Saturday, September 29, 2012

First Kiss



I love this!  With all the bad news bombarding us these days and the deluge of presidential campaign ads it was refreshing to see this short video.

Carrie Underwood, queen of country and western music (sorry about that Faith Hill) and former American Idol winner (2005) saw a sign held up in her audience from a 12 year old boy asking her to give him his first kiss.  Carrie gave him a wink and asked him up on stage.  She asked him what kind of kiss did he want.  He, being no fool asked for one ON THE LIPS!  He wasn't about to get just a peck on the cheek.

I'm way past my first kiss.  In fact I can hardly remember my first kiss.  Yes, it was with a GIRL.  I think it was either Mary Jane Chudleigh, my 10 year old neighbor.  Her parents had arranged a date for us to go to the local cheapie, traveling carnival. I was thrilled to have my FIRST DATE.  I liked Mary Jane and all but I knew something was missing after that first kiss.  No lightening bolts or the parting of the Red Sea.

Mary Jane with my best friend Larry - about 1951 - the time of my "date"

Now, do you want to know my REAL first kiss?  Of course you do!  It was in 1963.  I had just gotten out of the Army after a three year stint.  I moved to Pittsburgh, PA to come out as a gay man (called "homosexual" back in those times).  I didn't want to come out at home and embarrass my family by my homosexuality.  You have to remember back in those Dark Ages, homosexuality was still against the law in many states, including Pennsylvania.  I had just completed three years in the Army Security Agency, 2 1/2 years working for the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade.  I lived with the threat of being exposed any day as a HOMOSEXUAL and thus lose my clearance and kicked out of the Army. Of course my FIRST KISS didn't happen while I was in the Army.  But it did happen soon after.

I moved to Pittsburgh because a gay friend of mine (he was in the Air Force) lived near Pittsburgh (Elizabeth).  He got out a few months before I did.  He told me he could "show me around."  And did he ever!  Back in those days all the gay bars were either in the back of the regular bar of behind a speak easy type door.  This particular bar was in McKessport.  We went in (the four of us) and took a table.  The song playing on the juke box was "Where Are You" by Dinah Washington.

"Joe", my "First Kiss" (nice lips by the way)


After my eyes became accustomed to the dark, I looked across the bar floor and saw HIM.  He was gorgeous!  Dancing was going on.  Slow dancing.  So, naive as I was I got up from our table and went to his table where HE was with his friends and asked him to dance.  This was before I learned the gay art of cruising.  I was very direct, which surprised my friends and HIM.

When I approached his table he looked up quizzically, wondering what I wanted.  I asked him "Would you like to dance?"  He was a bit taken aback because he hadn't made eye contact with me before I had boldly asked him to dance.  He gave a slight "why not?" smile, looked back to his friends at his table with a look that said "What the hell?"  

He got up, held out his arms to meet mine and we glided across the dance floor to Ruby and the Romantics singing "Our Day Will Come."  He smelled good.  He also had a ruler in his pants pocket.  We had matching rulers.

He told me his name, Joe Labriola.  He lived in Pittsburgh and was a professional ice skater for the Ice Capades.  The picture in this blog (the only one I have of him) was taken of him in Mexico City, Mexico during one of his tours in 1963.

After the song ended he went back to his table but not before giving me his phone number.

I called him the next day.  We made a date.  He invited me over to his apartment that he shared with his mother.  She made roast pork and sauerkraut, my favorite.  DELICIOUS!  Later, after she retired to her bedroom Joe and I sat on the couch.  We talked.  Then he leaned over and KISSED ME ON THE LIPS!. Lightening bolts!  The parting of the Red Sea! Dear Jesus!  So this is what kissing is all about!  We kissed some more. We MADE OUT!  So this this what I was missing on all those dates in the back seat of my friend's car at the Exton Drive-In.  Vivian was nice but....



Ironically, that was as far as I got with Joe.  I was too backwards then to do more (which I have since made up for by the way).  I don't know what happened to Joe.  I left Pittsburgh after three months because I was homesick for my home in Downingtown, which is a suburb of Philadelphia.

I began going out to the bars in Philadelphia.  I met other guys.  We kissed. But those kisses were never the same as my first kiss with Joe.  THAT could never be duplicated.

I hope this young boy who got his first kiss from Carrie Underwood will carry as fond a memory over the years as I have from my first kiss.

Who else remembers their first kiss?




10 comments:

  1. 1973 - I was 19, peter was 30. damn, that boy was smooth!

    and yes, I know all the words and melody to "our day will come". joe is good looking fer sure! and the exton drive-in is now a shopping center.

    have you tried googling joe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne Marie,

      You remember the Exton Drive In? I've tried looking up Joe Labriola but there are too many "Joseph Labriola's", even in the Pittsburgh area. I fear he is lost to history.

      Ron

      Delete
    2. hellz yeah! when my sister and I were little kids, my parents would put us in our pj's and take the VW beetle to the exton. we would get food from the concession stand; I can still see the "let's all go to the lobby" come-ons for the food! then we woukld go to sleep and my parents got to watch a movie. I can remember waking up many times on the drive home to paoli.

      Delete
    3. Anne Marie,

      How cool! I loved the Exton Drive In. I liked that whole experience. Remember the cheap little speakers? No surround sound in those days. Going for refreshments was the best! So much junk food and GOOD! I think that's how they made their money. Did you ever go to the Exton Diner?

      Ron

      Delete
  2. Ron,

    You got your first kiss from the girl I had such a crush on!! My Best Friend kissed the girl I mooned over?!!!

    My first kiss was with Michelle Buckley some year during recess at East Ward Elementary after I chased her around the seesaws and Jungle Gym. Her father was very angry about that, too, and complained to mine as if I had raped her or something. I was probably 9 years old.

    My first thunder booms and lightning bolts kiss was in the summer of 59 with Sonja Kebbe.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,

      I couldn't have had a better girl for my First Kiss. Mary Jane was a very sweet girl. I haven't seen here since graduation in 1959. I wish she would come to one of our reunions. It's interesting that her name is now Mary Jane Rose. She was/is as sweet as a rose.

      Ron

      Delete
  3. I was about nine or ten for my first kiss, and I dunno for sure, but I doubt if ANY ten-year-olds experience that shazam! lightning bolt kind of reaction to a kiss. My lightning bolt happened when my husband kissed me while we were waiting in line to go into a haunted house. All these years later, I can still remember that amazing kiss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,

      You're right, I doubt if any ten year old experiences that "shazam! lightening bolt" kind of reaction to a kiss but I sure did as a 21 year old! In fact it was more like an electrical charge that went throughout my whole body. It pumped up my circulation and got my blood flowing. Funy thing now, I don't remember the LAST kiss. Not a peck on the check but a serious kiss. I just don't remember. I'll probably never have another one again. Another fatality of getting older I guess.

      Ron

      Delete
  4. Ron,

    Anne Marie mentioned the come on's for food at the Exton. I always got a chuckle out of their announcement on the screen at the beginning of intermission.

    "Our restrooms are located behind the refreshment stand. Join the folks chatting and chewing..." Their restrooms were perhaps the last place I wanted to go and chat and chew with people.

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,

      I remember those restrooms, pretty gross.

      Ron

      Delete