“I have called Provincetown my home since 1973, when I sought refuge there from my homophobic parents,” Susan E. Cayleff wrote in 2007 in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. “While I have lived and earned a living elsewhere, my home there is my true place of belonging.”
For Cayleff, “elsewhere” is San Diego State University, where she is a professor of women’s studies and the director of the master’s program. “Home” is this splendidly eccentric structure at 24 Mechanic, which she purchased in 1981 from Howard L. Vogel, who’d bought it 13 years earlier from its longtime owners, the Pereira family. To judge from older maps, what is now a separate tax lot at No. 24 was once part of a larger parcel numbered 22 Mechanic Street.
This had been the home of Frances Oliver Pereira (±1877-1940), who was born on São Miguel in the Azores and had married Antone Pereira (d ±1937). Her sons Manuel D. Pereira (b ±1902) and Antone Pereira Jr. (b ±1923) lived at 22 Mechanic. Antone was an airplane pilot and the manager of the Provincetown Municipal Airport in the 1960s. His wife was Joan Pereira (b ±1927).
Cayleff, who was educated at UMass, Sarah Lawrence and Brown, joined the faculty of San Diego State University in 1987. “I was fortunate to be among the first generation of women’s studies students to graduate,” she has written. “Then, as now, I believe our intradiscipline must link academic excellence with activism to better girls’ and women’s lives.” Her books include Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women’s Health (1991), Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias< (1996) and Babe Didrikson: The Greatest All-Sport Athlete of All Time (2000).
• Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-03-29