In 1964 my alias was Martin Laurence but I had forgotten that 49 years later until I opened the accordion folder at the bottom of my cadenza. Having lived at Gateway for 14 years I have seen what happens after people die. Heirs, family and/or children, come in and just throw everything out . For the past few years I have been getting rid of anything that wasn’t NEEDED–sold books, Playbills, records, CDs, DVDs, pictures on ebay–little by little I have been giving things away that I didn’t use anymore or if I had two of something–I was throwing out my old Weight Watchers memorabilia–old cameras, wires, papers and so on. I have been transferring my album pictures to a outside hard drive and someday I might throw out my books of phone numbers and, yes, even my diaries but then again I may just let Allen throw them out as long as he promises not to use them for blackmail!

It was raining heavily today so I decided to go through the dresser drawers where I had tons of pages of unfinished books, plays, writing idea and such but then I remembered the folder and I think I had ‘hidden’ some gold chains in there and decided to go find them and maybe cash them in if I found them. I lost the rest of the day as I found treasures of my past.  One of the first envelopes I picked out was the Joan Crawford ones. Yes that is plural–for 10 years I would send her a card and for 10 years she sent me a note. I would meet her, when she was of the Board of Directors of Pepsi cola, very briefly in 1967. Should I keep them or????????

I have letters from George Chauncey jr–he was to drop the Jr later–who had written a best selling, much admired, often quoted, nonfiction book “Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World.” I contributed a lot of information to him and am quoted extensively in the book. I have cards he sent from Europe and letters talking about our meetings in New York. Should I send them to him or throw them out or????????

I have a 12 page handwritten letter, on a legal pad, from Tom which said at the beginning, “…and he felt I shouldn’t write you because if the police came to your apartment they would find the letters and I would have problems.” This was written August 30, 1978, when I was living in Memphis and I remember the actor Tom I had met but was this him???

There was a stack of letters from Pepe, my first live with lover, apologizing for being late for one of our first dates, going to see Jerry Herman’s first Broadway musical “Milk & Honey” at the Martin Beck Theatre. It wasn’t the first time he was late for a date nor would it be the last but he did get better. There dozens of letters and cards basically tracing our relationship, having an apartment in Queens, from beginning to end, when he moved to Puerto Rico to open his business to get his folks out of Cuba. Oh yes he mentions Mundi who he was partners with in more ways than one.

There were letters from Tom Webster, when he lived with David Bradley, director of 2 Charlton Heston movies, and he and I had an ‘affair’ and when I left Hollywood we kept in contact for a couple of more years. He was a writer and was working on a musical. Many letters there but more from Joe Russell the actor.

There were letters from my stepmother that I don’t ever remember getting and a few from my father each saying the same thing. There were letters, lots of letters from, including some that my lawyer probably could have used to settle my lawsuit against Bernie and a pile from Johnny. The most ‘fun’, interesting were all those from Bill, each more caring than the other and still caring after we broke up. At one point I was going to e-mail him this afternoon asking him if he would like them back or telling him I was mailing them to him. After thinking about it I thought that was nasty and stupid, certainly not worthy of him or what we had.

I have only gone through half of the letters and am looking forward to see what memories, or not, I’ll find tomorrow. I do know I am going to have to google a lot of people’s names plus see if I have any luck on facebook. Did I mention the pictures I found? I am looking at one of Pepe and I, all dressed up in suits with lobster bibs around our necks and posted in a folder for Hackney’s on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Wonder if it is still there–oh well another mystery to follow up on.

Would you want an ex from 30, 40 years ago, sending you the letters and cards you wrote them in the throes of love?

Posted May 22, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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