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

Posts tagged ‘Autobiography’

Interview With My Mother #2

Isaac Tipton, Sr. Lukens Steel ID card

My father’s employee ID card at Lukenweld

1942 – Pop got a job at Lukenweld. The family (me, Mom ad Pop) moved to Towerville, Pennsylvania. This was a double house. Sally Kitchen lived in the house next to them. This is my earlies memory. I remember someone yelling “Sally! Sally!” Many years later, when I was an adult I asked my Mother who was “Sally.” This is when she told me about the Sally who lived in the house next to their rental house.  This had to be the same “Sally” because I’ve never known another “Sally” in my life.

Mom said she thinks she lived in Compass, Pennsylvania before Towerville. She wasn’t sure.

She said it was an old hotel building that was split up into apartments. The building has electricity but no indoor toilets.

Mom said that Eugene White and his “woman” – not his wife – his “housekeeper” lived in the other side of the house.

Compass is where I fell of the roof. Mom said I had climbed out the second floor window, to the roof covering the front porch of the house. She said I slid down the roof and hit the ground. Mom was in the kitchen on the first floor and she saw me going by and dropping to the ground. She heard me crying.

Ronnie Tipton baby in crib

Me in my playpen, no more falling off roofs

Mom didn’t have a phone in the house. She ran across the road to the neighbors (they had a cow and she used to buy milk from them). Those neighbors called the doctor to check me out. He said that I would have to go to the hospital. Mom said “your insides stopped working a bit but then they started them up again.”

I didn’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. The people in the hospital said I was alright and they sent me home. (Note: here I used another one of the nine lives allotted to me on this go around).

Mom said my brother Isaac wasn’t born when I fell off the roof. Isaac was born in April of 1943 so I was about a year and a half old when I fell off the roof.

Mom’s step-mother Margaret (Hadfield) and her kids (Mary, Bobby and Ruthie) moved in while we lived in Compass because Grandpop (my Mother’s father) threw her out after he caught her with another man. The house in Compass had plenty of rooms since it was a former hotel.

To be continued. . . . . .

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.