Aug 13, 2020 - Sale 2544

Sale 2544 - Lot 125

Price Realized: $ 2,210
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
HARVEY MILK (1930-1978)

Two Autograph Letters Signed, "Harvey,"
to Pat Mormon ("Pat" or "Dear Pat"). The first, reporting that he is going on leave to meet someone in Texas, hoping his visit will end in a "'gay' marriage," contrasting gay life in Norfolk, VA with that in San Diego, encouraging him to feel that he can write freely in his reply, thanking for a gift, and in a postscript: "221 Days to go." The second, in full: "Don't write or do anything-- / I've been turned in by Johnny Teynel and Marty 'Red' Kaushe[?] & a third party." Together 2 1/4 pages, small 4to, the first on recto and verso of a single sheet; folds. Each with the original envelope. "Tuesday" [envelope return address: USS Kittiwake (ASR-13), circa December]; "Wednesday" [postmark: Norfolk, 15 December 1954].

According to the Harvey Milk Foundation website, Milk resigned from the Navy in 1955 after his sexual orientation was officially questioned. In recognition of his service, a U.S. Naval Ship was named after Milk during a ceremony in San Francisco on August 16, 2016: the replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206).

Additional Details

"Tuesday": ". . . I'm just starting 10 days leave . . . I'm on my way to Dallas, Texas to see someone. If things work out as I want I may be a happily married man by the end of the year. 'Gay' marriage, that is. I think I wrote you about him . . . . Will let you know how things work out.
"Norfolk is strictly a 'sailor' town--so much sea food--but is very very 'hot'--the Navy 'Y' is like Diego but is too hot for me--they watch it & put up about 8 or 10 each week & a lot of trade caught, etc.
"There is one bar that is partly 'gay' but that's watched too--so I have been very careful & it's not like Japan or Diego. I wish I was back in Diego. . . . You can say anything you want in your letter. . . ."