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?"
|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|
|Me, living the Good Life - 2011|