1962-MARCH 1966                                    Early 1968     

The ending of my 3rd decade of life and the beginning of my 4th sort of blend together.  I have, more than once, wrote about being on the verge of suicide in March of 1967 and then my life turning around when I joined Weight Watchers but I haven’t really spoken about the people in my life around that time.


I met Joan and Addie through my Weight Watchers classes and they became friends with Bernie, Ronnie and me. We all loved eating out and became regulars at : Pilgrims, Candlelight, Act 1, Boondock, Aldos, 5 Oaks Fedora’s and the Tip Toe Inn. I wonder if any of them exist but then again I have know idea if Joan and Addie are still around, but that’s another blog.

They, along with Ronnie, were 100% against me going to Memphis with Bernie and not having anything in writing and, if you read my previous blogs, you know they were right. When I made the decision to move there–I had nothing to lose. After spending the July 4, 1969, weekend there–I came back, told them my decision and that it was imperative that I learn to drive. Yes, at 31 I didn’t know how to drive because, in Miami Beach and New York, public transportation was a blessing.

I will never, ever forget Joan taking me to Wall Street on a Sunday afternoon–it was so quiet there it was almost eerie–and giving me my first driving lesson in her VW bug. It being a stick shift need I tell you about all the grinding of the gears, using my two feet  and stumbling all over the place. After about 10 minutes Joan said that was enough and she would pay for my driving lessons!! That didn’t happen as it took 2 days in a church parking lot during the week in Memphis with automatic everything and I got my driver’s license.

Joan and Addie lived in a condo (or was it a co-op?) on 7th Avenue near 14th street and we became quite close. I don’t remember the last time I spoke to Joan but I spoke to Addie in the 1980s when she was down on a visit to see her mother, though I am not sure if that is correct. I do know I haven’t spoken or  seen them in over 30 years. I did the facebook search but got nowhere.

Ronnie and I remained friends even coming to Miami Beach in 1968 for a vacation  celebrating my weight loss. The third member of the ‘3 gay caballeros’ was Joe, who worked with us at The Brass Rail, was in the closet and married. After all these years dare I mention his last name? I did that FB search again but nothing happened and it is 44 years later so I don’t think I am risking anything but the possibility of us connecting again so here goes. Joe Dorcette would go out to eat with us or the theatre when he could. He was a ‘camp and a half’ always having us in stitches and was outrageous cruising guys in public no matter where we went and at the same time making the straightess of guys laugh along with, not at, him.

Getting back to facebook–I have NEVER had luck searching for people via them and I have tried. There were so many people who were good to and for me back in those years such as Mary Culleton, Toni Bove, Marilyn Rubenstein, Fred Silver the pianist, Charle, Fred, just to mention a few people that I can see in my head today and bring me such pleasure in having known them. Where are they? What has happened to them? Will I ever know?

And then there was Alex who Bernie and I met in the New York Museum of History and became our roommate.

(To be continued)


“Move forward

with optimism and growth,

and realize your future

with hope, courage

and determination. “

(Maria’s cards)

Posted May 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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