Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ike

My father, Ike Tipton, Sr.  - 1954


My father's name was Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr.  He was known as "Ike."

I've posted about him before, and not always in the most flattering light.  But he was my father and he is the one who "brought me into this world" as he often said to me but he usually ended that comment with "...and I can take you out."  Nice huh?

Recently I came across a photograph of him while rooting through my Mother's paper.  My Mother died last September and I am just now going through her things.  There are several photo albums of photos that my father took.  He wasn't much of a photographer; most of his photos are of indistinguishable landscapes or of his dogs or of my Mom.  I don't think he ever took a picture of me, his oldest son or of my two younger brothers.  We were just not of interest to him.  However he did favor my youngest brother more than me or Isaac, Jr., the middle brother.

Me (standing on the far right) with my two younger brothers John and Isaac - 1947

You might ask how did the middle brother get to me "Isaac, Jr" and not me?  When I was born my Mother told my father "I'm not going to name any of our children after that ugly name Isaac."   Thus I was named "Ronald" after one of my Mother's favorite movie actors of the day...Ronald Coleman.  I doubt if any readers of this blog know who Ronald Coleman was but he was a handsome, suave, British actor.  As it turned out, I was appropriately named.  I am (was) dark like Mr. Coleman and with prominent nose, high cheekbones and sensual mouth (oh la la).  Mom named me right.


Ronald Coleman, film star of the 20's and 30's
My "suave" years at Girard Bank (an ID photo with an air bubble under my nose)

I was born in November of 1941.  Then in April of 1943 my second brother was born.  My father was born in April of 1920.  My father was blonde.  My brother was born blonde, platinum blonde as a matter of fact.  No pictures of my father exist when he was the same age but I assume he was born also a platinum blonde which turned to a more muted shade of blonde he grew older as did my brother.

Me and Isaac 1947 on the old family Packard

When my brother was born in the same month as my father and the same hair color it was obvious that he would be named after my father.  Thus my brother was named Ike, Jr.

My brother Ike, Jr. 1943

Getting back to my Mother's photos; I discovered one of my father which shows him with the personality as I knew him.  My father was a big man (6'5") and very well built.  He was a charmer and all the women (and most men) liked him.  He knew he was a charmer and a few years before my Mother died she spilled the beans about how he used to run around on her when me and my brothers were just little boys.  But that's a subject for another blog posting (or several blog postings) that I won't get into here.

What this picture shows is my dad smiling, something me and my brothers rarely (if ever) saw directed at us.  I think I spent my whole life until he died in 2000 trying to please him just to get a smile like this from him directed at me.  I never got it, not once.

Pop and Ike, Jr.  - this was my father's usual manner around us - stern
Now I know what some of you might be thinking..."maybe that's why Ron is gay."   Yes folks, I do fit the stereotypical profile of a gay man.  I had a father who was distant and I was very close to my mother.  I used to play with doll houses and paper dolls when I was growing up.  I throw a ball like a girl and I can't whistle.  About the only gay gene that I didn't get was the Love of Broadway Show Tunes gene (thank goodness).

I was a bit effeminate growing up but I soon discarded any of those mannerisms when I became aware that such actions would blow my straight cover (no pun intended).  I butched it up.

Coincidentally or perhaps not so coincidentally I "married" a man much like my father.  A very masculine, charmer who can build things and change a tire on a car (something which I haven't done to this day - I don't want to break any fingernails).

Yes, looking at the photo of my father smiling brings back pleasant memories of this very complicated man.  And as Miss Martha says "That's a good thing."

My father and mother 1979 - the body language says it all 

6 comments:

  1. Your father looks gayer than you if we are going by body language.

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  2. Ron,

    I think the whole 'distant father' thing has been debunked. Talk to your brothers and see how it affected them. I, fortunately, had a dissimilar experience. My father was not distant and neither of my two brothers is gay. As I grow older, I see more tempermental similarities that I share with my father and have to laugh. Although he died 29 years ago, I really can't miss him because he refuses to leave ;-) .

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  3. Sean,

    Pop didn't have a gay bone in his body, no pun intended. He loved women and they loved him. He was a flirt his whole life and the women loved it. He was "big" all over too. Maybe that's why he was so popular. Don't be fooled by his body language, he was a very self confident heterosexual male. I think he was disappointed that his first son wasn't like him. In temperment I am like him but I go in a different direction. I love men. And I flirt.

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  4. These are great posts. I am really enjoying reading them and seeing the old photos.

    I have heard of Ronald Coleman, but I don't think I have ever seen any movies he was in... I am going to have to keep my eyes open and set up a DVR search.

    It is funny that you put up this post today. Just last night I watched a French-Canadian movie called C.R.A.Z.Y. about a gay guy and his four brothers, a distant father and a loving mother.

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  5. Will,

    You may be right with the "distant father" theory. Both of my brothers are very straight and they were raised by the same father. I think I am gay because of my gene makeup. In other words, I was born that way. It was inevitable that I am gay.

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  6. Hula Hank,

    I am so glad you like my posts! I enjoy doing them, especially the old photos and stories. That's what I do at this time of my life, retrospective. I love it!

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