|My friends - 1980|
Going through some photos yesterday and I came across this photo. It was taken in the fall of 1980 near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
From left to right:
They were friends of mine. They are no more.
Richard Moore - I do not know where he is. I haven't heard of his whereabouts for years.
Joe Murtha - died of AIDs related illness two years after this photo was taken - 1982
Bob M. - now resides in a senior care facility in Rehoboth Beach, DE. He does not recognize me.
Bob McIntyre- died of AIDS related illness several months after this photo was taken - 1980
Paul Bickerstaff - I do not know where he is. I lost touch with Paul after this photo was taken
Seeing this iconic photo triggered memories in me. I remember exactly when I took this photo. We were all walking out towards North Shores, near Gordon's Pond in Rehoboth Beach. Back in the 80's, the Rehoboth Beach area wasn't the tourist mecca that it is today but it was a place for closeted gay men to gather without fear of losing their jobs or causing their families great embarrassment.
Seeing this photo makes me sad of course because I no longer have these guys as my friends. I had no idea at that time I would survive them all. Perhaps Richard (who I was never close with) and Paul (who I was THISCLOSE with) are still alive.
Joe Murtha and Bob McIntyre were partners. Both were cremated after their deaths and their ashes scattered over their five acres of "hideaway" land nearby where this photo was taken, as per their wishes.
It would be nice to hear from Paul again but one thing is for sure, we could never capture "The Moment" like we did that chilly, autumn afternoon near the dunes of North Shores. When I see this photo I am reminded of the last scene of "Longtime Companion."