Saturday, April 07, 2012

Provincetown Memories - Seventies Photo Album

Bob McCamley and Ron Tipton during our first visit to Provincetown, Mass - 1974

Here it is folks, some of my photos from my summer vacations in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the Seventies.  I have posted some of these photos in previous blogs and have had requests from several of my readers to post more. I'll post what I have now.  I may have posted some of these photos before so please excuse any duplication.

By the way, I have resumed my "cowboy" Olde Time Photos - this from last year at Rehoboth Beach with my friend Larry - 2011

I'll scan the rest of my photos into my computer in the coming weeks and I'll also post them.  I hope these photos bring back as many pleasant memories for those of you who were part of that special time during true Seventies and Eighties which was "P-Town Freedom."

I remember the first time I visited Provincetown.  I'll always remember the year because the time was during the Watergate hearings in the summer of 1974.  My good friend Bob McCamley and I had heard so much about "P-town" that we decided we would take the town by the storm. We were both young and hot (looking and hormones) so what could be better?  We considered ourselves butcher than the average gay guy so we insisted on staying at a "butch" place.  The place we chose was "The Ranch."

"The Ranch" - 198 Commercial Street Provincetown, Mass - our butch accommodations - 1974

We arrived in Provincetown Saturday night, after an eight plus hour drive in Bob's pickup truck, looking for "The Ranch."  We thought "The Ranch" was some kind of dude ranch.  Sure.  Uh huh.  The address was 198 Commercial Street.  As any regular visitor to the gay mecca known as P-Town in the Seventies knows, Commercial Street is the main drag (no pun intended, well maybe) of Provincetown.  And Saturday night?  The street was packed!

"The Ranch" map - we couldn't find any horses!

We didn't know what to make of the whole situation.  This wasn't how we envisioned Provincetown and The Ranch.  Commercial Street was clogged with same sex couples holding hands, kissing, arms around shoulders, laughter, sights, laughter, screams, yells.  WHAT WAS THIS?  We felt at home because of the relaxed atmosphere.

 Free, free, thank God almighty free at last!

That's how we felt.  But at the same time we had to maintain our butcheness.  

As our pickup truck inched its way through the festive, carnival atmosphere that was P-Town in the summer of 1974, we found "The Ranch."  OMG!  More about that later.  For now I want to share what photos I have, some of which are of a later date.  

That summer began a whole new chapter in my life.  A chapter that for the first time in my life I felt equal (or better) than straight people. For the first time in my life I realized that I was no longer alone.  

WARNING!  Serious memories to follow.  Enjoy!

 Gay flag on Commercial Street Provincetown, Mass
 "Angels' Landing" - where I usually stayed in P-town
Brad, Gino and Bob - 1980
Commercial Street Provincetown, Mass - 1980
"Fish House" Provincetown, Mass - 1980
Gino and Bob at "The Cottage" - 1980
Gino, Bob and Me - on Commercial Street - 1980
Long shot Gino, Bob and me on Commercial Sreet - 1980
Brad and me - whale watching - 1980
Lynn Tamlin - Herring Cove - 1979
Outdoor cafe - P-Town - 1980
Me (what's with my mouth?), Gino and Bob - 1980
Gino and Bob two sheets to the wind - 1980
Gino, Bob and Brad - sitting in court at Angels' Landing - 1980

Provincetown harbor from the Monument - 1980
Me and Brad at The Cottage - 1980
Me near Bob White's Motel - 1978
Me at Angel's Landing - 1977
Me on The Pier - 1976
Me in front of the Monument (wow!  short shorts!)

Me still "butch" after all these years - Rehoboth Beach 2011


Bob said...

Great photos.
Looks like fabulous memories.

Ron said...


Probably the best time of my life. It all ended too soon. All of my friends in the photos are gone (HIV) except two who are still alive and one is also HIV and the other has dementia. These photos are all I have left of our friendship. Larry (the other white-haired "cowboy" is the only friend I have left who I talk to every day. Other than the fact that we're both old men (70) now, we're still plugging along. The rest are gone. So sad.


Ur-spo said...

I have been to Provincetown only once - with my three brothers and their wives. So I get the experience of going to P-town with 6 straight people, and relatives at that. Brother #4 was going around exclaiming 'GEE LOOK AT ALL THE GAY PEOPLE HERE!" . The dykes didn't kill him, but we did get him to shut up and take the ritalin.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

My years in Provincetown were a perfect storm. I was at my peak and the Seventies were at their peak. P-town was heaven on earth for me. I haven't matched those years since. I am glad I went when I did. I have so many good memories. Only thing now is that most of my friends are gone, mostly to HIV. I was at the sexual revolution but I rarely joined in. I thought I was missing something but as it turned out I saved my life. I really did visit P-town for the "ambiance" and not the wild sex. Really. Saved my life.

Amanda said...

You sure had a lot of fun. I have a new MacBook Pro and the pictures are unbelievably clear.
(With the $ 3 million you won, can't you hire a chauffeur? [lol])

Ron said...

HI Nadege,

Good to hear from you! I too have a new MacBook Pro. Isn't it cool? I love it. I haven't watched 'DWTS" yet but I have it on DVD. I don't' feel like watching Mark Balas again this year. Why doesn't he take a year off like some of the other pros? I know you saw he is a nice guy but I can't get past his overbearing ways. Sorry.

Scott said...

I remember my first trip to Toronto and walking down Church street. It was a big change from Pittsburgh! I hope you write more about those P-Town heydays.

Amanda said...

Mark has a good partner this season and is not over powering her. It is a really good show. I don't want anybody to go as they are
all so nice.

Ron said...


I have a lot of stories about Provincetown which I am looking forward to sharing on my blog.


Ron said...


Thank you for this information. I have this season's "DWTS" on DVR but I am reluctant to watch it because Mark Balas annoys me so much. Unlike most of my fellow gay bloggers, I fail to see his appeal. I have no doubt he's a nice guy like you said but he doesn't come across that way to me. When I see him dancing all I see is a overbearing guy auditioning for his own reality show. I like to watch "DWTS" to see TWO people dancing, not a solo act, which Mark tends to do.

I know I'm being a bore about my attitude towards Mark and that's why I haven't watched or posted anything about "DWTS." I'll watch it this weekend.

Hula Hank said...

I love looking at these photographs!!

Also, I must say that you had quite the tube sock collection!!!!

John said...

Thank you for posting these photos. I'm one of the readers who requested more. It took me over a year to stumble across this post, but I finally did. My favorite is the photo of you and Brad at the Cottage in 1980. I love Brad's mustache and the orange aura over him from, I guess, the photo being at the end of a role.

Ron said...

Thank you Hank! I still have those tube socks, never wear them though. Can't seem to part with them. Nostalgia has a strong hold on me yet.

Ron said...


I have more photos to post, including several of a drag show. That "orange aura" over Brad was a malfunction of the flash or at the end of the role of film. Seems wherever Brad was there was some kind of "malfunction." I sure did love that guy, never stopped loving him. Would never have worked out though.