Saturday, December 22, 2012

Going Viral On LGBT News Facebook

Hey folks, I just found out from my cousin Tim Tipton, that now Bill and I are featured on the GBLT News Facebook page.  We're going to have to get married now.

Seriously though, I hope to God that we live long enough to realize our dream of showing to the world that two gay people can be as committed to a loving relationship as any heterosexual couple.  And anyone who knows me knows that I like to break stereotypes.

Many thanks to my cousin Tim Tipton who suggested that I post the information that Bill and I have been together since July of 1964, that rainy summer night we met.  That was the night I was in the Westbury Bar on South 15th Street in Philadelphia that I decided to go over to the other side of the bar and thank that handsome man who always sent drinks over to me whenever he saw me in the bar with my friends Ron (another "Ron") and Ed.  

Center City Philadelphia, PA

I never paid him much attention and in fact my friends and I used to joke that it was going to take more than a drink to pick me up.  I had seen Bill many times before in the bar, playing the Skeet Ball machine with his friends.  I knew he was popular and I wasn't about to become another notch on his belt.  So when Bill used to send a drink over through his friend Jerry the Bartender, we would laugh among ourselves saying "Oh him again?"  

Westbury Bar (and Restaurant) 15th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA - 2012

The same building but look different in 1964 when I met Bill - wasn't a restaurant then nor did it have awnings.

Oh if that building could talk, the tales it could tell.  This is where my Life Course took a major change.

Then there was that one rainy night of July 3rd, 1964 when, for some reason, I was in the bar by myself.  Again, Jerry the Bartender puts a gin and tonic (my Drink of Choice) in front of me and nods his head towards the Skeet Ball machine and there is Bill, a BIG SMILE.  Uh huh.  Well folks, you know what?  I sort of felt sorry for the guy, sending me all those drinks month after month.  I think about three months in all.  I thought "Well, the least I can do is thank him."  And believe me folks, that's ALL I intended to do, was to be polite and thank him.  Although Bill was (and is) very good-looking he wasn't really my type. Plus, he was way too popular and I've always had a natural aversion to being just another conquest.  Oh no, if I was going to make it with somebody, it had to be real.

Me (left) with Jerry the Bartender who I found out was a GOOD FRIEND of Bill's at Bill's apartment in Pennsauken, NJ (yes, that is a cigarette in my hand and horn rim glasses on my face)
So I go around the bar, weaving my way through the throngs of guys clad in Sixties Wear (picture it, "Mad Men" all over).  Bill saw me coming and was somewhat surprised.  After all, I had never thanked him before.  I had never talked to him before.  So here I was up close.  I said "Thank you for the drink."  He smiled and replied "You're welcome." 

I was surprised.  He wasn't at all obnoxious like I assumed he would be.  I don't remember exactly how our conversation went but I do remember him telling me he liked "tall, thin guys."  I'm 6'4" (or was, I'm now 6'3") and weighed about 160 lbs (170 lbs now).  He continued to surprise me by not being a bore and listening to me talk.....and talk....and talk.  I like to talk.  

Me and Bill at his Pennsauken, New Jersey apartment - 1964

While we were talking another guy came by who was also named "Ron" (not my friend Ron) and started to talk to me. It was obvious he was trying to pick me up.  I wasn't interested in him.  I was waiting for Bill to rescue me.  Bill didn't.  He just stood there, leaning slightly on the juke box with a slight smile on his face watching me trying to discourage this other Ron.  

Me and Bill at our house in Philadelphia - 1970

The Other Ron was becoming more insistent when finally Bill said "Would you like to stop over at my place for a drink?"  Would I?  He lived in Pennsauken, New Jersey; over the Walt Whitman Bridge so "over there" was going to mean a car ride (I lived in Coatesville, PA 42 miles east of Philadelphia which was where all this was going down).  I opted to go with Bill.  Of course the Other Ron was much disappointed but I was free.  Remember, this was when I was a Shy Young Thing.  

Me and Bill at my parents' house Downingtown, PA - 1978

Long story short, I went home with Bill and we've been together ever since.  That was forty-eight wonderful years ago.  Here I met my Prince Charming and I didn't even know it.  You just never know.  

Me (center) with my brother Isaac (left) and Bill at my brother's home in Downingtown - 2012
This was my Christmas card picture this year.  My regular blog followers will recognize these pictures because I have posted them before but they bear posting again.  Interestingly, for all the pictures I take, I don't have that many of my Bill and me together.  Bill is camera shy, I'm not. I'm not a Shy Young Thing anymore.

Me, living the Good Life - 2011


Geo. said...

My compliments and congratulations, Ron.

anne marie in philly said...

how you do go on, honey! :)

yeah, when ARE you going to make an honest man outta bill and get married? ;)


Jon said...

A great post and such an inspiring story (and, of course, I like all the photos). It's really amazing how this snowballed on Facebook. I have no doubt that you'll make it to your 50th anniversary - - and I can only imagine the headlines you'll inspire then!

I didn't know you are (where?) 6'4" tall. I'm only 6'1", probably a little taller with my boots on (I have no idea if I grew or shrunk over the years).

Buddy Bear said...

I like the pic from 1964 the best: you're rocking those shorts! Woo-hoo!! But I like best of all the look that Bill is giving you.

Ron said...

Hey Buddy, Bill was enamored. :) By the way, Bill's childhood nickname is "Buddy."

Ron said...


Yes, I'm tall. All through school I always got the question from adults "Do you play basketball?" I think I reached 6 feet when I was 12 years old. I was actually one of the youngest in my class but was frequently mistaken for being older because I was tall.

I think we will make it to our 50th anniversary and make a big splash when we get married for real. None of this "civil union" make believe for us. We want the first class marriage with all the Federal protection and tax benefits as well as the recognition.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,

That's what my blog is all about sweetie, me "going on." :)


Ron said...

Thank you George.


Nadege said...

That is a wonderful story, just like a fairy tale except that you didn't get married (yet). One question : if you were younger, do you think you would adopt children?

Ron said...

Good question Nadege! Yes, if we were younger we would definitely want children. My fantasy was to have a surrogate child. Either Bill or I or both of us would be the sperm donor. However, back in our day such a thing was unheard of. Bill loves children and would have been a wonderful father. I also love children and that is the one thing that I feel I missed in my life, my own children. Maybe not. I'm happy with the way my life turned out.

Anonymous said...

I'm counting on getting an invitation!!
Mark R

Ron said...

Bill's getting nervous Mark. He's not used to all this publicity. But I actually think he'll do the wedding, publicity and all. I've never been able to get him to go to any of my class or family reunions but he just might do the wedding. He better. :)

Ur-spo said...

I hope you two have a great 50th bang up celebration with the whole nation watching.
I can give Bill some valium .

David Jeffreys said...

This may be your bio sketch yet!

I think lots of us want invitations to the wedding! (Just don't tell Bill how many of us are coming.)