Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 1980

Skinny me the Morning After a big night at the bars - sitting outside my friend Bob's single-wide getting some sun

This week's "Throwback Thursday" is to the summer of 1979.  

I had been coming down to LSD (Lower Slower Delaware) since the early Seventies.  My friend Bob McCamley had a used single-wide trailer on his twenty-two acres of scrub woodland outside Georgetown, Delaware.


Me and my friend Bob

Bob and I both worked in center city Philly.  I worked at Girard Bank and Bob worked just across the street at the John Wanamaker's department store. 


Me inside my friend Bob's designer decorated single wide trailer -I think I was a already a couple of drinkie poos into the weekend when this picture was taken

One or two weekends a month I would ride with Bob in his pickup truck to Sussex County, Delaware, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from his home in Norwood, Pennsylvania. 

Bob lived with his mother and was in the closet.  His weekend "getaways" were necessary for his mental health.  

I didn't have a car at that time and I needed a break from Center City living.  I always went to the Philly gay bars on the weekends but I too occasionally needed a change of scenery.


Me (putting "the moves" on some poor, unsuspecting bespectacled bar fly) and my friend Bob at the Boathouse

Several time I took my camera with me during my weekends of debauchery in the wilds of southern Delaware.  

The pictures in this blog are of me, in varying stages of being soused, at one of the local gay bars of that time which was called "The Boathouse."  Eventually the Boathouse was burned down as was the other popular bar "The Renegade".  Sussex County Delaware at that time was very redneck, and still is in many areas.


Me and Howard getting into the groove - I think "Funkytown" was playing

Me and my friend Howard dancing at the Boathouse (the one with the flooded floor)


There was another gay bar called "The Nomad", which we went to a few times but the Boathouse has our favorite. One of the things I remember clearly about the Boathouse was when the tide came in the dance floor was often covered in an inch of water.  That was sort of cool.  


Back at Bob's trailer for more partying (I believe it was his birthday) - I'm obviously several sheets to the wind

Bob's trailer did not have running water.  Thus if you wanted to take a pee you peed out the side door as this picture attests to.  And if you wanted to take a Number Two you got a paper bag and went out into the woods.  I never had to do that (thank goodness) but Bob's other "guests" had to . . . . . . . often.

Those were the days my friends.  Hey, sounds like good lyrics to a song!  

Oh yes, I have had my good times.  And they continue to this day in spite of my physical ailments.  I squeeze every quality moment out of every day folks that I can.  

My Canadian buddy Pat will be down in a few days to spend a week in LSD.  Bob's trailer is still on his twenty-two acres of scrub woodland.  But Bob is not.  Bob died last year.  His property is up for sale now.  Only the memories remain. 



14 comments:

  1. I love the photos and the memories. The Boathouse sounds interesting. I've been to a heckuva lot of gay bars in my time, but never one that had flooded floors at high tide. That's unique.

    The floors of the bars in Southern California were only flooded with pee, barf, or cum.....(hey, I'm just trying to be funny.....)

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    1. Jon,
      The Boathouse was very unique. The dance floor flooded, not with too much water but with enough that you were sort of sloshing around in it Of course the floors weren't lit up lit the "Saturday Night Fever" dance floor that John Travolta danced to "Staying Alive." The bar was owned by an elderly straight Jewish couple. When it burned down we alway suspected "Jewish Lightening." By the way, I have been to those gay bars where the floor was covered in spilled beer and booze, urine and . . . . . cum. Ah, the Good Old Days.
      Ron

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    2. You're right , Ron - - "The good old days"......
      I'm surprised that a gay bar was owned by a straight Jewish couple.

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  2. When you were this age did you give any thought to how you'd be if you reached your current tally. I did and always came up with a picture of a doddery, slow-moving, grey-haired old fogey. At least the hair, or what's left of it, hasn't turned grey - as yours hasn't either. But hair colour is the least of our worries.

    By now you'll have had your dreaded dental appointment. Hope it'll be not-so-bad news in your next blog - (please!)

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    Replies
    1. Ray,
      Never in a million years did I think I would reach the grand old age of 73. I didn't even think I would reach 60 years of age. Last January when Pat and I went to "Disco Night" at "Oil Can Harry's" on Mulholland Drive in West Hollywood, it was just like old times. We do plan to return next January and yes, I will dance. Hopefully this time I won't make a fool out of myself and fall down.
      My dental appointment went well. I do have TMJ, not a bad root can or cancer of the jaw which is a big relief. He told me not to chew on anything hard for awhile, just chew on soft "stuff." I can do that (wink, wink).
      Ron

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    2. Very brave of you still to dance, Ron. I'd always be thinking of what others would make of an old geezer like me trying to be 'hip' while laughing up their sleeves or openly. Maybe it won't be just you and Pat of your generation shaking it about.

      Good to hear of your dental diagnosis. Something you'd rather not have, no doubt, but not the calamitous result it could have been. So - just stay on the soft stuff then and you'll be fine(ish).

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  3. It is good to hear and revisit the times that have passed. I can certainly remember the last years of the 70's. I am glad to see you have photos of those times, your memories of those times are a reflection of our generation. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. "Tommy",
      I am so glad I have a receptive audience for my old memories of the 70's. For me the 70's were the best of times. I feel so fortunate to have come of age in the 70's. Perfect timing, right before the onslaught of AIDS. By the end of the 70's I had enough of the bars, bath houses, and cruising and moved out of center city Philly. Just at the beginning of the 80's iw when "GRID" (the precursor to AIDS) started to seep into the gay culture. I was very lucky.
      Ron

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  4. Another great TBT. I enjoy these. They remind me of how much I missed out on by my choice to stay in the closet until 5 years ago. I don't necessarily regret my choice, but it's cool to see you having so much fun as a young, out, gay man!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      I don't want to make you feel bad but you missed some really good times. Now at this time of my life I realize how really lucky I was to have experienced the 70's. It was my time and I took advantage. So many good memories, I didn't miss much.
      Ron

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    2. I don't feel bad, Ron. I had some amazing experiences. Traveled all over the US. But my life also missed out on some amazing chances to be a gay man in a gay world!

      I am trying a lot more now!

      Peace <3
      Jay

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    3. Jay,
      I didn't mean to be condescending to you in my reply to your comment. It's just that I couldn't imagine having passed up the great times I had and continue to have. There I go again, bragging. But I do fee very fortunate. When I was the only gay ("homosexual" back in the Fifties) in the world I would never have imagined that all my fantasies would eventually come true. I have had a full and satisfying life. Every day now that I wake up and continue to have this fabulous life is just more gravy.
      Ron

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  5. Hey Ron - we've got to learn some of those moves LOL.

    Pat

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