Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ALS GoFundMe Account for Larry Meredith - Day One



This is Day One of the GoFundMe account I created for my friend Larry Meredith. 

I was curious how effective that would work.  I've had this blog for twelve years now never posted one ad or asked for money for a good cause. However, I am doing that now. 

Larry's medical bills are piling up since he was diagnosed with ALS last December. 

Larry does have Medicare and supplemental insurance but they don't cover all the bills that have now been generated since he was diagnosed with ALS.

I talk to Larry almost every day on FaceTime. He lives in upstate Delaware and I live in lower state Delaware. 

Larry and I have known each other since 1951 when he outed me on a book report in our third grade class with Miss Ezrah. I had stood in front of the class and given my "book report" which was actually a synopsis of a Scrooge McDuck comic book.  At ten years old I didn't realize I was plagiarizing.  After I gave my book report Larry raised his hand and told Miss Ezrah and the whole class "I know that story! It's from a Scrooge McDuck comic book!" Gee, thanks Larry.  After he said that he feared going to recess because he thought I would beat him up.  As we emptied out of the East Ward Elementary school for recess, I did seek Larry out.  Much to Larry's surprise I approached him and said "You have Scrooge McDuck comic books?"  I had comic book I wanted to trade. Larry did too. Thus began a (now) sixty-six year friendship. 

You know it's funny but I don't remember this instance but it is something I would do.  I am that kind of opportunist, at least when it came to my treasure trove of comic books.  I had a Mary Worth comic books I wanted to get rid of. 

Since Larry was diagnosed with ALS last December, I have watched him slowly lose his ability to get around. Like me, Larry likes to walk. He still walks but needs the help of a cane now. Eventually he will not be able to walk. 

I have never once heard Larry complain about his diagnosis. He has accepted his condition as part of his life's journey. I admire him for that. I'm not sure how I would react if I was given the same diagnosis.

Larry and his family never were rich. Actually, who is? Most folks in our social class, beginning when we grew up on Washington Avenue in Downingtown, have always lived pretty close on the edge.  There was a period in both of our lives when we had some surplus funds. Coincidentally we both worked for banks, different banks. We didn't plan our careers that way but that's the direction our career took when we couldn't afford college. Neither one of us had parents who could afford to pay for our college educations. Nor did either of us have enough confidence to work our way through college, having both having fathers who didn't encourage us that we could. Not to put all the blame on our fathers but a little encouragement would have helped with our self-esteem.

Both Larry and I have worked for everything we have in life. Coincidentally, even though both of our fathers were truck drivers who were indifferent to us and we grew very low middle class, one step from white trash (I would like to think), Larry is straight whereas I am gay.  But they my regular followers already knew that about me but I've said and written about it often enough (ad infinitum for gosh sakes).

Larry and I are both of an age that we know our time on this earth is coming to an end sooner rather than later. We have often talked about how we're going to go. We both agree that we're not afraid of death but we are rather concerned how we get there.  Neither of us wants a long and protracted and painful death, dependent on others. Sad to say this is what it looks like it going to happen to Larry.  

As I said before, Larry doesn't complain about his situation but I know Larry well enough to sense that his ever increasing medical bills are starting to cause him some real concern. It's a shame that someone who has ALS facing them in the future has the extra stress of worrying how to meet his family's bills. 

I suggested to Larry yesterday to start one of those Go Fund Me accounts. I've heard about them but didn't know too much about them.  Larry seemed reluctant to start one for himself, it's asking for money which doesn't come naturally to our upbringing. Even though Larry's family and mine were very poor, we never collected state aid (welfare) or any other kind of assistance. We always worked for whatever we had. In fact I continue to work albeit part-time so I can stay a little ahead of my bills and have my four times a year holidays with my friend Pat.  A little luxury that I allow myself in my senior years before I am stricken down with some fatal illness, which will surely be my fate. I only hope that my illness will be quick and painless. Something Larry and I often talked about. My friend Bob McCamley and I also talked about how we would die.  Bob said he would "never die that way."  But die he did, a long and protracted and humiliating illness of Parkinson's Disease. Fortunately for Bob he had enough money saved and full medical coverage to cover his final decline.

So how is the Go Fund Me account going?  We already have eight contributors for $225.  Pat and I have contributed $50 each. Some other kind ladies have contributed as well as one of my blog followers Andy.  Thank you folks.  

We have a goal of $45,000. Just an arbitrary figure that should help substantially with Larry's debt during this time of his life.  You know how those medical bills are, they just keep coming in. I had a taste of that during Bill's medical emergency last year.  Bill only has Medicare Part A. The rest of his coverage is from the VA.  The VA paid most of his bills but believe me, I had to jump through a LOT of hoops to get that done and yet we still had bills of thousands of dollars. 

I've always avoided putting ads on my blog and I have never solicited for funds on my blog. But this time I am making an exception for my friend Larry. Larry is a good soul. He has raised a find family of two daughters and one son after losing his first seven children to miscarriage and medical conditions.  Yes, seven children who he and his wife have named. 

For the sixty-six years I have known Larry he has always been a gentle and peaceful person. Larry is one of the Good Guys. He deserves some help at this time of his life. And if I can help in any little way, even if I have to do some as uncomfortable for me as asking for monetary help for him, I will. It is the right thing to do. 

Now if he can get about 4,500 hundred people to donate $10 or more we can quickly reach our goal of $45,000 and thus put Larry's mind at ease so at least he doesn't have to worry about where he is going to get the money to pay for the latest bills that arrive in his mailbox every day.

Thank you for indulging me on my stream of consciousness here. And bless you all.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Asking For Donations for Friend With ALS

Larry, Pat and me - May 24, 2017 - Larry's down for his annual birthday Old Time Photo shot - notice he's using a cane now


This morning I was talking to my longtime friend Larry on FaceTime.  Larry was diagnosed with ALS last December. 

I've known Larry since third grade. That for you folks who haven't regularly followed by blog is a LONG TIME ago, sixty-six years to be exact.


Our annual Old Time Cowboy photo shoot - May 27, 2017

Like me, Larry is retired and living on a fixed income of Social Security and a modest pension from the bank where he toiled away for so many years. Like I said, like me. Perhaps the only difference is that I work part-time at a local hotel to try and keep up with my bills and go on the occasional holiday with my good friend Pat from Toronto.

Larry has always lived on a tight budget but now with increasing medical bills due to his ALS health care, he is losing ground. The bills are starting to pile up.  I suggested to him to start one of those Go Fund accounts. I could tell by his reaction he wasn't real keen on asking for help.  And I have to say, I don't blame him. I don't like asking for help either. But sometimes one doesn't have much of a choice.


Me and Larry with our third grade school teacher Miss Ezra in 2005 - Larry and I met in her class in 1951

I remember a few periods of my life when I was flying low, I asked my Mother for help and she provided it, thus keeping me from crashing to the ground. Of course I always paid her back as I paid back my brother Isaac when I had no money to move to Pittsburgh when I got out of the Army in 1963.  I paid him back that $250 also.  



Miss Ezrah's third grade class - 1951 - Larry is standing in front of Miss Ezra one in next to the blonde girl. I am standing to the far right next to the girl with the pigtails. I still remember her name, Peggy West!

I don't know if Larry has ever asked anyone to help him out with money.  It's not in his nature just as it isn't for most of us.  

After my conversation with Larry this morning I got to thinking if I could, as a friend, set up a Go Fund Me account for him.  I checked and viola! I can.  So I did.  Click HERE to go to the link. 

Now I realize most of my blog followers don't know Larry except maybe you have read some of his occasional comments on my blog. And over the years I have written about our friendship.  However, I do ask that if any of you are so inclined to help Larry, you can click on his Go Fund Me link and leave a small donation. Even if the donation is $10.00, that helps if there are many who donate $10.00 

Yes, I am soliciting for funds.  I still don't feel totally comfortable using my blog to solicit funds but this time it is for a good cause. Larry will pass on as we all will.  Unfortunately for Larry, his passing will be slow and agonizing. If there is anyway I can ease that passing for my longtime friend, I will. 



Larry now August 12 2017 on FaceTime

Thank you all.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Game of Thrones



For several years now I've been hearing a lot about the HBO series "Game of Thrones."  Uh, okay. Is this another overhyped series? 

My default position on much hyped flavors of the day is to not jump on the bandwagon. Thus I haven't watch this very popular series produced by HBO.  

I had the same position when "Breaking Bad" was all the rage.  I held out for a long time until Pat introduced me to one of the episodes. Of course I was hooked after viewing the episode after ten minutes.  



Pat introduced me to "Breaking Bad" when we were staying at the Latham Hotel in Philadelphia during one of our quarterly get togethers. When I got home, I lost no time ordering the series from my Netflix account.  I binged watched that series, sometimes until 2:30 am in the morning. 

Lately I've been hearing and reading even more about "Game of Thrones."  So I gave in and put the first disc, in my Netflix queue.  Last week I watched the first episode.  Folks, I am hooked.  

HOOKED!

Wow.  Those that know me know that I don't like violence in my viewing of popular entertainment.  I don't care for excessive violence or sex.  Hmmm. I cannot deny that "Game of Thrones" has a LOT of violence and sex.  And I mean a LOT.  But having said that, "Game of Thrones" is also very well written, cast, and acted.  This is a damn good show.  

So I endure the violence.  Last night a pissed off knight chopped his horse's head off with one swipe of his massive sword.  

I endure the sex.  Oh man, the sex.  I can't even begin to tell you how many time I've seen flopping breasts, that I've almost become numb.  There's even gay sex. Nothing overt but still. But I guess that's the way life was in the 600's.  Yes, there was a time in our history from the year 100 to 1000 that people lives.  There were good folks and bad folks. Power plays. Life.

To me "Game of Thrones" has a lot in common with "Downton Abbey" or "Looking for Lady Mary's Teapot" as pat refers to that very popular series. Just a little more violent. 




Thursday, August 24, 2017

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?



A couple of years ago while Pat and I were visiting West Hollywood California, we walked by this window of dogs.  This scene reminded me of the Fifties Hit Parade song "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?"  

Remember back to those innocent times of the Fifties?  I used to think I was living in such a boring time.  Hey, guess what?  I would love to have those "boring" times back again, albeit with all my digital devices.

I found this video while organized my 92,260 photos and videos on my iMac. Can you believe I have these many images on my computer?  Can you imagine how many I would have if I was taking photos and videos since the Fifties?


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Peace Marches



The Charlottesville, Virginia peace march reminded me of the first march I ever attended in my life. 

I'm not a marcher even though I was in marching band in high school.

Downingtown High School Marching Band 1958 - that's me in the back with one of the Sousaphones
 

I've only participated in two public marches in my lifetime. One was the very first gay right march in Washington D.C. That march took place October 14th, 1979.  It was called "The March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights." 


I did not seek out this march.  I was asked to attend as a result of several letters to the editors of newspapers that I had written about gay rights.  Remember back in 1979 being gay was illegal in almost all of the United States. If you were gay and made love to your partner, who just happened to be of the same sex, you were committing a crime. 

In 1979 I lived in center city Philadelphia. And as I said previously, I was asked if I wanted to go on the bus to Washington D.C. to participate in this march. I hesitated because I had often been the target of harassment and brutality from homophobes in Philadelphia and other places I had lived simply because I lived openly as a gay man.


Me with my niece Karen in Rittenhouse Square, Center City, Philadelphia 1979 - note he bell bottom pants!

After much though, I decided to go.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  I was scared to death.  I was certain I would be arrested with many others just for publicly displaying myself as a gay man and demeaning equal rights. I was so afraid, I didn't even take my camera (a decision which I have regretted many times since then) because I was certain that once I was arrested my camera would be confiscated and/or destroyed.  but rest assured that somewhere someone has photos of me marching.



All the way down for the 2 1/2 hour drive from Philly to D.C., I had butterflies in my stomach. When we arrived at the beginning of the parade route, I was stunned by all the other gay people attending the parade.  I have to tell you, I felt a tremendous sense of liberation from seeing all those folks attending and getting ready to march to demand equal rights.  And just about everyone one of us, a branded criminal in the eyes of American justice for loving who we love.

The parade route was lined by D.C. policemen on motorcycles.  I noted with some disdain at how small their motorcycles were, not at all the size of my leather friends' motorcycles at the 247 Bar.  I thought "Really guys, is this the BEST you can do?"

We began the march. All was eerily silent except of the hum of the police motorcycles, revved and ready to quell any attacks on us by the glaring folks watching us on the sidelines.  Believe me, there were glares.  How dare we, as gay people, show out perversion to the whole world.


Ever notice how genuinely happy gay people are when they finally come out - liberation! The yoke of oppression is off!

By the way, another thing that surprised me was that 95% and more of the march participants were just regular folks.  Oh sure, there were contingents of motor cycle guys, and the ever present drag queens but almost all of the marchers were just "regular folks".  Longish hair over their ears and sideburns (this was the 70's after all) but most of the marchers could easily "pass" for straight folk.


Just some of the "regular folks" marching in the first gay equality parade in Washington D.C. October 14, 2009

The parade was peaceful, much to my relief. There were no attacks, no violence. I wasn't getting beaten and arrested, what relief.  Many speeches followed. 

At the parade I rediscovered old friends who I had lost contact with.  Friends who had moved to other parts of the country. Oh how I wish I had my camera with me.  

At the end of the day I boarded the bus back to Philly, feeling very good at having participated in this demand for equality. 

One thing that worried me though. I had expected to see my face on the TV news and cover of Newsweek and/or Time. The parade was that massive (over 150,00 participants).  

I'm in that crowd on the Washington Monument Mall folks. Do a "Where's Waldo?" and see if you can find me. I still remember vividly benign that crowd and running into my old friend Richard. Hey, in Gay Life it's always "Six Degrees of Separation." 

However, I was much surprised the next day to discover the TV news coverage of the march was minimal. Oh sure, they showed the drag and leather queens on TV (who were a VERY small part of the march) but not much of the thousands of just "regular" folk who attended and participated in the march.


Fast forward thirty years later.  I attended my second "peace" march, this also of equality. Oh my how thirty years had changed the attitude of the public towards gays. Gone was Anita Bryant's Crusade to eliminate gays from the face of the planet. By the way, whatever happened to Anita Bryant anyway?  Now our march was a festive affair.  Gone was the tension. Gone was the fear of violence and being arrested.  And yes, this time I took my camera.  


My friend Bob and I boarding the bus in Rehoboth Beach to Washington D. C. to attend the march October 11, 2009, almost thirty years to the date after I attended my first march in Washington D.C. for gay equality

This time we didn't have Washington D. C. police on their mini motorcycles lining the route, to protect us from potential violence.  In fact, this march there was also another march taking place at the same time.  We weren't even the main event!  Imagine that? 


Our trip was sponsored by Camp Rehoboth, that's me the Tall One with my camera (I took it this time!) strapped across my torso - ready to march
This time there were not people lining the streets giving us evil glares. This time folks just went about their business as usual, happily in sync with just more marchers in their fair city. I have to tell you folks, that really felt liberating. 


Me walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with my beads and gay flags to the White House, Liberated Ron!
What a wonderful day we had. Beautiful weather, happy folks, no threat of violence in the air. I was so glad my friend Bob suggested that I go along with him on this trip.  Interesting, that both trips I didn't seek but was asked to go. 


Yep, that's us marching past the White House.

Funny thing, I'm wondering now if I could even physically make the march, what with my arthritis.  But you know folks, I would if I got the invitation again.

Another interesting fact about yours truly, I have yet to march in one of those gay pride parades. I was never asked. Someone ask me. I'll go.


Never too old to march for a good cause



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Random Thoughts on a Hot Summer Day in August


I'm at loose ends today folks. 

Not really in the mood for one of my insightful, thought provoking, blog posts. 

Definitely not in the mood for another Trump Rant. Trump is going down, not if but when.
I predict Trump will resign when Mueller's investigation confirms that Trump and been money laundering Russian stolen funds for years. As Trump says "I know it and YOU know it!"  So while Trump continues to sow chaos in our government and global embarrassment for the United States I'm going to move on to more benign subjects.

Normally at this time of year I would be visiting my Canadian Travel Buddy Pat in Toronto and enjoying the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition).  However, this year Pat is in the process of selling his Toronto awesome home 

Pat's present home in Toronto, Canada


and moving into a brand new swanky 14th floor pied-à-terre jutting up in the Hamilton sky, the Royal Connaught Hotel, a renovated hotel in Hamilton converted to condos.  
The Royal Connaught Hotel, Hamilton, Canada - converted to condos - Pat is on the 14th floor


This year for the first time Pat and I won't be riding the ski lift at the CNE, eliciting furtive glances at the two old men dangling their legs over the throng milling about below at the CNE.

Pat's new condo at the Royal Connaught - floor is different (Pat is having an awesome marble floor put in) but otherwise this apartment is very similar to Pat's and this this view!

The CNE is happening right now as I type this blog in my home office on a hot and humid day here in southern Delaware.  I am leaving for my visit to Pat and Canada next month on September 14th. The CNE will be long over by then.  But  you can be sure Pat and I will still find plenty of interest to do both in Hamilton and Toronto.  We always do!

Pat's present home in Toronto in the summertime - the house to the left of him has already been torn down and replaced with yet another awesome house

But right now, I'm at loose ends. Can't take that ten mile ride down to Rehoboth today. Are you kidding? We're in the height of the summer season. I'm lucky to be able to even get out of our development within ten minutes. 

Pat drying his laundry in his awesome backyard at his Toronto home - he'll miss this beautiful backyard!

I'm thankful that Bill or I don't have any doctors' appointment in the near future. I have a couple of extra days to work at the hotel, filling in for co-workers. I need those days to make up for the days I'll be off next month for my annual Canada holiday with Pat.  I'm also thankful that both Bill and I are in relatively good health. Bill will be 89 years old next month. He's having a good run!

Each day my arthritis stiffens my body even more. I'm having more difficulty climbing the stairs from our finished basement where Bill lives. I need my afternoon nap or else I wind down at 7 pm.  I'm more forgetful.  I've noticed. I'll be 76 years old in November.  

Enjoy that backyard of yours Pat, it will soon be memories for you

I have yet to write my autobiography but I have almost finished updating our end of life documents. Last week I just sent out forty-two old VHS tapes to have them digitalized. I'll put those on You Tube for anyone who is interested in my life after I'm long gone. I have more VHS tapes to have digitalized. Then I have to finish organizing all my photos and videos here in the house. Here's one thing I don't understand, people who retire and say they're bored. Folks, believe me. I'm never bored. I have so much to do which I thought I would do once I retired but I never seem to have enough time. But I will say this, this is the best time of my life, in spite of my crippling arthritis and looming health issues.  And just staying one step ahead of the ever increasing bills living on my fixed income. 

Life is a challenge folks and a journey. What a ride I'm having!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Six-Packs



Who doesn't want a six-pack?  Not talking about beer here folks, I'm talking about a sculpted bod.

A progression to a six pack. I would settle for the middle status. The far right is actually a little bit much.



My good friend and Travel Buddy is a yoga enthusiast.  Recently he began taking pilates twice a week, in addition to his yoga classes. He sent me this photo this morning after his "boot camp" Pilates session. Pat, the results are there!  I'm jealous.

Pat this morning after his Pilates class - looking good Pat!

Way back when I used to have a sculpted body like this. That was when I used to walk a couple of miles to work every day (when I lived in Center City Philadelphia).  I put in a couple more miles walking around performing my job as a Trust Operations Manager at the bank where I worked.

Me on the beach in Provincetown, Mass 1976 - more hair, less fat

Also, these days my six-pack has been replaced with a permanent belly.  No, I'm not going to show you a photo of it.  I'm too ashamed.  In fact, I'm nervous about donning a swim suit when Pat and I next visit Palm Springs, California this coming February. At least our pool is private and I'll only have two display my little pot belly to Pat.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

VHS Tape Transfers


My old VHS tapes to be transferred to a digital format - finally

Today I finally addressed a lurking concern that I've had for many years. 

As regular followers of my blog here know, I am an inveterate photo taker.  I've also taken many videos. I started taking videos in the late 80's. 

I had one of those huge VHS cameras.  You know the type, the ones that you put on your shoulder. The ones that often intimated the subject of my videos just because of the size of my camera.

Me in my videotaping days - location my father's roots Pigeon Roost, North Carolina - 1994

Since the onset of the ability to take videos with smaller cameras and now an iPhone, I long abandoned taking videos with that huge video camera.

Me preparing to go to the top of Green Mountain Cemetery to video tape my great grandfather Isaac Lewis's grave in Pigeon Roost North Carolina 1994 - this was before my distant relatives knew I was gay and banned from ever returning to this sight because I "practiced the gay lifestye". Good old homophobia alive and well in those beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

There were many drawbacks to taking videos in the old VHS format. Not only was the camera bulky and intimidating, the cost of the VHS tapes and storage was a problem. Also the length, since the tapes were two hours long. One tended to take videos that were too long and boring.  Hence, I tended not to look at the videos once I took them because they were to much trouble to pull out and then look for the part of the tape that I wanted to see.

Then came the digitized videos from a much smaller camera (Cannon) and now my iPhone.  I take much shorter videos, averaging 30 seconds to two minutes. A three minute video is unusual. 

Thus the last several years I've been very happy accumulating many short term videos, which I store on my computer, thus eating up a lot of hard drive space, a new drawback. But one that isn't as onerous as all those old VHS tapes that are just getting old and slowly deteriorating. 

A few years ago I checked into the feasibility of transferring my old VHS tapes to CD's.  I purchased one of those machines that do that.  Only problem there is that the procedure is complicate and very time consuming.  For instance, a two hour tape takes two hours to copy to a CD.  And, there is also the possibility that I can accidentally erase my original VHS tapes, which I did a few times.  Thus, I've been putting off transferring my many old VHS tapes until I "had time."  Like the wintertime.  But wintertime comes and goes and I still haven't done it. 

I checked for services to transfer my old VHS tapes. There is a facility in Rehoboth Beach that will take my old tapes and transfer them, at $25 each.  That's too much money. I have at least forty-old of the old VHS tapes.  Also, I don't know where they send the VHS tapes.  I suspect they send them to India.  That's where they send old negatives to be processed.  And you don't get the negatives back. Don't believe me?  Try telling the Walmart photo center you want your negatives back.  They don't send them back.  Those negatives go to India and God knows what they do with them.  I ruled out that option.  Thus my old VHS tapes sat, patiently waiting to be transferred to a digital format all the while slowly deteriorating. 



Last Monday, during a slow period at work I searched the Internet again for a solution. Through Amazon.com I found a service that was receiving excellent reviews. And they were only charging $10 a tape!  Even better, they will transfer my VHS tapes to my flash drive.  Super!

I called "Kirk", the guy who runs that business out of his office in Washington state today. He spoke English without an accent. He was nice and very helpful, even suggesting that I send my tapes by UPS, media rate, because it would be cheaper.  

So folks, that was my big project today. Sorting out my forty-one VHS tapes today. Rewinding the tapes, which seems like it takes forever. Brings back bad memories of why I don't like VHS tapes. 

I have the tapes sorted out. I number them  and I'll take them down to the UPS store in Rehoboth Beach tomorrow.

This is going to be great folks! Not only can I easily access all my old videos, I can upload them to my You Tube account so future generations can enjoy them long after I'm gone from this earth. Also, I can freeze frame those videos and take individual pictures and bore you, my faithful blog readers with those images during one of my "Down Memory Lane" blog posts.





Saturday, August 12, 2017

Small World




Last Thursday night when I was working at the hotel checking in two guests, I realized what a small world we do indeed live in. 

The guests were a mother and her adult son. She came in on a walker.  I often ask what brings them to Lewes, Delaware. Her adult son told me his mother was in town for a hip operation at the local hospital. Looking at him I knew I had seen him before.  But I did not know where.

Was he a famous person?  He said "No."  I told him "I know I've seen you before.  You look very familiar."  

I continued to go through my routine of checking in the guests, telling them of the amenities of the hotel.  Again, I told the man "I'm sure I've seen you before.  Have we met?"  He said "No, I don't think so."  He mentioned a French restaurant in Rehoboth Beach that he frequented.  I told him "I don't think so.  I don't go to French restaurants." (too expensive my God).  

Their room was one of our outside rooms (courtyard) so I had to show them the way.  And again, I couldn't let it go that I had seen this gentleman before.  He was very unusual looking and to be quite frank, I found him attractive. He was very thin, had a prominent nose and a dark beard and a confident manner about him.  Not arrogant for self involved but just comfortable in his own skin, even though he wasn't your classic All-American handsome type guy.  Bill has often kidded me about my taste in men.  Yes, I'll admit it, I am attracted to some dorky and nerdy men.  Not all but some do strike my fancy.

Then I think his mother mentioned that he was a flight attendant. That was it!  Now I remembered where I saw him.  He was a flight attendant on our (me and Pat) trip to Los Angeles this past February.  

I notice him right away on the plane after I was seated.  He went through the usual flight attendant procedure including showing how to use the life vest in case the plane landed in water.  Then we prepared to takeoff.  Much to my pleasant surprise he took a seat opposite where I was seated.  I paid extra for the seat with extra leg room. Opposite me was a jump seat which he put down and buckled himself in. Thus, I had the pleasure of sitting across from him during takeoff.  Of course he didn't notice me at all but that was all right. I always enjoy being around attractive, nice men. Women too but more so you understand, a nice looking guy.  


"Patrick" - American Airline attended - yes, I snuck a surreptitious photo of him with my iPhone


The six hour flight to Los Angeles was uneventful except that I had the pleasure of him sitting across from me again, during the landing in LA.

Fast forward to this Thursday evening when I told him that was where I saw him.  He told me "I don't think so, I take the flights to Paris."  Well, excuse me.  I told him again, I was quite sure that he was on this fight to LA.  He finally admitted "That might have happened. I do remember vaguely that I filled in on that flight."  Clearly, he didn't remember me.  Oh well, usually I have more of an impact but I am that Old Gay Guy now.  Faded into the background of a mass of faces.  More likely, he sees literally thousands of passengers and why would he remember me? Fact of life Ron. Get over yourself.

I could tell he was more concerned with his mother's impending surgery the next day so I decided I had bothered him enough. However, I did ask to take a picture which he graciously acquiesced too.  See, I told you he was a nice guy.


"Patrick" - hotel guest this past Thursday

Now, here is the really mind blowing coincidence. I asked him what was his name.  Guess what it was?  


PATRICK

Yes, the same name as my Canadian Travel Buddy, Pat.  
That's Pat, in the red hat and pillow around his neck and Day-Glo jacket on his arm

Although I'm sure this gentlemen goes by the monicker "Patrick."  

And, he lives in Philly, small world indeed.

Makes you wonder how many times you run into people like this.  What are the odds? From a flight to LA in February to a hotel checkin in Delaware in August?  Now it would really be weird if I run into him again when Pat and I spend a week in Philly at the end of this coming November.  



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Updating the Wills and Other End of Life Documents

Me at my lawyer's office this morning about an hour ago


Just got back from my lawyer's office in Rehoboth Beach. 

Yesterday I received the documents for new power of attorney, medical directives and wills for both me and Bill through e-mail.

Man, life is complicated especially when one if preparing to leave life.

Since Bill and I are officially married now I felt it was time to update all of our legal documents for end of life.  


Bill and me waiting for our conference room at the law office

I had a number of changes to make to the first draft of the documents.  I had to put my former boss and long time friend Dave S. as executor of both of our wills.  Dave is in the business of settling estates and executorships. In my Previous Life I used to work as operations manager for Dave in the bank trust department.  Yes folks, I had a life before hotel front desk clerk life. Dave is good at what he does but I was concerned that since his practice is in Pennsylvania he would not be able to be the executor of our estates.  Dave said he could but he would have to do it as an individual. Thank you Dave. That takes a load off of my mind.

Me and Dave at lunch a few years ago

I also had to add the two newest babies to my beneficiaries.  My grandnieces are having babies. Wow, what does that make me. Old. 

I was so hesitant to drive down to my lawyer's office in Rehoboth Beach because of the heaving summertime traffic. But I decided appearing in person was the most efficient way to show the changes I wanted to our legal documents.  And yes, the traffic was heavy. Very heavy.  

But we got the changes in and just returned home. Hopefully this is the last draft of our documents and we can sign them and put them away until we depart this earth that seems in so much turmoil today.  



Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Happy Thoughts



Spo, Pat, Larry and Doug at Food Lion, Milton, DE 

With the threat of nuclear war in the air, I have decided to write about happy places, people and times. 

Regular followers of my blog have probably noticed that I haven't been ranting about our Fake President, Donald J. Trump.  Just because I haven't written about him in my blog post doesn't mean my feelings of disgust and doom have changed. They haven't. By the way, I have been venting, on my Twitter account. More about me and my Twitter reactivation in a future blog post. Instead I will post about happy places, people and times. 

In my senior years I have been blessed with new friends that I have made through this blog. Of course you all know of my new BFF Pat of Toronto, Canada.  

Guess which one is Pat. (hint, he scratching his chin)


Pat is that friend I've been looking for all my life. A kind, gentle, good-looking, smart, funny guy who likes me in spite of my many faults. Pat and I get together four times a year.  Our next get-together is next month when I visit Pat at his new home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  Pat is moving to a classic old hotel in Hamilton, that is being renovated into luxury condos. I am so looking forward to that trip.


Pat and me somewhere (I forget) that was OPEN - How do you like Pat's "Moose" glasses. Thank goodness he lost them in the snow

Last February Pat, during Pat and I annual trek to California, we reunited with other friends I have made through blogging. Dr. Spo, Someone, Tim and Larry.

Pat, Someone, Tim (back row)
Me, Dr. Spo and Larry (seated) at Mt. Jacinto, Palm Springs, California February 2017


Dr. Spo and Someone had invited us to their wedding in Palm Springs. By the way, have you noticed how happy gay people are when they marry?  Check out the photos below of Spo and Someone and me and Bill.


Someone and Spo at their wedding February 2017
Me and Bill at our wedding July 2013


That folks is genuine happiness. How can anyone deny that happiness?

Today I was think that all during my life there has been a threat of war. The first I can remember is the Korean War. I was ten years old at that time. And here we are again, the threat of war.  

None of us knows how long we will live in peace and happiness. But I know this, I appreciate every day I have in good health and good friends.

Larry, me and Pat at our annual Old Time Photo in Rehoboth Beach, DE 2017
Smiling desperadoes





Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bill Drives




Bill is down at Lowe's this morning as I type this blog posting.

This is Bill's first solo drive since he regained his driver's license last week. 

He was hesitant to drive, having not driven since he lost his license last June. 

I offered to drive him down to Lowe's. Down the notorious dangerous Route One, aka Coastal Highway. We're in the height of the summer season down here in Rehoboth Beach Land and the traffic is heavy.  Especially heavy on the weekend, sometimes at a standstill when the vehicles block intersections.


Good old Route One traffic headed to the shore

Of course I'm nervous that Bill is out on his own this morning. But he does like to roam around Lowe's without the hinderance of me tagging behind him.  I'm more of a garden center kind of guy.  That's when Bill tags behind me.

My regular blog followers may have notice that I haven't posted since last Tuesday. Time just gets away from me folks. 

Last week was a good week, except of course for the heavy traffic. It's getting more and more difficult just to get out of our development here.  And it will only get worse as the years go by.

I've been giving some serious thought to eventually moving away from here and this summertime mess.  Of course I would have to sell or get rid of just about everything I have in our home. After fifty-three years together we (or more accurately me) have accumulated much during those years of happiness and bliss. I guess I would get rid of everything except our artwork.  

An artistic collage of yours truly when I was very young by my very talented cousin Danny Hart


The furniture wouldn't go with me. 

But here I am veering onto another subject which is more suited to a separate blog posting. Right now I'm concerned about Bill. I'll be relieved when he returns home from his first solo driving since last June.