Thursday, March 10, 2011

More on My Trip to Philadelphia

Street musicians outside the Reading Terminal
Philadelphia, March 8, 2011

Every year now I take at least one trip to Philadelphia on the Old People's Bus (aka 'Adult +" - give me a break) out of Georgetown, Delaware.  

Me and Ted on our way to Philly from Georgetown, DE
(can you tell I took the picture myself?)

I just love visiting my old hometown, the place where I lived during the peak of my gay life, from 1969 to 1980.  I lived in Center City.  I walked to work.  I walked to the bars.  I loved it! I was so lucky because the time period that I came out was also the peak of Gay Life in the Big City.  And I enjoyed it all, believe you me!  Ironically, I grew tired of the scene just as the AIDS crises was coming to fruition a boil.  Back then it was known as GRID (gay related immune deficiency).  The thinking back then was that it was caused by using too many poppers.  I didn't do drugs but I did do poppers.  When I used to go to the after hours club and dance, it was just me and my poppers.  I didn't need a dance partner.  But I digress.

Me back in my bar-hopping days in Phila (yes, I smoked too)

Once a year (and sometimes twice) I take the trip to Philly and have lunch with my old (really OLD) friend Don McK.  Don and I worked together for about fifty years at Girard Bank then Fidelity Bank right in center city Philadelphia.  We endured (and survived) the Merger Disaster of Mellon Bank and subsequent banks (too many to list in this little bitty blog) once we ensconced ourselves at Fidelity Bank, just up the street from where we were 'right-sized' out of our long time jobs at Mellon Bank.  By the way, our old bank is now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.  I visited there on this trip and was mightily impressed with the transformation from Major Bank in Center City Philadelphia to Major Hotel in Center City Philadelphia.  I'll write about our visit to that beauty spot right next to city hall in my next blog.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, formerly Girard Bank

In this blog I'm posting a few pictures of my friends who came up with me from Lower Slower.  We had lunch at Woody's Restaurant, one of the few surviving gay bars and restaurants in center city Philadelphia from the Gay Golden Era of the Seventies.  Oh the times I used to have there.
Me and my friends outside of Woody's
Philadelphia, PA
At the top of my blog is a video taken of some street musicians who were performing as I was taking my new friend Ted W. on a tour of the Reading Terminal.  We didn't stay too long in the Reading Terminal crowds because Ted doesn't like crowds.  Neither do I actually.  But we got a flavor of the place.  The Two Man Band outside the entrance to the market was actually quite good too, don't you think?

I made a change to my blog.  You will notice that my music doesn't start up as soon as you bring up my blog.  I get complaints from some of my blog readers that the music annoys them.  It interferes with them reading my blog.  This is from the 'can't walk and chew gum at the same time' crowd.  However, when I take the music off then I receive comments from some of my other regular blog readers that they miss the music.  So I think I've taken the middle ground here.  I've changed the music application so that now the music doesn't start up automatically.  However, if you want to listen to it, just to down the side bar until you see the music application and press the middle button and viola!  The music begins.  I've also put it on shuffle to provide variety in the sequence of music played.  Let's see how this works.

A picture is worth a 1,000 words

I'm off to work again tonight then I have a few days off  in which to catch up on my life here in retirement. The latest?  I have to schedule a colonoscopy appointment.  Boy did that five years ever go by fast!


  1. Ron,

    It is very strange, but these things do not show up on your blog unless I click onto the comments: the visitor globe, Little Hammie, your music player and the video of the street musicians. All these are just white space when I open your blog. Then if I select comments, they appear.


    Now go read my latest post and videos.

  2. First, I love your music but sometimes if you write something, maybe about your Mother, there is Disco music playing in the background and it doesn't set the right mood.
    I need to tell you that I was around 12 when I first heard of AIDS. I didn't know how you caught it but everyone was saying that it was a Gay thing. And since I knew I was Gay, I thought for sure that I would get it. How about that for being innocent?
    Your Friend, m.

  3. Anonymous2:54 PM

    First of all, I quite like the one of which you said, "Can you tell I took the picture myself?" There's no telling what makes a photograph connect.
    Secondly, on the subject of the colonoscopy, I was accompanying Stephen on his last one, and a friend of ours saw me in the lobby of the hospital, and asked what I was doing there. I told her, and she asked, "Have you had a colonoscopy yourself?" I said I had not [at that point in time], but that I'd had a sigmoidoscopy in my doctor's office once. She replied, "Oh, that procedure is just to humiliate you, a colonoscopy's the real thing!"

  4. I have the same thing happen when I open up my blog to Lar. I'm not going to worry about it though. Too much going on here. I think it is a Blogger issue.

  5. Dave,
    That is funny! I've had plenty of embarrassing procedures. At this point I cease to be embarrassed. You should get a colonoscopy though. It is the real thing and it may save your life. I know too many people who dies from colon cancer because they were too embarrassed to have a colonoscopy.

  6. Ron,

    Your comment about where did 5 years go reminded me that this is my year for the colonoscopy. Actually, it isn't the proceedure I mind so much as it is the preparation 9Oh joy...). This is, of course another incentive to do it all right so that they can get the best results possible.

  7. Ron,

    Your going for another test I see. Did you ever hear back from the biopsy of your ear? I'm assuming since you haven't mentioned it again that everything was okay. But then I don't like to make assumptions.

    And no, I can't tell for certain you took that picture yourself. Frankly, I think it is a very interesting photo.


  8. Ron,

    Oh, and speaking of Blogger issues, I see photos are appearing again in the Blog List.

    I think they are doing some upgrading and that is causing a few wrinkles here and there.

    Oh, fed your hamster since it shows on the comment page.


  9. Will,

    You hit the nail on the head when you said it is the prep rather than the actual colonoscopy that is the bear. This will be me fourth time. The prep never gets easier. I'm dreading it. The actual colonoscopy, where they give you the drug that sends you to the moon is actually sort of fun. But since my uncle and my cousin died of colon cancer, I'm not taking any chances. My best friend had his life saved when they discovered his colon cancer during a routine colonoscopy. His doctor told him if he had waited until the symptoms showed, he wouldn't be alive today. I would like to stay around a little longer so I'll go through the 'prep' the night before.

  10. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Ron, you missed the "at that point in time" part of my comment. I've HAD one since then, with good results. And, right, it's the prep that makes people say, 'Oh, I'll schedule that for another time'. The procedure itself? Well, I mean you're 'under the influence', so the only thing to fear is what you might SAY while someone is slithering a probe into your derrière! ;-)

  11. Dave,
    I used to worry about what I would say when under the 'influence' but no more. My life is an open book. Whatever comes out, comes out. Just another benefit of being a senior citizen. At this time of my life, I just can't get worked up over trying not to offend somebody by who I really am.

  12. Lar,
    No, I never heard anything back form the biopsy of my ear. I guess I should call. But to me no news is good news. I made an appointment this morning with a local doctor to get a colonoscopy. I don't want to travel to the Wilmington VAMC for that one. I think the picture I took of me and Ted is also interesting. It was rather awkward when I took it because the bus lurched just as I clicked it but I think it turned out alright. Sometimes the best and most interesting pictures aren't planned.

  13. Thanks Lar for reminding me to feed my hamster. I was pretty busy today and I forgot to feed him.


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