I met Steven around March 1980. He had a lover, Arnie, who was an alcoholic,(maybe part of his attraction for me was that I drank) had an invalid mother who he took care of but he lived with Steven. I'm not sure but I think they had been together for a few years. Steven had been married and had 2 children and recently bought a home in a fashionable, old neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. We got along great and I think he was ready to leave Arnie for me and then, November 11, 1981, I met Bill! The picture above was about 2 hours before we went to dinner and I had to tell him about Bill. After Bill and I split we bumped into each other, tried again but 'it' just didn't work and then he did the unforgivable--he forgot 2 Leap Year birthdays in a row! I would see him one day around 2008 and I am sure he is still puzzled why I ignored him and his "Hello"---hey, I can be petty, too. Haven't seen or heard from him since--?!? He really was a nice guy but let this be a warning--don't forget to acknowledge my Leap Year--you don't have to give me a gift but call or send a card or an e-mail!
Many people come and go through your life but some you just never forget. I met Bob Barry in Memphis who was there with his lover but I have no recollection of who I met them through or even who the heck was his lover but I have never forgotten Bob. We kept in touch over the years and though he lived in Dallas and I lived in Memphis and then Fort Lauderdale we had a bond. When he died I felt a darkness come over me.
The story of Mark is very strange to me and the only way I can explain it is that I didn't realize he cared a lot for me, more than I cared for him but we did have something special going. I met Mark through an ad I had placed in The Advocate when I lived in Memphis. I got over 300 responses and invited them to Memphis either Memorial Day or July 4th or Labor Day weekend. Out of the 300 about 200 showed! I don't remember which weekend Mark came if from Dallas where he lived at the time but he stayed an extra week and had a lot of fun. When he left we kept in touch including when he moved to Santa Fe which he loved. On February 29, 1992, celebrating my 14th Leap Year birthday with a party at my place from 1-9 PM, without any warning or hint that he was coming, Mark walked through the door. It was one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises I ever had. I heard from Nina and Jean in Dallas, Ginny in Minnesota, Perry who I hadn'theardfrom in awhile and who would lead to my staying here at Gateway. He stayed until the 5th and we went all over town, introduced him to everyone I knew and he even met Richard from Phoenix! He left Fort Lauderdale for Orlando and I never heard from him again.
I sent Mark a snail mail birthday card but it was returned with addressee unknown. I called and the phone had been disconnected. He was one of the many who 'disappeared' in my life never knowing what had happened though I suspect Mark has died.
Ah Andy. I will talk about him in another post but the picture of us was taken in Julius's, the oldest gay bar in New York, and it was to be one of my last times going to New York. Andy was/is an unexpected joy in my life --another one who 'disappeared' from my life with no communication. He lived with his family in the Bronx and lived up to the reputations of all redheads. As I said, more about him later.
I know most of you have no idea of who this people are and most won't care but they have all been part of my supportive 'family' through the years and have helped me get to where I am today.