Queer Places:
4109 N Stevens St, Tacoma, WA 98407

Grenville Michael Scott (December 20, 1922 - 2013) was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1922, but did most of his best work in California. His parents separated and divorced shortly after he was born, and he and his mother lived in Tacoma for the next twenty years. After attending Stadium High School, Scott went to the University of Washington and pledged at the Sigma Chi fraternity in 1941, but after Pearl Harbor he left school in 1942 to join the army. Apparently, his duties in the service did not prevent him from returning to the UW, and he is shown in uniform in the 1944 Tyee as a member of the Purple Shield Society. He finally graduated in 1947, and sometime around 1950 moved to San Francisco, where he found work in advertising for the National Distillers Corporation.

It was in the Bay Area where he began to discover and expand his photographic talents, as well as his sexuality. San Francisco was mobbed with servicemen who were returning from the Pacific theater, and a surprising number of them ended up in Scott's bed, as well as being recorded on black-and-white film and, occasionally, in color trasparencies. Grenville Scott eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he bought a gracious home in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. There he installed a pool and had tall cinder-block walls built around his little domain, where he often held wild parties for his friends and paramours. From the late 1950s to the early 1980s, Mike Scott (as he usually called himself) began taking photos with an astonishing frenzy. He took thousands of black-and-white images and even more color slides and transparencies. This was a risky business at the time because these photos were almost exclusively of male nudes, and not coyly posed or attired in posing pouches. Since he did not intend to sell his images, he could make them as bold and sexy as he wished. Mike Scott continued taking photos well into the 1980s, but by then he had slowed down and his preferred format changed to Polaroid instant photos. Then in 2013, while 92-year old Washington native was crossing the road near his home, he was struck by a SUV and died after a few weeks in the hospital. Fortunately, his photographs survived more or less intact.

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