Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Musings

Wouldn't you like to know what's on my mind?

So what is this man (me) laughing about?  I just shared with my good friend Lar the big surprise I'm planning for next year's Bloggerpalooza should it come off.  Last week's Bloggerpalooza was such a success that I have received several suggestions that we do it again.  I am quite willing to organize it again.  I thoroughly enjoyed planning, participating and meeting all my blogger friends and would love to make this an annual event.  After all, none of us are getting any younger, especially me.  By the way, the "big surprise?", only Lar and I will know.  No one, but NO ONE else will know until the night of the event.  Providing of course we have the event and everything falls into place.

Jay, Anne Marie, Java and Ron

Next year's possible Bloggerpalooza is only one of the subjects of this post.  I have a few things on deck that I have to clear off.  This is the week I meet with my urologist and oncologist.  Yes folks, that "little" issue with my prostate is still with me. Thank goodness last week's events took my mind off of my upcoming procedure.  That "event" takes place May 2nd.  They'll knock me out (thank goodness because I definitely DO NOT WANT TO BE CONSCIOUS) when then implant me with 80 to 90 radioactive seeds.  This week's meeting with my doctors is to lay out the game plan, so to speak.  Can't wait.

I bet I get to wear my hospital frock again - lovely - BTW folks, only T-shirt socks and shoes on Ron in this pic - I felt like I was ready for my porn audition

Yesterday Bill and I went down to Enterprise Car Rental in Rehoboth and reserved a mini-van for our annual trek south.  Bill visits his hometown of Toccoa, Georgia. I visit my brother John and his wife Barbara in Greenville, South Carolina. And I visit my father's ancestral homeland in the mountains of western North Carolina.  Yes folks, I'm looking for more old family cemeteries in them thar hill, especially the one of my great-great grandfather John Tipton (1830-1863) who died during the Civil War (he was recruiting for the Union Forces in the western North Carolina mountains where he lived with his family and was ambushed and killed by a Confederate Calvary which was there to stamp out men like him recruiting for the Union forces).  I just found out where he was buried with his brother-in-law Curtis Bailey this past year.  I am most anxious to visit his grave and take photos.  

Glenn and Wanda Renfro - Pigeon Roost, North Carolina - Wanda is my cousin (her grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister) - I have a TON of cousins up there in those mountains!

Bill and I always enjoy these trips because of our time together.  I especially enjoy these trips because Bill loves the mountains and here I have him trapped on the flat coastal shores of eastern Delaware. At least once a year I can get Bill out to "soak up the mountains."  I am so happy when he is happy.  Bill will be 85 this year and this will probably be his last trip.  We all have an expiration date and I'm afraid that date is coming at us at warp speed.  This trip will be made before my procedure so hopefully it will take my mind off of that nasty piece of business for a little while longer.  

I love those North Carolina mountains!

Keep smiling folks!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Last Saturday Night

This time last Saturday night some folks were having a fantastic time in Lewes, Delaware. 


  We had a wonderful catered buffet by Nage (of which I am still eating the leftovers), followed by toasts then "White Elephant" gifts.  

Java Jones
All too soon we had to leave the Parkview Room to give the hotel staff time to clean the room (I was paying them by the hour!) and we all retreated to the hospitality suite, which was the Captain's Quarters, on the canal.

A Cosmo in the making

You know one of the really great things about this event was how comfortable we all were with each other.  For most of us this was the first time we met other bloggers in person and yet we settled right in like we were with old friends, which we were.  

Anne Marie of Philly

You know, with all the turmoil and negativity in the world today, isn't it nice just to get together with friends and have a good time?  And that we did.  In fact we had such a good time we're planning on doing it again.  So mark your calendar folks, we're doing it again next year, bigger and better.

Anne Marie, Spo, Cubby and Someone

By the way folks, doesn't Mark of "Our Simple Lives" take the best photos?  Thanks Mark for sharing.  Mark and Fred, aka "The Simples" according to Sassybear, two of the sweetest guys and best parents that I know.

Mark and Fred "The Simples" arrive at Bloggerpalooza

Friday, March 29, 2013

This Time Last Week

This time last week the great "Bloggerpalooza" party was just getting started.  Guests were arriving at the hotel and Cubby was preparing the hospitality suite while we were all awaiting the arrival of Dr. Spo, Someone and Doug from Baltimore International Airport.

Hard to believe that a week has gone by already.  Damn if we didn't have a good time.  As Dr. Spo said "There wasn't one flat moment" and indeed there wasn't.  So here without further adieu is a random videos that I took and haven't posted yet.  This one was taken at the hospitality suite when everyone gathered after the buffet dinner and gift presentations on Saturday night.  You will notice that the video camera (actually my iPhone) is a little shaky.  Hey folks, this is Ron after a glass of champagne and a couple (?) of glasses of wine.  Don't worry, Bill picked me up later.  I never drink without a Designated Driver.


Been Here Before

First of all, fair warning this is a cryptic post.  No names are mentioned in order to protect the innocent (and guilty) and to avoid embarrassing anybody.

After the wonderful time at the Bloggerpalooza last week, I am experiencing a bit of a post traumatic stress syndrome   melancholy.  This always happens when I ramp myself up for a big event, especially when there a lot of folks involved.  I love people; love to be around them and love to meet new people.  To me the worst punishment in the world would be solitary confinement.  Having said that, I am a very shy person.  I am a severe  introvert. That guy you saw last week at the Bloggerpalooza?  Scared to death.  That's why almost all of my iPhone photos are blurred.  I could hardly hold the camera steady.  Well anyway, that's not the point of this posting.  I sometimes stray away.  Here's the point, I'm slipping into the old Black Dog again.  For several reasons.

Oh don't worry about me.  I'll come out of this.  I know how to do it, I've been here before.  But for the next few days I'll have to grapple with this damnable Black Dog. 

Me, Provincetown Sand Dunes - 1979

I'll explain now.

I think all of us at one time or another have an image in our mind of the perfect person that we would like to meet in life and spend the rest of our lives with.  Many of us are fortunate enough to meet that person and have a very happy life.  Some are not.  I am one of the fortunate ones because at a very young age I met a man who swept me off of my feet and for the past forty-eight years has treated me like a prince.  No one else has ever done that to me in my life.  I was not initially attracted to this man but I grew to love him and still do to this day.  I will never leave him, never.  He is the only man in this world who I can trust and I care for him deeply.  He would literally lay his life down for me.  And I would do the same for him. We are and always will be totally devoted to one another until our death.

Provincetown, Mass - where I used to vacation every summer - 1979

Having said this, that doesn't mean that I haven't met others in my life that....I'm searching for the right word here......loved.  Yes, several times in my life I have met that person who has caused me to think "what if?"  

Me, 1979 - Provincetown, Mass.

The last time this happened to me was over thirty years ago (1979).  I met this man in Provincetown during my summer vacation from my banking job in Philadelphia.  He was everything I could ever want or aspire to.  Good-looking (gorgeous), caring, smart, popular and he adored me as I did him. When I was with him I felt complete.  The lyrics to love songs now meant something.  The world was brighter, more colorful.  I was happy just to be with him.  There was some "bed time" but ironically, we didn't spend much time in bed other than sleeping together at night.  Our quality time was just being together.  When he found out that we weren't really sexually compatible (oh he still turned me on but let's say I'm not that sexually versatile and leave it at that) I felt bad.  He said "Don't worry about it, I would just like you to be with me this week." That sealed it.  I was under no sexual pressure.  He just wanted me to "be with him."  Even talking about this thrity-four years later sends a wonderful feeling of acceptance through my entire body.  He liked me, not for what I could do in bed but just for me.   And I was thrilled just to be with him.

Me, Provincetown Bay - 1979

He asked me to move in with him. I had already rented an apartment for the week.  Of course I left my apartment (no refund - didn't matter) and spent the week with him.  The only downside was that he had a friend and former lover who had traveled with him and wasn't exactly thrilled that I moved in with him.  He told me "Don't worry about it." I took his advice and his friend came to accept me as being the third person in their vacation hideaway.  

Me at Angle's Landing (the apartment I always rented) Provincetown, Mass - 1980

My new friend used to work in Provincetown for many years and had come back for one last visit.  He knew a lot of people and they were glad to see him.  When some of them asked who I was he would say "This is Ron, he's WITH me." He didn't say I was his lover (a term used back in the day) or anything else other than "This is Ron, he is with me."

Me, Provincetown, Mass. 1979

For the next week I was the silent partner who went with him everywhere.  To visit friends, going to the Tea Dance, laying on the beach or going out to dinner and of course sleeping together at night, no sexual acrobatics.  We just spent time together.  Oh there were kisses and when we went to dinner we would occasionally hold hands under the table or he would rest his hand on my thigh or I would do the same to him.  We were "together."  Of course I was almost always perpetually aroused (sorry my lady friends, no other way to describe it).  

Angel's Landing - where I always stayed when in Provincetown - 1979
All too soon vacation ended.  He asked if I could extend my vacation.  Without hesitating I told him I could.  I called my boss and told him I was taking a few more days off.  My boss wasn't too happy and I felt guilty because I he was expecting me back but I knew this was a once in a lifetime thing and I knew it would never happen again in my lifetime.  I knew it. 

Me - Happy - Provincetown, Mass - 1979

This wasn't about lust (although he was a major hottie)  but more of an emotional connection.  We just clicked together.  But he lived in California and I lived across the nation in Philadelphia.  We both knew a lasting relationship was not possible, we knew it.  When it came time to leave, we had our last meal (breakfast) at the Provincetown airport.  I got on the small commuter plane.  After I got myself seated I looked out the small window of the plane which was wet with rain and saw him standing there.  I knew that was the last time I would ever see him in my life.  He looked at me and gave a resigned half smile, knowing that we would part forever. I didn't want to believe that I would never see him again.  I had his address and promised that I would write to him but somehow deep within me I knew he would never answer.  

Me in Provincetown, Mass - 1979

As the plane turned to pull out of the airport he gave me a gentle wave and smiled.  I waved back to him and then lost sight of him as the plane began to take off for Boston.

Me at Provincetown Airport - 1980

Arriving in Boston I had a sickening feeling in my stomach.  Much like I do now.  After arriving home I wrote to him immediately.  And as expected I never heard from him again.  I tried to look up his telephone number but how many Nick Brown's (his name) are there in California?  A lot.  I lost him.

The next several months were perhaps the worst in my life.  They shouldn't of been because I returned home to my partner in life who I love dearly.  I knew in my heart that I was being foolish.  I tried to alleviate my pain by thinking of all those people who have a terminal illness.  I thought of those people who never experienced love.  I thought of those people who didn't have a loving partner.  I felt guilty, which made me feel even worse.  I had no right to feel sorry for myself and yet..........I just could not sustain an interest in anything because I was so consumed with "what could have been."

Me at Rehoboth Beach, DE - 2012

Of course I eventually came to my senses and got over my lost love.  I promised myself I would never let that happen to me again.  Over the years since then I've been pretty successful in my defenses for falling in love. I never forgot something that was told to me from an earlier incident when I felt myself falling in love with someone who I was involved with, he said he said "Don't go falling in love with me."  The way he said it indicated that that was something he encountered before in his life and he just was giving me fair warning.  He was quite willing to have an affair but no love.  Although it hurt at the time hearing that, him saying that was probably the best thing he could have done because believe me, that attitude pretty well put me into my place.  As I said, I never forgot what he told me but I can't even remember his name now or his face.  He was successful, he knew what he was doing when he said that.

Me at sunset on the Broadkill River and my life - 2012

So here I am now, trying not to slip any further into the deep recesses of melancholia.  I'm trying to sustain an interest in my usual activities but it is a struggle. Coming up I have some "activities" that I can't avoid. On April 5th I visit with my urologist and oncologist for my upcoming procedure on May 2nd.  Prior to that Bill and I will take our annual road vacation down south to visit my brother in Greenville, South Carolina, graves in the western North Carolina mountains, and Bill's former hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  
I am pretty sure by then I will over my self induced sadness.  

Me on a mountain top somewhere in North Carolina - 1994

But until then I will go through this "thing" again.  That's what happens when I meet an angel.  

That's wind blowing my shirt - makes me look fat (little humor here in this depressing blog posting)

Note:  I don't have any pictures of my "1979 Love" - don't know why.  Just didn't think of it.  I've regretted it ever since but I still remember his dark brown eyes and gentle smile.  Nick Brown somewhere in California.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dressing For An Old Time Photo

I'm just guessing here, but probably the last time a woman dressed Dr. Spo was when he was a wee little one and his mother dressed him.  Well folks, here is soon to be rare footage of Dr. Spo being dressed by a woman.  Her name is Anne and she is the proprietress of Old Time Photo in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Dr. Spo, the good sport that he is (and oh did we ever take advantage of his good nature this past weekend at the Bloggerpalooza), consented to an Old Time photo shoot.  He admitted to me later that he didn't quite know what to to expect but I think all would agree that Anne chose the right outfit for Dr. Spo and he does make for one quite attractive Union Soldier.  

My thanks to Anne for permitting me to take these photos.  At Old Time Photo they have a rule against customers taking photos but Anne relaxed that rule for us during the dressing phase.  

Also, the blurred images are a result of me using my iPhone to take these photos.  I was just way too nervous to hold my slim iPhone steady.  Next time I bring my Canon SLR, that is if Anne will let me.  That's what I like about using my iPhone, I can take photos surreptitiously without intimidating everyone with shoving a big old SLR camera in their faces.  I hope Anne gives me permission again for our photo shoot next year. 

Now here are the good photos taken by our friend Mark of "Our Simple Lives."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spo's Cha Cha Shoes

More snippets from the Bloggerpalooza folks!  I hope I'm not beginning to bore my readers with my videos and photos from our wonderful, love filled gathering in Lewes this past Saturday night.  A warning, I have LOTS more videos of fun events.

This video is of Dr. Spo trying on his new ruby red "Cha Cha" shoes.  I don't know how women wear heels, I felt the pain watching Dr. Spo, good sport that he is, try on his new shoes.  By the way, those heels look pretty darn good on Dr. Spo don't they?  


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Day After The Day After

Here it is, two day already when the last bloggers left Delaware. Anne Marie of Philly and her hubby Todd checked out of the hotel yesterday.  Sean ("Sassy Bear") and his honey also checked out of the hotel yesterday.  All that is left of the Bloogerplooza is the echo in the Parkview Room of the twenty-three bloggers who attending the cocktail reception and buffet dinner.  Many bloggers kept the party going later in the Captain's Quarters VIP suite that Cubby had rented just for this occasion.

Java Jones, Superman, Jay of VA and Anne Marie of Philly in hotel lobby

I worked last night.  I took a walk back to the now empty Parkview Room and looked at the now empty tables and thought back to this past Saturday when our blogger friends met.  Remember the old 60's term "Love In?" That's what we had folks, a love in.

Jay of VA, Anne Marie of Philly, Java Jones and me (Ron)

Last night I got my first good night's sleep in five days.  And I got my "eyes" back.  I'm one of those persons who if I don't get enough sleep it shows in my eyes.  And did it ever this weekend.  Check me out in the Old Time Photo.  I look like an old cowpoke they dug up from a grave and propped up.  And here I wanted to look my best for my fellow bloggers and especially Dr. Spo!  Oh well, it is what it is.  

Oops!  That's not me!  You don't want to see a picture of me and my tired eyes. This is a picture I brought up on my iPhone of Thomas Roberts, the gay MSNBC newscaster that I wanted to show to my fellow bloggers

Folks, I still have a load of pictures and videos to upload.  I plan to publish most of them so to you first time readers of this blog, be forewarned, I may border on boring you with my future posts.  But I do want to post as many photos and videos.  Oh, one more caveat, most of my photos I took with my iPhone.  While the iPhone is convenient to taking photos one has to hold it steady and unfortunately when I'm at an event like this I am nervous (Nervous Nelly).  Thus, too many of the photos are blurred.  At the Next Bloggerpalooza (oh yes, we're already talking about the NEXT one), I will use my "good" camera, my Canon SLR.  

Cubby's hospitality suite - pictured from left to right are Mark (Our Simple Lives), Anne Marie of Philly, Cubby, Nate, Jay and Superman (Clint)

By the way, the weather here in Lewes was awful yesterday.  Wind, rain and snow.  But we had perfect weather this weekend for the Bloggerpalooza.  Thus my record for planning events and guaranteeing great weather continues.  I plan my family reunion (every other year) and class reunions - the weather has always been perfect. One of these days my luck is going to run out but so far......GREAT WEATHER!

Have a wonderful day!

Two blogger hunks on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bloggerpalooza - Party Night!

All too soon the Bloggerpalooza is over. And I am happy to report our event was a smashing success!

Thanks to all of you who traveled to Lewes, Delaware to meet fellow bloggers.  I've heard it said that bloggers are the best people in the world and our Bloogerpalooza this weekend proved that way and beyond our fondest expectations.  Everything went perfect.  

This was a gathering of folks who were willing to suspend their adult worries and concerns temporarily and have a good time with new found friends.  Everyone, without exception, were wonderful.  Thank you all.

The video above, which was taken by Someone attests to that fact.  Our gathering was indeed a "Sea of Love".

I wish you could have all attended but for those of you who didn't, enjoy just this little snippet of the wonderful time we had this weekend.

Love you all!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bloggerpalooza Lewes Delaware 2013

OMG! These are the bloggers?

Friends, it is late and I am buzzed.  (Don't worry, Bill picked me up at the hotel and drove me home). 

The Bloggerpalooza just ended and it was a fabulous success!  

I will post more about it tomorrow (or maybe the day after when I recover) but this picture says it all.  Blogger friends meet and have a wonderful time!  

See if you can identify your favorite blogger in the above photo.  Bet you can't. 

We all had just a wonderful time today. Fantastic!

Spo Meets the Bloggers

Dr. Spo finally arrived (fashionably) and met his blogger friends at Cubby's VIP suite at the hotel.  

Anne Marie of Philly, Jay M. (of Virginia), Jeffrey and friend, Java Jones with Superman (and was he ever), Nate, Doug, and Mark and Fred were all there partying in Cubby's VIP suite awaiting the arrival of Dr. Spo and Someone.  

After getting introductions and hugs most of us went out for dinner at Stripper Bites.  Even though we had to wait an hour for a table, it was well worth it spending time with new found friends.  

Bloggers at Striper Bites, Lewes DE

It's late at night now and I did want to get this wonderful video posted before I went to bed.  Tomorrow we go out for breakfast and then to Rehoboth Beach of a visit to Old Time Photo to capture our images of a time in the past.  I think the theme will be gunslingers with Anne Marie as the "Miss Kitty" dance hall gal.  

Tomorrow is the Bloggerpalooza event which other local bloggers will join us.  Mark and Joe, The Cajun, and Sean and his spouse (whose name I forget - sorry Sean - right now).  

By the way folks, Dr. Spo is even more handsome and adorable in person (sorry Dr. Spo, had to say that). 

Lucky me between two adorable new friends

Friday, March 22, 2013

Love Break

Okay folks, the time is here.....BLOGGER PALOOZA IS TOMORROW!

I'm going to take a love break from my blog posting and go down to the hotel to deliver wine to Cubby's suite and check to make sure all preparations are started for tomorrow night's Bloggerpalooza.  

Last night I woke up in a sweat.  I've done many of these events but I'm always nervous right before the event, worried that I'll forget something.  But  you know what?  They always go off without a hitch and that's what is going to happen tomorrow night - a wonderful celebration of friends and love.  


Tipton Family Reunion 2011 (that's me on the right in tan pants)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How To Stay Young

This morning while I was out shopping (in a snowstorm yet) for the final touches to the Bloggerpalooza, Bill said to me "What?  Are you in your second childhood?"  A valid question since I entered my eight decade of existence on this earth.  Born in 1941, a month before Pearl Harbor, I am now of the older generation.  But you know what folks?  I don't feel that way. Oh sure, when I get up on the morning I ache all over.  "Arthur Ritis" is a permanent guest in my house.  

Hi, my name is "Ron" and I'm an Oldie Goldie

My body may be aging, I may be more forgetful these days with more and more of my brain cells dying off but I have never lost the zest for life.  

Smiling, even in the dentist's chair!

I still love music, from the Fifties through the Sixties to the Seventies (perhaps my favorite decade) and even the Eighties.  Hey, there is even music today (Adele) that I love.  And I love glitter.  Oh boy do I ever LOVE glitter.

I've never lost my sense of humor or my fondness for teasing.  Thank God I haven't turned into one of those curmudgeons like so many men of my age.  Have you seen some of those guys?  They look like constipated bullfrogs.  

Add caption

So there I was this morning at Michael's, buying tiaras for the Bloggerpalooza (I heard there were some queens attending) and Bill says "You must be in your second childhood."  No folks, I never grew out of my original childhood.  And I hope I never do.

Some lucky person at the Bloggerpalooza will get this hat at a drawing at the Bloggerpalooza

Random Observations on a December Morning

Late yesterday afternoon sun on our cozy home (in the background).    What? Yet another selfie of yours truly in a hoodie on his property in...