Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Me sitting in the back of my friend Bob's pickup truck at Bob White's Motel in Provincetown, Mass - August 1974

My Throwback Thursday this week is a recently discovered photo of myself taken during my first visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts.  This photo was taken in front of Bob White's Motel. I'm sitting on my friend Bob McCamley's pickup truck.  We made the trip together.  

The date on the back of this photo is August 1974. Egads!  Forty years ago?  What happened?  Talk about time flying when you're having a good time (well, mostly good anyway), here is a good example. 

A little background history to this photo and our trip to Provincetown.  Forty years ago I was working at Girard Trust Bank in Philadelphia.  One of my co-workers had recently returned from a trip to Provincetown, Mass.  He was gay and he told me that Provincetown was THE PLACE TO GO FOR GAYS.  Up until 1974, the only vacation trips I had ever made was one to Canada in 1966 and one to visit Bill's hometown in Toccoa, Georgia in 1965.  

Me and my friend Bob getting ready to leave Philadelphia for our road trip to Provincetown, Mass - 1974

I was intrigued by my friend Don's recommendation to visit the gay Mecca of Provincetown so I made a suggestion to my friend Bob.  He was up for it.

Our only requirement was that we didn't want to be too gay.  I did my research and found a place to stay in P-town called "The Ranch."  I called and made our reservations.  

On the appointed day of our departure from my home in center city Philadelphia, Bob arrives with his pickup truck.  It was a bright, sunny Saturday morning.  The trip took just over eight hours.

Saying "Goodbye" to Bill - we're on our way!!!

We arrived Saturday evening in Provincetown on the main street which was PACKED WITH PEOPLE.  By the way, the main street is called "Commercial Street."  Interesting, one would think they would have named it something more in line with a Gay Mecca, say like Spruce Street.

"The Ranch" was located right in the center of Provincetown.  Wow.  Not what we had imagined, a bucolic setting in the country.  

We check in and found that we had registered with the gayest establishment in Provincetown.  There was so much swishing going on there with the residents that Bob and I got dizzy.  What really threw Bob was his room.  It looked like a whorehouse bedroom, with the canopied bed with red silk tassels dangling around and the mirrored top of the bed.  My room was a little butcher, called "The Harness Room." I had visions of a sling.  WE.HAD.TO.GET.OUT.OF.THERE. 

The next day I did some frantic searching and found a suitably butch motel on the outskirts of Provincetown.  That is where this photo was taken.  

Ah memories.  

This was just the beginning of our somewhat disastrous week.  I had planned to spend the week with my friend Bob but he had other plans.  One day in he met a twinkie from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  I was on my own.  

My subsequent trips to Provincetown I made by myself except for one other disastrous trip when I convinced Bill to go with me.  He went but wouldn't come out of his room at the Best Western motel, the only other "butch" accommodation in P-town.  

Ah memories.  


Jon said...

I always enjoy your stories of past adventures. I've never been to Provincetown but, of course, I've heard delicious rumors. I think you and Bill should go there for your wedding anniversary. If "The Ranch" is still in existence, see if the "Harness Room" is available. Make sure it has a couple of slings. (*smile*)

Ron said...

Thank you for your encouragment. I have barely touched on my past adventures, especially in Provincetown. From 1974 to 1986 I visited the "Gay Disneyland" every summer, the last time four times in one summer. I always enjoyed my visits and met some very interesting people. However, my physical "interludes" were few and far in between which is probably why I am alive today. Almost all of the "interesting folks" I met, are now gone due to AIDS related illnesses. Even my friend Bob Mc. is "gone", he has dementia and is in a full care nursing home. He doesn't even know who I am now.
In response to your suggestion that Bill and I visit "The Ranch" (which is still there) and the Harness Room: now way, no how. Bill would never do that. I briefly considered going with Pat (my friend from Toronto, who never visited P-Town) but I hear Provincetown is not the same now. Lesbians have taken over and the town is way over crowded. I don't know, maybe I"ll make one last visit. It would take some coordination now and I don't know if I'm up for it.

Jon said...

It would probably be nice to make one last vist to Provincetown, just for old time's sake. I'm sure Pat would enjoy seeing it.

Unknown said...

Hey Ron,
Myself and my partner bought The Bill White motel last year, although it’s been called The Foxberry Inn for the past 10 years. I was wondering and hoping you might have some more old pics of your visit there? And if you’re ever back in Ptown, stop in and say hi!!

Ron said...

Oh how I would love to pay just one more visit to Ptown. That's on my bucket list. Unfortunately I think the picture I posted of me sitting in the back of the pickup truck in front of the old Bill White hotel is the only picture I have of your hotel. I'm going to try and talk my friend Pat to visit Ptwon with me and we'll stay at your hotel!

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.