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Showing posts from April, 2013

Jason Collins - A Profile In Courage

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Jason Collins, an NBA professional athlete for twelve years, came out today as a gay man.  Why his action is so unique is that he is still an active player.  He did not wait until he retired to come out as a gay man.  Let me venture to say that Jason's courageous act in publicly identifying himself as a gay man is the most significant development in the public awareness of gay men and women in our society since it was revealed that Rock Hudson was gay. Even though this country has made amazing advances towards the public acceptance of gay men and women in the past ten years, there is still a hard core undercurrent of homophobia and intolerance in our society.  This was brought to my attention all to painfully last week when I was on vacation in North Carolina when I came face to face with danger and hatefulness of homophobia from a cousin of mine who threatened me if I "stepped foot" on his parent's property.  He said I would have to "deal with him"

Back to the Regular Routine (or something like it)

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Well folks, we're home and I'm trying to slip back into my regular routine.  Of course there is that "small item" that I have to get through this Thursday, my prostate "procedure" (seed implants).  Have to get through THAT folks before I can resume anything like a regular life.  I just hope there are no complications. Yesterday I spent hours on the phone trying to straighten out a double billing (and over billing) by a faux reservation company called "Hotels.com".  When I made reservations for our hotel rooms at the Hampton Inn in Marion, North Carolina I thought I was calling the central reservations desk of the Hampton Inn.  When I checked in the Hampton Inn in Marion the front desk clerk told me my reservations were made by "one of those sites that looks like our site."  Uh huh.  Me, the longtime hotel front desk clerk, savvy guy, got snookered by one of those fake reservation scams.  Not to bore you with the details but when I

We're Home!

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Just arrived home this morning about 9 am Yes folks, we are back home! And glad of it. Early this morning Bill was knocking at my door at the Hampton Inn in Chesapeake, Virginia (in Suffolk, near Norfolk).  The time was 3:30 a.m.  Bill wanted to get an early start.  Man oh man. The Hampton Inn Suffolk, VA early this morning while we were loading up the van to get out of Dodge This is the problem with Bill, he can't sleep at night (usually gets up at 2 or 2:30 after going to bed at 7 pm). Then when we go away on vacation like this he gets all worked up on the last day that we're not going to get the rented van back in time. Enterprise closes at 12 noon on Saturday. Don't ask me why they don't stay open all day on Saturday since that's when most people bring their rental cars back. Bill walking pushing the cart into the hotel early this morning even before the birds were up I would have like to have had breakfast at the Hampton Inn (which starts

Annual Road Trip Day Seven

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Is it the seventh day of our annual road trip?  Hard to believe.  I think I missed a number somewhere along the way.  Oh well. Today was spent driving through four states:   Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia We stopped at two very nice rest stops:  one in North Carolina and one in Virginia. North Carolina rest stop We're in Virginia now.  Just arrived about an hour ago.  We left Helen, Georgia early this morning (about 7 am) We arrived here in Suffolk, Virginia; near the naval base (where on the eastern coast of Virginia aren't you near a naval base?)  about 6 pm, thoroughly stressed.  Our GPS was a big help but downtown Suffolk is about as traffic heavy and crazy as Norfolk.   Hampton Inn, Suffolk, VA After checking into our rooms we went out for a bit to eat.  We didn't want to drive so we walked to the Golden Corral, a buffet style restaurant two blocks down the street.  A BIG MISTAKE. The Madhouse Golden Corral

Annual Road Trip South - Day Six

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Today Bill and I "did" Tallulah Gorge.  Such a beautiful day with clear blue skies and a mild crisp temperatures, how could we not? We left early this morning from the hotel after a breakfast of normal waffles (the regular breakfast hostess was back) and cheese omelet and sausage.  No orange juice though, still had that rusty tin can in the container. We're only about thirty miles from the Tallulah State park.  By the way, the famous actress Tallulah Bankhead was named after her great-grandmother who was named after the Tallulah Falls.  Tallulah Gorge was NOT named after Tallulah Bankhead, regardless of how often she told that story. Bill and I visited Tallulah Falls a couple of years ago but we didn't descend the stairs to the suspended bridge.  We did that this morning.  What a thrill!  Just fabulous.   However, I have to admit I have developed a minor case of fear of heights in my advanced years.  Today was a good test of that fear.  Another problem I had

Annual Road Trip South - Day Five

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The Family of Four headed back to the hotel Every day is an adventure!  Today was no exception.  I was going to write about our excellent day in the dying town of Toccoa, the town in Georgia where Bill grew up.  Instead this blog is about one of those "Why is this happening to me?"   First of all, the day didn't start out too great.  Breakfast at the Hampton Inn is usually very good.  Not this morning.  My waffle batter was sour.  Yep, sour waffle batter. I noticed that the waffles didn't have that "waffle" smell when they were cooking.  Then when I flipped the waffle grill over, the waffles had a pale and undercooked look.  I peeled the waffle out of the waffle iron and it was like elastic.  I buttered it up and poured syrup and proceed to saw cut the waffle with my little plastic knife on my styrofoam plate.  All I did was stretch the waffle.  Hmmmm.  Then I lifted the uncut waffle to my mouth and tore off a piece.  Sour.  The waffle was sour.  Uh

Annual Road Trip South - Day Four

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Hampton Inn, Helen, Georgia What a difference a day makes.  Today was wonderful.   We left Marion, North Carolina this morning.  Bill and I said our "goodbye's" to my good cousin Bob and his wife Marie.  They just made our two days in Marion so enjoyable.  They were the perfect antidote to the hateful remarks that my other distant cousin (his great grandmother and my grandmother were brother and sister) made to me on Sunday.  I think I've gone through the five stages of grief over that incident:   Denial  Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance I'm at the "acceptance" stage now.  I knew he will never change as many won't in this country.  They will go to their grave believing that it is their God given right to discriminate, harass and threaten gay  people.  I have to tell you though, I was shocked and a chill went through my whole body when he said those hateful words to me.  But we left that area of the country this morning and I do

Annual Road Trip South - Day Three

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The view from Fairview Cemetery Today turned out surprisingly well.  Bill and I spent the day with my cousin Bob and his wife Marie in the area of the western North Carolina mountains where our fathers were born.  Our father's left North Carolina with their seven brothers (two more were born in Pennsylvania) in the late 1920's with their parents to work on their uncle's farm in southeastern Pennsylvania. My cousin Bob and his wife Marie today in the mountains Bob and I still have cousins in the area (which I will not specifically mention for reasons which will become obvious later on in this post) that we had planned to visit.  In previous visits I had made contract with the husband of my cousin (my grandfather and her grandmother were brother and sister) that we were coming down for a visit.  Monday night, while I was having dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (I posted a video of that dinner in my last post) I called my cousin's house just to confirm tha

Annual Road Trip South - Day Two

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Hampton Inn Marion North Carolina We made it!  After a LONG trip from Emporia, VA to our present destination, Marion, NC.  I am exhausted.  I'll sleep good again tonight. Me with a serious case of bed hair trying to cut a waffle with a plastic knife and fork on a styrofoam plate I've done all the driving so far.  I wasn't expecting this but be that as it may.  Today's trip wasn't as bad as going through Norfolk with all it's twisty, hilly road but still pretty hairy.  I traveled almost the entire length of the state from the east to the western border.  I used US40.  The only nerve wracking parts was where I had to drive around the major North Carolina cities like Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.  All those extra roads and exits and mergers right and left and traffic.  I had to really concentrate that I was in the right lane and unfortunately I couldn't spend a lot of time chatting with Bill.  He got his feelings hurt and now isn't tal

Annual Road Trip South - Day One

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The Hampton Inn Emporia Virginia Okey dokey folks, here I am in a Hampton Inn hotel room in Emporia Virginia, calling the end to Day One of our Annual Road Trip South. For the last several years Bill and I have been making this trek south to visit my father's birthplace in the mountains (Pigeon Roost - hillbilly county) of western North Carolina, my brother and his wife in Greenville, South Carolina and Bill's birthplace and where he grew up in Toccoa Georgia.  Yep, we make that big loop.   We make the trip down the Delmarva Peninsula, through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (which both of us hate), then through that mess of roads that is Norfolk, Virginia then to open country.  The hardest part about the trip is always getting through Norfolk.  We messed up again today.  I always drive through Norfolk and have used my GPS and made it through.  Hairy and scary but I did make it through.  This time Bill "drew a map."  He says his maps are always better.  Uh h

Today's Drama

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On my way to the other side of the hospital this afternoon to the "labs" to get my blood work done No, "today's drama" is not about the terrorist who is hiding out in a boat, bleeding, in a suburban backyard as I type this latest post.  No, "today's drama" is about a phone call I received this morning.   As regular followers of my blog know, I am scheduled for brachytherapy on May 2nd.  Translated that means I am undergoing a ninety minute surgery where they put me out (the fun part) and insert 80 to 90 radioactive seeds in my scrotum (ouch) to treat my localized prostate cancer.  Prior to the surgery I am to have blood work done.  Okay.  I thought I had that all resolved last week.  I was told I could get the blood work the day Bill and I return from our road trip vacation down south (we leave tomorrow) on April 29th.  Oh no, "Cathy" tells me.  "I can't order the seeds until you get your blood work."  I told her that

Passing the Baton

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(Image is of my hand shaking Delaware governor Markell's hand  April 11, 2013) If there was one lasting image of my testimony in support of marriage equality yesterday at the Delaware State legislature it is the image of the young gay man who was waiting with extended hand to shake mine after my emotional testimony.  This young man, with nary a wrinkle on his fresh, young face; locked his laser stare on me, and a proud yet determined smile on is face that seem to say "Thank you for fighting the good battle against discrimination the last 50 years."   I had wanted to make a quick exit (thank goodness the door was right behind me) after my emotional testimony because, quite frankly, I was embarrassed.  But this young man's fixed stare and smile said to me "Oh no, I'm going to thank you before you leave."  I hesitated and then shook his hand.  He smiled as I did.   As I was waiting outside Legislative Hall for Bill to pick me up (we waited outside