Archive for the ‘FRIENDS’ Tag

I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS!   Leave a comment

BRIE CHEESE

STONE GROUND MUSTARD

CINNAMON ROASTED PEANUTS

lILY o’bRIAN’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

wALKER’S cHOCOLATE TOFFES

PANETINI OVEB BAKED ITALIAN TOAST

USINGER’S SUMMER SAUSAGE

MONICA’S WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA COOKIES

KING LEO POMEGRANATE PUFFS

GRAPEVINE TRADING COMPANY SEA SALT & OLIVE OIL CRACKERS

ALL ON A CARVING TRAY WITH A SLICING KNIFE

CARE TO GUESS WHICH I ATE FIRST? SECOND? THEN THIRD?

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I CAME HOME THE OTHER DAY TO FIND A PACKAGE AT MY DOOR FILLED WITH GOODIES. i HAD BEEN HAVING A ROUGH TIME PHYSICALLY WITH DOCTORS AND SUCH AND THOUGH FOOD BRIGHTENS MY DAY WHAT REALLY GAVE ME A GLOW WAS WHO THE GIFT WAS SENT FROM.

Just 2 days later I received another gift from a friend who had been dismayed at my not being able to pick up my prescriptions the day I was suppose to start them.

I confess that as much as I have been around I was shocked at what people say and do on blogs–their disrespect, their vulgarity, their back stabbing and complete lack of manners–and that’s just the women!!! LOL

I have also been extremely lucky in finding friends as I have a knack for, as a rule, picking out the best people and, due to blogging I have met (some in person, some soon to be in person and some better save up their pennies for my 20th Leap Year birthday in 2016 when they will be invited to my big bash!) about 10 people who I am proud to call my friends and not because they send/sent me gifts.

I love surprises and they constantly surprise me with thoughts and deeds. I feel sorry for people who don’t have them as friends but even then I hope my enemies have some one, any one, comparable to any of these 10 loving, good people. I have become a part of the life of these friends and they have become a part of mine–THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIEND!

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Posted August 25, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 1997-JUNE 1999 23 A   Leave a comment

1996 didn’t end on a good note as once again I was robbed though I did have insurance and got a check for over $1,000. With the bad there is always good and I was promoted to trainer of servers at Who Songs which gave me a much better paycheck plus I was getting better stations and making more in tips . There were rumors about the restaurant being sold but nothing concrete. By the way, in case you didn’t know, when being trained in restaurants as servers you follow an old-timer, do most of the work and don’t get any of the tips, just straight pay which, if I remember right, was about $5 an hour in Florida! I would, sometimes, slip the trainee a few bucks if I had a good night and I felt they did more than their share and were catching on quick.

January 1997 started off good as I was still working, making money, eating out and going to the theatre seeing such shows as Rogers and Hart’s “Babe In Arms”, Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize winning “3 Tall Women” with Bob, Jim and Gino, eating at Tom Jenkin’s BBQ (now closed) or Jalesco’s (still open) or Lester’s (open)depending on which playhouse we were going to–needless to say still going to the movies–seeing such movies as “Jerry McGuire” –all in all a good month.

The rumors started again in February about Who Song closing but now it was added that the whole corner was going to be demolished and there would be a Target going up. I really didn’t think much about it and just continued enjoying life like Gino and I going to see the new movie “Evita” then a bite to eat at Wings ‘N More (closed) or going to Catfish Dewey’s (open) for all you can eat shrimp which, if I remember, was $11.95 or going to the IMAX theatre to see “Into The Deep”. At 61 I didn’t seem to be having any problems of any kind and there aren’t any notes in my diary regarding anything being wrong which, of course, is the time to watch out! The rumors were true about Who Song and we were given notice which is rare in this business!

At the same time, after my place being robbed 3 times, my rental insurance was cancelled. Gino, Emir and I would go to the beach and have lunch at “The Deck” (closed)or went to see Faye Dunaway in “Master Class” at the Parker Playhouse. I did get a job interview at La Bomba (open) but didn’t get the  job. I was now living off money I had in the bank which was a combination of the insurance and my income tax refund. I was gettign unemployment but along with Florida always being one of the lowest in unemployment payments being a server you really didn’t get much to begin with but I wasn’t complaining.

March was also the first time I went to ‘the baths’ in over 20 years and they hadn’t changed a bit in spite of AIDS being prevalent in South Florida. One having nothing to do with the other I do have a note that I went to The Eagle to get Chuck a t-shirt but they didn’t have them. Funny what notes I kept and which I didn’t. I did hear from Bill for my ‘unbirthday’ in the middle of March! In April, still not working, and admittedly, not looking too hard for a job, I was still spending money going to see a performance of “Riverfest” at the Parker Playhouse and “The Heiress” at the Caldwell Playhouse. I do have a remark about staying up all night reading Mario Puzo’s “The Last Don”. I do have a note at the end of April saying, “Also, going broke again!”

Posted March 25, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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The start of 1994 looked good as I was working, weight was fine and things were humming along until January 14–that afternoon I had been to the dentist and he told me it would cost about $5,000 to get my teeth fixed–it seemed the implant I had done in 1972 was not ‘for life’, needed to be taken out and replaced–that evening Tom Lilly and I had dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant at the Fountain Shops–we had become friends the year before while working together–nothing romantic or sexual–we just liked a lot of the same things and enjoyed spending time together–that evening he told me he had been diagnosed being HIV+  and was showing signs of AIDS–a week later he would be in the hospital with pneumonia but everything turned out okay–there were new drugs and AZT wasn’t being used so freely.

 

Ed came down for a week–after a while of not seeing him Perry called and we met for dinner–Perry had gone bald since the last time I saw him–at that time I had known Perry for about 50 years we having met in Miami Beach and became Joe and Albyn’s first ‘sons’–Perry had owned a very successful art gallery in Boca Raton for many years but had fallen on hard times lately–in passing he mentioned about living in a H.U.D. sponsored building on the 14th floor–a few years later I remembered that reference.

 

Things started to go downhill–on February 14 (Happy Valentine’s Day!) I was fired as my boss’s nephew had gotten out of jail and was on probation so John (we would become good friends) took over my shift–the following week my car was stolen again which meant money for another steering column while I was also having problems with the top’s cables–in June everything started to fall apart–I couldn’t find work–was spending money and using the two charge cards I had to fix my teeth and car–the latter needed a new radiator–June 21 I moved into a new apartment off Federal Highway and a block north of State Road 84 because though it was a 2 bedroom apartment it was a cheaper rent and not working I had to save where I could–HA!–for whatever reason I developed an irrational ‘fear’ of phones which would stay with me for a couple of years–I didn’t call people and let the answering machine pick up all the in calls.

 

On July 17 Tom went into the hospital and I called his brother and sister to tell them that I wasn’t allowed in to see him but the doctor had told me to call them–they came down the next day–Tom had told me where things like his papers were–Tom died Saturday, July 23, 1994–I helped his siblings going around to places getting things done and they asked me if I would mind seeing about selling Tom’s car which I did and sent them the money — Sandy and Eric sent me $400 for my trouble which was unexpected.

 

On the day that Tom went into the hospital I sat down and wrote a letter to everyone and anyone I knew–’pride goeth before a fall’ and I had no pride, or money left, so I reached out for help.

Posted February 12, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES WOMEN PART 16 D   Leave a comment

There have always been women in my life and I have always been grateful for them. I’ve talked of those from my decade with Weight Watchers and Our Weigh. In my teens there were Susan Schwartz, Roselyn Giordano and Gloria Koenig and in my 20s it was Mary May, Durinka, Gonzales and, at the beginning of my 30s, Addie Kaplan and Joan Endel. There were 3 other ladies of the many who are and will always be part of my life.

I won’t talk much about Gene though there is a lot I can say but I don’t think she would want me to and I have a tremendous respect for this smart woman. We have now been friends for over 43 years though I don’t remember the last time we actually saw each other. I don’t see any reference to her in my last 3 New York trips but for some reason I remember we did get together. Gene and I don’t exchange gifts but if we see something we feel the other would like it goes in the mail. At one crucial point she helped me financially for which I will always be grateful and another time she said something to me that started my life to change. I was working in Memphis and had written her that I was working 24/7 for Weight Watchers  and I loved it, that it was my life. She simply asked, “And what if there was no Weight Watchers?” It got me thinking so I really wasn’t panicked when a few years later there wasn’t.

Sue Dunne also taught me an important lesson. Her dream in life was to retire from her regular job and open an antique shop on 3rd Avenue. Aside from raising a child as a single mother she put a few dollars away for that dream. At the age of 62 she retired from her job as an accountant and manager for one of New York’s upscale restaurant at One Fifth Avenue, found the store location, got it set up, got her first Social Security check and died of a heart attack 3 days later. Don’t put off doing things you want to do–I see it here where so many old folks bemoan the fact they didn’t travel when they were young and had the energy or their money hadn’t been eaten up by medical expenses.

I just want to quote some things from my diary to give you an example of what kind of woman Sue was.

“September 27, 1983  Sue picked us up at the theatre, after we saw “Torch Song Trilogy”, with a chauffeured limo and we went to the Stage for a bite to eat–then to 1/5th for dessert and afterwards went to the “Boysbar” that Sue’s friend Richard owns and then she sent us to the hotel by the limo–I took a walk around Times Square–VERY SEEDY AND SLEAZY”

“September 28, 1983  Sue really topped off the evening with another limo–I know she is unhappy with her weight and uses limos because unless she could get a checkered cab she wouldn’t be able to fit in it.”

“September 29, 1983 Sue had a limo pick us up at the hotel to meet her at Marchi’s–regarding the check, which I was going to pick up, Sue said she still had a deposit there from her birthday party and that they would apply it to the bill–I paid the difference which didn’t come to that much–after the dinner Sue took the limo up to the Polo where we were going to meet her as we decided to walk from 31st to 52nd after that dinner–Tommy, Chuck, Bill and I continued on our way after Bob took off on 46th street to go back to the hotel. The Polo was a piano bar and Sue’s friend Bob was playing there–I bought everyone a round, cruised the bartender and Sue brought over a good looking, sexy Brazilian she introduced me to–sadly he wasn’t sober and I couldn’t handle drunks anymore now that I wasn’t drinking–even though Sue offered them the limo Tommy and Chuck took a cab back to the hotel.

“September 30, 1893 Sue, knowing that we were spending the day walking around the Village, suggested we stop at the Li-Lac, a chocolate store on Christopher Street–unknown to me another friend of Sue’s owned the place and told him to send a duplicate of whatever I bought and send it to me in Fort Lauderdale.”

“October 1 and 2, 1983 “We, Bill, Tommy, Chuck and I, went to see the first matinee performance of “La Cage Aux Folles” after opening on Broadway and we met Sue at Keane’s for dinner–she picked up the check and the next day we went to 1/5th where Sue insisted there was no check. After brunch Sue offered us a limo to take us to the airport but Chuck and Tommy had already left and with Bill and I having 2 hours before we had to go to the airport we decided to stroll around the Village. I kissed Sue goodbye.”

Sue was generous to all her friends and wanted nothing in return except her little antique shop and her friends. She is still missed by many all these years later.

I was also going to talk about Eleanor but it would make this post too long so

TO BE CONTINUED

Posted October 23, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES FRIENDS ARE FAMILY–PART 15   Leave a comment

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.

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Posted October 2, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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A MAN WHO EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE AS A FRIEND PART 3   Leave a comment

CHECK OUT PART 1 SO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS ABOUT–REMEMBER THESE ALL HAVE TO BE SAID WITH A DEEP MISSISSIPPIAN ACCENT AND A TWINKLE IN YOUR EYE ! i WAS GOING TO SPREAD THEM OUT AS QUOTES ON THE BOTTOM OF BLOGS BUT HERE THEY ARE–AND HERE’S TO YOU “SPORT”.


ME–BUDDY VEST IN “A CHORUS LINE”  DR. K

ON DICTION AND PRONUNCIATION:

“Y’all are just a bunch o’ Yankees. What y’ look into is not a meer –it’s pronounced mirr-ohr!”

“…two words pronounced wrong–“our”, which has 2 syllables. and “Tuesday,” pronounced “twosday” not “teeoozday.”     “Miss Susie says…”

ON SPEAKING TO FEMALES: (SOPRANOS AND ALTOS, GENERALLY BUT NOT ALWAYS)

“Dahrlin’…(most females addressed in this manner .)

“Well-l-l there’s MIss___________”

“Come back, little Sheba!” (to an inattentive female during rehearsal)

“Whoa there, Miss Molly!”

“Holy cow, gal! You can hit that high C! C’mon now, do it!”

ON AUDITIONS:

On the first Monday night of each quarter “Mr. K” would conduct ‘hearings’ (as opposed to auditions, since he believed that anyoen who could match tones should be given the opportunity to experience the excitement of singing major choral works to orchestral accompaniment, if they put forth the effort. The ‘hearing was simply employed to place the singer in the proper voice range section.) On one such occasion, after many hearings of “Way Down Upon The Swanee River” a young lady with a confident manner, enetered the hearing room. With a clear ringing quality in her voice Mr. K took her though scales from low G to A above the staff, his eyes growing larger with each sequence. Giving her a gracious compliment on her voice Mr. K excused her. When she was gone he turned to his assistant and said with wonderment only he could exude, “The roof of her mouth must look like the Sistine Chapel.”

ON PHILOSOPHY:

“…a oneness which abides.”

“…a terribbly meaningful experience.”

“Your joys, hopes, dreams and fears are mine. I want mine to be yours.”

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I took Dr. K to his first performance ever of “A Chorus Line”. He sat crying, trembling, through the song “At The Ballet”. This was a man who had sung all over the world, had taught music for over 25 years and after the show said, “That song, ‘At The Ballet’ is one of the most perfect pieces of music I have ever heard in a Broadway show.”

We lost him too soon.   

 

Posted September 19, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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TEH MAN EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE AS A FRIEND PART 2   Leave a comment

CHECK OUT PART 1 SO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS ABOUT–REMEMBER THESE ALL HAVE TO BE SAID WITH A DEEP MISSISSIPPIAN ACCENT AND A TWINKLE IN YOUR EYE ! i WAS GOING TO SPREAD THEM OUT AS QUOTES ON THE BOTTOM OF BLOGS BUT HERE THEY ARE–AND HERE’S TO YOU “SPORT”.

                 ME              DR. K, THE PROFESSOR

GENERAL CONVERSATION:

“I can’t believe they expect me to work in such an unlimited facility!” (frustration at two large pillars in choral rehearsal room)

“Frazzlin’thing”  “If I live to be ninety-one…”   “Judas Priest, son…”  “Don’t that beat all?”  “…as sure as there is a cow in Texas.” “That’s your red wagon.”

“Haven’t looked at that score in 83 years…but if you’ll look on page 75, 2nd brace, 3rd measure I b’lieve you’ll rind…”

“Do you suppose you could…” (usually a preface to a favor he was about to ask. )

ON PUNCTUALITY:

“The only excuse for being late to rehearsal is death—yours!”

ON REHEARSALS:

“Four-ten-go!” (sometimes with foot stomping to accentuate)

“You’re not counting–you’re guessing!”      “…finesse of an elephant!”

“Steady, steady…don’t bleed!” (usually said on  sustained high notes.)

“… most important note you will ever sing!”  (said after each note he felt important at that point in the music)

“…make it an eighth with an eighth rest.”   “…slice it and doctor it.”

“C’mon (voice part section) you got the party part!” “Sopranos came in like a wet Kleenix!”  “…that’s fine composing, tenors, but I prefer the note printed in the score.”  “Let’s look at it a minute.”

“Bass section sounds like a Mack truck in low gear.”

“C’mon people, let’s sound like professionals.”  “…don’t act like a church choir–please don’t talk!” “…if y’all don’t stop talking I’, going to have a Puccini fit!”

“…now son, you’re trying to make me maddern’ a snake, dammit! And, I don’t want to!”

“…if you ain’t singin’, don’t talk, study your part!”

ON BRINGING A PENCIL:

“Son I don’t care if you have to go all the way to Murphysbopro, don’t you come back with out a pencil!”

“Mark it”  “Do you have your pencil, son?”  “I love ya, darlin’, but you gotta bring a pencil.”

THE REST IN PART 3.


ROBERT, BOB, BOBBY, THE FRIEND

Posted September 13, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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