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

Archive for January, 2018

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Interview With My Mother

Betty Tipton pregnant

My mom pregnant with me – 1941

On September 15th, 2007 I sat down with my Mother at her home at 1075 Hopewell Road, Downingtown, Pennsylvania and interviewed her about my early life of which I had little or no memory. My Mother died three years after this interview. I wish I had interviewed her more often before she died but she was losing her mental capacity.

This interview begins with the date Mom got married to my father:

November 2, 1940

I got married Saturday night in Elkton, Maryland.

I went back to school the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

When Pop (my father) came back to pick me up for a night out (we usually went out Wednesday and Saturday nights), this time I had two dresses packed and was ready to leave home.

The last beating I got from grandpop (her father) was because I took too long to come back from the Morris (grocery) store. It was raining and I stood under cover until the rain let up. When I got home grandpop had the belt waiting. He asked me “Why did it take you so long?” He broke his belt beating me. I told Pop “I want to get away from this mess.” That night I moved in with Pop at the little house he rented on the road next to the Brandywine Creek right off of Route 322 from Downingtown.

Early 1941

We moved to a double house in Mortonville. Ed and Mable (my father’s brother and his wife) lived in the other half of the house. Mrs. Tipton, Pop’s mother, lived across the street.

We only lived in this house a few months. There was no running water in the house, no electric, no locks on the doors and an outhouse for a bathroom.

Pop got a job as an attendant at the Coatesville Veterans Hospital.

Later we moved to Cedar Knoll, in a rented house on a long dirt road on a hill. This is the house we lived in when you were born.

There was no electric or running water in this house either. We heated the house by a kerosene heater. It didn’t heat too much. There was a train track down over the hill.

Pop worked at the Veterans Hospital for about two years.

Mom said she remembers me being in the back seat of Pop’s car in a baby basket. Pop was driving down the hill and took a turn too fast and you went rolling out of the baby basket.

Cedar Knoll

Mom pregnant with me in front of their Cedar Knoll home – 1941

To be continued

My Birth

betty Tipton with Baby Ron Tipton

I had a difficult birth. My Mother told me I had a “forceps” birth. I didn’t want to come out. I was stuck.  My grand entrance into the world and already I was causing a problem. Her doctor had to pull me out with forceps. When I finally came out my Mother said my head was covered in blood. The forceps just missed by less than an inch putting out my right eye. This near accident was the first of many fortunate near misses in my life. For many years I bore a vaccination type scar on my right eye with the pride of individualism. That scar is almost indivisible now on my aged face. And that was the last time I was anywhere near female private parts.

Autobiography

Ike, Betty and Ron Tipton Mineral Springs 1942Introduction

This is the first entry of my autobiography.

For many years I have wanted to write my autobiography but I didn’t know where to start. Do I write a massive tome? One of those biographies that are extensively cross referenced and footnoted? No, that’s not for me. First, I don’t have the time and secondly writing such a biography in that format reminds me too much of a term paper, which I hated to do in high school and during the college days.

I now have the solution.  A few years ago a friend recommended a book by the brother of a former classmate of mine. He wrote his “biography” as a series of vignettes. I loved that format. Viola! This is how I’m going to write my story.

The following is my first chapter. More details will follow.

I was born at a very young age. My place of birth was the Chester Country Hospital in West Chester, Pennsylvania. My date of birth was November 9, 1941.

I was the first born of Betty (Hadfield) and Isaac Tipton. My Mother was a fourth generation American of English heritage. Her great grandfather emigrated from England in 1852 via the port of New York City with his wife and two young children, William and Mary.

My father was an eight generation American. His ancestor Jonathan Tipton emigrated to American from Jamaica in 1692 via the port of Baltimore Country, Maryland. My father was a hillbilly from the Pisgah mountains of western North Carolina.

My father’s family moved from North Carolina to southern Pennsylvania in 1930, along with eight of his brothers to escape starvation caused by the Great Depression in those North Carolina “hollers”. The Tipton Family was cheap labor for his uncle Donald Byrd’s fruit and vegetable farm in southern Chester County.

My father met my Mother on a double date. My father was the driver of a car for his friend Hank.  My 16 year-old Mother had a date with Hank and my father’s date was with Edie Lemon, my Mom’s best girlfriend.  But when my father drove up in his jalopy, my Mother took one look at is tall, lanky 19 year old hillbilly boy and told her girlfriend Edie “You get in the back. I’m sitting up front with him.”  And that was the beginning of one of the greatest love stories that I have ever known.

A year later I was born.

New Start

Good day folks!

I’ve been absent from this blog. Mainly because this was a second personal blog and I’ve been concentrating on my other blog in Google (blogspot).  Also another reason is that I didn’t have a clear objective for this blog. But now I think I have found the purpose of this second blog.

First thing though, you’ll have to be patient with me because I’m not used to Word Press. The older I get I notice I have more trouble navigating a learning curve. I have pretty well mastered my Google blog but this one?  Still a lot to learn.

The purpose of this blog will be to record my memories from my 76 years of life on this planet. We all have a story. For many years I’ve wanted to write my autobiography but kept putting it off because I didn’t know where to start. Of course one starts at the beginning (when I was born) but that’s boring, isn’t it?  Instead I’m going to take a clue a book a brother of one of my former classmates did with his life. He self published a book of anecdotes about his life.  His book was called “Fuzzy Side Up.”  He took the title from his rug business.

His book of anecdotes about his life was funny, sad and most of all, interesting. As I read his book I thought to myself, “I can do this.”  And you know folks, you could too. We all have interesting lives. Unfortunately most of our personal anecdotes are lost once we pass on. I hope to avoid that fate by posting my anecdotes on this blog.

So stay with me folks, while I learn how to blog on Word Press.

Have a great day everyone!

Shopaholic Ron