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History Update

(Note:  The predecessor club to M.S.N. was called “Cronies”) 

History of the Men’s Social Network

Upon moving to Tucson from Illinois, Jerry C. and Les E. met Ray E.  They became good friends and also became disenchanted with some concepts of the previous group to which they belonged. After thinking about "retiring," Ray was the motivator who said, "Tucson needs a group for gay men."

At that point the three of them turned to other friends who could represent each decade of age for broader input as a steering committee. Jerry did not want a decision making role, but offered to handle public relations. Les offered to publish a newsletter, and continued doing until shortly after Jerry passed away.

The first steering committee consisted of Glenn E. (20's), Les E. (30's), John B. (40's), Ray E. (50's) and Don R. (60's and up). Ray served as the first chairperson. The purpose of the group was to be a social, not political, organization. An informal structure has been maintained since most did not want to have an overly structured group. The steering committee members choose their own replacements. This prevents the group from being politicized.

The group was designed to be an alternative to the bar and so, to avoid legal problems, no alcohol would be served at any MSN events.

The founding committee decided if there were sixty members at the end of the first year, it would be considered to be successful. There were forty-five in attendance at the first potluck in March 1995, held at the Cornerstone Fellowship Church social hall, which we rapidly outgrew. There were 150 at the end of the first year. We have had over 300 members.

We extend our thanks to all of the members and visitors who have made our organization so successful. Most new members join as a result of word-of-mouth advertising, Wingspan and other LBGT Community Group referrals.

It has been a special delight to see new people in Tucson find an instant social family through MSN.

NOTE:  Jerry Curl crossed over on March 3rd, 2004.  Rest in peace Jerry.



The re-organization -- Post Jerry Curl Years

Shortly before Jerry’s passing, Les wrote the following “Everything Changes” for publication in the March 2004 “The Network News”:  “---. On Saturday, March 4, 1995, we had 49 men who were interested enough in the concept to come and check it out.  We said we’d consider ourselves a success if we had 60 members by the end of the first year.  We were short sighted.  We had 100 members by our 101st day of the group’s founding.  But … everything changes.  …. Many people have put in a lot of time and effort into the success of MSN.  I’d like to offer my thanks and appreciation to every single person who has helped out in some way.  We couldn’t have done it without you. 

I don’t see change as necessarily a bad thing.  It just is---and it’s the one constant in life.  Wait and things will change.  You can have a hand in the change, or the change can happen if you just stand still, but---trust me---things change.

It’s up to all of you guys now…  Help MSN be a vital and active part of the Tucson gay community.  Volunteer to host.  Help with the newsletter.  Everything changes, and I hope you’ll be a part of the changes in coming years.”  Les Elliott

Robert Serrano was at the start of his second year as President when Jerry Curl passed away on the Wednesday, the 3rd of March, 2004.  Jerry had been diagnosed with cancer during Robert’s first term.  Though it was expected that Jerry would not live very long, due to the nature of his cancer, the organization carried on.  Regardless of the general knowledge that Jerry might not survive his bout with cancer, it was a tremendous shock when the entire group was informed that he passed.  His long term partner, Les Elliott and their life long companion, Triton, better known affectionately to members as the M.S.N. Pizza Night Mascot, were at Jerry’s bedside when he passed.   

Robert continued as President until his term expired in March, 2006 and was able to find his replacement, Steve Peterson.  Doug Martin had taken over editorship of “The Network News” after Les “retired”; Karol Chaska took on the responsibility of printing and mailing and Arlan Colton the responsibility of assembling and folding with the help of volunteers. 

Steve took over the MSN helm in April, 2006 and successfully kept the group going until he had to resign due to career and schooling pursuits in February, 2008.  Doug Martin turned in his intent to give up editorship of the newsletter effective as soon as a replacement could be found.  No one stepped forward at the time.

A search for Steve’s replacement ensued by the Steering Committee.  Membership was on a decline ever since the untimely death of Jerry and with Les’ leaving active membership in our group.

Committee member George Gustafson, in April, 2008, agreed to take on the responsibility as President until someone could be found.  Finding hosts for Pizza Night, which was always a favorite event, became, and still is, difficult.  In January, 2009, George discussed the possibility of talking to the Prime Timers group about a possible merger or just disbanding the M.S.N. altogether due to what appeared to be a disinterest in help from members in hosting and involvement.  The Steering Committee at the time decided to conduct a Membership Survey to find out what the majority of the membership wanted to do.   Doug Martin, by this time had tendered his final resignation as editor effective with the February, 2009 edition; no other volunteers stepped forward for this important duty.  Due to increased expense in publishing and mailing and the decline in membership, the Steering Committee decided to do away with the snail mail newsletter and go only with the “e-newsletters” which Thom Goodrich had been doing and has continued to do along with other web related projects, although he has sought an interested member to take over the e-news for the group, so far to no avail.  

More to be added to the History of the Men’s Social Network.  In the mean time we are:

Looking forward – With great pride in the past.

It remains a special delight to see new people in Tucson find an instant social family through MSN.



Volunteer to Host an event at your home or schedule and host an event at a place of your choice, like a museum tour, a movie, a lunch, just anything that would interest the members.

Volunteer to host or help with the Monthly Potluck, we always need help setting up.  Help in the Kitchen.  Help cleaning up. 

Volunteer to host or help with the Spring/Fall Picnics; Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinners.