Elisha Trammell “Tram” Combs Jr. was an early beat poet–although I think he would prefer the term San Francisco Renaissance or just San Francisco poet. He was openly gay two decades before Stonewall and allied himself with the movement for “homosexual rights.” In 1951 he moved to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and became an antiquarian bookseller. He lived there until moving to New York City in 1965.
In June 2016 I offered to help Tram write his autobiography. Over the next year, until I became ill in June 2017, I spent hours interviewing him and reviewing documents from his archives. I would write a few pages and then show it to him for feedback. It is still very much an unfinished project, but I will post excerpts of what I have completed here as well as other information about Tram.