Journal of a 77 Year Old Gay Man Coming In For the Final Landing

Archive for January, 2015

Up, Up and Away!

Good morning folks! I’m up in the sky right now. Specifically I’m 35,000 feet above the continental United States. I’ve been flying on this U.S. Air jet for the past four hours. I only have an hour to go until I land in Los Angeles at LAX.

“So how was the trip so far Ron?” you ask. Very good! Other than the cramped quarters where I am typing this blog posting (first time I’ve ever blogged 35,000 feet in the air – do I qualify for the “Mile High Club?”), everything went well at the Philly airport. I got through security without setting off any alarms. In fact I even got a pass on taking off my shoes. Maybe they know my feeling about that silliness of taking off the shoes. Maybe not. Maybe I just got lucky.

Well folks, I think I have this traveling thing down pat (no pun intended) now. I printed out my boarding pass at home. It worked at the airport. I got a regulation overhead bin sized bag so I didn’t have to check in my luggage. That worked! And I didn’t have to poop. Had to pee several times which caused a minor disturbance to my two very nice seat mates, They had to get up each time I had to go to the loo which is located right across from our seats. I’ll have to rethink choosing seats the next time when I make an airline reservation.

So in less than an hour I’ll land in LA. Pat is also in the air. I haven’t been able to text him (don’t know why, someone tell me what I’m doing wrong) but I’ll catch up with him at LAX, Should be fun.

Sorry about not being able to post any photos. I tried hooking up my iPhone to my MacBook Pro laptop (which I am using right now) but all kinds of funky things were happening. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

This is exciting folks!

High Anxiety

high-anxietyOne day to go before I board my flight tomorrow at Philadelphia International airport for my trip to Los Angeles. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I’m experiencing some high anxiety here today.

This morning I printed my boarding pass.  Hopefully this will lessen my stress tomorrow when I arrive at the airport at approximately 6:30 AM.  Last time I was at the airport (for my trip to Canada via Buffalo this past summer), I was running around the airport like a chicken with its head cut off looking for the boarding pass machine.  Things had changed a lot since the last time I had taken a flight which was in 2000 when I went to Disneyworld.

I’m packed, I have my board pass and I have my ride to the airport (thank you Monica!) Now all I have to worry about is that I have a proper BM  before I go.  Getting up at 3 AM to get ready for Monica picking me up at 4:15 AM for the two hour drive to Philly International airport will totally disrupt my plumbing expectations.

When I was younger I didn’t have these concerns.  Didn’t think much about it actually.  Especially in the Seventies when I used to travel (by flight) two, three and even four times a summer to visit Provincetown, Mass.  Oh those were the days, the care free days when I didn’t stress out over such mundane things like I’m worrying about now.

All I know is that I will be nightly glad when we’re safely landed in Los Angeles and settled in our Hansel and Gretel bed and breakfast.

The Countdown Begins

Ron with a rifle

I’m not a real cowboy but I play one on TV

The countdown begins today folks.  Only two more days and this time Wednesday I’ll be in the air, headed west. Am I nervous? You bet! Am I excited?  You bet again!

For one thing, it’s always nice to have something to look forward to.  All my life, whenever I didn’t have something to look forward to, I found myself slipping into a lethargic funk.  Not good.  Sure, there are times when I want my life to be mirror lake calm waters.  But what kind of life is that?  Not for me that’s for sure. So here I am, both excited and nervous.  Making frequent trips to the bathroom.  Like my Mother before she embarked on an adventure, I would get the runs.  Sorry to gross you out but nervous bowels “runs” in my family. At least it does with me.

Here are some of my worries on this trip:

What will I forget to bring with me this time? (I always do)

Will it snow the day I’m to make the two hour trip to Philadelphia International Airport?

Will I catch Bill’s cold (he has one now) and be sick as a dog this Wednesday?

Yet another thing that I inherited from my Mother: worrywart.  I tend to think of the worst that could happen.

But here is the GOOD.  I’m getting away on an adventure.  What a thrill!  Even at my Advanced Age (and I am very old folks, real old), I am as excited as a 20 year old.  First I”m going to Hollywood.  What could be more exciting than that?  Then I will be spending ten whole days with my favorite Canadian and new best buddy.  Pat and I are so compatible.  Never in my life have I been so compatible with anyone.  For one thing I think he is tremendously attractive.  He is my type to the “T.” Secondly, Pat is just a lot of fun to be with.  He’s smart, witty, sunny, easy going and did I mention good-looking and sexy? And best of all he likes me.  How cool is that?

So today I will tidy up things around the house here (in case I don’t get back, I always think of that possibility). Then I will get myself into a “Trip Mindset.” To convince myself to stop worrying about things that probably won’t happen and think of all the good things that will happen.  New memories, new photos, new friends, new experiences.  I’ve said it many times before folks and I’ll say it again, life is good.

By the way, the photo at the top is of me playing “cowboy.”  Pat has a part-time job in Toronto as an extra on movies and TV shows.  We’re going to try our luck in Hollywood.  Why not?  What do we have to lose?  Besides, I think I make a pretty convincing cowboy.

Hollywood Here We Come!

hollywood-bed-breakfast

Holllywood Bed and Breakfast Hotel

Only two days now until I get up at 4 AM in the morning of Wedneday, January 7th to catch my ride with Monica to the Philadelphia International airport.  My flight leaves at 7:35 AM for Los Angeles.  I will arrive in Los Angeles at 10:46 AM.  The flight is six hours long but Los Angeles is three hours behind us here on the East Coast.  In Los Angeles I will be meeting my Canadian pal Pat.  He’s flying in from Toronto, Canada at about the same time.  We meet up at the airport, rent a car and head on down to West Hollywood and the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast for ten days of adventure in Los Angeles.

This morning I drove the ten miles to Rehoboth Beach on this very mild (68 degrees) Sunday.  January 4th and 68 degrees?  I’ll take it.  A bit windy but with the mild temperatures, very enjoyable.  Actually I was a bit overdressed with my sweater and jacket.  Today I was on the edge of the continent, looking at the Atlantic Ocean.  Next week I’ll be on the other edge of the continent looking at the Pacific Ocean.  How cool is that?

Friends – Past and Present

Pat and Wayne

Current good friends, Pat and Wayne (aka “The Cajun”) from last year during our Kalmar Nyckel outing.

I have been blessed in my lifetime with many good friends.  I don’t know exactly why because I am a bit on the goofy side and don’t have anything particularly interesting to offer besides my childish (some say “immature”) enthusiasm.

During my school days I always had one good friend.  Not particularly gay, just a good friend that I could pal around with.

My first good friend was “Chubby”, who wasn’t actually chubby at all.  His real name was Dayton S. but I guess he was a chubby baby, that’s why he got stuck with that monicker. We were good friend from the time I was four years old until we moved from Washington Avenue in Downingtown when I was eleven years old.

120 Washington Ave

This is the only picture I have of us together.  I’m the tall kid, third from the left looking at something (a grasshopper) in my hand.  “Chubby” is standing next to me holding his grasshopper next to his head.  My brother Isaac is holding the baseball hit looking at us, trying to figure out what we were doing with grasshoppers (I won’t’ tell).

When our family moved from Washington Avenue to Boot Road my new best friend was Larry, who I am still friends with to this day.  Larry and I were best friend up until ninth grade at which time his family moved and I moved on to new best friend.

Larry, Pamela and Ron

Larry, on the left with his date Pam and me on the right (my date took the photo).  By the way, my two best friends up until this time were straight as are many of my friends to this day.

After Larry left for his new school my new best friend was Bill B. Another straight guy.  We were in band together.  Bill played the bass drum and I played the Sousaphone (don’t dare call it a “tuba”)

Bill Brookover

Again, best friends until I left high school at which time I joined the Army and got a new best friend.

Now this is where my life really got interesting.  My new “best friends” were almost all gay.  No sexual activity mind you (what was that and what did I know about THAT?) but we tended to migrate toward each other.

My first new gay best friend was in basic training and his name was Mike Tine.  I mentioned his last name because maybe he will find this blog post by an Internet search of his name.  Oh I would love to hear from him and find out what he’s been doing the last sixty years.

Ft. Dix New Jersey

Mike is to the far left on the bottom row of our Army basic training photos.  I am to his immediate right.  I guess we became best friends because of the closeness of our names.  But we were definitely simpatico although I was not sexually attracted to him.  I like him as a friend though.

And, with in keeping my new Word Press blogs short, I will end this post now.  I may pick up on this best friends theme in future postings.

FaceTime

Pat looks at Ron Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 8.59.04 AM

Isn’t modern technology wonderful?  Oh sure, it can be frustrating, believe me. But I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.  Consider my friendship with Pat.

Pat lives in Toronto Canada.  I live near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  In the bad old days, we would stay in touch my handwritten letters and telephone.  In my storied past, that is the way I maintained friendships, mostly by letter.  The phone was too expensive.  But these days, I can call Pat on my iPhone or iMac by FaceTime, something that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

By seeing each other while we talk,, we can see the facial expressions, and feel the love.  Letters and phone calls are fine but does anything match actually seeing someone you like a great deal right in front of you?

Pat and I get to see each other in person about four times a year. But the other times? We’re on FaceTime every day.

Thank you technology!

Ron and Pat’s New Adventure

Ron hugs Pat

Happy new year folks!  I am back to my long neglected Word Press blog.  I have decided to blog regularly (he says) on this blog.  So here goes folks!

I won’t go over my history since I last posted (a couple of years ago) but, instead I will tell you what I’m going to do this year.

My next adventure is with my new pal, my Canadian (Toronto) friend, Pat.  Pat and I met through my blog.  Actually he saw my picture on the Internet from my testimony before the Delaware State legislature in the spring of 2013.  He liked what he saw (my image) and did and Internet search and viola! He found my blog and left a comment.  I just happened to be on my blog and responded to his comment right away.  He was surprised.  He left another comment “You’re there!”  

We exchanged comments back and forth then I asked him if he  had FaceTime.  He did but never used it. I FaceTimed him, several times.  We became FaceTime friends.  I made a casual suggestion that, should he ever venture to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, perhaps we could get an old time photo taken together.  Much to my surprise he was available, having just recently retired from his job at the Toronto Police Department.  He had the free time and was up for a holiday.

This was August of 2013.  He drove down from Toronto to Lewes.  After an initial mixup about his hotel reservation (they didn’t have his room reserved) and me misidentifying him when I went to meet him (I thought he was the parking lot attendant ready to give me grief for parking in the hotel parking lot), we met and had a wonderful week.  A week that I will remember as long as I live.

Thus began a great friendship.  Pat is the person I’ve been looking for my whole life. I’ve been looking for someone like me.  He is me.  In fact, we have been mistaken for brothers in three cities: Philadelphia, Lewes, and Toronto, by strangers who stopped us and asked “are you brothers?”

Since that initial meeting Pat has visited me in Delaware four times. Last year on my birthday we visited and stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Last August I got my passport and visited Pat in his spectacular minimalist home in Toronto, Canada.  “Spectacular minimalist” – is that an oxymoron?

This year we decided to celebrate our winter birthdays (mine in November and Pat’s in December) for a visit to Los Angeles, California.  We’re leaving on January 7th and returning on January 17th.

Return to this space and I’ll tell you all about it.

And this is the way I’m staring off my new year folks.  Going on an adventure with a wonderful new friend to a new place which I’ve never been before.  I’ve always wanted to travel but have never done much in my life.  That’s about to change.  Better late than never!