Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How I Knew About Delaware

Me and Howard busting some moves at the Boathouse, Dewey Beach, DE 1979

Has anyone wondered why I retired to Delaware?  I mean other than the low taxes, friendly people, milder climate and gay friendly atmosphere?  How did I know about Delaware?
I still have that shirt!  And it fits!

Here is the scoop folks.  My longtime friend Big Bob (we met in the Army at Ft. Devens in 1960) moved to Delaware in the 70's.  Like me, he had a high pressure job in the Big City (Philadelphia) and wanted to get out of that rat race.  One day he made the Big Decision and quit his job and moved to the southern most country of Delaware, Sussex County.  He had purchased twenty-two acres of woodland a few miles outside of Georgetown, Delaware, real redneck county.  I suspected that he moved so such a rural area because he was closeted (he's gay) and didn't want his mother to know about his Other Life.  He didn't have a job.  In fact, at first he didn't even have a place to live (that would come latter when he bought a used black and white single-wide trailer).  Yes folks, we're in "DOUBLE WIDE COUNTRY."

"The Ranch" - no running water, no working bathrooms - Party Central

His saga is worthy of several blog postings that I will not go into now.  After living in his windowless 10' 12' shed for about three weeks, convinced that he had made the biggest mistake of his life he bought his single wide.  He called his place "The Ranch."  Of course this was all tongue in cheek.

I visited him and found that I liked "getting away" too.  Even though I also worked in the city at a high pressure job (banking), a change of scenery was welcome.

In those days, the Rehoboth Beach area wasn't as gay friendly as it is now.  As a matter of fact, Big Bob was still very much in the closet.  He didn't want his redneck neighbors to know that he was gay or had gay friends visit for fear they would burn down his trailer.

Now this is a birthday party!

About once a month I would visit Big Bob.  Sometimes I brought friends with me.  We would PARTY on the weekend.  Bob had met some locals and he would invite them over to his place and we would booze it up.  Yes folks, we were young and foolish, too much drinking.

Me and "Fuzzy" - I like short guys with beards, what can I tell you? 

Today I pulled out another photo album to scan old photos. I came across a series of photos that I took one weekend in November 1979.  It was the weekend of my 38th birthday.  They had a surprise birthday party for me.  The first and only birthday party I've ever had in my entire life.  What a blast!

So here are some of the pictures.  I'm thinking of putting all seventy of the pictures together in a movie with musical accompaniment of  "Funky Town," which was popular at that time.

The entrance to "The Ranch" - you can see the trailer behind the trees

Some of the pictures are of me dancing at the Boathouse which was a local gay bar in Dewey Beach.  Ironically, not too long after these pictures were taken, someone burned down the Boathouse.

As they say, "Two Steps Forward, One Step Backwards."

Lots of progress has been made since those days.  Many of the guys in these photos are long gone.  A few are still around.  Big Bob is still at The Ranch.  Recently I saw Howard at a breakfast gathering. He is the blonde guy dancing with me at the Boathouse.  This was the first time I saw him after thirty years.  We have reconnected again on Facebook and I am sharing these photos with him.

Big Bob and Tommy, Ray and Clayton - we always burned out trash before we left

Ah yes, our wild and carefree youth, why it seems like it was only yesterday.

Well anyway.  To get back why I chose Delaware to retire to.  I had been coming down here for so many years and I grew to love the flat open land with the big sky.  I fell in love, it is as simple as that.

I always wanted to retire to a Shangri-la.  Delaware is my Shangri-la.  I love every day I am here!

Big Bob and his Twink for the weekend - those were the days!

Christmas Cards

Bill signing our Christmas cards 2011

Bill just finished signing our Christmas cards this morning, this year's Christmas cards are finished and ready to mail!

We don't put up a tree, we don't exchange Christmas presents.  This year we're not even putting up Christmas lights outside the house.  But I am sending Christmas cards.  I love sending Christmas cards!

I've been sending Christmas cards since I was about 13 or 14 years old.  Every year since then I've sent Christmas cards.  I send them to former co-workers, relatives, and former neighbors. This is how I keep in touch with old friends and relatives and those I care for with whom I am no longer geographically near.

Every year I look forward to choosing my new Christmas card.  For many years I included a professional photo of myself.  These years I make my own photo Christmas card.

Each year my Christmas card has grown.  This year is the first time it has reached 100.  I had to remove some names to keep it at 100.  I don't want to go over 100.

A note to those who receive a Christmas card from me and Bill, we don't expect to receive one in return.  I don't do "tit-for-tat."  I only send Christmas cards to those I care for to give them my best wishes during this holiday season.

Now to lick all those envelopes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Riot Over Two Dollar Waffle Iron!!!!

Okay folks.  I wasn't going to post any more videos for awhile but I just couldn't pass this one up.  I first saw it on my fellow blogger Sam's blog "Lazy Circles."  I couldn't believe my eyes.  So I had to go to Youtube to make sure this was authentic.  Sad to say, it is the REAL DEAL.

The Visigoths sacked Rome.  That was the end of the Roman Empire.  The Black Friday Christmas shoppers are our Visigoths.

The Jetty

All right folks, here's a real post.  I know, I know.  I've been taking a shortcut lately by posting a couple of really cool videos from You Tube.  Hey, now admit it, they were cool weren't they?  I have a few more backlogged which I will post in the future.

But for now, here is a real posting.  Yesterday I took the ten mile ride down from Casa Tipton-Kelly to Rehoboth Beach to meet up with a woman who saw a blog posting of mine in July of 2010.  She saw a picture of a jetty that I took and wanted to know where I took it.  I checked back and saw that I took it at the North Shores, Cape Henlopen.  I e-mailed that information back to her.

North Shores jetty, Cape Henlopen

She said that actually that wasn't the jetty she was looking for.  She said she's been looking this jetty for six months in Ocean City, Maryland.  Now anyone who has been to Ocean City knows that they have a LONG beach.  Forty blocks long to be exact.  Here is the e-mail that I received from her:

My original view of the jetty early in the morning with a kayaker in the distance

I just stumbled on a photo in your blog, a jetty posted July 31, 2010 (I think that’s the right date).  I’ve been looking for this jetty for about six months now – spent the last two days wandering Ocean City, MD, all 140 blocks of it.  Could you tell me where it’s located?  I’m a photographer and would love to shoot some long exposures there.

Thanks much,

MariAnne M...

So...I put on my thinking cap and racked my brain and thought of another jetty that I have seen on my wanderings.  This one is in front of the Victoria Hotel at the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, just down the boardwalk a bit from the Sands Hotel.  In the summer of 2010 I used to sit on the bench on front of the hotel and watch folks frolic around that jetty.  On good days a wave would wash in and inundate of the frolickers, thus giving me great joy in seeing them scramble to dry land.  As a fellow blogger friend of mine often says "Jolly good fun!"

Me on my bench in front of the hotel watching the action - Jetty Watching
I sent a new e-mail back to her earlier this week identifying the Mysterious Jetty.  She sent me an e-mail back an e-mail thanking me and telling me that she would be at that jetty on Friday, early in the morning, taking pictures.  She suggested that if would like to stop down and say "Hi!", she would be glad to meet me.  I thought that was a good idea.  So far I've only met one fellow blogger and that turned out to be really good.  He is Mark H. of "Two Papas and their four darlings" (or something like that, I can never get the title of his blog correct but he you all know who I'm talking about).  Mark takes wonderful photos and is very generous with sharing his talent on his blog for all of us out her in Bloggerland to view.

MariAnn (her name) said I could identify her on the beach because she would have the tripod.  So, sure enough as I was striding along the boardwalk I saw someone on the beach by the jetty with a tripod set up. There was also another photographer standing on the wet sand with her.

MariAnn - the photographer who contacted me by my blog posting

I left the boardwalk and ambled onto the footprint ladened sand toward the two photographers who were standing near the jetty, their cameras at the ready, and the sound of the waves washing over the jetty providing background ambiance.  As I got closer she looked at me and said "You must be Ron."  I fessed up that "Yes" I was Ron.  She told me that she originally thought the man standing next to her was me at first (he didn't look anything me plus he was short).  She took a closer look at my face and said "Yes, I can see that it is YOU now.  I looked at your pictures on your blog and I can see the resemblance. "  Phew!  Thank goodness she didn't say "You don't look anything at all like your pictures in your blog."  

We conversed a bit, I asked to take her picture for my blog and then I excused myself to visit a friend who was in town for the weekend.  

Yesterday MariAnn sent me this picture she took of the jetty.  Pretty cool huh?

MariAnne's photo of the Rehoboth jetty

Now this little experience is a perfect example of why I blog.  I have had friends ask me "Why do you blog?"  Here you go guys!  It is interesting.  I get to talk about myself and meet new people and who knows, I might even make a few new friends!  And we all know, one can never have enough friends!

Thanks MariAnne for contacting me.  It was a very enjoyable experience and your photo is fabulous!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let's Go To the Movies

I really should write about my wonderful adventure in Rehoboth Beach today but I'll do that tomorrow.  I just had to pass this video along that my good friend Bill B. sent to me.  Tomorrow I promise I will get back to my regular blog posts!

You know, it is a funny thing but just this past week I went to the movies with my friends Bob C. and Sal R. and the movie theater looked just like this. I wonder if it was the same theater or are all theaters like this now? I know what I would have done if I was confronted with this situation...right in the middle babe!

Friday, November 25, 2011

So You're Driving Along and...

So you're driving along and you see a sign that says "Closed construction zone."  You know what that means?  That means

That is except if you're once of those self-appointed individuals who don't think the rules apply to you or you are just plain STUPID, this is what happens.  Some people just need a wake up call.  This will do it.

Ryan Gets Pied

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.  Did you all have plenty of turkey, mashed potatoes, succotash and pies?  Pies......that reminds me of a great video I saw yesterday on Huff Post.  Featured in the video is my current heart throb Ryan Gosling.  Even back when he was just a youngster, he displayed his wonderful natural acting talents.  So here is the video folks, enjoy!

By the way, I have always enjoyed someone getting slapped in the face with a big, gooey cream pie.  The best ever was Bill "Mr. Softee" Gates when he got his nerdy puss plastered a few years ago.  Whenever I'm down I go back and look at that video and enjoy it all over again just like it was the first time.  Hey, isn't it time we start to pie some of these Republican clowns running for president?  Who wouldn't like to see Newt Gringrich and/or Michelle Bachmann pied?  I know I would!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Me at Command Central

Another Thanksgiving is here (my 70th) and I am wishing every one of my blog readers and followers a very happy thanksgiving!

I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional manner at home like many families.  Someone has to work!  I'm not complaining though.  For most of the past twelve years I have worked at the hotel (I've worked at three different hotels since I retired from banking) on Thanksgiving Day.  I don't mind.  Really, I don't mind.  Actually, the guests in the hotel seem to be extra nice on Thanksgiving Day.  Most of the guests are older folk who are in town to visit their adult children and grandchildren.  For understandable reasons they prefer to leave their adult children's house after the Thanksgiving Feast.

I, as the hotel front desk representative par excellence provide a welcome and comfortable respite from the hustle and bustle and the rambunctious, screaming kids at Thanksgiving.  And yes, I did say "par excellence" in reference to my work at the front desk of the hotel.  How many of you can say that you won a trip to Disneyland (for four days, for two, all expense paid, check for $500 and $100 in Disney money?)  Uh huh, that's what I thought.....NONE.  When I worked at the Hampton Inn in Lionville, PA I was awarded the Best Guest Service Representative Award for the fourth quarter of1999.  The first and only guest service representative to win that award at that hotel.  Hey, I can't service a car or lay bricks but I can provide the BEST guest service experience and for that work skill I am forever thankful.

Ron on duty Hampton Inn, Lionville, PA 1999
The Hampton Inn Team Lionville, PA 1999
Two of my favorite Thanksgiving guests - Bonnie and Barbara from NYC 1999
Ron settles the cash drawer - my job wasn't all charm and smiles - lots of HARD WORK.

My Award - the only time in my life I ever got an award (or "thanks") for a job well done

I was going to provide a list of everything I am thankful for this year but I'll just shorten it down to one (or two) items.

I am thankful for reaching the age of 70 in reasonably good shape (brain and body still working, albeit slowing down and getting progressively creakier).

I am also thankful for my Bill.  We've been together a long time (47 years) and we still enjoy each other's company tremendously.  Both of us are part of a whole.  One without the other cannot exist.

As regular readers of my blog postings know, I write just as thought come into my head thus the screed about my BEST GUEST SERVICE AWARD.  Hey, if I can't toot my horn, who can?

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Ready for work at the hotel 1999 (from my home base) - I go to work again today

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tipton Family Reunion Movie Part One

This is part one of a movie that I made of some of the many wonderful photos my friend Mark Himes of "Our Simple Lives" blog. took at my family reunion this past October 9th, 2011 at the East Brandywine Park near Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

I'm really enjoying making these iMovies.  I still have a lot to learn but I think I have the basics down.  More movies on the way.  This is way better than a slide show!

A little narrative as to who is in this movie:

The movie open with me (in the green hat) and my "baby" brother Isaac, Jr. (in the orange pullover) arriving first at the pavilion to set up the tables and place the Tipton Reunion Banner.

First to arrive were our cousins Darlene Tipton Ford and Rita Tipton Buxbaum, daughters of my uncle Luther Raymond "Dude" Tipton.  Darlene's son David Ford arrived with them.

They all signed the guest book.

Next to arrive was my cousin Bob Tipton and his wife Marie and daughter Sharon who traveled all the way from Marietta, Georgia.  Cousin Bob brought along his chihuahua dog Brutus.  Cousin Bob is the son of my uncle Erby Erwin Tipton.

Next in the picture is 11 year old Hunter Tipton, on crutches.  Hunter has a twin brother named Tanner Tipton.  Hunter and Tanner are the sons of Paul and Linda Tipton.  Paul is the grandson of my uncle Erby Tipton.  Hunter injured his leg playing football.

Next to arrive is my cousin Tom Tipton, Jr along with his wife Kathleen.  Tom is also the grandson of Erby Tipton.  Tom is also on crutches.  He severely injured his leg in a motorcycle accident.  Thank goodness he is healing nicely although he does have an ugly Frankenstein scar on his leg.

Next to arrive is cousin Louis Tipton White with her daughter Debbie Fincke and her son Aaron Fincke.  Louis is the daughter of my uncle Erby Tipton.  Louise's husband Fred White also arrive.  He is in the red shirt shaking my hand at the end of this movie.

There, I hope I didn't confuse the reader too much.  If you're of the Tipton family, you know the players.  If not, oh well.

Part Two will show more Tiptons arriving.  My father had ten brothers.  They all had families.  The largest contingent, that of uncle Ray's line didn't show up.  Hopefully they will come next year.

I plan on having an annual Tipton Family reunion every year as long as I'm able to do it.  My thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Mark H. for the fabulous photos.  Thanks Mark!

Naked On the Beach

During the Seventies I used to vacation every summer at Provincetown, Massachusetts, aka "P-Town." I loved Provincetown.  Because I am a gay man, Provincetown was the one place on this planet where I could totally relax and be myself. 

I went to Provincetown to relax, met other gay men and to work on my tan.  Every time I got off the commuter plan at Provincetown's small airport I felt a complete sense of freedom.

My favorite beach for sunbathing and working on my tan was Herring Cove, which was outside of town.  The beach was huge and sparsely populated.  The bay water (I was on the bay side) was crystal clear and cold unlike the in town beach which was cloudy and bathtub warm.

One day while lying on the beach, with my eyes closed, baking the in sun a shadow fell across my face.  I put my arm up across my forehead to shield the sun from my eyes and looked up.  What greeted my welcoming eyes was a totally nude man looking down at me.  "Well, hello" I said.  Of course I was a bit discombobulated by his state of undress.  He introduced himself as Tony Bellafoto (are you out there Tony)?  I sat up and extended my hand to his to shake.  This was the first time in my life that I ever shook the hand of a nude man.  I have to admit that from my position lying on the sand and Tony standing, I was careful where I steered my extended hand.  My eyes and brain weren't exactly coordinated at this moment. 

After we exchanged pleasantries, Tony asked if he could join me.  "Why of course!" I said.  I'm no fool.  A lean attractive man with a FULL body tan asks to join me on the beach who am I to say "no."  

Tony spread his towel on the sand beside my towel.  He lowered himself on his towel while my uncollable eyes checked out his business bobbing around and also getting settled.  I have to tell you, this was not an unpleasant experience, lying next to an attractive nude man on the beach.  Yes indeed.

Our conversation got around to Tony asking me if I had ever sun bathed in the nude.  I told him that I hadn't.  He asked why. I told him that I never had the opportunity but that I always did want to.  He said "Well, now is your chance".  And I thought, "Well, why not?"  

I stood up and looked around.  For what?  To see if there was anyone else who would see me pull my swim trunks down?  There was no one else in sight.  It was a weekday and we were behind a dune.  Tony told me that the nude beach was in Turo, which was the ocean side of the bay but he preferred Herring Cove. He told me the only problem was if a park ranger came by that we would have to put our trunks on.  Tony said not to worry, he would keep a lookout for the park ranger.  The rangers patrolled the beaches on horses.  Ironically, their horses were nude and had their business swinging around for all to see.  

So I pulled my trunks down and laid back down on my towel.  No lightning bolt came out of the sky to turn me into a pillar of salt (shades of Sodom and Gomorrah).  As a matter of fact, I felt quite liberated.  In fact, IT FELT GOOD TO LET "IT" ALL HANG OUT.  And I could tell by the expression on Tony's face, he was quite comfortable with our situation also.

Ah, so there we were.  Two young, lean,  gay guys in their prime and in the all together lying on the beach, thinking to ourselves "life just doesn't get any better than this."  

After a some more conversation we laid back to bake in the hot summer afternoon sun on the sandy beach listening to the sea gulls and the waves gently rolling in on the beach.

After about fifteen minutes I heard voices in the distance.  I pulled the towel off my head that was covering my eyes from the bright midday sun and saw a group of about five ladies off in the distance dressed in khaki with safari hats.  "Uh, Tony".  Tony removed his towel that was covering his eyes and looked at the ladies who were getting closer to us.  He evaluated the situation and then told me "Oh, they're just a group of women on a bird watching expedition."  Oh really?  

Tony advised me to lie back down and pay them no attention.  Oh really? Seeing no other alternative other than to pull on my bathing suit (which was somewhere in my bag) and looking pretty ridiculous with my ass hanging out for them to see while I put each leg into my bathing suit, I decided to take Tony's advice and lie back down and put my towel over my eyes, continue my sunbathing and pay the birdwatching ladies no attention.

As we lay there I could hear their voices come closer and closer.  Yes, there were talking about birds.  However, when their voices came very close to us, they stopped talking.  I know they were standing close because two of the ladies were blocking the sun, I could feel their shadows on my body.

Uh huh.  I wonder why they stopped talking.  Then it dawned on me, they were checking OUR BIRDS!  I wonder what they wrote down on their pads when they saw THAT.

After what seemed like a long time but was probably actually only a minute or two, they began talking again as their voices trailed off into the distance.  I couldn't quite make out the words but I did sense the tone of their voices and it was something like "WELL, I NEVER! and DID YOU EVER?"  

Tony said nothing more about it. Apparently this wasn't the first time his goods were on public display.  It was a first time for me.  It was a strange feeling. I felt like I was exposed.  Actually, I was EXPOSED wasn't I?  It certainly was a different experience.

Later,  Tony asked if I wanted to take a dip in the water.  We were hot (in more ways than one) and I thought that was a good idea.  The waters at Cape Cod are always cold.  Clear but cold.  We ran into the cold, clear water, and took the plunge. 

It was a different experience splashing in the water in the all together  It really did feel natural, the way it should be.  In fact it felt great!  The only problem was when I got out of the water and strode on the wet sand of the beach.  I looked down and I couldn't see ANYTHING!  Oh, I did see my pubic hair (sorry to that mental image in your minds, I don't shave) but WHAT HAPPENED TO ME?  

Here's the story folks, MAJOR SHRINKAGE.  Remember that Seinfeld episode about "shrinkage?"  Well, it's true, especially if you're coming out of very cold water.  WOW.  

Not to worry though, after a few minutes of laying on the beach everything returned to normal.  Phew!

Tony and I stayed on the beach for about another hour before we decided to call it a day. And no, I didn't get sunburned on that part of my body that had never been exposed to direct sunlight in all my thirty-nine years (this took place in 1979).  I did have some concern about this I have to admit.  But all I got was a  little bit pink then back to the natural, unexposed white flesh that has never saw direct sunlight.  

Tony asked to meet the following day.  I agreed to meet him but I told him that I wouldn't be nude sun bathing anymore.  Once was enough for me.  Thanks but no thanks.  Been there, done that, let's move on.

I did ask Tony to take a picture of me so I could check this off of my Bucket List.  He took my picture with his camera and sent me later on in the summer after I had returned home to Philadelphia.  I got the slide and promptly hide it in my closet.  Yes folks, back in the closet I went.

Going through my slides this past week I came across it.  This is the first time I've seen this picture since I Tony sent it too me at the end of 1979.  It's been in a box all by itself with all my other slides.  I decided that it was time for this photo to come out of the closet so to speak.  So here it is folks, my answer to Burt Reynolds and Scott Brown!

The way I look at it, if they can do it I can too.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  It is what it is.  

An interesting side note.  I showed this picture to my GOOD friend Lar this morning, giving him a head's up about my blog posting.  He took one look and almost fell off his chair laughing!  Am I missing something here?  I asked Lar and he said it was the wide, white swath of skin that tickled his funny bone.  I guess I was a dead giveaway that day on the beach.  The bird-watching ladies probably knew it was my first day at the races.  Like I said "It is what it is."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bill's Surprise- A Small World

Montage of Bamberg, Germany photos on display on their website November 20, 2011

Bill (my spouse) got the surprise of his life yesterday.  While he was surfing the web he brought up Bamberg, Germany.  Back in the Fifties, Bill was in the Army and stationed in Bamberg, Germany.  Bill has many fond memories of his stay in Bamberg.  He loved Germany.  He always wanted to go back as a civilian but he met me and you all know how that turned out.

So Bill does the second best and he visits Germany on his computer.  Yesterday while he was visiting he noticed a "generic" picture of a soldier on Bamberg's website.  It was a photo of him!  This photo was taken in 1951.

Bill told me many years ago how this photo happened to be taken.  He was strolling through Bamberg one day and saw a photography shop.  He stopped in and got his picture taken.  He picked up his finished photo a week later.  A few weeks later a fellow airman asked him if he knew his picture was now displayed in the front window of the photography shop.  Bill didn't know but he was flattered.

Now all these years later here is his photo shows up on the Internet for all the world to see.  Who knows, maybe his photo has been on display in that photo shop all these years!  By the way, I was ten years old when this picture was taken.  Uh huh, Bill could have swept me off my feet.  I had to wait ten years (1964) and that's when he did sweep me off my feet, without the uniform.  He's still gorgeous!

Bill Kelly- Bamberg, Germany 1951

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Profile In Courage?

Mike McQuery, assistant Penn State football coach and witness to a crime

For the past week I have been fighting off the urge to write about this whole Penn State sex scandal.  I try not to write a negative posting but sometimes I just have to or else the urge just keeps eating away at me.

So here is what I'm going to say about it so I can get this off of my chest.

There are two things that bothered me greatly the past few years (in addition to the regular crap like politics and the Republicans trying to destroy this country - sorry, I had to get that in).  Ironically both of these Two Things have one thing in common......football.

The first thing was the Michael Vick Episode and his cruelty to animals. That made me sick to my stomach.  I knew there are inhumane people like Michael Vick who walk this earth and I would prefer not to hear about them.  Michael Vick was punished (not enough in my book but that's another whole story) and he supposedly has changed his ways.  I don't believe it for a second but be that as it may.  His story is done and hopefully he will never destroy another animal.

The second thing is this child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.  To me as person like Jerry Sandusky is beneath contempt.  To take advantage of young people like he was accused of, is the lowest form of human behavior and if he is proven guilty, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars away from children so he can never do them harm again.

But here is what really bothers me.  We all know there are animal and child abusers in this world.  That is a known fact.  That evil in our lives will never change  The best we can hope for is that someone will recognize them and their evil acts and stop it and report it to the authorities.

"All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."

This is a quote from Edmund Burke and it illustrates perfectly the point I am attempting to make in this blog posting.

Mick McQuery was an assistant coach at Penn State in 2002 when he heard a "slap, slap" sound in the shower (according to the grand jury report).  He followed the sound to the shower and saw an 8 or 10 year old boy with his hands above his head on the shower wall being sodomized (anal intercourse) by an older man who he identified as Jerry Sandusky.  The grand jury report said he went home and called his father to ask him what he should do.  His father told him to tell the head coach who was Joe Paterno, the legendary God-like figure on the Penn State campus.  The next day McQuery told Joe Paterno and thus ended Mike McQuery's involvement.

EXCUSE ME?    Oh sure I know that whistle blowers are rarely if ever treated fairly in our culture but a young boy was being raped!  

I know that Mike McQuery was probably more worried about his career than the young boy being raped but that he felt he "had to do something"..........................................................


 He reported what he saw to the coach and then HE DID NOTHING ELSE. 


So Mike McQuery can send e-mails to his friends saying that he "stopped it" and he "talked to the police." He can appear at his doorstep holding his little girl, looking like the good family man he perceives himself to be (and going for the pity vote) and give short interviews with cryptic answers that he "did everything he could have done."  


Here's a suggestion Mike.  Here's what most normal men (and women) would have done.  After they got over the initial shock of the horror of what they saw they would shout:

"STOP IT! " and then they would have called the police to report the crime!

If it was me I would have pulled out my cell phone and taken a video of it while at the same time I approached him yelling "STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"  And then I would call 911 to report the crime.  After I was done reporting the crime I would probably pick up a bench (or anything nearby) and throw it at the rapist to disable him until the police arrived.  One thing is for sure, I would cause serious harm to the rapist.  I would DISABLE HIM!

Taking a video may sound over the top but I would have the presence of mind to have PROOF.  I certainly wouldn't be thinking about my career path at this time.  I would be thinking about the 10 year old being raped and the monster who was doing it and putting a stop to it. 

Mike McQuery, a profile in courage?  I think not. 

There, I've said my piece.  Now I can go back to my regular, happy posts.  Thanks for bearing with me.  I just had to get this off of my mind because it's been gnawing away at me for the past week.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sexiest Man Alive - 2011

Well, wonders never cease.  People magazine finally got it right and actually selected a sexy man as their "Sexiest Man Alive", Bradley Cooper.

Remember some of the past so called "sexiest men alive" choices?  George Clooney?  Good actor but hardly what I would consider sexy.  Back in 1998 they chose Nick Nolte.  Oh PHUL-LEASE!  Just a few years later Nick graced us with the all time great mug shot.

Last year's choice was Ryan Reynolds.  Sure, he was cute but "sexiest man alive?"  I don't think so.  And remember, I AM AN EXPERT.  There are a lot of things I don't know but one are where I excel is identifying a sexy man.

If I had any reservations about choosing Bradley Cooper for this year's "Sexiest Man Alive" it is that that OTHER drop dead gorgeous beauty that goes by the name of Ryan Gosling wasn't chosen.  Oh wouldn't I like to be the cream filling between those two Oreo cookies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Time For Us

More movies!  This is a movie of the slides that Bill took when we went on our first road trip in 1966 to Atlantic City, New Jersey then points south which included Wilmington, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and then Toccoa, Georgia...Bill's hometown.  Are there a lot of pictures of me in this movie?  Uh...YES!  Remember, this was way back at the beginning of our relationship.  It was Bill's camera (I don't even think I owned a camera at this time) and he was quite enamored of me.  No excuses though, I LOVE seeing old pictures of moi!

The video starts out at our first home at the Penn Manor Apartments in Pennsauken, New Jersey and ends with us in the same apartment which I still remember the address:  3732A Herbert Avenue, Pennsauken, New Jersey.

The final picture is of me and Bill now.  Yes, we are OLD MEN now.  This July we will celebrate 48 years of partnership.  Hopefully we will be able to get officially married before we kick the bucket.

Enjoy the movie!

My Tarot Card Reading

Me 1966 - one of the many recently discovered slide photos which I've never seen before.  This one was taken of me trying to get a little sun in South Carolina during our (me and Bill) trip South.  Check out my pompadour,  pure Sixties Style.  Did I actually ever have that much hair?

My fellow blogger and friend Dr. Spo generously provided me with my first Tarot card reading.  Yes folks,  this is my first ever Tarot card reading.  In fact, in all my seventy years on this earth I haven't even had a palm reading.  

I received Dr. Spo's e-mail with the results of my first ever Tarot card reading with some skepticism. However after reading it I was pleasantly surprised.  The reading is right on the mark!  

Below is Dr. Spo's reading with my comments.  

I apologize this is late. I did ~ 2 dozen readings on All Hallow’s Eve. I did a basic reading spread, using 7 cards.
Card #1  - “The Card about you” (in your nowadays status)
Card #2 - “Home” matters
Card #3 - “Work” - or what you are doing/keeping you busy
Card #4 - “The Relationship Card” viz. how you/others are doing, and the energies happening.
Card #5 - “Positive Energies”: the matters you should be aware of and use.
Card #6 - “Negatives Energies” : things thwarting you/impeding you/tripping you up.
Card #7 - The “Summary” Card. A sort of what the future holds OR what is your status. It is more a mirror held up to you, rather than ‘this is what will happen”. 

I used a Deck called “The Hallowe’en Tarot”, which has suits of pumpkins, ghosts, bats, and imps.  While it is easier for me to lay out 7 cards and read the ‘gestalt’, it is not much fun for you. So, I have them explained one by one.

#1- Ace of Imps - 
You are on the verge of new activities/possibly new career.  Or, work is much on your mind - or addressing work should be a priority right now. 

This is true because I have decided to start my biography.  I also have renewed my genealogy research and scanning the rest of my photos into my computer.  I want to complete all these tasks before I die and time is running out.  At 70 years old, I'm not going to be around for another fifty years.
#2- The Devil - Worries or being overwhelmed by house matters. Apparently you are worried or fretting too much about things at home, and it isn’t that bad.  Don’t let home overwhelm you.

I do get nervous thinking about all I have to do by "house matters."  I have a lot of cleaning out to do, sending items to the local thrift stores.  I worry that I won't have enough time to do everything that I want to do before I die. 
#3-10 of Imps - more ‘work’ cards.  but this is about trying to get a lot of tasks gathered up. Too much work/too many projects etc.  

Oh I definitely feel that I have too many tasks here at home from keeping house to sorting out my accumulation of "things" from the past seventy years.  I want to complete my biography, scanning photos, updating genealogy.  I take one thing at a time.
#4-Wheel - Something is about to change - or you need to change - something about current relationships. Considering all the work cards , perhaps this is about changing relations at work.

There is something going on at work but I prefer not to go into it at this public forum.  I suspect some of my co-workers read my blog.

#5-3 Imps - a positive card, meaning the changes are heading to an improvement

Not to be too cryptic but I do feel changes for the positive happening in my life.  I've always been optimistic about life and I don't feel that the good things in my life are finished yet.  I await the next Big Thing.
#6-Empress - some nasty woman is a problem (at work?) or this means don’t be a bitch about work, but utilize your strengths. 

Oh yes, there have been some "issues" at work that I addressed recently.  I feel optimistic about a positive outcome.  Yes, I have tended to be a bitch about about work but have decided to utilize my strengths instead of going negative.
#7-3 Ghosts - good outcome! 

I feel very positive about having a good outcome to my upcoming biopsy to check for prostate cancer. The procedure is scheduled for January 6th, 2012 so I have this cloud hanging over my head until that time but I feel positive.

In summary: You have a lot of ‘imps’ which means emphasis of work/activity. This read says you need to focus matters on work viz. be aware of matters there for they are of great influence.  Don’t be nasty about it, but firm. It will work out. 

That’s what I see. I am curious to hear later on if this is insightful, useful, or accurate. Feedback gives me guidance to better my readings.

Thank you Dr. Spo for taking time to do a Tarot reading for me.  It was very interesting and insightful.  I appreciate your generosity.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Found Treasure!

Me on Rehoboth Beach July 1966 - FORTY FIVE YEARS AGO!

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a photo fanatic.  I LOVE to take pictures and at this time of my life I especially love digging up old photos and posting them to my blog.  Lately I found out how to make movies of my old photos.  Expect a lot more of those.  Of course I am quite aware that some of the readers of this blog will find these slide shows about as interesting as, well, slide shows.  But hey, I have fun making them and I certainly do enjoy putting them together.

So here is what happened.  A couple of days ago Bill asked me to move some of my plastic storage bins from his "office" in the basement next to the hot water heater.  Well, guess what!?  I found FIVE TRAYS of old slides.  YAAAAY!

Yesterday and today I reviewed some of these slides and what a wonderful find these have turned out to be!  They were taken a year after Bill and I set up house in Pennsuaken New Jersey.  That year was 1966, FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO!  Man oh man, just where does the time go?

The first summer we were together we made a trip to Rehoboth Beach Delaware.  This was July 1966. Yes folks, the photo displayed at the top of this blog is of my reclining on the beach in Rehoboth with a cigarette (I quit smoking July 15th, 1967).  So here it is folks, the earliest known photo of Ron On The Beach.  Of course these days I don't sun bath on the beach.  In fact I have a dermatology appointment next month to check for my skin cancer.  Every six months I get checked and usually have several pre-cancerous spots removed from my face.  Yes, I'm paying the price now for all those summer days baking on the beach.

So to get back to the old photos.  I scanned about seventy of them into the computer this morning.  Scanning slides in a computer is a very laborious project but well worth it.  I'll do a tray a day until I get them all in and thus preserve them for posterity.

A lot of these photos I've never seen before.  I also have about thirty reels of VHS tapes I've never seen either.  That's the next big project.

So be prepared to see these old slides converted into an iMovie in future blog postings!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seventy Years of Ron

Yesterday was my 70th birthday.  Yes folks, I am officially and OLD MAN.  Funny thing that, I don't think like and Old Man.  In my mind I'm still that starry eyed and naive Twenty Something looking forward to what adventures in life await me.  And then every morning after I get up and look at myself in the bathroom mirror I think "Who is THAT?" looking at me from the other side of the mirror.  "WHAT HAPPENED?"

I got OLD, that's what happened.  Seriously though folks, I'm feeling good about making it this far in life.  I've had a good life and have few regrets.  Sounds like I"m going to break into a Frank Sinatra song doesn't it?  Yes, I am very happy with where I am in life.

I honestly didn't think I would make it this far in life.  I fully expected to be gone by the time I reached my 60th year on this planet.  Anything after that is gravy.  Yes folks, I'm living on gravy now!

Yesterday, I made this quickie movie with my iMovie on my wonderful iMac (thank you Steve Jobs!)  Nothing fancy, no intro or impressive graphics, just a random selection of photos of my throughout my life.
There are a couple of mistakes in the movie which I hope no one notices.  One is a duplicate photo and there are two or three crotch shots.  I tried to change those photos but the other photos worked out so with in synchronization with the remaining photos that I just left everything in.  Deal with it folks.  And yes, I have a couple of photos of me with some of my boyfriends.  I am gay, no reason to hide that at this time in my life.  I came out of the closet when I was 21 years old and never looked back and I'm not going to start now.

This is only the second time I made an iMovie.  The first one I made was for my Mother's funeral.  I will make copies of this DVD and send it to some of my friends.  If I don't get around to making a more polished DVD movie of My Life In Photos, please use this DVD at my memorial.

These days I'm thinking a lot about Getting My Life In Order for my not too soon departure.  Hey, I have to be realistic.  At seventy years old I don't have a lot of time left.  It has been a good life folks.  I hope to be around a lot longer but if that is not what fate hold in store for me, then I have absolutely no regrets.  This is one happy seventy year old.

Thank you to everybody who wished me a happy birthday yesterday.  I love you all!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Beautiful Fall Day

Ridley State Park, Pennsylvania (photo Tom Johnston)

The past several days have been gorgeous!  Absolutely beautiful!  Unfortunately Bill and I have been running around, doing errands.  Today Bill took me to Dover to see my doctor at the Veterans Administration.  This was the first time we saw him at his new location (he was previously at the VA Out Patient Clinic in Georgetown).  We had trouble finding the building but after a lot of checking my GPS on my iPhone and asking strangers we found him.

I had a good visit.  I discussed my Prostate Drama.  He put my mind at ease about several questions I had.  I could elect not to go through with the biopsy I have schedule for January 6th, 2012 but with the knowledge that I probably have a cancer slowly growing on my prostate.  What will I die of first?  Old age or prostate cancer?  I elected to go with the biopsy to see if I have a "big cancer."

On the way back home we stopped in a Walmart we had never been in before.  This one was in Magnolia (I think).  It was one of the Super Centers.  Wow!  Just imagine if we had something like this in Rehoboth?  No such luck.  Route 1 is congested enough as it is already with all the outlet stores.

I checked out all the Christmas "stuff" at this new Walmart but I just can't bring myself to buy anything.  I have more than enough Christmas decorations and I certainly don't need any more.  In fact I'm think that this year I'll just stick a ceramic Christmas tree in the window and let it go at that.  I'm just not in the "Ho! Ho!" mood this year.

The photo at the beginning of this blog was sent to me by my friend Tom Johnston.  Tom knows I love beautiful scenery photos and he frequently sends me photos by his iPhone.  On the way up to Dover and back I saw several nice scenes of the fall foliage reflecting off of bodies of water but I couldn't take any good photos because we were in Bill's Jeep driving down the highway.  I actually need to go into one of the many parks in Delaware to take a gorgeous photo like the one Tom sent to me.  When I see scenes like this a feeling of utmost serenity surrounds me and brings peace and calmness to my some times unsettled life.

Thank you Tom.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Bear in the Woods

I don't remember if I posted this video so at the risk of repeating myself, I'll post it again.  Bill and took a trip down South this past spring.  One of our stops was at Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.  Cades Cove was originally purchased by one of my ancestors, William "Fighting Billy" Tipton back in the early 1800's.  "Fighting Billy" was a contemporary of President Andrew Jackson (yes, I am bragging.)  Although my ancestor never lived in Cades Cove, he did sell off a lot of the land to his relatives.  The existence of many Tipton graves in Cades Cove is what started me on my genealogy research of my Tipton roots.

Cades Cove was inhabited by many Tipton families as well as other families until the Federal government brought them all out (for pennies on the dollar I might add, Tiptons seem to always be on the short end of any monetary deal, must be in the genes) and established the Cades Cove National Park.

Cades Cove possesses a glorious natural beauty that is rare in this county in these days.  Visitors to the park travel a loop through the park.  If they are lucky they will see some of the present inhabitants of the park like we did on this spring day.

What we saw was a black bear snacking on some wild berries by a clear, cold, stream on this brisk spring day.  Take notice how many cars stop to observe the black bear in it's natural habitat.  Also note towards the end of the film when the bear seems to be approaching we tourists and how we head towards our cars!

We're going down again this spring.  It's an annual event for us now.  Enjoy!

Caregiver Update

  Bill with his hospice nurse last week Regular followers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I haven't been posting on a regular ba...