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

Posts tagged ‘friends’

Update December 2018

Ron Tipton at WorkHello folks. I’m back again. I began this blog with all good intentions of keeping it up to date but life keeps interfering. That’s my lame excuse. That and the fact that I keep another blog posting through blogspot that I keep up to date almost daily.

Pardon me while I ramble a bit here but I feel a need to explain my current situation.

I turned seventy-seven years old this year. I am now officially an old man. There is no way out of it. Never in my life did I think I would reach this grand old age. Never did I think I would outlive so many of my old friend and former co-workers but I have.  But my time is coming, I can feel it.

I’m not steady on my feet.  My body aches from encroaching arthritis. I have an extra heartbeat which I really notice when I over exert myself walking or other forms of physical activity.  I need a daily afternoon nap or else I just wear down.

The one good thing I have in my life now, besides my long term relationship with Bill Kelly, my partner and now husband of fifty-four years, is my Canadian friend Pat F. I met Pat through the Internet (he saw my photo on the Internet and looked me up) and we’ve been good friends ever since. We travel together four times a year. He is the man I’ve been looking for all my life. Then who is Bill you might ask? When I got together with Bill fifty-four years ago I told him then he wasn’t The One. He has always understood that. But I will never leave Bill, I love him too. But Pat and I have so much more in common. I am convinced we are from the same amoeba from a previous life.

Well, I don’t want to wear out my welcome after this long absence but I did want to see if I can make a go out of this blog and keep it more current than I have promised in the past.

To anyone who happens to come by this lonely blog, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year!

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.


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!

Carrot Cake – Cracker Barrel Style



The best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life was a slice I had at Cracker Barrel a few years ago.  One bite and I felt like I was entering heaven.  I HAD TO HAVE that recipe.  I called Cracker Barrel and they graciously told me the recipe was on the Internet for all to share.  I copied it, got the ingredients and made it and yes…it turned out just like the piece of heaven I had at Cracker Barrel.



I have made this recipe a few times since then but only on special occasion but it is quite a chore to make.  Set aside at lest an hour for preparation.  But oh is it ever worth it.  


Today is my neighbor Bob’s birthday.  He and his wife Barbara love carrot cake.  What better birthday present?  So in about an hour, after Babs gets up (late sleep she is), Bill and I will traipse over to their manse and present Bob with his birthday present.  
Here is the recipe should any of my readers care to make their own cake for a friend or a favorite neighbor:

Cracker Barrel The Old Country Store Carrot Cake

Recipe Type: Dessert, CopyKat Recipe
Total time: 1 hr 10 min
Serves: 10
This cake is just like moms!
  • CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped English walnuts
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (8 ounce can with juice)
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins that have been soaked in water until plump and then drained
  • 1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans for garnish
  1. Cake: Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs until smooth and fluffy. Add pineapple, walnuts, coconut, carrots, and raisins and blend well. Gradually add flour mixture a half at a time until blended through.
  2. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes. Test with toothpick for doneness. When cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and a little powdered sugar at a time until all has been blended well. Turn mixer on high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Spread frosting over the cooled cake and sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Yield: 24 servings