|Jim Groh at my Coatesville furnished efficient apartment 1963|
This year Bill and I will be celebrating fifty-three years together. However, a little known fact is that there was somebody before Bill. Yes, I had a steady boyfriend before Bill. His name was Jim Groh.
The year was 1963. I had recently completed a three year tour of duty with the U.S. Army. After I got out of the Army I moved to Pittsburgh and came out as a gay man. However, I only stayed in Pittsburgh for three months. I only had one friend in Pittsburgh, Sal DeRosa, a fellow service member (Air Force) from our Fort Meade days.
I moved back to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I got a job and a small furnished apartment in Coatesville, Pennsylvania for $65.00 a month.
I had a job earning $80 a week as an accounts payable bookkeeper at a Coatesville scrapyard. I had little money.
Once a month I took a train to Philadelphia to the Westbury Bar at 15th and Spruce Streets. A gay bar.
There I met Jim.
Jim was 24 years old to my 21 years old.
We both liked each other.
Jim worked at Sears Roebuck in Philadelphia as a manager.
We started seeing each other.
Jim didn't have a car. Weekly he took a train out to Coatesville from his home in Philadelphia, which was about 37 miles away.
We would spend our weekends together at my apartment in Coatesville.
|Jim and me horsing around in my apartment in Coatesillve - 1963 - one of only two pictures of have of me and Jim|
We would play board games (Monopoly). Cook meals (Swiss Steak was my speciality).
Occasionally we would go out to a local restaurant called The Three Chefs.
This arrangement worked for about three months then I got bored. After all, I was 21 years old and new to the gay scene.
I suggested that we start going out to gay bars (The Westbury) again. Jim was reluctant but he agreed.
We went to the Westbury. Didn't work out though. Jim was so possessive that he would literally block me into a corner of the bar. Of course I wasn't going to put up with this.
I broke off our relationship.
So there you go folks. My first "husband."
I've often wondered where Jim is now. I always liked him but there was no way I was going to be confined.
So how is it possible that I've now been with Bill for 53 years? Very simple, Bill has always given me my "freedom." It worked! I will always be with Bill as long as both of us are alive. This works for us.
Still, I wonder whatever happened to Jim. If you're out there Jim and happen to come upon this blog posting, contact me. We can play a game of Monopoly.