Thursday, March 30th, 2023

What was Don Slater and Jim Kepner’s relationship like?

Billy Glover

January 17, 2014.

Regarding the question from Mary Ann Cherry:

The relationship among Dorr Legg, Don Slater, and Jim Kepner was beneficial to the movement but, mainly due to Dorr, constantly caused frustration.

He of course got Jim upset when he told him to say ONE, Inc. was tax-exempt when it was not, and that was the final straw—at the time-that made Jim quit because he felt personally vulnerable if the IRS accused him of false claims. I don’t recall — as I was not there — the relationship on the magazine, but think it was okay.

The main issue Don had with Jim was that he was trying to be in all groups, which I don’t think was a bad thing, but then Jim made what I think was his worst mistake when the separation came in 1965.

Jim was leading the ONE European tour, and Rudi Steinert was on it as was the man behind the tours, Chet Sampson. Dorr had promised Rudi that Don could use his proxy in voting at the annual business meeting, which coincided with the annual Midwinter event in January. As Chair, he then refused to allow it.

I am not sure if Sampson was a voting member or if someone had his proxy.

But Kepner was called about our moving the office, and he told told Chet, Rudi, et al. to support Dorr because there was no way Don would be successful.

I always felt that this was nuts since he had had more problems with Dorr’s imperious attitude than anyone.

History shows that Don eventually — and legally — won. But both factions kept going, and both continued to contribute to the cause.

Jim eventually, as in fact Dorr did, worked with Don, doing book reviews, etc. (Jim and Dorr refused to work on the NACHO military protest in 1966. We did the Motorcade—but for different reasons, and of course Morris Kight didn’t participate either.

We think Jim removed some books when he visited our Tangents office, but he had contributed many books to ONE, and since we had acquired the library in the 1965 split, I doubt that made much difference.

I don’t seem to have much of Jim’s own material — he published a newsletter in the 1990s, Jim Kepner’s Song & Dance, and of course he went broke and lost his home publishing Pursuit & Symposium magazine. I think his politics differed — but so did mine. He added to our work and was interested in aspects Don and Dorr were not. He of course worked on ONE Institute Quarterly, which had the same problems I think the few current LGBT academic publications have — they are unreadable and on obscure topics on no general concern.


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