Monday, June 25, 2018

On This Day June 23, 2014

Well folks, did I go to Rehoboth Beach yesterday? 

No I didn't. I took one look (or maybe two) at the traffic streaming down Route One to Rehoboth Beach and decided to forego that headache.  

I might go this week. Weekends are out, at least during the summer season. I've sat in that traffic to know it's no fun to stop and start down Route One just to find no parking available in Rehoboth.

During my walk this morning I stopped and talked to my neighbor Howard.  He said the best time to go to the boardwalk is early in the morning, real early.  Years ago, when I first got my Subaru, I used to go early, around 6 am and leave before the morning weekday rush of traffic at 8 am. I also didn't have to pay for parking. These days, I usually don't get up until around 7 or 7:30 am.  However this morning I did get up at 6 am. Maybe later this week I'll venture down that way. I need some new photos and videos for my "productions" that I've been featuring lately on my blog. I'm loving these Memories that my iPhone produces, with a little editing by me. Takes the laborious work out of producing them on my iMac by iMovie. Plus I save a lot of space on my computer by storing my productions in my account at You Tube. 

Today is a beautiful day, unlike the past several days when the humidity was overbearing. I just can't work outside in that heat and humidity. Last week I almost passed out after only doing about a half an hour of pulling weeds. I still have a big pile of mulch to lay. I enjoy working outside but not in the heat and humidity we had last week. 

I'm off now to Milton and the veggie stand. Have to get some of those Georgia peaches for my morning cereal.

Have a great day!

Note: featured in todays video is Pat (of course at his previous home in Toronto, Canada). Our home with our wonderful back yard oasis.  And lastly Rehoboth Beach and Semara, the hostess and owner (and a belly dancer) at a fabulous Middle Eastern restaurant in Rehoboth Beach called (of all things) "Semara's Mediterranean Grill.

This was the last time I was at her restaurant. Have to go back.  I LOVE falafels!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rehoboth Beach This Time Last Year

Bill and I live in a resort area. We live ten miles from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  

The trip to Rehoboth Beach in normal traffic takes about twelve minutes. "Normal traffic", alas in the summertime "normal traffic" moves like a lava flow.  Even though getting to Rehoboth Beach is a straight shot from our development straight down Coastal Highway (Route One), traversing four lanes of clogged highway is no fun.  Thus, I rarely if ever visit the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach during the season. 

The season lasts from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For most of us year round residents, we venture little if ever to Rehoboth Beach.  There are plenty of days in the off season when we can visit Rehoboth Beach. Of course those days we're missing experience the "summer feel" of throngs of tourists and people watching. Many of the shops, restaurants and other facilities are closed except on the weekends. 

Today is a warm, summery day. I'm thinking of taking Bill and taking that ten mile trip down to Rehoboth Beach today. After all, think of all those thousands of people who travel many miles to visit  Rehoboth Beach, braving all that traffic. Surly I can endure ten miles. 

Yes, I think I will go today. 

"Hey Bill, want to take a ride to Rehoboth Beach?"

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Father's Day 2018 and a Bonus Trump Rant

What do two men who are not fathers do on Father's Day?  We visit the Laurel Flea Market.

One of our annual summer traditions living here in southern Delaware is to visit the Laurel Flea Market. This is where we get a taste of the real Sussex County, Delaware. 

Delaware has three distinct demographic groups. There are folks like me and Bill, transplants from another state who moved to Delaware because of the low taxes and milder climate. Most of us live near on or near the Route One (Coastal Highway) corridor which includes Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Milton, Dewey and Bethany Beach. We are a diverse group of folks. Many of us are old folk, retirees. Also there are many gays and lesbians, looking to live in a more tolerant climate. 

The population of inland Sussex County Delaware are more of the many generation Delawareans. Often called rednecks, sometimes with justification. 

The third demographic group are the Hispanics, many from Mexico and also many from Central America. This group are the people who do the work many of the longtime Sussex County residents don't want to do like mowing lawns, laying mulch, landscaping, and working in the chicken processing plants.  Many of them would rather go on disability and look for their next meth hook-up. They're the people who attend the "Make American Great Again" Trump rallies, ratifying racism and hatred in our country by our ten-cent Mussolini wanna be dictator president. You the know the one, who took over 2,500 children from their parents who were seeking legal asylum in our country and dispersed them throughout our country, without any plan to reunite them with their parents. Yes, this president who has made me ashamed for the first time in my life to be an American. This president who lies every day, spreads hatred and divisiveness among us and our closest allies and can't get his nose far enough up the asses of Putin and the world's worst tyrant dictators like Kim Jun Un, Rodrigo Duterte, and Recep Erdogan. This man who is the most reviled person on the planet now except for his ignorant racist supporters who would literally still support him (as Trump bragged) "If I shot someone on Fifth Avenue".  Yes, THOSE people.  Those people who never got over that a black family occupied the White House for eight years. But I digress. Back to our wonderful Father's Day visit to the Laurel Flea Market. I felt I had to do this rant after "Mellissa" (a commenter) accused me of being a racist.  Apparently she failed to note my tongue in cheek reference to "right, white guys" (we're white but anything but rich, believe me) or she disapproves of my term "redneck" when referring to native Sussex Countians. That's a term I learn when I used to visit my friend Bob McCamley in the 70's and we had to keep very low key, lest one of the "natives" burned down his single wide as they did other gay men and two gay bars (The Renegade and The Boathouse).  I know these folks, they're dangerous just as the Trump supporters and enablers are dangerous. Sure, there are some well meaning people who voted for Trump, hoping to either shake things up or they just couldn't bear to vote for Hillary (I never got the "Hate Hillary" thing but be that as it may). But how anyone could still support Trump these days after witnessing how ignorant, incompetent, hateful, and destructive he is, truly baffles me. I heard last night that Sarah Huckabee, the "Good Christian" who lies every day at the press briefing was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant last night, I thought "Good, here's a taste of your own medicine. You think it's alright for a baker to exercise their "religious freedom" and deny service of making a wedding cake for a gay couple, goes both ways Sarah. Maybe that restaurant owner doesn't like the damage you're doing to our country every day by lying for Trump, justifying his destructive and divisive policies. Maybe that restaurant owner's "religion" not to despoil her restaurant with a known liar and enabler of a wanna be despot. 

While at the Laurel Flea Market, with the exception of me and Bill, I only saw the two demographic groups of rednecks and Hispanics. I didn't see any fellow rich, white, retired transplants like me and Bill ("rich, white" being a tongue-in-cheek reference sometimes lost in translation to the written word). Did we feel like a fish out of water?  Oh yes!  But still, we do enjoy our occasional foray deep in the Sussex County culture. 

When we returned home we met our neighbor's new pooch, "Roxie Mae". We have the best neighbors!

And this is these two old gay guys spent their father's day.

Note: this blog was rewritten with the "Trump Rant" after one of my commenters called me a racist. I've been called a lot of things in my life (some earned, some not) but this is a first. Oh well.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bill's Vascular Test

Last week Bill had a vascular test on his legs.

Bill recently completed wound car caused by scraps on his legs not healing because of the poor circulation in his legs.  

Bill will be ninety years old this September.  His body is slowly giving out just like my body is slowly giving out. Even as I type this post, my left leg is swollen from sitting too long here at my computer.  

There's not much Bill can do about his poor circulation except to keep his legs elevated and avoid scraping his legs. The problem is "stale blood" that doesn't circulate up his legs. 

Getting old is a bitch isn't it?

Heartless and Cruel

Folks, I am  trying to keep this blog light and interesting but with the human right's atrocity of the Trump regime separating immigrant children from their parent's who are seeking asylum in our country, I cannot.

Yesterday Melania Trump visited a shelter (nice and clean and small, not the one with children in cages), in Texas. She wore a jacket which said:
"I don't care, do you?"

How cruel, insensitive and tone deaf. 

Anyone who supports Donald Trump after this human rights abuse of those thousands of children whose lives he has ruined for his own political gain, they too are guilty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On This Day, June 18, 2014

Time for a happy post. 

This is another one of my video productions of a compilation of old photos and videos. These photos and videos were taken June 18, 2014 when Pat visited me and his newly purchased lot.

We also visited my longtime friend (since high school), Ed Cage of Elverson, PA and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

I was unsure what kind of music to add to this video because there is sadness involved. Ed died of liver cancer six months after the photos were taken. I didn't know how sick Ed was. He didn't tell us. I didn't know it at the time but that was the last meal we had. Ed's last words to me were "That was nice", referring to the dinner. 

The other sad story was of the man who is in the photo with Pat (two photos).  I won't mention his name out of respect for his family. That man was very kind to Pat. His son mowed the grass on Pat's lot that he had purchased in the development he lived in.  That man died three years later. He was shot and killed in a domestic dispute. So sad. 

The original music added to the video was slow and sad. I decided to add more upbeat music.  Especially since Pat is such a happy guy. 

Life goes on.

Trump Jails Babies

Several months ago I decided not to post any more of my political rants on this blog. This has been a hard decision for me, especially lately with Trump's decision to separate children from immigrants on our southern border seeking asylum. That's right, immigrants seeking asylum, not people illegally crossing our border. These people are presenting themselves at the border seeking asylum.

Now Trump has decided with his new policy, and don't believe his lies that this is "the Democrat's fault", of using children as pawns to build his fucking wall.  That's right, the wall that he claimed "Mexico is going to pay for", another Trump Lie.  

Trump's ONLY goal is to satisfy his base so he can appear at his "rallies", strut down the runway to the rapturous applause of "I can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters" audience. 

Trump is holding these children as hostages. How can anyone be that soulless? 

I can write thousands of words about the venality of Trump but I will keep this short. 

This atrocity has to stop. 

This is not who we are as Americans. 

Trump is making American great again? Each day we sink deeper and deeper into becoming the pariah of the world. 

This breaks my heart. 

I never thought I would say this in my lifetime. I am actually ashamed to be an American today.

The one thing I and we always had in this country was that we were better morally than the rest of the world.  Sure, of course there was and is the underbelly in this country of darkness of the American soul. 

A black men dragged to death behind a pickup truck just because he was black. James Byrd.

A gay man tied up to a fence crucified style, tortured and left to die. Matthew Shepard.

That element will always be in our country. Fortunately it was almost always been held in check. 

No longer. 

Now we have a person as president who actively seeks to divide us. And to shore up his base he appeals to the worst of us.

Last night on during a TV interview, Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign chairman, mocked the Down Syndrome child of a woman who was arrested trying to cross our southern border for asylum. 

This is where we are at now folks. Today I am ashamed to call myself American.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gay Pride Month

June is Gay Pride month. 

I've only been in two "gay pride" parades or marches in my life. 

The first one was in 1979. It was the first LGBT march for equal right in Washington D.C. 

1979 March on Washington D.C. - I'm somewhere in that mass of people - oh how I wish I had taken my camera. What was I thinking?

I lived in Philadelphia at the time.  I was told a bus was taking folks down to Washington at no cost to participate in the march. At first I hesitated to go, fearing for my safety and embarrassing my family when I was arrested, which I sure would happen. I was so sure, I didn't take my camera with me because I didn't want it confiscated and destroyed. I thought what would be the point of taking pictures only to have them confiscated?

I was very nervous when I rode that bus full of participants in the march. The bus was so full, there were people sitting and lying on the floor.

When we arrived in Washington, the ominous quiet and sense of danger in the air was palatable. I'm not ashamed to admit, I was afraid but I was determined to march.

Several things from that march stand out so clearly. First was how the march was lined with D.C. cops lining the parade route, sitting on their tiny motorcycles. I thought at the time how comical they looked on those motorcycles who were so much smaller than the gay bikers in the march. 

Another thing I remember was how many "normal" marchers there were. I was expecting the Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence 

drag queens and biker dudes but 98% of the marchers were just plain guys like me. Oh sure, those marchers were there but the greatest majority of marchers were like me, just regular gay guys (and women).  

And the last thing I remember was the deadly looks of some of the straight tourists who lined our march.  That "look", like we were some foreign species. That "look" seemed to say "There go THOSE QUEERS".  "How dare they show their faces in public."

My fears of being arrested were greatly overrated. The police were polite and protective. Sure, we got the dagger stares from some of the onlookers of the parade but for the most part, the parade was uneventful.

Oh, one more thing I remembered was how many people were there, at least a half a million. All those gay people and others who supported our cause. Man did that make me feel good. I wasn't alone. 

When I got home I expected to find that coverage but was disappointed to discover that most of the news media fixed on the extreme marchers. There they were, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the leather thonged clad biker dudes. Oh well.

In 2009, the 30th anniversary of the first march, another march was planned. Again, a free bus ride was provided from Rehoboth Beach (where I now lived) to Washington D.C. 

I had no hesitation this time about attending this march. And I even took my camera. In fact, I took over seven hundred pictures. Some of which are in this video I put together the beginning of this blog post. Yes, I took all these photos. I did miss taking videos though, iPhone weren't out yet in 2009.

What a difference this march was! In fact, there was another march for a different cause going on at the same time. This time there was no need to protect our parade route with D. C. cops on tiny motor cycles. 

The air was festive.

Smiles abounded. 

Even the tourists went about their business of touring. There were no stares of disgusts some thinking "What do THEY do in bed?"  

I won't be participating in any gay pride marches this month. Not that I have anything against them, but unless I get a free bus ride and have a friend to go with, I'll let others express their freedom to be who they are. 

Me and my friend Bob C. resting after the march near the Capitol - it was a beautiful day for a march

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reflections on the Estrangement of Relatives

My brothers 1954

Dr. Spo, one of my favorite bloggers recently wrote a very thoughtful post on the estrangement of a relative. This prompted me to think and now write about my own personal estrangement of relatives. 

I've been thinking about this subject for sometime. I've been reluctant to post about it for a few reasons. The main one being that it is just too painful. Another reason is why add to this sadness. I know some of my relatives read this blog.  They either read it or someone they know does and they report back to them lest I write anything that concerns them. I also haven't written because I do respect their privacy. But that time has ended. 

Me (my hand on my father's shoulder) and my two younger brothers - 1946

I have two younger brothers. Both of them know and have known for years that I'm gay. They know Bill and I have been together for lo these many years (54 now).  We have all gotten along well over the years. However, with one brother I've always had the problem with his far right wing nut rants at me.  He literally has screamed at me "Clinton is a rapist!" and thrown me off his property because I voted for Clinton. In later years, since I moved from Pennsylvania where he was my neighbor, I had to endure his anti-Obama rants. 

Me (center) with my brothers 1953

My other brother is more reasonable, ironically so because he is a evangelical pastor at a Southern Baptist church in South Carolina.  He never ranted at me but it was understood that when I visited I had to be very circumspect in my gayness.  A "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" attitude. I respected him and his family and his life and consented to being discounted.

Me (center with my niece and her daughter) and my brothers - 1980

I haven't spoken to my brothers in five years now. The estrangement began when Bill and I got officially married. You see, it was all right in the past when Bill was just my "friend."  But once we got married, that was another whole story.  Our marriage received national attention. Apparently that coverage got back to my pastor brother's congregation. Embarrassment ensued. This I can only assume. What I do know is that all contact was cut off.

I attempted to two years ago when I tore my quadricep leg muscle. The response I received was a get well card from my sister-in-law's dog.  That's right, their dog. That showed me the level of respect I got for my outreach. I decided then and there that I wasn't worthy of respect in their eyes.  Their religion and congregation was more important. I was discounted as a human being. I guess I was always discounted in their eyes, I just choose to look away. 

Me (left) and my brothers - about 1986

My other brother, the far right wing nut brother, I cut off. He would call me on the phone occasionally.  Almost always the phone calls from him were accusatory rants at me because of my liberal views. And God forbid I would say anything about my gay life, because I would invariable be met with a statement like "Why do you always have to say something gay?" Yes, I would have to do the old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" charade with him too. I'm tired of it folks. I stopped taking his phone calls. About two weeks after that he unfriended me from Facebook.  Fine. I know he's also bad mouthed me to his daughters and son because they have no Facebook contact with me either. Radio silence. 

My two brothers will always be my brothers, as long as we're alive. I don't hate my brothers. I care for them. But I will no longer be discounted as a human being. I will no longer accept rants because of my political views. I will live my life without them or their families.

When I met Bill fifty-four years ago, he had just became estranged from him family. They found out he was gay and confronted him at his Mother's funeral about his gayness. His sister said "We KNOW all about you!"  When Bill left his mother's home in Toccoa, Georgia he never had saw any member of his family again. Over the years I urged him to make contact but he refused. I thought he was being unreasonable by not making a move. But now I understand why he decided to leave his family. 

Our last (and only) professional portrait and picture together - 2005

I never thought I would be in the same situation but here I am, estranged from my family (brothers and their children) five years now. 

I will continue to be estranged. I will not discount myself in order to be accepted by them. One for my homosexuality and the other for my political views. 

Not to be too dramatic but I am at the end of my life. I don't have time for this nonsense. I certainly won't accept being discounted as a human being. 

I doubt if I will ever seen them again. That saddens me but you know folks, I would be surprised if that fact saddens them. 

Now I will go on with my life.