Friday, October 18, 2013

The Power of the Blog

Thom McD. and me at Nectar in Lewes, DE last week

I started blogging in late 2005.  I've always liked to write so it seemed like a logical choice to enter the world of blogging.  

By "writing" I don't mean I wrote books or magazine articles.  No folks, I wasn't one of those celebrated talents. My writing was letters, journals,  letters to the editor, and even pen pals when I was a teenager.  I never had enough confidence in myself to even consider writing a book or magazine article.  But I always did think I could write a newspapers column.  But I dismissed that notion outright because I would have to jump though numerous hurdles to reach that status and then I would be under someone else's control which isn't the best way for my creative juices to flow.

So I decided to dabble in writing a blog.  This was about the time I had put our house up for sale in Pennsylvania.  But then shortly after I started my blog, I found myself immersed in the nightmare of selling our house during the Housing Crisis so I took a leave from writing my blog.  It wasn't until after that nightmare receded into a war story memory to be repeated often in the future, that I renewed writing my blog at the urging of a former friend.  I say former because a few years later he read something in my blog which he mistakenly assumed referred to him. That particular blog posting was about me giving advice to people after they asked for it and then they ignored my advice so I wrote a blog saying I was going to stop giving advice when asked because it was a waste of my time and then he sent me an e-mail saying "Sorry I wasted your time....bye!" thus ending a several year friendship on that flimsy excuse. Ah well, maybe we weren't meant to be friends after all if he was so easily offended.  

So anyway, I'm back to writing my blog, almost on a daily basis.  Well folks, it has been an interesting seven years since I began writing my blog.  I've managed to offend just about every spectrum of blog reader by daring to express my uncensored opinion from saying Celine Dione has a horse face to retelling my story of my first time having sex (with a man).  I've stepped on a lot of toes folks.  I've even gotten into trouble several time by mentioning names which I probably should of have and which I will exercise great restraint in future blog postings.  

Perhaps the most interesting development was when I posted the blog about my first time and then I heard from the son of the married man who seduced me at the tender age of 21.  My seducer was an "older man" of 29, married with three small children.  
One of those now grown up children contracted me because I had published the name of his father in my blog, which also just happens to be his name, with a "Jr." attached to it. He asked me "We always wondered if dad was gay."  Then he asked me if he was and I assured him his dad was definitely gay with me (69).  Then he had a teeny request, could I remove the full name of his dad from my blog posting.  I told him I would and I haven't heard from him since.  However, I did hear from both of his daughters who are now Facebook friends of mine.  You just never know.  

Yes folks, a lot of interesting things have happened to me as a result of my blog postings.  One of the best was last year's first annual Bloggerpalooza.  I got to meet in person several bloggers.  What a treat that was!  They were, without exception, wonderful people.  No serial killers of basement dwelling nerds with Cheeto stain finger tips.

This past summer I received an e-mail from a Thom McD. (no last names, I've gotten into trouble too often as it is).  He had read a blog about me and my good friend Bob McC.

Thom and Bob had a "thing" going on many years ago when Bob lived in California. 

Thom in NYC - 1970?
He and Bob and lost contact over the years and was surprised to find that Bob was still alive.  He contacted me.  I told him Bob's situation now which was that Bob is living in an assisted care facility with his longtime partner and spouse.  Thom made arrangements to visit the area in October which is what he did last week.

Me and Bob McC. 2011

I had warned him that Bob may not remember him which I think was the case.  I met Thom the next morning and took him to breakfast.  Then Thom left for parts south to visit family and friends.  Thus another blog success. 

I've been often derided by writing a blog and having a Facebook account.  Some have told me "Why would you want to put out that personal information?"  "Aren't you afraid of getting into trouble?"  "What about stalkers?"

You know folks, you can live your life in fear and hide.  While I understand and respect the need and desire of some to remain private, I'm a different cat.  Oh sure, I've gotten more than my share of negative comments, chastisements, and warnings  and have made more than a few people angry
by freely stating my opinions but that's just the flak I have to take to do something that I love doing which is writing a blog.  

And then there is the unexpected.  The friends that one can make by writing a blog.  Recently this past summer a fellow from Toronto read my blog and liked it.  He liked me.  He left a comment on my blog.  I happened to be at my computer when he left the comment and I answered him right away.  First time I ever answered a comment right away.

We exchanged comments back and forth and then I suggested that if he wanted to talk on FaceTime sometime we could do that.  We did a few days later.  
During one of those conversations I made an offhand suggestion that if he was ever in the area (Rehoboth Beach) we could get an Old Time Photo.  Well guess what folks?  He came down a few weeks later!  And we got the Old Time photo and I found that we had a lot in common. 

Me and Pat at Old Time Photo (it's serious now)
 In fact, I had a new Good Friend. Someone who enjoys my company and I enjoy his.  Someone who doesn't criticize me, someone who doesn't act superior to me, someone who likes me just as I am, flaws and all.  What a rarity!  

Me and Pat at Cafe Azafran in Rehoboth Beach August 2013

My friend's name is Pat (no last names please) and we're in contact almost every day.  He's coming down for my birthday and will accompany be to Philadelphia for my long delayed Birthday Bash Bucket Item.  For many years I wanted to visit Philadelphia, where I used to work and live and play.  Where I matured to the Ron Tipton you all know and love today.  

So to all those naysayers (including my Bill) who don't understand why I blog.  Here is my answer:  I've made some really good friends through my blog for which I will be forever grateful.  

My Bloggerpalooza friends 2013


Amanda said...

What a great, entertaining post Ron! I really wish I could make the next bloggerpalooza and meet your talented blogger friends!

Jon said...

Blogging is one of the few outlets where we can be ourselves and say exactly what we want to. I know from personal experience that expressing my thoughts and personal views can sometimes be offensive to others and can possibly result in the loss of so-called friends. Tough noogies. I used to get a lot of negative comments when I blogged on AOL, especially from Texans who are in love with the Lone Star State. It's no secret that I despise it here and I was never shy about saying it.

As a professional writer I always had to be very careful about what I said, and I chose my words carefully (fortunately most of my editors were very lenient). I love the complete freedom that blogging affords. When I blog I'm not really writing - - I'm thinking out loud. Much like you, I've gotten to know a lot of fantastic people through blogging.

By the way - - I'm still laughing at the picture of Ann Coulter. It's hilarious!

Ron said...

I wish you could make the next Bloggerpalooza too! We're having one every year. Maybe sometime in the future. They really are a great bunch of folks.


Ron said...

When I write I'm thinking with my fingertips on the keyboard. Not a whole lot of thought goes into my writing. As the commands flow from my brain and they right to the keyboard. I'll read over the blog once and maybe make a few corrections but not too much. If I study it too closely it loses it's freshness. I know you know what I mean.

I was looking for a photo of Celine Dion but when I came across that horse faced photo of Anne Coulter I too laughed out loud. I had to post it.


anne marie in philly said...

"I've made some really good friends through my blog for which I will be forever grateful." - hell yeah! you got me to start one, didn't you?

you never know where life is going to lead. and so what if people get pissed off; THEIR problem, not yours.

ann c(unt)er = horse - YES!!!!! PRICELESS!!!!! (see what I did there?) and I agree with you about celine and sarah jessica parker too!

nitewrit said...


I was pretty lucky as a writer as far as what got published, hardly ever a change to what I wrote. When "RiverCreek Mystery" was published in 2004 the editor changed two words and I never really stopped being unhappy about that. I couldn't see the point, but maybe she felt as an editor she had to do some editing to justify her position. In 1966 I wrote a piece for "The Communicator" titled "A Work in Needlework". (It was about the drug culture of those times.) I was embarrassed because I misspelled "needle" and it was published as "A Work in Nettlework". I kind of thought the editor should have caught that and corrected it, but he thought I was being witty. Today I need not please an editor to get published or worry about the editing of my work, and even Spell Check flagged "Nettlework" as wrong in this comment. Write on!


Ur-spo said...

One of your more admirable traits is you are not afraid. It is commendable.

Ron said...

Some (Bill) call my actions "foolish." I have that gene in my that I cannot suppress, I have to challenge.

Ron said...

I congratulate you on having much of your work published. I've had a few letters to the editor published but nary a word was changed.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,
They are definitely the three horse faces. Wear them proud ladies!

pat888 said...


I like that - "I'm a different cat". You are one terrific cool cat. I can hardly believe sometimes I've had the good fortune to find you amongst the millions of us on the planet.