Monday, March 20th, 2023

Gay Bar (abstract)

Gay Bar

by Helen P. Branson

with an introduction by Dr. Blanche M. Baker

Published by Pan-Graphic Press
San Francisco, California

Published October, 1957
History (memoir)
89 pgs.


“You won’t find any statements in parentheses in my book,” said Helen P. Branson as she turned in the final manuscript for publication. “I typed this myself on a Polish model typewriter. It had no marks an the keyboard. So I made all of my statements direct—just as if I were talking to you.”

That same directness has characterized Helen’s life throughout her sixty years, with a great deal of variety of living included She was graduated from high school in 1914, then took voice lessons for two years while she taught school in Nebraska.

Not satisfied with her singing, she entered a new field. She became a bank teller during World War I, after which she moved to a ranch in Idaho, and finally settled in California. Today she operates a bar, does all the work herself, and every week visits her aged mother, whom she helps support.

“I’ve had mare ups and downs than I care to tell about,” she says. “But all my life I have had an interest in the occult and the unseen, the hard to explain things about me,” she says. I was a student of astrology and became a palmist years ago. In fact I made my living entertaining in this field for several years.”

Her study of astrology led to an interest in reincarnation, which she says she explored for her own satisfaction.

“All of this led me to a recognition of the biggest word in my vocabulary today,” Helen says.

That word is WHY. Trying to find that answer is the main reason for my interest in people and what they do.

My first intentional contact with homosexuals as a group was to determine if there was a pattern in their palms. My gradual integration with such groups has come through mutual affection and respect. I am at home with them.

Homosexual or not, everyone, it seems, has an immediate reaction to Helen. No in-between regard far this intensely active and perceptive woman is possible; it is a case of love her a lot or not at all. But readers of her book, “Gay Bar,” will see at once what the reaction of the majority is. “Everybody loves Helen,’’ say those who know her. It’s a safe prediction that sons and daughters, as well as mothers and fathers, will be infected with the same feeling for her after they read the book, too.

Back of dust cover:

Images ©2017 by The Tangent Group. All rights reserved.
Images from a book in the HIC Archives

About The Author

Just the Admin