Bay Area OLOC

WE’RE HAVING A FALL PICNIC!!
Sunday, September 25, 12:00 – 4:00
Live Oak Park, Berkeley

On September 25th, Bay Area OLOC will return to Live Oak Park in Berkeley from 12:00-4:00. During the pandemic (aka PAN-DAMN-IT!) our picnics have been the only way we have seen each other in person. The annual summer picnic in July was a big success with around 45 women attending at one point or another. Whether you’re a regular or this will be you first OLOC event, we invite all lesbians 60 and over—plus partners and caregivers of any age—to attend. It is a great way to get to know new friends and/or connect with women you may not have seen for some time. Some women who have attended a picnic for the first time have been surprised to see familiar faces. We all wear name tags so we don’t have to remember names! For more details see the September Newsletter.

The Bay Area Chapter of OLOC lost two beloved and dynamic women this month within a week of each other.

Elana DykewomonElana Dykewomon
October 11, 1949–August 7, 2022
Beloved, brilliant, radical, Jewish lesbian writer Elana Dykewomon (Nachman), age 72, died on August 7, 2022, in her Oakland home surrounded by friends and family and her faithful dog, Alice (B Toklas).
Elana's life was about celebrating lesbians and lesbian culture. She was held in great regard, locally and globally for the social change she cultivated throughout her life with her words and presence.
Read the entire San Francisco Chronicle article.

Ann Valliant(Margaret) Ann Valliant
August 13, 1945–August 4, 2022

Ann Valliant departed this world on August 4, 2022 at the age of 76, due to the progression of ALS, and benefitted by the availability of California’s “End of Life Option.”

Ann was an Arkansas farm girl, an accomplished carpenter in 1970’s Massachusetts, a business operations consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area beginning in the 1980’s, and throughout her life was an eloquent and outspoken political activist.

Ann registered Black voters in Birmingham, marched in Montgomery, raised funds to rebuild a burned Black church in Mississippi, and taught Spanish to Black elementary school students in Fayetteville, “so they would have some knowledge in middle school that the white students had not yet learned.”

During the Vietnam War years, Ann became a draft counselor, helping men to avoid the draft.

Read more...

After graduating college in 1967 with a political science degree from Oklahoma State University, Ann and her then husband relocated to Indiana University in Bloomington, where Ann discovered women’s liberation meetings in 1968. Ann became central in Bloomington’s women’s liberation movement. She and her husband soon separated. Ann met her first woman lover there in Bloomington, Cynthia Hales, who later became a well respected San Francisco karate instructor for many years. 

Other lesbian activists she met in those years became lifelong friends. They include: Cathy Cade, a beginning photographer whose photos are now archived at University of California at Berkeley’s Bancroft Library; also Ruth Mahaney who eventually would be associated with San Francisco’s Modern Times Bookstore which opened in 1971 and survived until 2016. Modern Times was a legacy business, worker owned and renowned for its radical politics.

In the late 1970’s, while partnered with Bobbi LaNoue, in Ann’s words “I inexplicably began childproofing the house and never-before-considered visions of having a child.” Their son, Loren, was born in 1981. Soon after Bobbi and Ann separated as partners but committed to continuing to co-parent.

Much of the 1980's were spent focusing on parenting, facing her own addiction issues, and growing spiritually. Ann discovered Oakland’s Siddha Yoga Ashram, met Gurumayi and was a committed devotee of Gurumayi from that time on

In mid 1980 Ann began to develop her business operations consultant career which gave her great satisfaction and continued until her retirement in 2020. In her words, “I helped businesses, large and small, established and start-up, to use whatever computer programs they might need to optimize success of their enterprises. What a gift that gave me! And I hope it was helpful to them, as well!”

The past two years have been deeply challenging with the ALS diagnosis and its progression. Ann’s beloved companion mariKo, co-parent Bobbi, and son Loren have been major supports as well as a wide community of close friends.

Ann departed this world with a peaceful spirit. 

To contact family please email mariko45@fastmail.fm

Events

Our picnic on July 31st was in person at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. Everyone who attended had a great time.  Hope to see you at the September 25th picnic, noon–4:00 p.m. at the same location!

If you are missing contact with other Old Lesbians, check out the Bay Area OLOC Zoom drop-in groups.

The Tuesday Zoom group was closed because there was danger of the group having so many participants that it would become unwieldy and not allow much time for women to share. However, another Zoom group has started in order to accommodate all of our members. This Zoom group will be meeting on Wednesdays from 3:00–4:30 and the contact is Susan Chacin at susanchnew@gmail.com.

Bay Area OLOC is a community partner for the free film festival sponsored by the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP). The festival will be in-person this year at the Presidio Theatre in San Francisco, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 10, 11, and 12, 2022.  QWOCMAP‘s director, Madeleine Lim is premiering her new documentary on OLOC luminary Jewelle Gomez on Saturday.

The Bay Area OLOC Zoom meeting:

May 29, 2022 – 1:00 to 3:30 pm

Life Stories: What We’ve Done & What It All Means

Rebecca Silverstein, from the Bay Area Lesbian Archives spoke on the importance of archiving our personal stories, valuing the richness of our lives, and honoring the impact we have had in the world.  We went into smaller “break-out rooms” online to discuss things we’re proud of and changes we’ve been a part of.  Then we re-gathered as a large group for reflections and feedback.

Bay Area OLOC provides Old Lesbians with the opportunity to meet like-minded women in our common goal to challenge ageism, to share mutual interests, and to experience the joy and warmth of playing and working together.

BAOLOC chapter has kept busy over the past year with Zoom workshops on Racism and a Zoom salon of our members’ writings, art and music. The most popular Zoom interactions have been with our Tuesday weekly Zoom meetings. There are usually 16-20 participants in these meetings from all over the Bay Area, including the coast and those who live many miles north of the San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley center of activities. Our chapter has been doing this for almost the entire pandemic and have all gotten to know one another much better. Most would like to continue this meeting when the pandemic ends!

We promote the visibility and pride of Old Lesbians. We celebrate our strengths, our talents, and our diverse life experiences.

We raise our voices against injustice of all kinds: racism, ageism, and homophobia.

We are a proud and active presence in social justice activities. Many of us are life-long activists and we appreciate working with other groups on today’s issues.

We call ourselves OLD with pride because we will no longer accommodate ourselves to language that implies in any way that “old” means inferior.

Bay Area OLOC organizes six events each year in addition to one-time-only activities as energy permits.

  • RETREATS: 2 nights at a camp in the Napa woods in May and September.
  • Three all-day GATHERINGS held in various locations in the Bay Area.
  • A PICNIC held in an accessible park.

All of our events accommodate the hearing impaired and differently abled. Fees are based on each woman’s ability to pay.

We publish a newsletter six times a year preceding our scheduled events. We maintain this web page at oloc.org/bayareaoloc.