George W. Trippon (1916-2010) was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois on Pigeon Hill. In the 1930s his family moved to Hollywood, California where he was a dancer in Hollywood movie musicals. George also went to trade school and apprenticed at MGM studios for fashion design. He was a World War II Veteran, serving as a Corporal in the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army from 1942-1944. George then studied fashion design in Paris under the G.I. Bill. Not only was he a fashion designer, he was also an educator who founded and operated the Trippon Fashion Center School of Dress Design in Hollywood, California for twenty-six years. In 1972, he was approached to star in a TV show teaching women how to sew.  The program was called “Sew What’s New” which aired daily.  His show was sponsored by Sears and Vogue.  It started out on the local channels in LA, but later was picked up by the Learning Channel and was broadcast throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and the Orient.  The show ran from 1972 until 1994. George was the author of several books on fashion design and sewing, as well as memoirs of his interesting and varied life.  George was a lecturer, world traveler and dear friend to many. His caring companion, James W. Price predeceased him in 2006, after a loving partnership of 64 years.  George is remembered by many as the “Belle of the Ball.”  

In the mid 1980’s Shawn Quinlan purchased a video camera and began to experiment with it. Taking video art and independent classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers as well as joining Pittsburgh’s Public Access Channel; he produced experimental video art, video shorts, commentary, and Public Service Announcements.  In the early 1990’s he got a job as a television editor for WTAE-TV Pittsburgh where he works presently.  After editing video became his profession Shawn stopped making his own videos and started to make Art Quilts as a form of stress relief for which he ended up gaining much recognition and numerous awards. 

Not since the early 90’s has Shawn worked on a personal video. The subject of his new video came about when they became friends and Shawn had the opportunity to meet Mr. Trippon in LA in 2008. After Mr. Trippon died on News Years Day 2010 his friend and executor of his estate Lynda Becker gave Shawn many show tapes from his TV show as well as a box of photographs and clippings. As Shawn began to string together pictures and show segments on video for friends and family he realized he had something more than just a memory slide show. And because George wrote several books on his life there was plenty to work with. As Shawn began doing research, he realized that there was very little information on gay life in the 30’s and 40’s and his documentary would also help fill in that void.  

Part One                                                    Part Two                                              Part Three