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Rick Sandford was born December 31, 1950, in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in the Lake Tahoe area. His early difficulties learning to read led his parents to enroll him in a private school, Peter Pan. At the school he learned how to overcome his difficulties and would later consider reading as a primary component of his happiness. Sandford at some point created typescripts of original documents including his mother's correspondence in 1951. His early personal journal entries date to 1958 and were short and sporadic, however his later entries were longer and more frequent. The journal entries include copies of his correspondence and writings, and traditional journal entries concerning his life. His journals also document his appreciation of motion pictures, another life-long passion

After his graduation in 1969, he came to Los Angeles to see the musical, Hair and the Russian motion picture version of War and Peace. After 1972, Sandford remained in Los Angeles employed in various positions, from an usher at Grauman's Chinese Theatre to a television show stand-in. He received credit as a "research assistant" on 50 Golden Years of Oscar: the Official History of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Ronald Haver's David O. Selznick's Hollywood. Along the way Sandford appeared on television shows and in motion pictures as an extra and in a few bit parts. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he worked as an editor on 3 gay erotic films and appeared as Benjamin Barker or Ben Barker in 13 gay erotic motion pictures including Kip Noll and the Westside Boys, Rear Deliveries, Skin Deep, The Class of '84 Part 2 Jocks, Gold Rush Boys, The Boys of San Francisco, A Night at Halsted's, and Games.

In the mid 1980s, Don Bachardy sketched Sandford for his book, Drawing of the Male Nude. He also served as an assistant on the 1990 documentary Hollywood Mavericks. In 1991, his short story "Forster & Rosenthal Reevaluated: An Investigative Report" was published in the anthology, Indivisible: New Short Fiction by Gay and Lesbian West Coast Writers. In 1994, another of his short stories, "Purim" was published in Blood Whispers: L.A. Writers on AIDS, Volume 2. He died of AIDS during the evening of September 28, 1995. Two more of Sandford's short stories were published posthumously, "The Gospel Of Bartholemew Legate: Three Fragments" in His 2: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers and"Manifest White" in His 3: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers. In 2000, his novel, Boys Across the Street was published.

AIDS Quilt

His papers are held at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives: Journals, short stories, plays, screenplays, comparative literature, poetry, and annual compendia of literature read, motion pictures seen, and theatrical performances attended by Rick Sandford, 1963-1995. Sandford documented his early life in Tahoe 1958-1969, as a "born again" Christian 1971-1972, and life in Los Angeles 1973-1980, and 1989-1994 in typescript journals. Working in various positions from an usher to a television stand-in Sandford documents life in Los Angeles and his love of reading, motion pictures, and theater.


Further Readings:

The Boys Across The Street by Rick Sandford
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (February 15, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0571199607
ISBN-13: 978-0571199600
Amazon: The Boys Across The Street

The riveting and often moving story of one man's obsession with a group of Yeshiva boys.

A work of fiction that manages to be both sexually frank and laugh-out-loud funny, The Boys Across the Street is the story of an ex-porn star named Rick, who lives across the street from a Chasidic boys' school, and his budding relationship with the students and their families. Rick pursues his interest in the boys by adopting Chasidic dress and dares to confront the codes in Leviticus proscribing homosexual behavior; to Rick, these codes are responsible for the bigotry that batters his life.

As his relationship with the boys deepens from obsession to friendship, Rick finds himself confronting areas of prejudice within himself. Despite being an avowed atheist, he finds himself drawn to the religious fervor of the Chasidic men as are they to his passionate embrace of their most contemptible of sins. The collision of their different worlds-combined with their increasing closeness-results in interactions that are intense, funny, and full of longing, often all at the same time.

As smart as it is comic, The Boys Across the Street is a powerful blend of eroticism and religion-a novel filled with unforgettable characters, and one that is certain to stir up discussion about sex and repression.


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