Monday, October 21, 2013

New Jersey Approves Same Sex Marriage

At the stroke of midnight last night, New Jersey became the fourteenth state to legalize same sex marriage.  

In other words, New Jersey became the fourteenth state to recognize that all of it's citizens deserve the respect and protections that heretofore was only afforded to heterosexual couples. New Jersey became the fourteenth state to recognize that it's gay citizens were not "less than" but equal in the eyes of the law to all the other citizens of this great state.

When I met Bill, my spouse, in the summer of 1964 in Philadelphia, he lived in Pennsauken, New Jersey.  Yes Virginia, our "wedding night" was spent in his apartment at Penn Manor Apartments, 3727A Herbert Avenue, Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Me at Bill's Penn Manor, Pennsauken, New Jersey apartment - 1964 (MUCH nicer than my two room efficiency furnished apartment in Coatesville, PA - I was MOVING ON UP!)

Eight months after meeting Bill in July of 1964, I moved from my $65.00 a month furnished apartment in Coatesville, Pennsylvania apartment to Bill's two bedroom garden apartment at Penn Manor in Pennsuaken, New Jersey.  Bill had asked me to move in with him when he presented me with a "wedding ring" at Christmas 1964.  After some hesitation (I was only 22 years old to his 35 years old), I consented to quit my $80 a week bookkeeping job at Lipsett Steel Products (a local scrapyard, not a glamourous job but I did work with a lot of hunky guys, my milieu) and try to get a job in Philadelphia.  I always wanted to work at a bank. Fortunately for me my good friend Ron Hampton worked at Girard Bank and was able to secure an interview for me. 

My friend Ron Hampton at my Coatesville, PA apartment - 1964

Two weeks after interviewing for a bank auditor job I received a letter from Dick Thomas, the personnel officer who interviewed me.  He offered me a job in the Trust Department.  The job was called "Trust Accounting" but in actuality the job was a remittance clerk, responsible to seeing that payments were made on a daily basis to Girard Bank's 17,000 plus trust customers.  Even though the job only paid $70.00 a week, a $20.00 a week cut which was a BIG CUT in 1964, I accepted the job.  My first day of employment was to begin March 1st, 1965.

Me carrying on at my Coatesville apartment - I may have been poor but I was happy! - 1964
My Coatesville apartment was nothing like Bill's luxurious (to me) apartment in Penn Manor.  As the song says (in "The Jeffersons") I was "moving on up!"

My kitchen/dining room table in my Coatesville apartment - believe it or not I still have that radio and Aunt Jemina cozy (which my Mother made).  I never throw ANYTHING away.  Check out the aqua ashtray. - 1964
On Moving Day my friend Ed helped me to move my few meager belongings (mostly clothes, I always was a Clothes Horse) to Bill's apartment in New Jersey.  We moved everything in Ed's VW beetle!

Ed packing in my clothes in the back seat of his VW  behind my Coatesville apartment - 1964
Here I am moving my plant to Bill's place.  I remember the day was cold (it was February) and I was afraid the plant would get a chill.  I still am sensitive to how my plants feel. Some things never change.

Me in Ed's VW Beetle with my plant, glasses (before I got contact lenses) and my faux fur car coat - oh those were the days! - 1964
When I moved to Bill's apartment he wasn't there. He was on a three month business trip to Texas. So the first three months of my "wedded bliss" I was in the apartment by myself.  At the time there was a popular song by Vic Dana called "Red Roses for a Blue Lady."  My friends Ed and Ron used to play it for me all the time. I think what prompted them was that Bill had a bouquet of red roses waiting for me in OUR apartment when I arrived. Now every time I hear this song I think of that special time in the Sixties when my life changed forever.

You know it's always interesting that when I begin a blog post I don't know where I'm going with it. I just let my brain lead my fingers (yes, I type, no verbal software for this typist).

I am so happy for those couple who are getting married in New Jersey today.  Do you notice how extremely happy they are?  Have you noticed the wall to wall smiles all gays couples (both male and female) have when they are finally allowed to get married just like anybody else thus ending the legalized practice of treating gay couples as "less than?"  


So to Chris Christie, who finally had the sense not to challenge the judge's ruling that same sex marriages are now legal in New Jersey, welcome to the right side of history. And to all those newlywed, happy gay couples who will now be treated equally under the law in New Jersey, congratulations.  And to the remaining thirty six states of this country who are still practicing legalized discrimination, who persist in treating its gay citizens as second class citizens; it's just a matter of time baby......just a matter of time.


anne marie in philly said...

and once again, PA is on the WRONG side of history!

talk about "old time photos"! :-b

Ron said...

Anne Marie

I am ashamed of my former home state. So backwards and discriminatory. Cheats on elections by voter suppression and still discriminating against same sex couples by treating them less than. As the political pundits have said "Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between." So true, so true. Get with it PA!


pat888 said...


You are right. It's just a matter of time. I bet it even begins to snowball soon in that all of the United States will embrace marriage as a right for everyone. Also - very cool painting in Bill's apartment. And first time I saw or heard of Hollywood A Go Go. And dig those dancers - wow!!


Ron said...

Bill did that painting and built the frame. When we moved to Philadelphia he threw away the painting which was a shame because I liked it. Bill's style is similar to yours, he likes clean lines and no clutter. Weren't those dancers something? They could teach the dancers on "Dancing With the Stars" something.


Stan said...

Now I just hope that the voters of NJ will come out Nov. 5th and vote Chris Christie out of office and elect Barbara Buono (who has an openly gay Daughter) the next Governor of New Jersey. I know I'm probably just dreaming but one can only hope. Christie is the biggest (no pun intended) liar to come down the Pike. All his campaign ads just lie, lie and lie. He has done nothing for NJ unless your one of his Republican rich pals.

The Penn Manor Apartments are still nice. Rents here in NJ are high everywhere these days especially if they are close to New York City or Philadelphia. Great post.

Jack said...


Never thought I would see the day that New Jersey would embrace same sex marriage. I lived in South Jersey for many years and the "folks" there were about as southern as my neighbors in Virginia. Just goes to show that if New Jersey will do it, then the others will follow, oh maybe not Texas, at least not in my lifetime.

Loved the pictures of the apartment, both Coatesville and the Pennsauken. I loved mid century modern, clean lines and no poof (is that a word?) Well, I loved everything but avocado green carpeting and appliances. I lived with so much of that back in the day. Turquoise and pink were a fifties color, I like that much better.

The dancers were good! Reminds me of Band Stand, 46th & Market in Philly. I never went but loved watching hunky South Philly Italian boys dancing. Tall, dark and handsome set my heart going. Your posts enjoyable as ever.


Ron said...


I liked the Penn Manor Apartments. I had to asked Bill why we moved. He said "You wanted to move closer to Philly." I had forgotten I didn't want to take the bus from New Jersey. I'm surprised that the Penn Manor apartments are still there. I had hear they went into bankruptcy.

Chris Christie made a BIG mistake by not taking a strong stand for marriage equality. There isn't anything he can do to please the tea baggers so why even try? He should have just taken the right stand instead of the weasel way out that he did.


Ron said...

I have to admit I was surprised too that New Jersey now has marriage equality. I thought it would take longer. Hey, even here in southern Delaware with the large same sex couples population we have the "southern way" of thinking. Some folks just cannot abide same sex couple being happy and being treated equally with protections and respect. They're all on the losing side of history, they just don't know it.

I too like the "mid century modern" look. But like you I never did like the avocado green appliances, but we had them!

How about those dancers? You won't see anything like that on "Dancing With the Stars."

Always good to hear from you Jack.


Raybeard said...

I haven't heard the 'Red Roses' song for ever so long - and most certainly do remember when it was popular.

As for NJ, well it seems that (painfully) slowly, but surely, the skittles do keep toppling over. I can only assume that more and more people are thinking "What was all the fuss about? And anyway, there are FAR more important things that need our attention than fighting against this." As you say, "Just a matter of time". I'm sure it'll even come to all Africa eventually!

Jon said...

I never thought that New Jersey would legalize same-sex marriages. I'll bet my NJ relatives are grabbing their smelling salts to keep from swooning.

Your interesting posts are always documented with great photos. Makes me nostalgic for the 60's. It sounds like Bill was (is) a true romantic. Nobody ever gave me roses. And I won't hold my breath waiting for them......
Believe it or not, I used to have an Aunt Jemima "cozy", too. An old lady made it and gave it to me when I was about ten years old. Unfortunately my father eventually threw it out. He considered everything to be "junk" and got rid of many of my prized possesseions. I'm definitely a "keeper". I never throw anything out.

Ron said...

One thing I have to give my father credit for, he never threw any of my stuff out. My Mother did that. Of course he just didn't care but that's another whole story.

I am so glad I have the old photos. I just wish that I had taken more back in the day. There are so many periods of my life when I didn't take any photos like the time I lived in Pittsburgh, before I met Bill. I didn't have any money. I hardly enough money to eat. Someday, before I die I hope to revisit Pittsburgh and take photos of where I used to live and work.

The 60's were a wonderful period though weren't they Jon? I'm very nostalgic for that time now.


Ron said...

Well said Ray! Indeed, there are more important things to worry about instead of feeling threatened because two people of the same sex happen to fall in love and want to marry thus having the respect and legal protections that all straight couples take for granted.
I will enjoy watching the states fall like dominoes one by one when they realize that to resist is futile.


Stan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ur-spo said...

Do you have a prediction of 'which state is next'? and do your suppose a state will NOT approve?