February 4, 2013.
I received the following research query from Jacob:
I am a graduate student at University of Massachusetts Boston doing research on gay separatism. I recently contacted Mary Ann Cherry with a question related to her work on Morris Kight’s biography. She consequently referred me to you on the matter.
I am trying to get a better understanding of who “Don Jackson” of Alpine Liberation Front is or was as an individual. I am aware of his role as an activist and his writings for various publications during the early ’70s, but I have yet to encounter any source material that provides any insight into his background or character.
If you happen to have any direct knowledge or know of specific source material relating to this matter that you would be willing to share it would be much appreciated.
I apologize for not checking my other email addresses. I am aware of Don Jackson and will try to find some mention in the few copies of ONE/Tangents magazines I have here, as I am in LA the state, but our Homosexual Information Center Collection is in L.A. the city, a Special Collection at Cal State Northridge with some materials also, it seems, at the ONE Archives at USC.
As I gather you know, Jackson was involved with Morris Kight in that wonderful Alpine County invasion, which, as usual, found the media lazy and gullible. Morris was good at exploiting their stupidity. But it was a wonderful educational effort. I think Time magazine and others covered the cause, so it should be in some website archives—I think Time says all of its issues are now online.
I assume The Advocate covered this. I hate to speculate but will give some things that may or may not be true. I thought he was in the San Francisco area, but he may have been involved with Morris in work in L.A., such as the PRIDE group from which The Advocate came.
My version of the Alpine adventure is that Jackson or others came up with the idea of fooling the public by saying that since there were so few citizens in Alpine County, if only a few homosexuals moved there, they could control the government, get government money, etc.
I never knew if the citizens there were really concerned, but there are bigots (a few thankfully) everywhere. But the idea was pure camp and was a truly gay thing. So they started telling the public about this, and the media fell for it.
Few of us thought many of us would go to the isolated, cold place—and we opposed ghettos. And considering the nuts who are still trying to isolate themselves from the world in Idaho, fearing the government is going to destroy us, that it is not a good idea today.
I checked a book of early pioneers/activists (Before Stonewall, edited by Vern Bullough) and three other books, but not one mentions Alpine or Don Jackson. (Not even the biography of Morris.)
I am sending this on to a few others who might know more and I will let you know if I find other mentions. It is strange that the “event” is ignored in our movement/community was so big in the media.