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  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS 'Tinderbox' author to appear in Palatine on June 14
2022-05-13

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Author Robert Fieseler will discuss his debut book—Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation—on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Palatine's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St.

Tinderbox reconstructs the 1973 fire at a gay bar that devastated New Orleans' underground gay community. There is a strong Palatine connection to this relatively unknown piece of U.S. history, and Fieseler's talk will explore this hidden link.

Chicagoland, in fact, lost one of its own at the 1973 New Orleans tragedy—a traveling businessman who grew up in Palatine named Guy Owen Andersen. A former Illinois high school drama teacher, Andersen frequently visited New Orleans and fell victim to the intentionally set ablaze.

Until the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were murdered, the Up Stairs Lounge arson attack (in which at least 32 people died) was the deadliest known attack on a gay club in the country's history.

Tickets are $10-$15 each; visit www.cuttinghall.org/class/robert-w-fieseler-author-reading/ .


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