Archive for the ‘LETTERS’ Tag


I never should have opened that accordion folder, or worse, start reading the letters, notes and cards . I have done nothing for the past 24 hours but read them all. In away it was like reliving my life from 1955 to the 1990s. There was a lot about me in that folder. There were long impassioned love letters telling me how great I was when we first met to the last letters telling me what a horrible a person I was when we were breaking up.

There were letters from my mother, father and stepmother that I never remembered getting and yet were so familiar because, except for my stepmother, they said the same things they had said when I was a child. My stepmother’s letters surprised me as they were filled with her theatre going stories, movies she went without my father because he wouldn’t enjoy them (Ingmar Bergman films) and her trips oversea, even getting my father to go to Italy–he was a great traveler but only in the USA! My stepmother is the one who introduced me to the world of art, galleries and museums

Along with those, and a slew of letters from Pepe, Johnny, Bernie and Bill, there were so many letters from people I didn’t recognize! I got a 12 hand written on legal page size letter from Tom! Who is Tom? Oh, I had a lot of letters from Tom Webster who who I met in Hollywood. Tom and I kept in touch until the mid 60s and then no more letters. I got a dozen letters from Frank, who after I reread his letters, I realized  was a pastor in a Catholic church in another State who I met when he took a vacation in Florida. Let’s just say the church didn’t know his story.

It was incomprehensible to me how I could have had an intimate relationship with someone for months exchanging letters, calls, going out on dates, sleeping together and not remember who they are–what does that say about me? Yes, I know!

The fun thing about going through these old letters are all the nice things said about me. In the hundreds of cards, notes and letters I would say about 98% are positive and could/would give me a big head (hush!) if I believed them.  Of course if I believed those I would have to believe the really nasty ones–mainly written as ‘we’ were breaking up.

Do I/should I contact these people again? Why? Just to see if they are still alive? If they remember me? How do I do that? Facebook? Google? Bing? Maybe over the weekend I will post a blog giving names, last date of contact and where they lived. What do you think? Should I just let things be as they are? Would you want to hear from someone you may not even remember? And how would you go about finding them? Reaching out to them?

Indulge me while I quote a few letters:

“As I was reading your manuscript of The Free Prisoner I became immobilized (for the lack of a better word) by the deeply contemplative aspect of it–of youas experienced in its pages. As I read I became more deeply aware of Martin, The FreeD Prisoner, the ultimate, the personification of sensitive manliness–you made me more aware of myself thanks to your sharing and caring.”  TOM

I think this is from Linda (I know the last name but)–a 100 pound loser in one of my Weight Watcher classes.

“All my life I’ve been an object of humiliation therefore when I first walked into your lecture I thought you would be like all the rest. I could not decide whether to sit down or run out. I’m very glad I stayed.  knew that someone else could feel the same way I’ve felt all those years. I have always believed in absolute honesty> I respect you for yours. …………………….Accept this letter now with my thanks for the help you have given me.”

It was a long letter and one of the most heartfelt  I ever received from any of my members. I hope she has kept the weight off–should I find out? Should I look for her? Or should I just leave it?

“I think the sole purpose of this letter is to let you know how much you mean to me as well as how much our relationship means to an even greater degree. At this point I can think of nothing more significent to me than that hurried comment from the cruising gentleman who complimented my ‘sexy face’.” Perry September 10, 1977 11:45 PM   Okay who is this Perry??? And should I quote his last letter to me? I don’t think so! LOL

Posted May 23, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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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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