • I ran away in the first place and hid.
  • I hid out for a while before I even--
  • and then, through an accident, my sister's husband
  • found me in a restaurant with my lover
  • here, when I came back through here on my way to New York.
  • And they all knew my brother-in-law,
  • so they called him because everybody
  • didn't know where I was.
  • I vanished for two weeks.
  • I went to Canada under wraps with a steelworker that I
  • met at the Glass Bar. (Laughs)
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: (Laughs)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: The Underground Railroad goes on.
  • What can I say? (Laughs)
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: So coming back through, Tony was here.
  • So he knew my favorite restaurant
  • was Lorenzo's, an Italian place on Chestnut Street,
  • which at the time seemed pretty good.
  • Yeah, and the women in there, they all
  • knew Joe, my brother-in-law, who we never
  • figured out whether he was mafia or not, but they called him.
  • I nearly fainted.
  • I nearly died when he's at the table.
  • That's how fast he got there from Genesee Park Boulevard.
  • And I was catching a bus that night.
  • He insisted that I stay with him and my sister and talkto
  • my parents, 'cause of course they were upset.
  • And I was so scared of my father,
  • I just thought he was going to entrap me
  • and, you know, I was not going to get out
  • after that whole two-week ordeal of hiding.
  • One week I hid in Canada.
  • The other week I had--
  • Tony had a bar near Bull's where that Nick Tahou's is?
  • He had a bar there, cheap, low-down bar,
  • and I stayed upstairs on this--
  • I mean, he had to bring me food.
  • That's how scared I was.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: That was a different era.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • Yes.
  • But it represents how young men who were homosexual
  • felt and experienced their life, because you
  • wouldn't have been alone.
  • I mean, you may have thought you were all alone and the only
  • person like you in having this kind of interaction with
  • your family, but you weren't.
  • If there was one of you, there was twenty of you,
  • there was thirty of you, because it was the time.
  • It was that--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But it wasn't only about being gay.
  • My father was very dictatorial.
  • He wouldn't let me work for somebody else.
  • He had a little business.
  • He didn't pay me anything, but he
  • demanded that I work-- stay there, in the business.
  • There wasn't much business.
  • He killed it.
  • So I was mostly twiddling my thumbs and reading.
  • It was just boring.
  • I mean, I hated it.
  • I just wanted to get out and do anything else but that,
  • sitting around in a shoe store.
  • So I didn't-- my first--
  • I don't know.
  • I had-- I guess I got a job in the mail room at MGM,
  • but they didn't pay anything.
  • Or either that or I was a busboy at (unintelligible) which was
  • (unintelligible).
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But the rooming house you stayed in in New York
  • was typical of rooming houses--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Let me think this through.
  • I think the first thing I did was stay
  • with relatives in the Bronx.
  • I don't think I was even savvy enough to get a room--
  • I didn't have that kind of money to go get rooms.
  • They lived way, way up the end of the line.
  • It was like another planet.
  • It was so far.
  • The subway was an hour and a half to get downtown.
  • I think I-- yeah, I stayed with them, I think,
  • the first time, for a few months, because I
  • didn't have too many options.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • And then you came back to Rochester?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, let's see.
  • At some point, I had to come back
  • because I thought I was being drafted.
  • I told you that.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I don't-- did I stay--
  • I guess I must have stayed in New York a couple of years.
  • And then that's probably when I left them
  • and got into that rooming house for six or seven bucks a week.
  • On the West Side.
  • With the phone down under.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • First floor and you up on the--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And that's all I do is get phone calls.
  • That's all I was doing was running
  • up and down those stairs.
  • Is that ever quaint in this day and age of cell phones?
  • ALL: (Laughter)
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I know.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: It reminds me of an old I Love Lucy episode
  • where they were in Italy or someplace and they were up--
  • had them staying on the third floor
  • and they kept getting calls and they kept running up and down.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And this was a pay phone, you know,
  • wasn't even a phone.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: When the Korean War--
  • I have to ask Frank when people were being drafted.
  • That's when I guess when I came--
  • I went into college in 1951.
  • Remember, I went-- in April of '51, I was-- turned 4F.
  • So that fits right in then.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, the Korean War was '50 through '54.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, '51 is when the draft called me,
  • and I--
  • they had this address.
  • Selective Service had Rochester, 434 North Street.
  • So I came back for that, thinking fully
  • that I was going to be going in there and not to college.
  • But my father made me take these pictures with me
  • to the physical, of my feet, which were bad.
  • And now they're horrible.
  • And they, to my complete surprise, they made me 4F.
  • And suddenly, I'm back in Rochester,
  • fully unexpecting this.
  • And I ended up enrolling at Brockport State Teachers
  • College that July in an accelerated three-year program.
  • And that really started changing things for me.
  • I got a little more sense, but I thought
  • I was going to be a writer.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • You mentioned that.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And from there, I went to Columbia
  • for a master's in drama.
  • And then I started working, you know, first
  • as a copywriter in advertising here in (unintelligible).
  • Then I went to Philadelphia, NW Air,
  • and then I decided after those two advertising agencies,
  • I didn't really want to be in corporate work.
  • I wasn't very happy with that.
  • So a friend of mine was in the business
  • of selling textbooks to schools, but he was always free.
  • We rented a place, him and a group of us
  • from Philadelphia one summer.
  • Everybody else had to go back to the city on Sunday night,
  • and he'd stay in there.
  • I said, "You know, I ought to consider something like this.
  • I'm trained to be a teacher."
  • But he was selling schoolbooks.
  • So he took me to one of those textbook conventions
  • in Atlantic City.
  • And I got a job immediately, just
  • went around talking to people at that convention.
  • Another low-paying job, but I had a car.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Now, do you remember
  • how much a gallon of gas was at that time?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No.
  • It was cheap, though.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • How much was a pack of cigarettes?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, I know how much those
  • were 'cause I used to smoke.
  • They were $0.15 when I was--
  • when I first got out of high school.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Fifteen.
  • And during the war, you couldn't get them.
  • I don't even know if they were available at all
  • or if they were rationed.
  • Some things were rationed.
  • I don't think I was smoking quite that much in high school,
  • but I got out in '48.
  • At that point I was smoking.
  • Then you could get cigarettes, though there
  • were long lines when they first became available
  • after the war, long lines.
  • But they were $0.15.
  • And only certain stores.
  • You know, like there was a chain called Dawe's Drugstore.
  • And I remember you could go to get in line at Dawe's
  • for cigarettes after the war, when the war first ended.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • I remember there was a Dawe's in Boston,
  • on the corner of Huntington Avenue and Longwood.
  • And then it became Spar's and it was there all
  • through my college career.
  • Yeah.
  • But it was Dawe's first.
  • So they must have been a national chain of some sort.
  • $0.15 a package.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, I don't remember what gas was.
  • Actually, I didn't drive a car 'til I was 27.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: How did you get around?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, living at 434 North Street, which
  • is Ontario and North, I used to-- you could walk downtown
  • in those days.
  • I mean, you wouldn't--
  • even by twenty years after that, you wouldn't do it.
  • It became very, very dangerous to be
  • walking around there at night.
  • But during high school years, you
  • could walk down to see a movie, down to Main Street.
  • And there were people downtown.
  • It wasn't like now.
  • There were movie theaters and these clubs I was telling you
  • about, not just gay ones.
  • Open Box had a nightclub on the corner of Clinton and Main,
  • a regular nightclub.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • And there were movie theaters downtown.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yes, there were movie theaters,
  • and there were--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: A lot of them.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Huh?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: There was a lot of movie theaters
  • downtown I believe.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yes, and there were--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: They used to be all vaudeville theaters, right?
  • They were originally vaudeville theaters,
  • and then I think then they turned them
  • into movie theaters.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, the vaudeville theater
  • was on South Avenue.
  • That became a burlesque house.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Do you remember what the name of that was,
  • the vaudeville theater?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I'm sure that would be on Google.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, I know.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I remember the movie theaters, the Lowe's
  • on Clinton, the Palace on Clinton,
  • which is a shame they tore that down.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Was the RKO--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: The RKO Palace.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: There was the Lyceum.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: There was the Regent on East Avenue.
  • Near The Little on the other side of the street.
  • And there was a Century, which they changed the name, I think,
  • near the Palace on Clinton.
  • The Century Theater became something--
  • Paramount.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Paramount.
  • Wow.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, that's amazing.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And they had a little dump on Fitzhugh or--
  • yeah, Fitzhugh and Main, where you could go for $0.15
  • because they were second runs.
  • The Capital.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, right, yeah.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: So it was $0.15 to go to the movies?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: At the Capital.
  • I don't know what the--
  • what were the other shows charge--
  • I don't know.
  • Not much. $0.35?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, I've heard $0.25 or $0.50, maybe.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But what was the name
  • of the burlesque house on South Avenue that
  • used to be a vaudeville house?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: It wasn't the Lyceum, was it?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: The reason I don't remember is that was--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Corinthian?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No, it wasn't that.
  • I think I would have remembered.
  • But that's on Google, I'm sure.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You mean the Lyceum.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Lyceum, yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Maybe.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: It seems like that one
  • was on South Avenue, 'cause I've seen pictures of it.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was on South Avenue,
  • next to a chocolate store called--
  • you remember the famous chocolate store there,
  • near there?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, those--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I wasn't in Rochester then.
  • And if I was, I was a nun, cloistered, kind of.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, as you well know,
  • Rochester had a sort of a downtown bar.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh yeah.
  • My mother talks about it all the time.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: When I first came out--
  • so I was able to walk downtown.
  • I never took the bus.
  • That cost money, and I didn't have any.
  • I had to save my quarters for a beer at the Glass Bar, $0.25.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: You had to buy at least your first.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah.
  • That's exactly how I did it.
  • (Laughter)
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Where was your father's shoe store?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: 434 North Street.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: North Street, OK.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was there at Ontario.
  • So you see, kids didn't live over there.
  • Or Frank was on Scio Street.
  • I don't know if you know these streets.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I know Scio.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, he was over that way,
  • so that's where people lived.
  • That's where they had these houses.
  • When we were on North Street, it was all businesses
  • and there really were no kids around there.
  • Maybe a few on Davis and Ontario, but not many.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Between there and Mount Carmel.
  • And then there was this great big Bond baking thing
  • that took up a whole block on North Street between Ontario
  • and Woodward.
  • That was all big Bond Bakery.
  • So not residential.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: We were living above the shoe store.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Was the Genesee Brewery--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No, that was on Clinton.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: But it was in existence.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, they were making Genny beer--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh yeah, been there since 1898.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: They were making Genny beer.
  • That's what people were drinking in the bars in the early days
  • that I can recall.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • Yeah.
  • Wow.
  • When you finally left Rochester and, you know, were--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, which finally?
  • You mean--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Well, when you went to New York
  • and established your businesses and had this--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I didn't go straight-- when I graduated,
  • I went to New York for my master's.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Then came back to Rochester again because--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: For the draft.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No, no, that was after the draft was over.
  • I came back when I got my master's because I just
  • couldn't make it.
  • I just couldn't seem to make it happen in New York.
  • I mean, I couldn't live any more in those dumps.
  • And you know, it turns out that when I came--
  • I graduated from Columbia in '56,
  • and I stayed here for four or five years.
  • Turns out now those were the best years of my life,
  • because I appreciated my parents.
  • We were on very different terms.
  • I was working then, out.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I was working at (unintelligible)
  • and another place (unintelligible) doing writing.
  • I had writing jobs.
  • And they let me do whatever I wanted to do.
  • I was out until three and four in the morning,
  • no questions asked.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: So talk to me about that, then.
  • Talk to me about that five-year period that you came back here.
  • Was it different at all, the gay community,
  • than it was back in '48, '49?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I thought it was growing a little bit.
  • Seemed to me like it was more fun.
  • I think by then Dick's--
  • it was Dick's open on that street where McFarland's was--
  • Stone Street, that's where they moved to.
  • That's where Dick-- Martha's moved to Stone Street.
  • It just seemed like, you know, I had plenty of dates.
  • I mean, I had people I was seeing regularly,
  • but they were all--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Was there any harassment
  • at that point, during that time of--
  • other than--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Not at work or not--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: The gay bars?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Not that I can recall.
  • They were very crowded on weekends.
  • There wasn't any computer cruising.
  • You did it at the bars.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • And was it still mixed, like--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No, it was not like that anymore, no.
  • Martha's was Martha's.
  • That was a gay bar, period.
  • I think the place on--
  • I think they kept them both going first.
  • I think they had the place on Front Street and the place
  • on Stone, because it seems, as I recall, you had some options.
  • Oh, and then the Manger Hotel.
  • Well, that was the Seneca.
  • Then it became the Manger.
  • Now that was a very interesting place,
  • because that was a mixed bar.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Where was that located?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It was at Clinton Avenue
  • near around where midtown--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: OK.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Near McCurdy's.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Right down there.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Yeah, that used to be a hotel.
  • And I think the Manger bar was (unintelligible).
  • Again, you could get this on Google.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: They had a bar in there
  • which was very interesting.
  • Businessmen coming through and locals.
  • So as I recall, I was working that one.
  • And plus I had some regular boyfriends that were--
  • I wasn't married to anybody.
  • I just had a, you know, variety.
  • And then came 1961, I decided I didn't want to be--
  • at this point I said, OK, I'm ready now
  • to go and face the big world.
  • But I went to Philadelphia because I
  • got the job from here.
  • I already had been hired at a big agency there, NW Air.
  • And I stayed there--
  • I was very happy in Philadelphia.
  • I really loved it.
  • It was not as big as New York, and I
  • had a nice little apartment.
  • And I had pretty good (unintelligible).
  • But I didn't want to work for that agency--
  • but that's when I switched over to the book--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Selling textbooks.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: -- because that summer,
  • we had a place at Cape May.
  • We rented, six guys, and I'm telling you,
  • Ed was always hanging around that place in the summer.
  • And we were going back to work on Sunday night.
  • I used to hate that.
  • That's when he took me to the convention in Atlantic City
  • and I got a job with Singer, which
  • then was part of Random House, a division of Random House.
  • And they told me they were going to give me
  • Philadelphia territory.
  • I thought, when I reported for work that first day--
  • they didn't tell me this in advance--
  • they said, "There's been a change.
  • You'll be working in Long Island and three counties in New
  • Jersey," spread out all over creation,
  • meaning that I had to live in New York
  • because that was in the middle.
  • I really didn't want to go.
  • I had a bad taste from all of those dumps I lived in.
  • I literally cried when I left Philadelphia.
  • I remember my friends, and I was crying.
  • I didn't want to leave.
  • But it all worked out.
  • I got used to it.
  • I went to--
  • I lived in Philadelphia from '61 to '64.
  • Then I went to New York in '64.
  • And lucked out on a fabulous high-rise apartment
  • out, over, with a smashing view.
  • I don't know what I paid, maybe--
  • was it 135 a month?
  • I don't know.
  • It was quite lovely.
  • But it was up on 96th Street, sort of not exactly
  • the best, but not a dangerous, and it
  • was between First and Second, on 96th.
  • And I met somebody, and that was the era when-- you know,
  • when I was telling you all the bars were closed.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Except for a couple of subtle ones.
  • And there was a hotel on 57th Street called The Allordson.
  • And it had a bar called the Menemsha, M-E-N--
  • Menemsha.
  • M-E-N-E-M-S-H-A, I guess.
  • A very dark and sort of an interesting little place.
  • And that was like a sort of hidden gay bar.
  • And it wasn't huge.
  • And it was very interesting.
  • And that's where I met someone that played a part in my life,
  • really.
  • I met him in there.
  • And from 96th Street, I moved in with him down--
  • that's when I started with the downtown stuff.
  • He lived on Park Row.
  • And I moved in with him first, for many years.
  • And then later, after we got in all these businesses,
  • I got my own apartment in there, in the same building.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And Roy's ninety years old
  • and he's still alive.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Wow.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But we-- it got to the point
  • where we were no longer lovers.
  • We were just friends.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And he was my original partner
  • in the Wall Street Sauna, with Bob, the three of us.
  • And then he helped me buy that property in Long Island, which
  • I didn't have the money to do by myself, even
  • for the down payment.
  • I didn't have a lot of money, even then.
  • I was already forty-something.
  • I was just a working bloke, you know.
  • It's hard to save money when you're in that position.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And then it all changed with the saunas.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: And with Long Island.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And Long Island,
  • which was only open from-- but through my own choice--
  • from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • But I ran it in such a manner--
  • I ran it very economically.
  • And it made a substantial amount of money
  • in that period of time.
  • You know, some people would work all year for that.
  • And I was paying off my mortgage while running
  • that all those twenty-whatever years, twenty-one years.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And when I subdivided-- it
  • was a big property and I subdivided.
  • It took forever with these (unintelligible)
  • They didn't want things to change much.
  • It took a long time, but I got two (unintelligible)
  • and sold them both.
  • So that was a big bonanza, 'cause by then
  • the prices had escalated to lunacy in East Hampton.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Oh, yeah.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yep.
  • Incredible story, Tony.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, I want to write it.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I know.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: You should.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I know, and you should.
  • You should.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And I didn't give you
  • any of the dirty details to-- that was just surface stuff.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: What is your perspective of,
  • you know, the young kids now?
  • You know, that they're out there, and they're--
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I have to admit to you
  • that I feel disconnected.
  • I don't know.
  • I don't know.
  • Does it happen to everybody?
  • Or I can't--
  • I find it hard to relate to them, so I don't.
  • It's too much of an effort.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: It's all so different.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah.
  • And you've seen it.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Huh?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: You've seen the growth.
  • You've seen the development.
  • You've seen the setbacks.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • I mean--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Did you ever think
  • that there would come a day where gay marriage would
  • be legal in New York?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: No.
  • And you know what?
  • I guess it's because we all like our youth so much,
  • but I wouldn't change a note of those-- dancing at the Oasis.
  • I'll never forget how exciting-- that was so damned exciting
  • after four years of high school, having to go to those dances
  • and dance with girls.
  • It was, you know--
  • oh.
  • Dancing--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: It was the prime.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, dancing with a guy
  • was just so thrilling.
  • To be able to do it, I mean, in public, not in your house.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yep.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Well, sort of in public, in a back room, right?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: The back room.
  • (Laughter)
  • In a back room.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yeah.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Doesn't that tell you how far we've come?
  • Dancing.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Absolutely.
  • But that's why we need to speak to people like you,
  • because my generation and the generation today--
  • they don't know that.
  • They--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: No.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: It would totally astound them
  • that, you know, what do you mean we
  • have to dance in a back room?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I'm not even sure that if you told them that
  • it would really-- they could grasp just what that--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I don't think they could--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: No, they don't understand.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: I don't think they could grasp it.
  • It's come too far.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Which is exactly why
  • we need to do this documentary, so that we can tell that story
  • and make them realize just how fortunate they are because
  • of people like you and people who have come up
  • through ranks to make change and to, you know, get out there
  • and make a life for themselves.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: People think, and young people
  • think, the freedom that they have today will never go away.
  • But there may come a time in the future when conservatism
  • becomes the rule of the land and again we're
  • forced to not be so open, to not be so public.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Oh, there's no question about that, Evelyn.
  • If you look through from the Roman times,
  • there have been different periods--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Right.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: -- with homosexuality.
  • And even beyond, even further back to the Greeks
  • and all-- no, it's up and down.
  • It changes.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • And we're at this point, but it will come back.
  • It will come down again.
  • And the rights we have are very fragile.
  • Young people don't understand how fragile they are.
  • And they can be wiped away in a heartbeat.
  • It all depends upon who's in power and who's in control,
  • you know?
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: And there could
  • be-- you know, nothing is permanent in this life.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: No.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: There could be a whole change in regime--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Absolutely.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: -- fifty years from now.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: So Tony, if you--
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: They could all start learning Chinese fifty
  • years from now.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Well, that's what I was thinking.
  • If the Chinese were to become the dominant thing and this
  • were not something that they approved of, wow.
  • Talk about turning back the hands of time.
  • I don't even know what they allow in China itself,
  • if anything.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: I don't either.
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: My perception is that it's very secretive.
  • Except in Hong Kong.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: Except in Hong Kong.
  • But Hong Kong was never--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: And maybe Shanghai?
  • KEVIN INDOVINO: Yeah, maybe.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: You know, of course,
  • that Bill and Rick just returned.
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Yes.
  • ANTHONY MASCIOLI: But they were visiting his son,
  • so I don't think they did a lot of exploring of that, but--
  • EVELYN BAILEY: Probably not.