About Alison Leslie Gold

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70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz

70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz

On the day the Soviet Army entered Auschwitz-Berkenau (27 January 1945) according to one of several survivors I interviewed many years later, he thought he saw dirty white furry wolves or bears approaching the camp through the snow. When these creatures got closer, he realized they were actually Russian soldiers wearing white fur hats and jackets to protect themselves from the bitter cold. This was the army that liberated him and the camp. In the weeks before, over 60,000 of the remaining prisoners had been forced onto Death Marches and were long gone either frozen in the middle of nowhere or arrived at other camps, so the Russian’s found perhaps 7,000 barely living humans, male and female. They also found mountains of shoes, eye-glasses, clothes, over 7/7 tons of human hair in storage. For what, they had no idea. They also had no idea that what they were seeing barely a fragment of the million plus (Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners, homosexuals, and mostly Jews from across Europe) who were murdered there.  As this 70th anniversary is marked by the very, very few still alive, I mark it too by recalling some of these survivors whom I interviewed in harrowing depth for several of my Holocaust-related books especially Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival, Europe 1939-1945 just reissued by TMI Press — Zahava Bromberg, Joseph Bau, Jules Schelvis, Rena Kornreeich, Rudolf Verba, Leo Bretholz, and more.




(To find on Amazon :

Padric concludes

Padric concludes

             Following is the conclusion to the taped interview with Padric McGarry made in New York City in 1977 also a stock photo of Veronica Lake from the 40s, a prototype, like Dorothy Lamour or Lauren Bacall whom Padric resembled when I first knew him in that long-ago time. Padric, birth to death, coming soon in The Potato Eater.

“Another I remember vividly, a red neck from Alabama, had an 11 inch prick. There was a bouquet of flowers, a battleship and three little pigs tattooed on the head. I loved to trick with him, get it hard just to look at the gallery of tattoos. My longest encounter? Well, in federal prison, the elite country club, I could put up a blanket in front of my cell and we could get buck naked and go to bed, and have, gee, a half hour. That’s like 10 hours out here.

Often, if men don’t come in gay, time erodes their heterosexual resistance to what they’ve been trained to believe is abnormality. The love hunger begins, they get tired of beating their meat. Without sex and love the soul shrivels. Their will to live says, ‘Alright, if I’ve got to suck a prick or get fucked to feel some peace, okay okay.’ Many can’t ever get over the experience of prison sexuality when they get out. In my case, after I got out for good, I was unpassionate for the longest time because of the deadly habit in prison of sex under tension.”


Why Padric? Why gay life in the 40s, 50s, 60s? Why such licentious prose?

When I met Padric McGarry in 1976 he looked like a tall, henna-haired Dorothy Lamore from long-ago Hollywood; shoulder length, thick hair, winged shoulder blades, poised with a straight back. His alert, hazel eyes didn’t miss a thing that went on around him. He described himself as “flaming, not nelly with a skinny, fruit body.” We met in New York when he was fifty-one years old. I last heard from him in 1982 and shortly afterwards received a letter from a bereft friend describing a massive heart attack in San Diego, California that had killed him.

Padric had asked me to write his biography but he died before we could assemble ample materials. Time stole me away, other writings were undertaken while thoughts of his life were no longer at the front of my mind. Twenty years passed; ten books were published. I crisscrossed the country and world; matured and became less restless.

When I recently came up for air, thoughts of Padric returned so I searched for our papers and tapes. I found them buried inside a cardboard carton, stored for more than twenty years. The rubber bands had stiffened. They disintegrated and stuck to batched pages and to plastic cassette cases when I lifted them from the carton and more gently pealed.

My novella [The Potato Eater] under construction will be based on what sparse materials were gathered long ago; taped interviews, an outline of a fictionalized sketch drafted with a friend named Spencer that Padric had given me as a springboard, fragments of remembered conversation and events, a few letters and my own imagination. At all times it will reflect his mind-set – camp, sex-obsessed, graphic in the gay language of his (now historic) time.IMG_0806

Padric’s story will be expanded, textured, fictioned and molded into a sculpture made of bell metal in the shape of a tall, slim man of Irish-American descent who was born out of wedlock in 1925 in the Bronx, who didn’t want his experience as a gay man in a straight world way before Stonewall to be forgotten.

Stay tuned.



Padric continues: Warning: This material is not for prudes

            “Sex was always instant and quick – you were ever-ready. I knew that the best way to a man’s heart in prison was through his prick or asshole, and learned quickly to have at least five husbands. It was smart to have a man in the kitchen because the food was so terrible – connections for sandwiches. A man in the laundry so I could look pretty. A man in the library so I could keep my culture and intellect high. A man in the hospital for little goodies like cold cream. Vaseline. Shampoo. A man working in one of the factories because he earned money – to have a Daddy with money.

            “I became a seminal dump. My only reality was the second of ejaculation. I’d choose the freakiest of mates – Neanderthals – humpy-punky but masculine. I was sometimes known as Millicent Duchess of Southerland, sometimes as Tarzanna because I could swing up through the catwalks from tier to tier. If I had a boyfriend, we’d make arrangements between count time when the guards came by, I’d swing up to his tier, turn the trick, and swing back down in a matter of minutes.

            “I fell madly in love with a big Irish donkey who worked in the kitchen and was almost directly above me on the second tier. We began our romance. He’d write me love notes. He’d get a big hard-on and bang it on the locker to let me know, like the cave man beating his chest. We’d send each other our jockey shorts, and occasionally we’d exchange tiny bottles of seminal fluid. I’d sing to him because we almost never got together.” [from taped interviews for The Potato Eater]IMG_0807


re: Potato Eater — gay novella in production

In our interview, Padric continued speaking

      “Immediately I had ‘Homosexual, Degenerate, Cock Sucker’ stamped on my records so I was rarely in population with the rest of the men. I was kept in segregation with junkie queens, wino queens, booster queens, prick peddlers, drag queens and some men who just preferred to be in the homo block where they were adored and given sexual comfort. Life in segregation with those mad sissies was like being caged with a mass of mad, screaming peacocks.

       “Sex was always instant and quick – you were ever-ready. I knew that the best way to a man’s heart in prison was through his prick or asshole, and learned quickly to have at least five husbands. It was smart to have a man in the kitchen because the food was so terrible – connections for sandwiches. A man in the laundry so I could look pretty. A man in the library so I could keep my culture and intellect high. A man in the hospital for little goodies like cold cream. Vaseline. Shampoo. A man working in one of the factories because he earned money – to have a Daddy with money.

(more to come)


Joining the soup and salad, here comes the lowly potato


I was 16 when I was arrested for corrupting the morals of soldiers and sailors, blocking a public doorway, and disturbing the peace.

      In prison I began to grow up and learn. I learned how to pick pockets, how to open five kinds of safes, how to forge checks, how to work second story, how to boost. We’d practice there. I learned all the necessary things to spend 20 more years in different prisons. Riker’s Island was my Junior High School. Sing Sing and Dannemora State were my High Schools. The chain gang and Leavenworth were my colleges.”

These words were spoken to me by a man named Padric McGarry during an interview a number of years ago. Padric had spent 20 years in 21 prisons across American during a time when being gay meant being segregated, abused, violated in body and spirit. Born in the Bronx to an Irish mother, father unknown, he became a petty thief, a male hustler, and, as he explained, when alcohol was added to the mix, he usually ended up in jail.

Padric asked me to write his biography and I did many interviews. Sadly, he died before we could complete it. Now, years later, I’ve resurrected Padric’s life in the form of a novella to be titled POTATO EATER.

(More about Padric soon.)






Soup, a salad and two true stories

The new TMI’s reissues are:

Two novels:

1. The Devil’s Mistress

The story of the woman who lived and died with Hitler — Eva Braun.

(The soup)

2. Clairvoyant, The Imagined Life of Lucia Joyce

The story of James Joyce’s daughter who she was diagnosed as schizophrenic and spent over 40 years in mental hospitals though her father believed that she was a genius, like him, and that she was a clairvoyant who could see beyond normal reality.

(The salad)

Two nonfictions:

A Special Fate, Chiune Sugihara, Hero of the Holocaust

The story of the Japanese diplomat who went against his government’s orders and saved over 5000 Jews who were running for their lives to escape Hitler, and, by doing so, destroyed his career and future written for ages 10 – 14 but accessible to anyone.

Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival, Europe 1939-1945

25 true stories of survival by Jews and others during World War II

Swan dive into 2015

IMG_0772Back from California and Arizona, all four planned reissues — THE DEVIL’S MISTRESS, CLAIRVOYANT, FIET’S VASE, A SPECIAL FATE — two literary novels, two nonfiction books, one for young people — are now LIVE on Amazon as Books and as Kindles.  All looking, feeling, smelling and tasting great with New Author’s Notes to keep things current. TMI Press in Providence has outdone itself and a luscious, celebratory meal at Blossom in Chelsea was shared during which I was invited by TMI to publish another work.

Discussions began.


Found myself nodding MeToo while watching the following video received on FB this morning. One needn’t watch it entirely as it’s a bit long, but, even a few minutes of viewing gets the message across — that people in Iran are like me and I’m like them. We’re not oil and water but more like oil and vinegar. Seems obvious. Indeed, something I was taught while sitting on a small chair in a kindergarden classroom. Perhaps, because it was so long ago, I needed to be reminded by this clever, amusing (albeit a bit rough on Bollywood) video, and yes, literally nodding my head.

Now back to packing for a trip, drinking coffee, working to promote my two new (still bottle fed) children THE WOMAN WHO BROUGHT MATISSE BACK FROM THE DEAD and ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM (Oneiro Press, UK).  Finally, with one more coffee, work continues proofing four books soon to be reissued with new intros, new covers, entirely refreshed by TMI Press in Providence, RI. Lucky me. Lucky books.

Dare I post a little appetizer of this coming new series?  Oh, what the hell. The Devil’s Mistress….