Friday, September 14, 2018

Memories - The Night I Was Humbled in Philadelphia

Me (left) and Bobby Scott - Pennsuaken New Jersey 1965

These days, in my declining years, when I know I have less years to live than I have lived, I often think of scenes from my past. 

Last year I took the plunge and had all my VHS videos put in a digitized format. Several of these VHS videos were originally 8 mm films. The photos in this blog are from those old 8 mm films. That is the reason for the poor quality of the photos. But even with the poor quality you can still see and feel the youthful enthusiasm of me and others in this old photos that I have captured from those digitized VHS videos.

This images were taken of me forty-seven years ago, a few months after I moved in with Bill where he rented a two bedroom apartment at Penn Manor Apartments in Pennsauken, New Jersey. 

I shouldn't need to identify myself but I will, I am (of course) the tall guy on the left (I was 6'4" at that time). The other guy in this photo was my former co-worker Bobby Scott.  

We both worked at Lipsett Steel Products in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I was living and working in Coatesville, Pennsylvania when I met Bill in a Philadelphia gay bar called the Westbury. 

Coatesville was fifty-four miles away from Pennsuaken, New Jersey. An hour and a half drive each way.  Bill used to pick me up every Friday and take me back to his apartment. On Sunday he would make the round trip to take me back to my Coatesville apartment. 

We did this routine almost every weekend for about six months until we decided that I would move in with Bill.  But first I had to get a job nearer to where Bill lived.

My friend Ron Hampton worked at Girard Bank in Philadelphia. He secured a job interview for me at Girard. I got the job. More about that turning point in my life in a future blog post.

Long story short, I moved in with Bill.  

A few months after I moved in with Bill, my former co-worker Bobby Scott drove from his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania to visit me and Bill.  This is us clowning around on that hot August day.  

Bobby was married with a young son. He knew I was gay (I had come out to everybody).  I think he was interested in a relationship but I wasn't interested in him that way. I liked him as a friend but not in a sexual way.  He asked me to take him to one of the gay bars I used to frequent in Philadelphia.  I took him to the 247 Bar in center city Philly.  This was Bobby's first ever visit to a gay bar.  He was bedazzled to say the least.  Then what happened next completely floored me. 

A guy named "Jim", who I had lusted after many a times that I had seen him in the 247 Bar and other bars, came over to us.  Jim was my type to the hilt but I could never get anywhere with him.  Every line I tried with him, nothing. But here he was, walking over to where Bobby and I were standing and posing.  He started to talk to Bobby!  He was interested in Bobby!  Talk about having my ego deflated, I left them.  A couple of weeks later I called Bobby and asked him what happened.  Yep, he went home with Jim.  Wow, Jim picked him up.  That humbled me folks.  I'll never forget it.  

I lost contact with Bobby after that.  I've always wondered what happened to him.  Did he continue in his marriage? Or did he live a double life?  Or did he go back to being straight?  Just another one of life's mysteries that I will probably never know the answer. But I will never forget that humbling experience.


Joel Reisteter said...

I had a experience not too different than that. I say I was dumped by one man "Ed" - my friend at the time, when I introduced him to somebody else I knew "Ron". After I introduced these two guys to each other, as I knew both very well, they really got into talking and I couldn't get a word in edge-wise, I left. Days later, Ed called me to say thanks for introducing him to Ron and really didn't want to see me again, but to keep the door open if Ron didn't work out. I never heard anything from Ed again. About a year later, I saw Ed's obit in the newspaper. The death was still under investigation at the time of the newspaper obit.

Jon said...

It would be interesting to know what happened to Bobby. My guess is that he probably led a double life. That was the plausible route to take back then. I like the photos.

Ron said...

Wow. That's some story Joel. Here's another coincidence. I was also going to post a picture of my friend "Ed" with this post. My friend Ed was also visiting me at the same time and place as Bobby. Later Bobby showed up at Ed's place with his family for a swim in Ed's pool. I don't think they ever got together though. Ed has since passed on.

Ron said...

Bobby was a nice guy. Very sweet. Interesting I had no sexual interest in him at all. He did with me though. I never maintained contact with him though because I didn't want to encourage him.

Travel said...

Attraction is complicated.

Ron said...

All my life I've tried to figure out why I am attracted to some men and not others. For instance, I've never been attracted to the blond surfer type that all gay men are supposed to be attracted to. Tall guys don't do much for me either. I tend to be attracted to short guys but not all. Like you said, it's complicated. That's what makes life interesting!

Raybeard said...

Like a punch to the stomach - unexpected and low. Not nice.

Ron said...

I wasn't so much hurt as I was surprised. It actually was a good moment, another life lesson to be humble.