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

Posts tagged ‘gay’

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.

Who Was That Masked Man?

ImageHave you ever seen a stranger out in public that you were immediately attracted to?  Of course you have!

We all have our ideal fantasy man (or woman).  Some of are lucky enough to actually meet that person and form a relationship or an affair.  I had that happen once in my life but that experience is a subject for another blog posting.  What I’m going to post about now is what happened on October 11th, 2009 when I marched in the Gay Equality March in Washington D.C.

A friend and I took a chartered bus from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to attend and march in the 30th anniversary of the Gay Equality March in Washington, D.C.  I had attended the first gay equality march in 1979, thus I looked forward to this trip with great anticipation.

The weather was perfect for our two hour bus ride to Washington.  This march was a lot different from the first gay equality march I attended in 1979.  On that march my stomach was full of butterflies.  Back in the homophobia dark ages of 1979, gays marching was a dangerous event.  Our march was lined by D. C. police on motorcycles, to protect us from the many homophobes who lined our route.  The march was solemn.

The march in 2009 was the total opposite.  There was an air of festivity in the air.  Gone were the D.C. motorcycle cops lining our route to protect the marchers from potential violence  This time all joined in our march. In fact, I think about half the march were straights who supported our march.

During the march I was a swivel head as I usually am out in public.  As I was marching my eyes caught sight of a sign that said “They risk their life in the millitary (sp) anyway. Why should they have to hide? Gay Rights.” I liked the sign, even more I liked WHO WAS HOLDING THE SIGN!

Man oh man!  There HE was! MY TYPE!  WOW!  I rushed up to him to take a photo of his sign.  I wanted to talk to him but I didn’t want to lose my place with my friend in the parade.  I quickly took my photo and returned to join my friend in the parade.  I immediately regretted my decision not to talk to THAT MAN.  I LIKED HIM!  He looked like he wanted to talk too.  WHAT DID I DO?  I missed my BIG CHANCE!

So here is my question:  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS?

Do Blondes Have More Fun?

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Yes, that is me….blonde hair and all.  What was I thinking?

The year was 1981 and I was at the peak of my Wild Years.  I thought I was pretty hot in the gay scene.  You know, big fish in a small pond (Philadelphia).

Every summer I used to vacation in Provincetown, Mass.  Provincetown for those of you who aren’t aware of the gay scene is the or WAS the gay summertime mecca for gay boys and gals. I always enjoyed my vacations in P-town.  I loved to work on my tan and just enjoy the freedom of being gay and inhibited.  And of course there was always the chance that I would meet SOMEBODY.

So this year, 1981, I thought I would comb a little peroxide in my hair and let the sun bleach it.  That I did and my hair bleached an ugly shade of blonde!  OMG!  What was I going to do now?  I DIDN’T LIKE IT!

I went on vacation anyway just to see how I would make out (so to speak) in P-town.  Well guess what?  I wasn’t mobbed at the P-town airport when I landed with my new blonde hair, I wasn’t sought after at the daily afternoon tea dance at the Boatslip.  I wasn’t even noticed when I slithered into the Atlantic House and Backstreet bar at night.  So much for the new Blonde Ron.  I don’t know whether my reception had to do with my new blonde look or that I was so self-conscious that I turned people off.  All I knew was I wanted my normal dark brown hair back.

My father is a blonde as are both of my younger brothers.  My Mother has dark brown hair like I do.  I guess I wanted to look like my good-looking straight brothers.  Well you know the old saying “Be careful what you wish for.” 

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When I got home I couldn’t wait for my hair to grow out. Of course in the meantime I had to explain to my co-workers at the bank where I worked in Philadelphia as an operations manager, why all of a sudden I had blonde hair.  Saying I spent “too much time in the sun” just wasn’t cutting it.

The next year when I went on vacation to Provincetown I returned with my normal, mysterious, alluring DARK brown hair.  I was mobbed at the airport (not really), sought out at the tea dance (sort of) and aroused a great deal of interest at the Atlantic House and Back Street bar (with some guys).

So the moral of the story is “Blonde may have more fun but gentlemen really DO prefer brunettes.”

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Gay Headstones?

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As regular followers of this blog know, I am a long time member of FAG. For those of you who don’t know what FAG is, it is Find a Grave.  I am a Find a Grave volunteer.  I take pictures of gravestones and post them to the Find a Grave website.

I am now at the point in my life where I am going to choose my own headstone.  However, I have a dilemma.  Do I order one of those dual headstones that so many married couples have?

In my cemeteries wanderings I have seen literally thousands of these “married” headstones.  I have wondered, what kind of headstones do gay couples have after they die?  Of course back “then” there were no gay couples.  “Back then”, gay couples stayed in the closet, even in the cemetery.

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Well, I think it is time for all of use to come out, even in the cemetery. Sure, one has to take into consideration that a headstone with two male names on it would be a prime object of cemetery vandalism.  Yes Virginia, gays are fair game for bashing even in the cemetery.

So it was with great interest that I came across this headstone this morning as I was posting my latest cemetery information to FAG.

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So here we go folks.  I found these headstones of two men, approximately the same age and obviously not brothers.  I researched these names on Ancestry.com and discovered that Lester Webb was listed as “single” on the 1940 U.S. Census. He lived in his sister’s house with her husband and family.  Could Lester be the gay uncle?  Ah ha!

The only information I could find on Joseph Hayward was that he lived in Sussex County, Delaware.  I could find no U.S. census information. I could find no wife.  I could find no family for Joseph Hayward.  Could it be that Joseph was Lester’s “friend?”

Just this weekend, as Bill and I were looking for two FAG requests at the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery in Milton, we discussed what type of headstone I should choose.

After my father’s death in August of 2000 I purchased two cemetery plots at the Northwood Cemetery on a hill overlooking Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  At that time I was not ready to purchase a headstone for Bill or myself.  Bill always said he wanted one of those metal military plaques on his grave.  We both like those plaques and I had even briefly consider having one of those myself.  However, I have since decided that I want a more substantial headstone.  I am not one of those people who decided that I want no trace of myself when I leave this earth.  I want a remembrance for which I do not apologize.

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I like these military grave markers but I think I have decided what I’m going to do.  We’re going to go the way of Joseph and Lester and have a dual headstone.

What do you think?

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