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LGBT Pride Month: Lollie Johnson

June 12, 2009

This week in honor of PRIDE Month we are featuring the Lollie Johnson Papers.

Laura (Lollie) Fay Johnson was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1939. She moved to San Antonio as a youth and earned her diploma from Brackenridge High School in 1956. Johnson worked for several years as a bar tender and in 1971 opened her first nightclub, Kali Club.
The Kali Club closed in 1973, but Johnson continued in the nightclub business. She opened several bars during the 1970s and 80s, including the Hypothesis Club, The Zoo Club, Faces, The Noo Zoo Club Company, LZs, Broadway Cabaret and L.J.’z Place. The majority of her clientele were friends and people who appreciated Johnson’s commitment to the San Antonio LGBT community.
Johnson was active in organizing charity events and supporting local community organizations, including Alamo Human Rights Committee, Lavender Alcade, San Antonio Gay Alliance and the 1st Gay Conference in San Antonio. Additionally, she served as secretary on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio AIDS foundation and was treasurer (1989-1992) and vice president (1986-1989) of the San Antonio Tavern Guild.
In 1982, her business success was recognized and she was included in the first edition of Notable Women of Texas. Johnson retired from the nightclub business in 1994 and on October 16, 2001 she passed away at the age of 62.
Included in the collection are newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, a small notebook from Faces, a wooden plaque from the Hypothesis Club, menus, programs, t-shirts, shoes, and Lollie’s résumé. There are several photographs that document bar patrons socializing, drag queen shows, vacations taken with friends, family gatherings and holiday parties.
Lollie Johnson can be seen in many of the photographs, always with a smile on her face. She was known and remembered as a positive person who made a lasting impression.

By Rosemarie Rodriguez, Collections Assistant.

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