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Showing posts from October, 2013

Halloween - Past and Present

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The first Halloween I can remember was when I was about eight years old.  I lived on Washington Avenue in the small town of Downingtown, Pennsylvania (pop. 5,000).  Our family lived on  great street for trick or treating, Washington Avenue was right in the center of town. This is the first time I'm revealing my first costume but it was a southern ball gown.  Yep folks, old "butchie" (now anyway) Ron went dressed up as a GIRL! Specifically a Southern Belle.   Going to school in the Fifties I was transfixed by all the crinolines in my females classmate's dresses. Oh how I loved that swish and swish when they got up from their desks to change classes.  Oh yes folks, I had the big hoop dress!  What was I thinking?  No wonder when I went trick or treating up and down Washington Avenue with all the cowboys, scarecrows, and skeletons I was the ONLY hoop skirted eight year old boy.  I think I only did this once before it sunk into my eight year old brain that t

Great Horror Movie Scenes

Believe it or not some of the other scariest movies I saw were the Abbott and Costello series of movies where they meet several Universal Studios monsters. Funny thing, I knew these were comedies but they still scared the bejesus out of me. This is what an impressionable 10 year old I was. I loved Abbot and Costello. I knew they were comedians. I knew this was a movie, but still. I look at these movie clips now and a broad smile breaks out across my face. I see the humor now but man oh man, I didn't when I was that scared 10 year old in that darkened Roosevelt movie theater in Downingtown back in 1951. Now here is one movie that didn't scare me a whit, "The Creature From the Black Lagoon." Are you kidding?  Nice musical score but I did enjoy the movie if for nothing else that its camp effect.  Doesn't this movie clip sort of remind you of a precursor to "Jaws?" Ah yes, "Chrissie's Last Swim." Who can ever

The Scariest Movie I Ever Saw

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Charles Laughton's bride That my friends would be "Frankenstein."  I first time I saw the movie "Frankenstein" was when I was ten years old (1951) at the Roosevelt Theater in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.   My last date Frankenstein's Monster It cost me 20 cents and I think I was with my younger brothers John and Isaac.  I knew we were going to see a "monster" picture but I had no idea just how scary "Frankenstein" was.  But I soon found out. Frankie "come hither look" - a sure grabber When Dr. Frankenstein raised The Monster (who is commonly erroneously referred to as "Frankenstein" but is really The Monster) on that raised platform to opening at the top of the decrepit castle to the lightening bolts of the thunderstorm which was to give life to Frankenstein, I thought "Oh, what did I get myself into?"   Be still my heart Then when he lowered that platform and Dr. Frankenstein look

My Attraction for Older Men

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My friends (left to right) Tommy, Bob H., Clayton, Louis (older guy) and Bob McM. - 1980 Philadelphia Who is the most interesting guy at this table? Right! Louie It is no secret for those who know me well that I have always been attracted to older men. I've never been attracted to young men unlike many of my gay peers.   "Raffles", a popular Philadelphia gay bar in the 70's.  NOT my style at all.  Older men were discouraged from attending. When I came out into the so called "gay lifestyle" in 1963 when I was 21 years old I wasn't seeking to meet another 21 year old.  In fact, the first man I was intimate with was an "old" 29 years old.  Ironically, I felt I was doing him a favor even though I was very attracted to him.  That's how much I was brainwashed that since I was gay I should only be attracted to young men.  While my friends were cruising and meeting guys their age I was secretly eyeing the older guys in the bar.  I

When I Fall In Love

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Have you ever been in love?  If you're among the fortunate few you can answer "yes."   Love comes in many forms.  Parents love their children.  We love our pets.  If you're really lucky, you love your job.  You may love where you love. Some love food, and some others love to travel.  But the love I'm talking about is old fashion romantic love. I remember as a 10 year old sitting in the Roosevelt movie theater in my small town of Downingtown, Pennsylvania watching the twenty foot high beautiful men and women of Hollywood kissing.  I thought to myself "This is what I should aspire to. This is what life is all about"  But something wasn't clicking.  Although the men and women (especially the women, the beauty of Hedy Lamarr just took my breath away) were certainly beautiful, I knew I didn't look like that.  Watching all that face sucking just did nothing for me.  I knew I was missing something. Hedy Lamarr - most beautiful film actress

Self Esteem, Self Respect

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"Stand up straight!" This evening I read a blog post by a friend of mine.  He hadn't posted in a week he said because an incident happened that he "allowed his feelings to be hurt."  Who hasn't been in this place?  I certainly have as I am sure most of the folks reading these words I'm typing now have had their feelings hurt by intentional or unintentional verbal assaults. When we're young most of us lack the ability to fend off the slings and arrows of disrespect, insults, and humiliations.  As we grow older we gain armor to shield of those who seek to bring us down because they either fear us or are just not nice people.  Of course one never grows enough armor to completely insulate oneself against others who seek to cause us pain because of their own shortcomings. A few days ago I wrote a posting about how self conscious I was about my big nose. I grew up in a household where my father never ceased to find delight in mocking my promi