A Stranger Becomes a Friend

by Anna Costello Wisniewski

I met Michael online while I was doing research for my play about a gay survivor of Jonestown. When I went to San Francisco for a memorial service and to do additional research, it was my first time in the city, and I didn’t know a soul. Michael helped me find a place to stay before I even got there.

Once I arrived, he was so friendly I didn’t feel like a stranger in the city at all. I was very nervous about going to the memorial service, since I was neither a friend nor relative of anyone from Peoples Temple. I felt like I was imposing. Michael took me under his wing and introduced me around. I felt very much at home and even joined in an after-memorial get together. Everyone turned out to be warm and friendly. I definitely came to understand the positive pull of Peoples Temple.

Michael also showed me some of the hidden treasures of San Francisco. He was very generous with his time.

I’m so glad I got to meet him. He had a very special energy and enthusiasm for life, and I will miss him.

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on November 24th, 2013.
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