My Life on
Earth is Short
by Ric Silver
Life in the
rural town of Stonington,
Ct. was not easy. Only my high school English teacher really
understood me. Mom wanted something else for me, I'm not sure to this day what.
Louis Silver, the son of Louis Silver (born Louisitano DeSylvia - the son of Joseph DeSylvia and Maria Estralia of Ville Estralia
in St. Miguel, Azores) and Millicent Evelyn Stinson, both of Stonington, CT -across the river in The Westerly, Rhode
Island on January 22, 1948 altho I tell most people that I'm 49 because they don't believe me when I say I'm 60 and make
me bring out my Driver's License.
Father had stuck around - I probably would be named
but Dad was
raised in Stonington Village
as Louis Kessler, his step-father Frank's name. Upon entering the military, he had to show a birth certificate and the Doctor's
handwritten script was read by the officer as Silver ...and thus we became Jewish. Not really.... but I have had jobs where
I was fired because the owner's only have Jewish employees and was hire on my name and three months later, let go - even
after the Head Accountant for the Jewelry Firm told me that I was the best Accounts Payable Person he had ever known and he
was like 90.....but I'm getting ahead of myself.
My earliest recollections are of my Grandma Lydia Stinson
and "Tony's Meat Market" where she worked. She was a butcher and I used to love to go there after school and wait for her
to get off work. I would go across the street to the Dance Studio and watch the beautiful girls practice their graceful motions,
and dream of floating on clouds with music pouring round about. And, in this day dream, I could dance - dance as though I
had wings - soaring through the air. Well, that's how I felt. I must have been 5 at the time because when I asked my mother
if I could study at the dance school, I only remember the jist of what she said, that dancers were queer & that I
should try the piano instead, as we sat watching Liberace on the TV. The next week I was at Mrs. Joel P. Sherman's Piano School
on Beach Street in Westerly, RI, just the other side of the Pawcatuck River which separates Connecticut from Rhode Island,
and for the next 13 years I learned the piano. I never really liked the piano. I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the attention,
but I hated the hours of practice I had to endure alone with my 88 keys. Great Grandmother Georgiana Adams, Lydia Adams-Stinson's mother, had a piano in her garage
that was hers when she was a child and my dad and my barber spent hours restoring it for me. Lydia, Mom's mother, would love
to come to my recitals and I loved playing for her. Dad's favorite piece was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata which I learned
for my College entrance exams.
At one of my recitals, another students' Italian Grandmother
praised him saying "You done good, Honey. You done good." Gram picked it right up and it was a standing joke between us after
Dad and Charlie, my brother, would be in the TV room at
the other end of our cape cod house and I could hear them laughing and talking and having fun with " The Rifleman" or "Bonanza"
or "Combat", the only things Dad was really into - westerns and war flicks. But at least it was their choice. My Mom somehow
thought that this would be good for me. Some one had said I needed discipline, I was somewhat of a problem child, throwing
temper tantrums and such. Mom tells of my lying down on the hall floor, kicking and screaming when I couldn't get what I wanted,
and saying " Just leave him be, he'll get tired of it after a while."
But it must have been shortly there after, that I decided
that I was going to become GAY. It seemed the one thing that everyone knew I was before I opened my mouth. Life has been
one long and twisted roller coaster. I've been and seen much more than I ever dreamed I could but now feel the story may be
coming to an end, so before I go, I though I'd better jot this down so you won't forget how this happened. There gone now,
the ones I really cared about, Lydia(she didn't want me to call her Grandma) and Malcolm (Grandpa) Stinson, Cousin
Barry Boozam, Dad, Great Aunt Selena & Uncle Curly, her husband, Aunt Mary Kessler, and Georgiana. Nothing left but Mom,
Chas and Judy, his wife, and they don't know the story. Life in New York , Hartford,
Providence, Los Angeles, Ft.
Lauderdale, Lake Arrowhead - this has been a long road that never really seemed to get going.
Have I just been riding a dream? I don't think I will ever
really know. This may have been the worst mistake of my life and it may cost me just that, but lets go back to the early years.
Up at 6:30 am, tend the horses (let's see, we got those
when I was 10), and in the car to Lydia's
down the road for breakfast. Ah! The smell of Grandma's in the morning was great. Especially on those cold winter mornings
when the snow is so thick the plows can't get through. I remember one day the family walking the ½ mile to Gram's house, Mom
fell into the snow up to her waist and we had to pull her out. We don't get snow like that anymore. Grandma was my guiding
Light and with her passing my light flickered and has never shown as bright. She was the only one, besides my Aunt Barbara,
who encouraged my dancing, Barbara says I was a dancer from birth. I used to stand in the playpen while she babysat and rock
in time to the music. She has always said she got me started in the business. Gram used to say "Do whatever makes you happy."
Being with her always did. My grade school days were spent at the West Broad
St. School where I quickly got a reputation as a problem child. My 1st grade report card states,
" Respects the opinions & rights of others -? Is courteous -? Controls self, Keeps temper -?" Rita Motes, the teacher,
lists Math & Music as "Above Average". The 2nd grade was about the same except Mrs. Gibney states, " Richard has
done very well in controlling his temper since the first of the year. He is much more mature now." Seems to me that was the
year I wrote on the blackboard - "Mrs. Gibney is a bitch" and was sent to the Vice Principal - Mr. Dixon - who tried to keep
me after school for detention. I remember seeing the buses starting to leave and knowing it was my only way home, I kicked
Mr. Dixon in the shin and ran out of the building to catch it. But they had all gone, so I started to walk home - some 5 miles
- Mom had been telephoned and was already on her way to pick me up when she saw me. Strange, I can't remember what happened
after that but am told I got the beating of my life, funny I remember that as a different incident. By the 4th grade I was
being tormented on the school bus by one of my classmates - Adrian Sheldon, who could have passed for a pro-linebacker even
then - she was the only girl whom I didn't get along with. In the school yard during recess - the boys played on one side
of the yard - marbles, basketball, baseball, etc. and the girls were on the other, playing on the swings, jacks, and practicing
to be cheerleaders when they grew up. That is where you would find me, sneaking off with Kathy, down to the drain in the far
corner where no one could see, to make out. The boys were already calling me queer names, Sally Silver, for to them - girls
had "Cooties". The weekends were spent with Mom's friends from work - she was a housemother at the Mystic Oral School
for the Deaf. Sometimes she would bring one of the kids home for the holidays or just a weekend. It was difficult to communicate
with them because they were not allowed to use sign language as this was an "oral" school. To this day I have found it impossible
to learn sign or any other language, still having Mom's voice in the back of my head telling me "Do not learn their language.
They are supposed to learn to talk." Mental blocks like this are very permanent. Aunt Grace Perkins and her sister Aunt Esther
Smith weren't really related but we spent so much time with them that the terms came naturally. They were Mom's work &
horseback riding buddies and when they went off together, the older "cousins" would watch us. Esther's Cubby & Susan and
Grace's CB & Kathy would take care of seeing we younger ones stayed out of trouble. Kathy's younger sisters, Beth and
Karen usually tagged along but sometimes they didn't. I remember one summer the three families rented a cottage at Lord's
Point - Kathy and Susan thought it would be great to have me strip and parade around the house in my birthday suit for the
neighborhood. Then there was the time Cub, Sue, and their cousin Carrie Mansfield thought it would be great fun to have this
girl from New Jersey lay down on the lawn in back of the house while I came out in my birthday suit and laid on top of her
and bounced up & down. I wasn't sure what this was about but I followed direction well. One day, in the middle of a blizzard,
Cub got me so upset that I walked out of the house in my underwear and started to walk home, some 15 miles or more.
Carrie was an instigator from the get go, She could always
find something to get me into trouble. I remember the day she talked me into stealing strawberries out of the neighbor's garden
and selling them on the street corner. We took some of Mom's maple leaf-shaped plastic coasters to give away with each basket
of berries but when the cars wouldn't stop, we started flinging them at the cars, one went right into an open window and hit
the man driving in the face.
After a while, life was nothing more than repetition -
School - Fridays was piano lessons - Saturday - Riding lessons. By the time I was 16, I was jumping in national competitions
and was 4th in the northeast conference 2 years in a row. The top 3 placements were allowed to tryout for the Equestrian Team.
In 1964, I missed by 4 points, which wasn't bad but the next year I lost by 1/4 of a point - to a girl. That hurt more than
loosing itself. The greatest joys of my early childhood were going to horse shows with Mom, Dad & Charlie with his horse
Tonka. My horse's name was Sundance, a mustang we had picked up from a strange lady in Mystic who talked to him all the way
around the ring to get him to go and then wipe out his mouth with a towel after each ride. She had gotten him from out west
somewhere and had worked with him in English tack but had never jumped. She didn't feel that he had it in him but we showed
her differently. Once, while giving an exhibition at the Groton
Submarine Base horse show, we fell into a gopher hole coming off a jump. "Sunny" went into a cartwheel and landed right on
top of me. I wasn't hurt but his bit had twisted and punctured the roof of his mouth. The Vet said we were very lucky. A few
centimeters to one side or the other and it would have hit a major artery. I only remember Dad jumping over the fence and
running into the ring to get me, lying on my back with Sunny standing over me dripping blood from his mouth, and the sheer
terror I felt. I do not handle pain or loss well. At this point the only loss I had really felt was my Great-Grandma Adams and a few pets and I didn’t take them well.
Carrie Williams was my jumping instructor. His daughter,
Anita, was my best competition and at the time I had a crush on her. We traveled the Northeast
Coast from Bangor, ME
to New York, where a pig farmers son was the boy to beat.
I went up against Barney Ward and his unorthodox style quite often and am glad to say I bested him on most occasions. He made
the U.S. Team and still looks great on
a horse. My win at Avon, CT, the first time in an indoor ring, brings back memories of mud, rain and trucks stuck in the field,
my horse and I drenched to the bone and the silver serving tray that Mom and Dad had engraved. All of my ribbons and trophies
are gone save one, a silver bowl that I can't even remember from whence it came. Moving around so much has forced me to leave
behind most of the non-essentials. Chas and I rode almost every day, the farm across from our house was very large and behind
the fields were acres of forest and more fields. We blazed trails through the wooded areas, luckily our neighbors didn't mind
our coming out in their back yards, and we'd cross the road, then back into the woods. We had trails leading to my cousin
Barry's from two directions. We could cross South Anguilla Road, ride along the fields, go into the woods and follow an old
logging road to the next farm over which Sergio Franci eventually bought, go out his driveway to Pequot Trail up Taugwonk
Road to Aunt Ruth's. Or head down South Anguilla, cross over Pequot Trail and pass Ricker's
Tractor shop, cross Anguilla Brook and open the gate on the Banks Farm. We'd ride through the cow fields, through the blueberry
fields on the Wheeler Farm and out on the Webb Estate on Taugwonk Road.
I set up jumps along the way for Sunny and I. Things were great back then. I loved the rides
our 4-H club would have whether on foxhunt conditions or trail rides and the hayrides were even more fun. Times seems to be
more laid back then and the hustle and bustle of todays world makes me long for those quieter days. The fairs and square dances,
the parades through small towns and the camp out trail rides with rhododendron lining the dirt roads and Uncle Chet Perkins
leading the way, seem so far away now and lost. There was my trip to Illinois as one of four
chosen from New London County
to represent the 4-H. Two boys and two girls, though in actuality, both boys were gay though I hid the fact for most of the
trip. It wasn't until Niagara Falls on the return drive that
I allowed Wayne Dennison his way with me. I guess it was the setting and not wanting it to go to waste. There was a girl in
the Illinois club who followed me all over like a puppy
dog. I'm sure she would have had my children in an instant if I had only moved on it but I was seeing Kathy Harrison still
and, unlike most of my peers, I felt it would be taking advantage of the situation. That same year I was best man for Mario
Rubello's wedding and one of the brides maids took the train from New Jersey to Rhode Island just to be with me and what
do I do, drop her at a road side motel, give her the number to my uncle's taxi service and leave. Chas & I represented
New London County
at the Eastern States Exposition. I came home with a girl's phone number, but she lived on at Mt. Snow, Vermont and the chances of me ever seeing
her again were next to zip.
My Dad's family was always kept in the background for some
reason, or so it seemed. Once in a while, Uncle Joey, Dad's 1/2 brother, would stop by to go deer hunting or Aunt Margaret
would stop with her kids. For some reason Chas and I always teased those kids more than any other. Aunt Mary was the funny
one who always reminded me of Martha Rae. And I have a vague recollection of Grampa Kessler, Dad's step father, whom we only
saw for Christmas and a summer picnic or two. Dad's twin uncles Joe and Louie are a pair, it's like being with Burns &
Allen. My grandparents are still a mystery. Joseph DeSylvia and Maria Estralia DeSylvia came over from the Villa Estralia
on St. Michael in the Azores. Louisitano (Americanized to Louis) was born in New Bedford, Ma in 1920 and Joseph filed for a divorce shortly thereafter.
Maria remarried Frank Kessler and Dad entered and graduated Stonington
High School as Louis Kessler. He learned to be a cabinet maker along
side his stepfather before entering the Army to avoid marriage but was brought back from Iceland to make things right. A daughter was born and named Constance, whom I have
just recently been able to get to know. Connie's mother left Dad and made her family promise on her death bed to keep them
apart. I did manage to bring them closer together before his passing in 1994. Somewhere along in here, Millicent Evelyn came
on the scene, I really don't think anyone has ever told me how they met and next I was born. My Dad and Mom's Dad built the
Cape Cod we grew up in and Dad got into the Electric Co. where Grampa worked. I remember
him studying as much as Chas & I did at times, but he always wanted to know more. He was right up there on the cutting
edge with Nuclear Energy and Generators and stuff. He was never really acknowledged for his part in the eastern
seaboard blackout but his power station was the only one which did not go dark and his station sent out the spark that brought
light back to New York and New England. New England Power Co. quickly made him a supervisor of all their generating stations
in charge of maintaining performance. He wasn't as happy after that. He was a hands on man and, as supervisor, was forced
to stand back and instruct when what he really wanted was to jump in there and do it. His homes showed the love he had for
his family and he kept the place neat as a pin. He built two barns in his day, the original one that has been turned into
a home now on South Anguilla and when they moved to North Smithfield, he built Mom a barn
and corral for her horse, Missy, whom we had raised from birth.
Mom's family were the people I spent most of my time with.
Uncle John Boozam, Mom's sister Ruth's husband, gave Charlie and I jobs mowing lawns. My cousin Barry was also into horses
and we spent a lot of time together at 4-H club functions and some of the local horse shows. He and I got into it one day
in his barn, things were very strained for a while after that. I never blamed him for it and he knew that. It was just that
both he and my brother took a lot of abuse from the other guys about me and they always stood up for me. I guess he had just
had enough. Mom's brother Malcolm Jr (Butch) gave us his dog when he went into the Marines. I remember her as a beagle-type
kind of dog who gave birth on the kitchen floor.
I also remember the day I tried to pet another dog
we had, after putting her food down
and the stitches in my lip.
The next week, Chas bet me he could pet the dog when he
fed her and has a scar under his eye to prove I won. Dad shot the dog that night when he got home. It wasn't what he wanted
but I remember him saying he couldn't have his kids getting eaten up either. He went and got us a new dog though, a boxer
named Rocky who hated men. Apparently, the man Dad got Rocky from was scared to death of him and had him tied in the yard
all the time. He would throw Rocky his food from across the yard and sometimes it didn't reach but would be left there. Rocky
loved women and kids, but even Uncle Joey nearly had his arm taken off when he stopped by one afternoon. Dad was sitting on
the back porch with Rocky and as Joey approached, Rocky lunged for him. Dad had all he could do to grab him in mid-air and
pull him down. We eventually had to give Rocky up to a farmer when he started attacking the other dogs in the neighborhood.
Aunt Barbara has always lived in North Carolina, or at least it seems that way. Now she is in Myrtle
Beach, SC but when I was growing up, Uncle Judd and Barb were stationed on the
Marine base in North Carolina, Camp
Lejeune. They have been stationed all over including Hawaii,
but they seem to like the Carolina's. One summer, while they
were living in Connecticut, we took a trip to the Bronx
Zoo and Barb had us in stitches the whole way. On the way home, she would pretend to miss the toll booths baskets and finally
did miss and had to get out of the car, collect the change, redeposit it, all this while laughing hysterically and apologizing
to the cars behind us.
Junior High was uneventful except for Gym class. I was
excused from classes after the teacher brought out a mini trampoline, a small circle, and put me at the front of the line
and said, "I want you to run over, jump on the mini-tramp, and do a forward roll." I ran over, jumped on the circle and started
to do the roll but landed on my head and knocked myself out. He didn't tell me to land on my feet first. Still walking to
Mrs. Sherman's on Friday, I vary my route now. I still have to go past Tony's Meat Market to get across the river but Gram
doesn't work there anymore.
High School was loads of fun, I joined the band and tried
to learn the French Horn but didn't have the lips for it so I switched to the drum section. By the time I was a Junior, the
Drum Major had graduated and the band committee was looking for someone to fill the slot. I really wanted that job and it
looked as though I had it. I was the best qualified of the group and was even put in the position for a few weeks during rehearsals
but the committee felt that the band couldn't afford a new uniform, since all previous Drum Majors had been girls, so they
found someone who had just transferred to the area, had some baton training, and lived 6 houses away from me for me to train
for MY position. It was a very difficult thing for me to do, train someone else to take my job, but I gritted my teeth and
did it. I must say, she was by far the best Drum Major Stonington
High had ever seen, I made sure of that. We went to the finals that year and placed as I recall.
By now most of my school peers regarded me as different,
even though I had only had one meaningful encounter prior to my freshman year and Yes, that was with another boy from my neighborhood
who was 2 years younger than myself. He taught me what sex was all about. It wasn't until then that I even realized that my
body could feel like that. Ronnie and Charlie hung out together most of the time. When we would go camping overnight under
the high wire lines, which now is part of Interstate 95, we would wait until Chas fell asleep and then slip into one sleeping
bag and carry-on for hours. My brother never knew, for he sleeps like a log and a bomb wouldn't wake him. Mom caught us in
the hay loft one time and from then on we were not allowed to be alone together for any reason. That killed my sex life for
the next 6 years except for the old 5 finger routine.
The first female in my life was Sue - her father was the
head honcho for the 4-H in our county. We met at summer camp and fell in love, puppy love maybe, but our parents felt we were
too young and kept us apart. (I ran into Sue while I was living in Hartford.
I hung at gay bar/coffee shop called Romano's and there she sat in the next booth with her lover. It seems we both ended up
on the other side of the tracks.)
In 1964, I started dating the hottest red-head you'd
ever want to meet - Sally Babie. She used to drive me wild, until I got an "E" on my report card in my Sophomore year and
Dad took my license away for 6 weeks. By then she had teamed-up with a Sister Act from the right side of the tracks who's
Daddy had bought them a Hearse to drive around in on which they had painted "PlayPen II". I understand from my brother, who
did get around, that it came equipped with a mattress in the rear. Sally's Mom pleaded with me to help her get her daughter
back and away from these "sluts" but when I called and told Sally that I was at her house and wanted to see her, all she had
to say was "I'm with my friends". As I left the house dragging her mother across the front lawn as she clung to my pant leg,
I couldn't help but think "I hope you are having fun with your friends". I never saw or heard from her again. My senior year
of high school, things were pretty good. By now the Principal knew just where to find me if I was cutting class - The Stage.
I would dance and sing up a storm by myself or, if others needed help with a talent show or cheerleading or whatever, I would
tutor and choreograph the entire number for them. I was allowed to sit with the cheerleaders at games, which had not been allowed
to any male prior to this, and given Honorary Cheerleader status by the squad for helping with routines. I really wish my
school had allowed boy cheerleaders on the squad but I was allowed to wear my Mom's Megaphone Letter on my sweater from her
cheerleading days in the 40's and compared to those given out now, I looked great. Somewhere along the way I lost that sweater
and I really loved that sweater, too. With Mom's big letter on the back and my
band letter on the pocket, it was hot.
My English teacher, Mrs. Nardone, was the only one
who really let me express myself. I wrote wild stories of cannibalism & horror and would incorporate her name into the
storyline. She never caught on that it was her husband I was thinking of doing away with.
There was my Senior Class trip to Washington, DC on which I became a big hit. It seems there
were only 7 of us who were over 18 and allowed to buy alcohol and the girls were afraid of getting caught. I was running
to the store every 5 min. until finally, those of us over 18 had to escape just to be left alone for a while. We ducked in
a bar and had our own little party.
That was the year the school band went to Suffield, CT for an exchange program and I met Kathy Harrison
- the sweetest thing this side of heaven. We burned together with a passion fire that tore our clothes off, but she never
let me get passed second base. I always respected her for that and loved her more. But she would get me so HOT, that I would
stop off in Hartford on my way home and cruise the Bus/Train
terminal for some guy. I used to say that it was just for the release but I know that I really enjoyed it. I spent almost
every weekend driving to Suffield and stopping off in Hartford,
and met quite a few guys. Most were my age, I wasn't attracted to older men. Most of the time it was just a quicky in the
car. I really can't remember anyone from those times as I never really got to know any of them. Just a passing fling and then
on to the next. I can't even remember going with the same person more than once. I didn't want anything to connect me with
them. I thought I was straight even tho everyone else thought I was gay, and Kathy was all I really cared about.
College came up in the conversation at dinner more often
now. Mom told me that my father had been saving since I was 5 for me to go to college and they had spent alot of money on
piano lessons all those years - that I had better do something with it. Well, what can you do with it. I could only see a
life of practice, practice, practice, and that was not what I had envisioned for myself. I was only looking forward to being
with Kathy, she was so brilliant. She was teaching freshmen English classes while only a Junior herself and needed 4 credits
to graduate. Her Parents were not pleased when Kathy & I announced we wanted to get married. "She is going to Geo. Washington University after she graduates next year" was her mother’s last words to me as
they politely asked me never to see their daughter again.
So, I did what I was supposed to do and applied to a number
of Music Schools being accepted at only one. Boston Conservatory, Hartt and New England all turned me away but Westminster Choir College said yes and I started my year off with a bang. Introduction to Christian Thought
at 8am followed by Music History at 9. You would think that after years of getting up at 6:30 I would have had no problem
- But there was no Dad yelling at me to move my butt so I usually made it to breakfast around 9:30 and went to my first class
- Eurhythmics -at 10. Boy!, did I like that class - It was like a funky dance class where we learned to move in syncopated
movements pitting 2 against 3 or 3 against 4. Walk in four while clapping in 3 or 5. That sort of thing. To me, it was the
closest I had come to a dance class in my life and I loved it. And as my grades started to slip, I found I just gave up for
a time and went with the flow.
I frequented many churches searching for something that
I knew existed but which I had not found as yet. Growing up, Mom and Dad brought me up at the Congregation church where Dad
became a deacon. Grandma Lydia was always
doing something for the church - Flower committee or something, and I joined the choir. Mom taught Sunday school and was shocked
when at a very early age I announced to the minister's wife, my teacher, that I was born 3 days before my Mom & Dad were
married. She came running around the curtain that separated the classes to correct me adding "1 year .... I was born 3 days
before they were married 1 year." I guess small things like that can make a big difference or so it seemed. Now, it was the
small things that made me look for more answers. I had always believed there was a God, and somehow knew that he was watching
over me. I can remember feeling scared at night because someone was looking into my 2nd story bedroom window watching me.
I have always felt that way. I still do. Not scared, but I still know that I am being watched from above. I will explain further
later. In Princeton, there is nothing but Academia. The College, The Teachers, and Churches.
All kinds of churches. I went to all of them. Searching for something more. I just felt that the congregational church I had
grown up in was too stayed, to puritanical. Sitting in those wooden high-backed pews, listening to the Minister spew fire
& brimstone, I felt that somewhere along the line the church had lost the true feeling of God. My God was not a strict
disciplinarian who asked his children to sit down and shut up. He was a joyous God who loved song , who cared for and watched
over his flock and who never intended there be suffering or in pain. Man has misconstrued his words and feelings, and teach
their young to fear him as some tyrant who, in the last days, will come and cast them into damnation for their sins. Not so.
He is a loving God and has only asked that we be as him, Loving and Forgiving. I strove to find a church that believed as
I did, that this is so and found him in many congregations. None were as strong as the Baptist Church and this is where I still maintain
my allegiance but even within this church there are those who are not filled with the spirit. I can't really explain that
phrase except to say if you are ever in Mystic, CT look up Rev. "Pearly" Gates, a man so filled with the spirit you cannot
help but be touched by it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
It was easy to meet guys in a music school. Most of them
were gay and I knew that if they found out I was fooling around, it would be all over campus in a flash, so I went off campus
to meet people. I met and was dating a monastery student for a while. He used to meet me at 2am and sneak me into his cell.
The train station was always a good place to meet someone who was lonely and I did. I crashed a party at a Princeton U. frat once but found I was in the
wrong place when they got me drunk, beat the crap out of me and tossed me into the street. The year I spent in Princeton was wasted. The music theory class was taught by Mrs. Pate, the voice teacher's wife. Unfortunately,
I knew more theory than she and found myself correcting her work daily. Mr. Pate was not pleased and failed me on my final
exam. I had been very ill for most of the semester with a prostate infection and had not gotten a chance to rehearse my vocal
exam with an accompanist. I glanced over at the music to check my intro after a piano interlude and was immediately stopped
and thrown out of the exam. I felt I should have been given some latitude in this matter but was refused. My piano teacher
had the hearts for me but waited until the end of the year to let me know. We had fling for a couple of weeks which was probably
the best thing that happened that year. I did go to one party of a Westminster
students, we ended up with the lights off pitching pennies at each other. If a penny hit you, you had to take off a clothing
item. when the lights came on everyone was naked but me. Only one penny had hit me, even tho everyone else was aiming at me
and I wasn't returning fire, so how did they get hit? Anyway, as you might figure, I couldn't keep a 3.0 GPA while staying
out all night and not getting up for class so my 2.8 didn't make it past the first year. My parents were disappointed and
sent me to Mitchell College, a two year college in New London, to make up the credits I needed to get back in, but I had already
decided that schooling was going to wait while I looked around to see what I really wanted.
New London - Seafood capitol of the world. We had the Navy Submarine
base on one side of the river and the Coast Guard
Academy on the other. There were two gay bars in town and even tho I
wasn't old enought to get in - the drinking age in Connecticut
being 21 -
I would stand outside on the curb and dance to the music
from within. I met and hung out with many of the locals and there were many nights where I had to be home by midnight and
would make the 30 min. trip in 14.
I started going to Providence,
RI with Jay, a hairdresser friend, and met a sailor from the Newport Naval base. I had also met Dwight from Westerly
and was spending more time with him.
Mom had found out about my seeing the sailor, I had written
a 7 page detailed letter to send him and had hidden it in my underwear drawer, and I was seeing the Psychiatrist now. What
they didn't know was when I left the Doctor's office I would run to Dwight's house and, while getting it on, we would laugh
about the visit to the doctor and discuss what I should say at the next visit that would shock him. Dwight introduced me to
Bert Jacques, a Peke breeder, and I must say, the two of them are probably the oldest and dearest friends I have had
although we are not speaking now. Bert had a lover, John, and lived at the beach in Matunuck, RI and I can remember many happy
days spent there. They had what I truly wanted, a home by the sea, dogs, and they really cared about each other. Dwight and
I had a good relationship but his political attitude was more than I could take. I knew that I wasn't cut out to be First
Lady, Dwight on the other hand wanted to be President. Somewhere along the way we drifted apart and I found things around
the home front getting a bit sticky at this point and I felt that I was being stifled. I came down with Hepatitis after a
Halloween Party in New London. The gay party givers came down
with it the next morning and everyone in New London got the
word thought the grapevine to get their shots but no one called me. Two weeks later I was working at Almacs in Westerly as a cashier and passed out at the register. I went home and stayed in bed for a
couple of days at which point Mom came in and said I was Green and took me to the doctor who said I was Yellow. I felt like
a martian or something and asked that they have their eyes checked. Yellow it was and in the hospital I went. I was put in
an isolation ward with another man who also had hepatitis but he died a few days later and I was alone. I started drawing
pictures in pencil of horses and horse heads from the magazines Mom had brought in. The nurses thought they were great and
I drew quite a few of them, Mom still has one on her wall. They say I almost died but I remember it as a very peaceful time.
I had to drink 2% milk and no alcohol for a year but I wasn't much of a drinker anyway. I came home in time for Thanksgiving
but had to stay in my room the whole day. I could hear the rest of the family downstairs and wanted to be there but was just
thankful to be alive. After a time, I felt things were too controlled. Mom had really put the clamps on and I had to get away
from the control and take control myself. I spoke to Mom about moving to Providence but with
all that had been before, she suggested Hartford. Why not,
I thought. I had as many acquaintances there of which she knew nothing about.
I moved into the YMCA across the street from the biggest
gay bar in town, Tony Romano's "Haufbrau Haus" where I first danced to "White Rabbit". I took a job with Dun & Bradstreet
which turned out to be nothing more than stuffing envelopes and moved to the South End which is predominantly Puerto Rican.
I took a second story apartment overlooking the main drag through town and found another gay bar just down the block. I spent
a great deal of time and energy fixing up the place which was basically two rooms. You came into a hall which had a bathroom
to the right, straight ahead was the kitchen and to the left was the bedroom/living room with the bed to the left and a sofa
and plush chair in front of the bay windows. The window in the kitchen and the bays looked down on State Street in the heart of Gang
Territory. The North End Gangs of blacks and the South End Gangs of Puerto
Rican's were in a constant state of war and things could explode at any time. I somehow found myself dating the leader of
the South End gang for a couple of months. His second, Chino,
even wanted to find out what the interest was and came over one night when he knew I would be alone . The worst night I spent
in that apartment was my birthday when Louise Wilcox brought Champagne
and after partying until she dropped, I decided to go out. I picked up two guys who seemed a bit down and brought them back
to my place to party but once I was drunk, they attacked me with the empty bottle, tied me up and robbed me of my jewelry
and two leather jackets. My neighbors heard the noise and yelling but no one even called the police. I had to plead for them
to open the door and call 911 for me as the two had cut my phone cords to tie me up and my head was gushing blood from the
gash made by the Champagne bottle which was still intact.
I got a job working at Hartford Hospital and for a while I was very
happy. I was hired to be on orderly but after the schooling period, and finding my score on the final 35 points above the
next highest score, they sent me to the female aid classes where I again topped the best scores. At this point I was offered
a scholarship 1) to become a Doctor and upon refusal 2) an R.N. and then 3) an L.P.N. all of which would take me away from
my appointed goal of becoming a dancer. In fact the reason I left the nursing profession was just that. One of my patients,
a dying man on strict I & O, heard from one of the student nurses that I was a great dancer and refused to go to the dining
room until a demonstration was given. After much debate, and realizing that without food (Intake) there would be no Output
and his condition could get worse, I consented to a one minute exhibition at which point the charge nurse walked into the
room to check why the patient & I were not in the dining room where I was assigned. Well, you can imagine her look and
the discipline action taken as a result. While working at the hospital, I met my 2nd lover, Dwight being my first, Howard.
He was stationed at Ft. Dix
in N.J., and we saw each other 2 out of 3 weekends. My nursing schedule was broken into three shifts, 7-3, 3-11, & 11-7,
and we changed every week, so 1 week he would come to Hartford, the next I would come to New York and the third we could not get together because of his schedule.
This went along for 3-4 months until I wanted to surprise him and switched my schedule with Louise Wilcox, one of the nurses,
and found him at the Stonewall dancing with another guy who it turns out was his other lover. This really devastated me to
the point of suicide attempts and deep depression. I stayed home from work for days and locked myself away in my room. It
wasn't until Louise took an interest and confided in me that she divorced her husband because he was gay, that I started coming
around. She helped me through that period and even tried to fix me up with her ex-husband. Thanks Wheeze but he wasn't my
Louise, her son Todd, and I spent a lot of time together
and if I hadn't felt she was trying to convert me for herself, we probably would still be friends. I remember the night we
went to Carol's house for dinner after work and while trying to get some milk out of the refrigerator, a flat iron fell off
the top and hit me on the head. I ended up in the ER with the head of nursing - a spinster - asking " what has he gotten into
now." And the weekend we spent at my Mom & Dad's when everyone met Howard for the first time and Mom knew right off what
the deal was. Wheeze, Todd and I spent a vacation weekend at Misquamicut at the Andria Hotel before the hurricane blow it
down and they had to rebuild. The staircases used to be so narrow that Louise, who is a big girl, got stuck in it.
I moved to Farmington
Avenue across the street from the Cinerama Theatre which had a Help Wanted sign in the window.
I then took a position as a movie theatre manager trainee - probably the easiest job I have ever held. Nothing to do but watch
movies and keep the help in line. Of course there was the paperwork, deposits, and advertising layouts - my first big ad was
voted "Best of the Year" by a group of theatre owners and ad execs. It was so easy to cut up the proofs sent along with the
film from the opening ad campaign and rework them into the ad boxes supplied by the papers. Sort of like decorating a cake
or arranging flowers to look great on the dining room table. But playing "Ben Hur" for 6 months became tedious and by the
3rd month I was entertaining the ushers and candy girls by acting out the entire show in the lobby in character &
voice. They loved it and so did I. I was told that I would have my own theatre within two years when I was hired but I managed
to complete my training in 6 months and was given the 2nd best theatre in the chain. One of the nice things I did this year
was vacation in Bermuda. I was coming down with an ulcer and the doctors told me to get away.
I had just gotten my TWA Getaway Card and having Sunday and Monday off, I left Hartford at
noon and was in Bermuda by 2pm. I rented a moped and bopped around the island for 2 days
soaking in the sun and all the while thinking of when I was young and Grandma would talk of one day going to Bermuda and my
telling her I would build a boat and take her. I had to settle for sending post cards but she never complained. I had to be
back for an opening on Tuesday with big-wigs from Columbia Pictures going to be on hand but
got caught in stacking over New York and missed the connecting
flight resulting in my getting in after the picture had finished. My bosses were not pleased. I, on the other hand, was feeling
much better and wanted to get at it, what ever it was, and I knew it wasn't happening here.
I was still going on weekends to New
York and met a guy who took me to the home of Jacques d'Amboise, then premier dancer with the New York City Ballet. Upon entering his apartment, I noticed a kid, about 18 or so, sitting
on a large cushion smoking a joint. Now, I knew that everyone was doing it and I had tried it once or twice in Providence, But as I stated that day - It never really did anything for me, Until that fateful
date. We were on our way to an East Indian Dance Concert and Andre's lover brought me a cigar-sized joint and said " smoke
this and tell me it does nothing for you." By the time the dancer was half way through the first number I was STONED. That
concert was the Greatest and the high was out of this world. I cannot express the feeling which the music and dance gave me
that day. I only know I was flying and it felt great. I wanted to feel the music in the same way she did and express it through
my dance. That was when I decided to go to New York and
make it on the stage.
James Thurston from Avon
and I had spent a lot of time together and he helped me pull it together.
I had spent many a weekend in the Big Apple and this same
friend who had introduced me to Andre had stated that any time I wanted to move down - to just ring the bell and I could stay
with him. So I packed my bags, put them in the Port Authority bus locker and rang his bell to find he had moved the month
before and left no forwarding address. What to do now. I was almost broke and had no where to stay. I roamed around the village
until early morning, was attacked by 3 large black men at the basketball courts on 6th Ave., knocked them all down and jumped
into a cab to get away and there went the last few bucks I had. Luckily, around 6 am I ran into Frank, a waiter I had gotten
to know at the local restaurant, who took me home to Jill's apartment, a hairdresser whom he was staying with. I got a job
working in a gay bar as a stripper and started to get on my feet. I was helping out with Jill's bills and because Frank wasn't,
She threw him out. I bounced from one club to another, working for Lon at the Tool Box go me in and The Department Store was
born. I was the star attraction. The Barn/ Triangle was the biggest thing in the city at that time. They had 8-10 dancers
a night, and a back room that was as dark as you can get. The stories that those walls could tell. Well, Lon wanted to have
a club that was better. The Tool Box was a small hole in the wall bar where 6 - 8 dancers would perform on a small stage.
Usually, two or three songs each and back then we didn't stop at a g-string, it was total nudity. The Dept. Store was something
new to New York. Formerly a 4 story warehouse, it was converted
into a 3 story bar with parking on the ground floor but not for customers. The second floor had two bars, one for the leather
and chains types - with a Harley strung up from the ceiling - the other, a levi's denim crowd would frequent. The 3rd floor
was the coat room, and Back Room (as they were called) and game room for pool enthusiasts. 4th floor - Sweater crowd - the
largest of the bars. This was my room. When you walked thru the door, you were standing on a landing. A set of stairs, no
railings and open steps led to the floor of the room with the bar across the right side of the room and the rest of the room
was open for dancing. Directly across from this doorway and about half as high as the landing was a small stage. No, I can't
call a 4 x 4 box a stage. This pedistal was my perch. At 10pm I would get up on this box and strip to my birthday suit - nothing
new here - and dance until closing - 4 am. I had very few breaks and the tips weren't really great but I was dancing in New York in my own club - a featured dancer - I could have cared less.
I was seen by everyone and quickly became known where ever I went. One night , a gentleman came up to me and stated "Your
a great dancer, kid. If you had more technique, I'd put you on Broadway". He never did but it started me thinking and researching
the possibilities. Unfortunately, the club had a very short life. I was arrested in my birthday suit behind the bar, the bartender
asked me to keep watch while he relieved himself but I still feel he must have had something to do with the bust. A man was
very insistent on getting a beer, and even tho I repeatedly told him he would have to wait, he stayed in my face until after
about 10 minutes I finally gave in and served him at which point he flashed his badge and off we went. Everyone except the
bartender who had gone to the john. We spent about 4 hours in jail, that is, they spent the night in holding cells, I, being
claustrophobic, and after trying to break through the bars and gashing my head and wrist open, was placed in and handcuffed
to a chair. The guards were quite upset as they had to shut the TV off for fear I was enjoying myself too much. The next morning,
we were taken into the court room and our Lawyer, supplied by "The Boys" who owned the club, sauntered in looking like Mae
West. We were released and given another court date but, since no one had given their correct names, we never went back.
The best times were going to the Continental and listening
to Bette Midler. I managed to get to a lot of clubs and meet a lot of people, even managed to open a club or two as star attraction,
but somehow never managed to be in the right spot at the right time to have my career click. I even tried to break into porn
films and went for a shoot in Soho. It was to be 2 girls and 3 guys, but the girls were ugly,
the guys were HOT and the director says "Now remember, this is a straight film, NO Guy/Guy stuff." Well, I tried to continue
but couldn't and left. I was asked to do a gay porn film but I had been told that things like that would hamper my career
and so I tended to shy away from getting seen in those.
I spent many nights dancing 'til dawn, pounding the pavement
by day, rehearsals all evening and then back to the clubs. I can't remember eating much and since I only weighed 165, I probably
didn't. Salads, Yogurt, Bagels and cream cheese, Peanut butter and Preserves (only), once in a while a fish sandwich or chicken
but that was about it except for my cookies. I have to have my cookies, Oatmeal. Many feel I used them like sleeping pills,
four with a glass of milk will put me under.
One morning, Gerry, a Scarsdale
High teacher I knew asked me to come to school after getting off work. His roommate worked at the bar with me and it was about
5:30am when we got to his apartment. Gerry asked if I were doing anything that day and if I felt like getting drunk. I wasn't
sure what he meant and I have never really been much of a drinker but he said it would help him out if I could. One of his
peers taught a class in which the students chose what the subject matter was and today it was the effects of alcohol on an
individual. They needed a test subject, and I was it. I started at 8am with a set of prepared tests and at 8:30 I had my first
drink of Chevas Regal. I was to continue to have a shot every 1/2 hour and be tested hourly for the rest of the day. By 2pm
the students would point me to the room and chant -" Here come the drunk, Here come the drunk" as I staggered to take my tests
and although I only hurled once around 2:30, I to this day cannot drink Chevas Regal. By the way, my test scores were far
above normal and the teacher stated repeatedly - " this is not your normal subject " - the results were conclusive though,
alcohol does slow your reaction time and impair your vision and motor control.
I remember one time - walking home from work at like 5:30
am a VW bus pulls up along side of me and the sliding door opens and it's a group of the guys from the bar that are going
on a road trip to a Music Festival and did I want to come along - I would have LOVED to but I had responsibilities - work
the next day - so I told them to go on without me and have fun .... turns out the festival was Woodstock......
Jill and I had some rough times in her 1st Ave and 10th street
apartment. For a while, we ate on the weekends and lived on bologna and Munster
cheese from Monday to Thursday, her pay day. With my check on Fridays, we would make it through another weekend. But Jill
started dating a gay man she had met, and after the wedding she moved in with him. This relationship was doomed from the start
as I had tried to warn her and soon ended in divorce. I never really saw her after that.
My first show in New
York was "The Brave Little Tailor", a 'Jack and the Beanstalk' spin-off, at the Fashion Institute.
It starred Jesse Stokes, Ike Smalls, Ron Ferrell, Emme Kresek, and Richelle Williams who have all continued their careers
in the theatre/film industry. I met Tommy White, a cook/bar tender, who took me to his friend Victor Carl Guarneri's apartment
for the night. Victor was an Antique Dealer and put me to work in his shop. I cleaned crystal chandeliers, scrubbed marble
statuary and mantles. We even took a road trip to Detroit
for an auction once. He knew everyone and introduced me to Lotta Lenya. While shampooing her rugs one day, she saw that I
was depressed and sat me down. "What's the matter, Ricky. Your not your self today." I explained that I had just gone to a
Broadway Audition and the producer, Martin, had told me that I had a lisp and would never make it in the theatre. "Darling",
she said. "When I was much younger, I was doing a show and the producer told me I had protruding teeth and wanted me to have
them fixed. I didn't and years later I was doing "Three Penny Opera" and the same man came back stage and commented on the
beautiful job I had done, I told him "And if I had had my teeth fixed when you wanted, I would probably be nowhere today."
She really lifted my spirits that day and I will never forget her. I went back to Martin to ask if there were anything I could
do to help with the show he was working on and found he had just acquired the theatre we were in and was refurbishing the
place to open as "The Robert F. Kennedy Theatre for Children" a name which he was later sued over. Martin had gone to the
theatre's owner and found that there were back taxes due the city on the building and that NBC had take a lease on the property
for 10 years but had found it infeasible for use after 1 year. Martin went to NBC regarding this and told them that he could
settle for X amount of dollars which just happened to be the total due in taxes for which the owner gladly handed him the
deed. I was in need of lodging and moved into the top dressing room of the theatre. I wanted the Star's dressing room but
that is where we had our kitchen. The show I had auditioned for, "Scrooge" was presented but that was the only show done on
the R.F.K. stage. Shortly after the Kennedy Family got into the picture and the theatre was closed. Martin did have a way
of attracting people. The kids in the neighborhood found a way to sneak in, we never did figure out how, and were using the
place as a club house.
We put them to work fixing the place up and another
production company rented the space to film the Dr. Pepper commercials. The first musical ones with the Dr. Pepper Boy. Martin
managed to get me into the auditions and the Choreographers who had come in from California
were very impressed with me. I waited for the call but when filming time came, everyone was asked to move out of the theatre.
Still having keys to the theatre, I walked in during the filming and confronted the choreographers, but I was told the producer
was afraid I would out shine his star, and lover.
I had also auditioned for "Over Here" starring the Andrews
Sisters and was hired to do the Jitterbug Number. The next week the Andrews' decided the Broadway run had worn them out and
that a National Tour would be too much for them and cancelled the tour.
I kept running into Robert LaTourneaux all over town. He
played Cowboy (the birthday present) in "Boys In The Band" on Broadway and in the movie. I would be walking down the street
and he would pass me on his bike and smile at me. We would see each other at a bar across the room and smile. It seemed to
be fate that we would meet and one night at the Stud we did. I was sitting on the pool table waiting for the movie to start
when he walked in and sat down on the floor between my legs. After spit cleaning my boots, he invited me to his place and
things were hot & heavy for a while. He used to call me at 2:30 or 3:30am to hurry over to his place. I would rush over
for and have HOT sex for 3 or 4 hours but I was dancing at the Department Store at the time and Bobby was so
strong from lifting weights 5 hours a day that I would come away with finger print bruises all over my body. I tried to get
him to ease off but when the customers started making remarks I had to end the relationship.
During that time, I would do anything to keep going. I
got into hustling for a while and met some very interesting socialites. I hooked up with a call service, at first it was just
sex but after a while I developed a technique and billed myself as a masseur. I made $200.00 and hour at times and times were
good when I could find it. I was asked to do a porn film about a dancer but was refused a 3 min. dance section. The film
was still made but without me. I took a job for "the Boys" working at a whore house as a bouncer. The Green Door had
been an apartment building some years earlier, now ready to be condemned, above the ground floor bookstore
- XXX Rated - the girls hung out the window and called to the men on the street. My job was to check out the guys coming upstairs
and keep the cops out. I also had to check the rooms to make sure the 'johns' weren't mistreating the girls, so I got to see
quite a bit. I met the "Don" of the city and got his blessing. He was my bosses Uncle. I was at work one night and the girls
were talking with this hot blond guy who was horny but broke. I told him he was so cute that I would take care of him for
free but he didn't believe me and went away. About an hour later the girls called me over to the window, he was back asking
if I was serious about what I had said to which I replied - you bet. He didn't come up right then but did come back later
and we started dating. He got me in trouble with the girls, they couldn't understand why this gorgeous man would prefer me
over them. They made trouble for us and I was fired. The building was torn down shortly thereafter and my boss went to prison
Just before Christmas that year, I answered an advertisement
in a gay publication for models for film in Chicago. I was
sent a plane ticket and upon arriving found that the man and his lover brought in kids from around the country for short periods
of time just to have "fresh meat" as it were. They wanted to film me having sex with either them, or someone of my choosing
from a large collection of tapes and photos on hand. They would fly in whom ever I wanted for the filming session but, being
that John, the payee, was short, dumpy and disgustingly fat, and because his young blonde lover found me quite appealing,
which was reciprocative, I was put up at a local hotel for the week. They decided to film me dancing in the nude for their
New Year's Eve party and even flew me home for Christmas and back to be present for the party as the guest of honor. I made
$600.00 plus the airfare and with the money I moved home to Connecticut.
It was 1971, and I had decided that New York and the Theatre were where I belonged but I needed more training.
I moved back to Mystic and found an apartment across from
the Baptist Church.
I started attending Church regularly. The Reverend Dr. Gates was minister and I soon found myself teaching Sunday School.
I bought a miniature Schnauzer and started seeing Dwight again. One morning, while she was in heat, I let Toto out to relieve
herself. Just then the phone started ringing but she had not completed her task and would not come in so I ran to the phone
, yelled "call me back in 5 min." and ran outside to find a German Shepard just coming off Toto. Well, I didn't know what
to do so I called the vet who said to give her a Coca Cola enema. I ran around the neighborhood looking for an enema bag and
finally located one from a nice old lady down the street. I raced home to do as I had been instructed but to no avail. Toto
had two puppies the size of my fist, but the funny part was when I returned the enema bag. The nice old gal asked if my wife
was having problems and when I told her the whole story, her jaw nearly hit the floor. I'm sure she threw that bag out even
tho I had taken great pains to sterilized it before returning it.
It was about this time that I started growing my own smoke
and baking it into breads, Banana Nut or Cranberry Nut, with Alice B. Toklas' recipe. Dwight and I went to New London after having a couple of slices one day and nearly drove off the bridge. We started
tripping from the THC and, with the top of the bridge covered in fog, it looked as though we were driving into heaven.
I had two strange occurrences / visions during this time,
one while lying in the couch in my living room with the fire in the hearth. The flames starting shooting into the air, and
sparks flew around the room. All of a sudden, there was a pressure on my spine as though someone was lying beside of
me with their butt against mine. I turned over to see what it was and there was a man, drenched in light, lying there and
when I kissed him and thought to myself, "Who are you?", I heard him telepathically say, "LOVE" and he vanished. A few weeks
later, on my birthday, I was in church for a concert and saw, in the balcony, a man drenched in light who could only have
been Jesus who told me that God was pleased with me and that this concert was a gift to me from God on my birthday. At that
point, I asked the voice, telepathically, "Does the congregation know that this is my gift from God?", and everyone in the
room turned to look at me and smile and then returned their eyes to the front where the concert was still going on. And I
thought, "Does the choir know?" and the voice told me to look at the director, who, at that point, turned his eyes to me and
nodded and returned to conducting. The man in Light now appeared at the rear of the choir on stage and smiled before disappearing
entirely. God was pleased with me, I knew that now.
My neighbor Carol was involved with a newly formed theatre
group made up of kids all younger than myself. She was doing costumes for there production of "The Fantastics" and asked one
day if I would be interested in joining. I had mentioned in conversations about my theatre background but embellished on it
a bit. I had told her I was in Chicago doing "HAIR" rather than the truth which she immediately
embellished to the theatre group that I had Directed "HAIR" in Chicago.
The yarn seemed to grow and grow and soon I was being asked to direct their production as David Smith, the present director,
was also playing the lead and the show was suffering because of it. I took over the reins and the show was a big hit. We won
numerous community awards and were called by the New London High School Drama Department, Mr. Gerry Gordon, to help in their
production of "West Side Story". David was asked to play Tony against an Operatic Maria brought
in from Hartford. David stated that the only way he would
do the show was if the rest of the group were allowed to audition for the show. This group had been formed to combat the local
community groups who tended to use the same people over and over again and these talented individuals were being overlooked.
They didn't want to give up their ideals over this and it worked to our advantage. Nicky Checker, David and myself had become
the Three Musketeers of sorts and were inseparable at the time. Nicky got the part of Bernardo, and I played Action but had
to double for David as Tony for the Ballet sequence as he couldn't dance to save himself. The choreographer was Bud Tucker
who had as an assistant Maria Brunell, a ballet teacher with a studio in Pawcatuck. Maria and I did the "Somewhere Ballet"
which turned out to be the highlight of the show. An East Lyme group in production of "Gypsy" saw the show and asked me to
take over the part of Tulsa. I had seen the show recently
and knew the part called for a tap solo. I told them I wasn't sure I could do it, not having any tap training and with the
show set to open in 6 weeks, but they assured me I could. I worked night and day with the choreographer and the show went
off without a hitch. I even got more work when the city of New London
was putting together a cruise aboard a ferry. Have you ever tried to do a ballet aboard a moving boat. Not Fun.
It was while working on "Fantastics" that I met Peggy.
She was the stage manager for the show and we hit it off right away. Later, it was Dave & Nicky who told me that Peg had
been around, if you know what I mean. That didn't bother me, I had been around the block a few time myself. We spent all our
time together and soon announced we were to be married. A date was set for some 8 months down the road, I wanted plenty of
time to get to know her, and we started to make plans. Things went well for the first 6 months but when she professed to being
a witch, I had to back off. I went to see Dr. Gates who stated " You can take a faggot from the fire, but you can't make it
burn." Was he talking about Peggy . . . or Me? I couldn't tell but knew that I had to get out of the marriage.
It was while I was living in Mystic that my cousin Barry
announced that he was going to marry Margie. Now I had grown up with Margie, a real knockout but I knew her. She married her
high school sweetheart, Dennis, and moved into a Quansetthut next door to us. Dennis was the high school football captain
and even I had a crush on him. Built like a brick outhouse but a little slow on the uptake, if you know what I mean. The nicest
guy you would ever want to meet unless he though you were trying to steal his girl. Their divorce tore him apart and I didn't
want the same for Barry. I told him she was wrong for him, that she would get bored with him as she did with Dennis and leave
him and pleaded with him to reconsider his decision. I even threatened to boycott the wedding and I did. But after, I played
the good cousin and made nice when she was around. I know that his death was directly related to her asking for a divorce.
Friends of mine who were with him say he was drunk and depressed when he left the beach to drive home that night. He never
Dr. Gates helped me to understand that all I had to do
was attempt to reach my goals and the Lord would make it possible and, even tho my parents would have no part in helping me
realize my dream, I did manage to acquire a loan and was accepted to Connecticut College, which is affiliated with the National
Theatre Institute where Larry Arrick, a Broadway Director, was in charge. Conn. College had just become co-ed the year before
and the experience from these shows allowed me to do well at the audition for Martha Meyers, head of the dance department.
I danced with the top names in the country at Conn. Each
week, Martha, who had been with the Martha Graham Company, brought in all the best - Ailey, Limon, Miller, Tharp, Cunningham,
Nicks, Lamb -the list went on and on and I studied with them all. At N.T.I., I took a class with Larry in directing for first
semester but found it dull and asked if I could do an independent study for which I chose Mart Crowley's " The Boys In The
Band", the first gay play on Broadway. I had enjoyed the movie and Cowboy, the surprise birthday gift, Robert La Tourneaux.
I also felt that this show really expressed something worth saying and asked the church to help me finance the work. They
gave me $300.00 for operating costs, Bud Tucker assisted with the lighting and the show was presented two nights at the Institute.
I received a "B" for my work and when asked what I had done wrong was told - "Nobody's Perfect".
Working with the local theatre groups and high schools
had given me an in to other things being done. I was called for a shoot being filmed at the Mystic Seaport, a museum which
my cousin Barry had grown up next to and where we had spent many hours, in which Cliff Robertson was starring in "A Man Without
A Country". They needed extras and I went. I have never seen the film but have people looking all over for a copy of it for
me. The makeup man took a decided interest in me and outdid himself, or so they say. I am wounded on the deck after the big
fight where Cliff receives the Captains sword. I sure would like to see that.
I received a scholarship to the festival that year and
Walter Nicks took a liking to me. He started me in the intermediate classes but by the second week of six I was in the master
classes right at his side. I was in class from 8am to 4pm with a half hour lunch. Ballet, Modern, Jazz and then I could relax
because I signed up for Massage Classes. I was paired with Barbara, a cute brunette from the mid-west and we became so in
tuned to each other. After dinner there would always be a dance, I mean, we just spent 8 hours in class dancing but we went
on into the night until 1 or 2am. One night, during week 5, Barbara and I stopped the show with a number never before attempted.
She hardly touched the floor through the entire piece and although she wanted to reverse roles and support me at one point,
I didn't feel she had the strength to pull it off. She would, of course, disagree.
Rael Lamb was an up and coming dancer who also took an
interest in me but not just for my dance. He had taught during the regular school year and we went out a couple of times.
Now he wanted me to be his lover but it just wasn't going to happen. But I did move back to New York at this point.
I stayed with Victor for a short time and worked at the
shop. Victor introduced me to Adamo, a student, who put me up at his place on 24th and 9th. One time, he invited a couple
of French Countesses to come and spend a week in the states. All week they sat around speaking in French until on Friday one
of them commented, "Ricky, you never talk." I told her that I didn't speak French but they refused to believe me. I finally
confessed that I had taken 1/2 year of French class in high school but had flunked out. The only phrase I had retained from
that time I did not feel was appropriate, but they insisted until I finally broke down and said "Voile Vous couche avec moi."
at which point she slapped my face and ended the conversation.
I started with a new vocal coach who would not take me
on as a student until he did my astrological chart. I found I was a double Aquarian with my moon in Gemini. The only bad thing
on my chart, he said, was my Venus is trine with Mercury which is to say I can't tell the difference between Love and Sex.
Is there one???
I had started doing off-off-off Broadway shows and got
involved with a Gay Organization doing a campy version of Oliver. I met Joel during this time and eventually moved in with
him on 80th and York, a very small studio apartment with a
loft bed. Joel volunteered my services to the organization which was doing a gay play called "No Deposit, No Return". They
needed someone to pose for the poster of the show and I found my butt being stenciled with the title. First in two straight
lines across my cheek but the photographer felt it would look better in a circle so they took Ajax and scrubbed the letters off and started again. The final poster was still hanging on
the wall of one of the leather bars in the west village the last time I was in there, some 30 years later. Joel and I moved
into a cute 1 bedroom apartment on 21st and 8th with brick walls and a fireplace. He had been raised in a very strict Jewish
family and had never owned a pet so I bought my first Kerry Blue Terrier and named her My Lover's Joie. I was driving Taxi
out of the Village and saw a man on 10th street walking
two Blue dogs and had backed-up 1/2 a block to ask of the breed. I started looking through the papers and finally found one
in Brooklyn. I paid $50.00 for the runt. Joel was very pleased but I soon found out that
he was emotionally unstable and inept at caring for her or me. Things started to deteriorate shortly thereafter and I started
dating again. I met Andy Warhol's Producer, Jeff Tornberg, at an art gallery party and he and I hit it off right away. For
Christmas that year he gave me a beautiful wool scarf that was drenched in his cologne - Calvin - which can only be purchased
outside the U.S. now. The note stated
- "to keep you warm when I can't be there". Joel was so upset that he hit the poor dog now 8 months old with the fireplace
poker breaking her hind leg. I came home that morning with only 4 hours until my train home for the holidays to find a note
stating the dog was in the hospital and that he would take care of it while I was gone. Upon my return, I asked Joel to move
out. I never got the true story from Joel, I got it from the dog. Joel said that the dowel chair from the kitchen set had
his leather flight jacket on the back and that the chair had overturned and fallen on the leg and broken it but when I would
deliberately knock over the chair with the dog close by, she would have no reaction. This to me seemed strange. Dwight called
to say he was moving to the city and needed a place to stay. As I had told Joel to find another place, I asked Dwight to come
stay with me. One morning, while making blueberry pancakes - the only argument DW and I had ever had was over the preparation
of Blueberry Pancakes and whether or not the canned berries should be rinsed - we were jokingly recreating that scene when
he picked up the fireplace poker and came at me with Joie between us. She became so scared, she relieved herself on the floor
and coward behind me. We knew then how her leg had been broken.
I got a part in a children's show at the 18th Street Theatre, "The Prince & the Pauper" in which I played the pauper's mean
old father. My wife was played by Louise Fletcher who, after seeing me scare the kids day after day asked "How do you do it.
These kids won't even exit the theatre if you are near the door." I gave her my secret and I guess it helped because she's
doing a great job of it now. Go Louise!!
Dwight got involved at the theatre as well and soon we
were moving into another apartment with the girl who was doing lights at the theatre. She and I never saw eye to eye. I think
she felt I was still after DW, not, and I knew she was and had no chance. I met David Schuster, an opera singer who at age
18 was being sought after by the leading opera houses in Europe, and moved in with him for a while across the street from
Our apartment was quite spacious with a turret balcony overlooking the Center. I started teaching piano & voice and accompanied
David for rehearsals and performances. I also was teaching at the New York School of Music on Madison Avenue and took a position one day a week at a school on Staten
Island where the group 'Warrant' came for vocal coaching with me.
I also tried to get accepted at the Julliard School for
Dance but my audition for Martha Hill resulted in her telling me I should have applied to the drama department which unfortunately
was filled and she would be stifling my career if she took me in. " You are a performer. I expect to see you on Broadway within
the next year and I want tickets for the front row" were her comments. David was expecting us to become lovers but I only
thought of him as a friend. This wore on the relationship and I decided to go it on my own at that point and moved in with
Charles Michael Adler, Beany to his friends.
Beany did became my Lover almost immediately and for 2
years our studio garden apartment on 56th and 9th was home. I tore out the backyard and put flagstone walks and what was to
be a waterfall turned into a small pond in the rear corner which I eventually planted a wisteria in. I planted strawberries,
tomatoes that grew 10 feet tall, morning glories that climbed to the third floor of the apartment building, all sorts of flowers
and even had a patch of grass to lay out on. If you have ever been in a brownstone in New
York, you know the size of the garden space between buildings, mine was a little larger than my studio
We had great times together and were very rarely separated.
His family had trouble accepting the relationship and caused numerous arguments. His sister was constantly butting in with
her two cents worth and, as she lived a block away and spent alot of time with us, it was sometimes difficult to make my point.
His career had been helped along by family influence and he managed to do quite well in the theatre with voice-overs and even
a stint on Broadway for a while. He still does cartoon voices as far as I know.
I was hired to do another extra part for a film in Brooklyn. I was part of a large subway crowd with "Crocodile Dundee"
walking across my chest. I made $60.00, 2 subway tokens plus lunch, if you could call it that, and I was there from pre-dawn
to well after dusk. When I show the film I have to pause it to show people where I am. There is one film, "Trackdown" the
sequel to "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" (1983), that you can see me for some time. Olive Oyl is on the dance floor and George
Segal is walking around looking and passes right by me twice. Of course I'm dancing, so you don't get a good look there either.
I took an part in a show "The World's First Country Western
Women's Lib Musical Comedy" in which I played 9 different roles. The show was made up of short skits. In one, I played a mugger
in central park and rape this girl on a park bench. For this scene, the director wanted me to smoke a cigarette and have my
ear pierced so I could wear a long dangling feather earring. I had given up smoking about a year and a half before for the
second time and felt I had enough strength to manage 1 cigarette a night but soon found myself back to a pack a day. One of
the other parts was that of a Hindu Priest where I had to talk in that singsongy way and sit in a lotus position through the
entire scene. The girl who had written the show knew Stephen King and invited me to his Soho apartment where you enter through
the garage and a door in the wall which isn't there unless you move the book and push the peg, and the bedroom is behind the
bookcase. Boy! talk about your strange houses. A gold fish pond in the living room complete with waterfall and stream. All
this, in the middle of Manhattan.
I was the only dancer hire at the audition for Vinette
Carroll's Urban Art Corp.'s Off-B'way production of "All The King's Men", the Huey Long story in which we were choreographed
in a football game where the Huey's son is Quarterback, breaks his neck and dies on the field. One night, I had gone out and
bought those Honey filled Bee candies in the foil wrapper, 2 packages, starting eating them and by show time had eaten a package
and a half. Well, I found out I was Hypoglycemic when, during the number, I had been choreographed to do a cartwheel, come
up and while throwing the ball do a triple pirouette but when I got upside down the sugar must have raced to my head and before
I knew what was happening I was in a heap on the floor. I tried to pick myself up and continue but as I started into my turn,
my knees buckled and I spiraled to the floor again. The other dancers were brought in from the Alvin Ailey third string and
were laughing so hard under their breath they could hardly lift the Quarterback off the ground for the big finale, two dancers
with their hands forming a platform were to toss him across the stage to the waiting arms of three other dancers, I in the
middle to catch his waist. The actor's head nearly careened into the stage floor but for my quickness. He was now center stage
instead of down right and his body was reversed from its intended position. The scene called for us to all cover the body
and as we all lay there in a huddle, the other dancers are confused and asking "What do we do now??" I said, "Just follow
me" and as we stood up in a circle around the body, I rotated the circle of dancers around the body until we were where we
were supposed to be, motioned to pick up the body and then rotated the body and we exited. Backstage people were a-buzz with
comments but I was really shaken. It was Sunday, the last performance of the weekend and we were dark until Thursday. All
week I worried it would happen again. On Wednesday evening I was on the upper east side at 72nd and 1st when while crossing
72nd, a woman stops me in the center of the street and tells me she loved my performance on Sunday evening. I was so thrilled
I started jumping up and down and screaming "Wee! Whoopee! Yes!!" Thursday went fine.
I had landed a job at a new dance club owned by Steak
& Brew. They wanted to open a club strictly for dancers called Vamps on the upper west side - part of Beefsteak Charlie's.
With so many dance companies in the city, they wanted a club for just that type of crowd. They hired me to give the opening
night invitation only party because I was a dancer and knew a lot of people and they hired me to work the door to be sure
that it was a semi private club for dancers only. Then, after the club got going, they asked me to give another
party and create a dance to premier as well. The Bus Stop was the big rage then and they wanted me to choreograph something
that would be associated with this new club. I created "The Electric" which later became know as The Electric Slide and presented
copies of the choreography to the guests at a second invitation only party and continued to stay on and teach the steps for
a couple of months while working at the door as bouncer/cashier. The dance took off, although when I see it done these days,
a few steps have been dropped which changes the meter and timing of the dance and, to me, takes away the fun of it.
I was also taken into the Larry Richardson Dance Company
for a time knowing full well that at 28 year of age, I was only asking for trouble and it followed. One night at the club,
I was teaching the Slide when I did a double tour (turn in the air),slipped on someone’s spilt drink, twisted my
knee and tore a cartilage. Surgery resulted and I spent most of the next year in bed or in therapy. This nearly ended my dance
career. No more could I go to the clubs and let loose. Now I had to watch the world do my dances. I had to resign myself to
the facts. I could no longer dance with free abandonment. The doctor tried every drug he could to help my pain but found I
was allergic to all known arthritis medications. During the operation he noticed that my joints were "riddled" with the disease
and, knowing the pain I must be feeling, asked what I did to cope. "Smoke a joint when it gets really bad" was my reply and
he wrote into my record, "I recommend the continued use of marijuana for pain as the patient states this seems to help." I
am able to do short stints, to choreograph for others, and, after a few tokes, knock out a number or two, but I used to love
to go to the Village, there was a club near the Hudson on 16th or 17th, a large black warehouse with a dance floor like a
gym, and just dance 'til dawn. Some thought I was a freak dancing by myself and covering the entire floor, stopping to dance
with this one and that. I just loved to be dancing and all were invited to join me. Sometimes I felt that I was dancing with
everyone in the room. I have a very unique style to my dance. A flow that is easily picked up. Most of my students through
the years have always found my choreography easy to 'put on'. When a dancer takes on a dance, he has to put on the 'suit'
of the choreographer. It is almost like wearing the clothes of another person and making their clothes look good on you. I
guess you could say, whereas many choreographers tailor there suits to fit themselves, I tend to go with a unisexual look.
My style was picked up by a lot of the kids at the clubs and before I knew it, the kids are doing my dances on the streets.
My style was so unique and varied that it broke into groups and became known as 'Lockin' & Poppin' , 'The Webble' now
know as Techtonik, 'The Robot' which I created at Conn College and 'Break dancing',I remember dancing at the club one
night and being bored and took a cue from my dance teacher at Connecticut College who told me to "Use the space", so I got
down on the floor and did the dance from there. The next day, I was headed home from church and noticed some of the neighborhood
kids practicing some of my moves from the night before on pieces of cardboard on the sidewalk. Breakdancing is the one dance
that they took farther than even I expected. I've seen kids try stuff that I wouldn't have done at my peak, but that's what
I was teaching, to break out of the mold and let loose, that these bodies are made to move to the music, that time and meter
are one as music and space. I am glad to have been able to do that much, to know that my dancing wasn't in vain, to know that
I have set the spirit free and Lighted the lamps of many dancers to come. And now it's over - NOT!
I spent almost 6 months in bed after the operation and
another year recuperating. Beany stood by me through most of the rough times although I found that while laid up in bed all
that time, he had not even defrosted the refrigerator and when I started to get back on my feet, I found that things around
the house had fallen to pieces. One day, after asking him on numerous occasions to no avail, I got down on my knees to defrost
the apartments size under-counter refrigerator, slipped on the wet floor and ended up back in the hospital for another 2 weeks.
I met Imogene Coca and her husband, King Donavan through
Beany as he and Imogene had done "Once Upon A Mattress" together. We knew Kay Medford from the Gym who had introduced us to
Sylvia Sydney. Geri Ragni and I ate at the same restaurant on 9th Ave.
and we often spoke. I still have a picture of him giving me the peace sign. Peace Man! He told me I could use his songs anytime
and not to worry about royalties but I haven't for fear some agent would come after me and Geri wouldn't even remember me.
I was working on a new show with some friends that a girlfriend
had written. She and I were reworking the show to firm it up and get it on the boards as they say. The first act was really
looking good but the opening of the second act was poor and I asked the girl and her partner to see if they could come up
with something better to get the second act started. They went out and rewrote the entire show, including new characters and
new story line. I was distraught, I had only asked that the scene with the mythical island, serpents and tasks be updated
to a more modern approach and here they had started from scratch and written a new show. Now we had to start from square one
again and go over the entire piece rather than just working on the second act. The show was tabled and never done to my knowledge.
Pity, it could have been great.
I also met a young composer named Jason, who worked at
Vamps. He had written a beautiful song called "Where Have I Been " and gave me a copy of the lead sheet to use in my shows.
He even wrote a new ending for me at one point.
Things were looking up, or so it seemed until Beany decided
to do a stock production of "Mattress" in the Mid-west with Imogene. I had asked him not to take the position because he would
be gone for 10 weeks and I knew that those tours are lonely and his hormones were the reason we met in the first place and
his appetite was insatiable. With road companies being the way they are, I knew someone would come on to him, and sooner or
later he would succumb. He assured me this would not happen and went. My fears were not unfounded, the first few weeks I got
a letter and a phone call every day, then a letter every third day and a phone call twice a week, then no letter and a phone
call after repeated messages left. I tried for three days to contact him with no reply and it was then I broke off the relationship
before he even returned to New York.
I was badly hurt from this and slipped into a hole. I lived
like a bum for the next couple of months sleeping in a flop house on a mattress on the floor and barely eating. If it hadn't
been for my dog Joie, I surely would have ended it at this point. She was all I had left and with a litter of 8 puppies, I
had my hands full. I took an railroad flat next to my friend Billie and sold him one of the dogs. For a year, we had the top
floor of the building and the roof and would let the dogs run loose throughout. I ended up having to take Bill to court over
the dog for breach of contract and also lost most of my record collection which I left in his care when I eventually went
Still going to auditions, I was now being told I was too
good. I had preformed on most of the stages at Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall while in college with Leonard Bernstein,
who tried to pick me up, City Opera as a supernumery for Carmen and a couple of other operas, Avery Fisher and the Band shell
in various chorus and dance productions. The only stage I never made it to was The Met.
Even with my knee shot, I'm still being told I'm overqualified
as a dancer. Michael Bennett stopped a "Chorus Line" audition to call me to front of the stage. "Ric, This is the third time
you have auditioned for me. Your too good. You'll stand out. I can't use you. Next." The following week, Bob Fosse said almost
the same exact thing to me when I auditioned for " Dancin' ", so I figured it was time to try California. I sent Joie to my parents who were now living in North Smithfield,
Rhode Island and flew to Los Angeles
to break into film.
While living with Beany, I had gotten to know the superintendent
of the building, Ira, who had just moved to Los Angeles the
year before. Ira was great and said I could stay with him for a couple of weeks to get my bearings. I woke up my first morning
in L.A. to a 6.5 Earthquake and Ira screaming, "Grab the pigs!
Grab the pigs!" He has a very large collection of ornamental swine, some of which is quite expensive. It must have been an
Ira introduced me to Roz Kelly, Pinky Tuscadero from "Happy
Days", who needed some work done in her dark room so I built her a counter. I would have done a whole lot more if she had
only given me a chance. My first job was driving a truck for a real estate company. The Boss owned 4 buildings, an office
building downtown near McArthur Park, 2 apartment complexes in Hollywood and a condo complex on Beverly Hills where you could
rent a furnished 2 bedroom apartment complete with linen, maid service, dishes and silverware, and if you didn't see it, just
ask. My job gave me an apartment in the nicer of the 2 Hollywood units with a pool and Murphy
bed. After a couple of months with the company, they decided to turn the downtown office buildings 2nd floor into studios
for artists. There is an Art School
on the other side of the park, and I was asked to take the unit that had previously been a dance studio office/kitchen. They
had remodeled it into a two bedroom apartment.
is in the middle of downtown and is surrounded by a Central American ethnic neighborhood. Most are Mexican, El Salvadorian,
or Guatemalan and I found it difficult , at first, to make conversation. Even the grocery store where I shopped spoke Spanish
and they were constantly trying to get me to learn. My change was counted out in Spanish, the signs were all in Spanish and
it was difficult at times to find someone to translate for me. I used to tell them "This is America, we speak English here", but no one seemed to care. I would meet guys in
the park in the evening and would know that they were looking for 'a good time' but the language barrier was often standing
between us. I met a young man from Mazatland, Mexico
who tried to teach me the language. He learned a great deal from me but I'm afraid I wasn't a very good student. I did manage
to get one phrase down in Spanish "Y momimay la verga" which I will not translate and is probably misspelled, but I had no
trouble in meeting guys after.
The dance studios were then rented to art students. Michael
Wilson, a leading black artist, was teaching at the school and took the largest studio. He asked me to pose for his classes
and did a lovely Mylar and felt pen rendering of me on an off day(1983). I was tired and posed in a reclining position which
Mike felt had never been done before. He didn't recall ever seeing a reclining male nude in all his studies. I'm sure there
must be one somewhere. If not, I still have the one he did. I have two other renderings of myself, one from N.Y.C.'s Art Student
League by Gary Friedman(1981)and one from Connecticut College by Paul Arden (1973). I remember during January when the rains came, the roof
of the building, being flat, flooded and the water found an exhaust vent for a gas heater which had never been installed and
rushed down into the living room. The boss had to replace the entire carpet in the living room and both bedrooms. I called
Mom to have Joie sent at this time but was told they had fallen in love with the dog in the 10 months they kept her and would
breed her and send me a puppy. Well, Mom knew nothing about breeding dogs and less about the Kerry Blue bloodline problems
and bred to a dog with questionable lineage. She had a litter of 8 and sent me a bitch which I immediately found of poor quality
and requested she send a second. Erin arrived shortly thereafter and with her sister, Orie, we would go to McArthur Park for walks. One night at a bar
in Venice, a man came up behind me, put his hands over my
eyes and said "Is Exhibitionistic Mother-F-cker one word or two." I knew Dwight had used that term to describe me on numerous
occasions and that it could only be he. DW was now in California
and becoming a producer. He introduced me to his new love, Pam, and told me they were getting married. Pam, who had worked
on the filming crew for "MASH", was filming a commercial with Bob Hope and could get me on the set if I wanted. Of course,
I wanted. I watched intently as the filming went on but found Mr. Hope had been blocked to upstage this little old lady knitting
in the background. I immediately went to Pam, who took it to the Director and the scene was reshot. They discarded both shootings
but I still list it on my resume as having Assisted the Director. Dw also introduced me to Estelle Winwood who had fallen,
broken her hip and needed someone to stay with her nights. I took the position and filled in as fourth for her bridge games
as well. She used to say " Darling, who taught you to play Bridge. You can't bid, but who cares - We're winning." She even
let me sit on her famous bed one evening. I was told no one sits on Tallulah’s bed without expressed permission.
I was chosen to appear on "The Dating Game" and won a trip
to Lion's Country Safari and dinner at a fancy restaurant. The best part was I got a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce for the
day, and, since the girl on the show was divorced with a 5 year old to care for, I could take anyone of my choosing, of the
opposite sex. That was the hardest part. I really wasn't dating anyone at this time but I took one of the students from my
building which turned out to be the worst thing I could have done. She thought I was interested in her and when she found
out I was gay, she became enraged. She started hanging with Punk rockers and Head Bangers, we even went to one of the Slam
Dance clubs together, and one day she attacked me in the hallway of the building and sprayed me with mace. I was only wearing
a pair of shorts that day and my chest, back and face were hit. She even tried to push me down the stairwell but failed. The
police were called and I was asked to move as I was no longer working for the company that owned the building and her new
boyfriend backed up her story of my attacking her for being jealous of her new beau. I took a job as an accountant for Laykin
et cie, Jewelers and moved into a townhouse on Vine/Melrose across the street from Mae West's apartment. I did speak to her
a couple of times on the phone but she was in such poor health, I never managed to get up to her flat before she died. I started
doing a show for Motown's Fuller Gordy called "Charlenne" at the Wilshire Ebell. I opened the show with a big Broadway type
number and then slipped off stage to become "The Pimp" at the end of the first act.
One of the girls in the cast started seeing Robin Williams
and we talked her into inviting him to supper with us after rehearsal. We got to the restaurant about 10:45pm and ordered.
While waiting, we were entertained by the Waite staff who had just finished an ensemble number in front of the main door when
Robin walked in. Of course the entire dining room was applauding for the staff, but Robin graciously accepted it for himself
and proceeded to keep us in stitches for the entire night. I finally had to ask him to shut up so that I could finish my meal.
I was laughing so hard I was choking on my food. A few days after, Carol learned that Robin was married when she called and
the wife answered the phone. The next time she called the number had been disconnected. She never saw Robin again and was
so hurt she gave up her career and went back to Virginia.
This girl had real talent, great looks and could sparkle and he snuffed that out.
I was hired to choreograph a ballet for the Mitzi Gaynor
Dancers who were putting together their own version of "Hollywood
Dancin' ", but my number was pulled from the show at the last minute. They said it was too exhaustive for the three dancers
to preform but my feeling was they felt threatened. If my piece had appeared with theirs, it would have blown them away and
made their work appear trite. The show closed after the second performance. A group was putting together a Musical country
western version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and I was asked to choreograph the show. The female writer/director/producer
had her hands full and I volunteered to coach the three leads. They have all gone on to great success, John Calvin, who went
on to have the TV series "Golden Monkey" and most recently in "The Dottie West Story", Anne Curry, whom I believe has her
own production company now,and Hugh Maguire, whom I see almost every day in a commercial, the latest being an AT&T ad,
I think. We would go to my apartment after rehearsals and rework the scenes, the director never caught on. I did manage to
choreograph a square dance sequence which was never used in the show but the actor who was to call the number was, in real
life, a square dance caller, and asked if he might use the number. I told him to keep it but if anyone wanted to know from
whence it came, to say it was anonymous. I only asked that he call the dance "The Texas
Silver Star". Three or four years later on the Country Music Awards Show I saw the 'Star' preformed for a national audience.
One night during rehearsals we heard strange sounds coming from the ceiling vents. We had heard that this convent where we
were rehearsing had been excommunicated by the church for practicing satanic rituals, but to actually hear the mass going
on, Boy! I started searching all over the auditorium for an entrance to the space where the ritual sounds were coming from.
A group of us searched the closets for secret passages, or handles to turn, like in the movies, but we never found anyway
to get to the upstairs room.
For Halloween, Mike Wilson had a party in his studio and
I invited a cute blonde I had gotten to know named Michael Cardinale. He and I dressed up as demented doctors in my old nursing
uniforms and, with the help of my make-up case, terrorized the city. Michael felt he was really straight and slowly faded
out of sight. I met Steve Tracy from 'Little House' and we became friends for a while. I took a part in "Cosmic Sands" at
the Pan Andreas Theatre with a woman who wrote lyrics and music and book, directed and produced as well
as did her own bookings. This lady was full of energy. I was hired to fill in for one of the actors who couldn't make Sunday
performances. I was listed in the program as understudy to all male roles. My first performance was horrible as I had no rehearsal
for an accapella piece that I had only worked on with the writer with just walking on stage, her giving me my note and I would
sing the song. When I got on stage , there was a choir singing chords and I was told by the person who usually played the
role, which of the voices was my starting note but he had lied and told me the alto when I should have come in on the soprano
note. The choir which was supposed to underscore the piece (that was the first I had heard of that) didn't come back in because
I had changed the key of the song and they weren't sure where I was and I carried the song thru inn the lower key switching
to a high more comfortable key where I could and ending the number better than had been anticipated. The co-producer was up
in arms and wanted to fire me but I was allowed another try at the following weeks show. I was allowed a 5 min. rehearsal
with the band and 2 min. with the accapella choir and then was told that one of the lead dancers had been hired to do another
show and I would have to fill in for his two solos and the duet. "DUET!!" That piece I hadn't even really looked at because
I had been told that I would never have to do that number. Well, here I was with 20 min. until they open the house and I have
to learn this number with my shadow dancer 6 feet off the stage on a riser and me, center stage in the spotlight. The girl
on the riser was one of the featured dancers in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' the Movie and she's telling me there is no way in
H - ll that I can learn this and perform it in twenty minutes. Well, after the show she was the first to come over and congratulate
me for a great job. Everything went just right that night and I was asked to direct the show in San Francisco. The writer and I drove up to look at a few theatres one morning and ended
up driving back and not speaking to each other every again. She resented being told her script needed work although every
newspaper critic who revued the show stated just that. It was a fab show with great music but the dialogue was written for
the '60s and this was the '80s. When two of the theatre owners we visited told her she ought to have the script revised she
blew up and packed her bags and split. I have no idea where she is today and it's a shame cause the show was really good.
I also took the part of Frank in "Showboat" to be done
in Granada but found the production to taxing, a 2 hour drive round trip and a choreographer who wasn't even out of high school
and couldn't remember her own name. I had met George Bala from Houston,
and though working 9-5 as an accountant, 6-10 as actor and 10-12 as choreographer was fine for a while, I had a minor heart
attack one night on my way to "Showboat" rehearsals and called to say I needed to take the night off. I was told not to return.
Dwight and Pam got a brainstorm to put together a train
with a car that would open into a stage and the train would be filled with acts. We would do a whistle-stop tour across the
U.S.A. and David Ogden Stires would direct
and I would choreograph. David and I met on the afternoon when I was getting ready to meet the President, Mr. Nixon I believe,
at a party that one of George's Texas oil friends had invited
us to. I remember being quite upset that the shoes I had borrowed were "too much".
We never made it to the party, instead we were picked up
in a limo and we went to a club called Club New York or
something like that. It was a real nice place and the music was hot and I started moving as I always do. One of the ethnic
customers noticed and noticeably challenged me to a dance-off. I consulted with my host and commenced the dancing. Leave it
to say the owner of the club personally came over to meet me and we had carte blanc all evening.
George had just ended a long term relationship and, coming
from an alcoholic family and being dependant as well, was depressed and drunk when we first met. I managed to help keep his
spirits lifted and in the bottle and we hit it off. I remember getting up to walk the dogs and picking fresh roses for his
night stand. We talked about leaving L.A. as the weather and
cactus spores were getting to me, I found I am allergic to them and they float around on the winds, embedding themselves in
your skin. I said that is probably the reason for most people's irritability in L.A..
I wanted to go back to New York but he was scared. He sent
me on ahead and stopped off in Houston to pick up his winter
things. He apparently got back together with his prior lover and wouldn't come to New
York until December of '83.
Back in N.Y.C., I took a rundown apartment on 48th and
9th for $150.00 per month. The dogs came too and things were tough the first year not knowing if George were coming or not.
He called to say he wasn't coming and I should find someone else.
I ran into Beany on the street and he didn't even want
to acknowledge he knew me. He is still with the guy he met while doing 'Mattress' and they bought a house on a hill in Virginia. Actually, they bought the whole hill which I guess is quite
a large mountain. He says that they are happy but he didn't really seem to be. I remember him as having much more sparkle.
I found that having Hepatitis was a good thing as the doctor
at the clinic said that my chances of coming down with AIDS are next to nil. It seems the anti-bodies that were created to
fight the hepatitis virus are the same anti-bodies that kill the AIDS virus and are not in abundant enough quantities in most
people. Lucky Me!
I got a show off-off Broadway called "The Body Beautiful"
at the 43rd St. Theatre located in the lobby of the
Knickerbocker Hotel. This stage had been very big back in the 30's but had never gotten past Burlesque. This show was supposed
to be an eight man ensemble but the Director/Producer, Allan Charlet, wanted to do a couple of numbers himself and this, among
other things, caused most of the original cast to drop out and, with only one week until opening, I was the only person left
from the original group. We were replacing the dropouts with body builders who looked good but had very little talent and
by opening night I was singing all but the two numbers Allen did. It was like Liza in "The Act". The only time I was off stage
was for costume changes. The show ran for 12 performances, Friday thru Sunday and would close for a couple of months and reopen
at another theatre for another 12 performances. Allen was able to beat the performance rules by saying it was a work in progress
and the show lasted three years. The cast changed with each new theatre and we found others to take on solo work but Allen
and I still carried the show. I eventually became disheartened with the constant change and seediness stopped doing the show.
I noticed the last time I was in New York that Allen is
still doing the show now and then, so maybe you might catch it one day.
About July of 1982 I met Eskimo Steve, a biker, who, with
his brother, Jimmy, and 2 friends, Yogi and "One-eyed" Danny, moved into my small flat. Jimmy soon brought his girl friend
Eve to live with us and I got a parrot. All this in an apartment which was 1/2 of a railroad styled flat. Unfortunately, one
evening while I was at a show, Jimmy was frying chicken on the stove and while removing the pan from the stove, someone knocked
at the door and the dogs, jumping up and running to check it out, bumped into him and hot oil went all over Orie's back. She
never recovered the hair on her back and I gave her to a friend in New Jersey
who wished to care for her. Erin was bred to the top dog of the day and had a litter, from which I kept Ty. Steve had been
dating Nancy, when I met him at The Hay Market on 8th Avenue.
A hustler bar, it held a unique quality that I liked. The music was good, the view was great and it was only 2 blocks from
my house. I was known in the bar from the Green Door years before and knew most of the regulars. Steve Sorbak and I somehow
clicked together and even tho we only had sex a few times, in September he announced to the world that we were lovers altho
the relationship was more of brothers than lovers. He was strong of body but weak of mind and maybe that's the thing that
kept us together. His caring heart and his need be protective. He got a job at the Magical Child, an occult shop on 19th and
I found that they practiced Black Magic in the hidden sanctuary in the rear of the shop. I tried to get him to quit for fear
the forces of Darkness would destroy him somehow. Then, Nancy
got pregnant by him and wanted him to marry her but she became crazy and had to be committed. I paid for the abortion to help
Steve out, tho I really didn't like the idea but felt this girl was in no condition to raise a child.
One afternoon, we were all sitting around the apartment
and Steve and Yogi decided to go out for cigarettes. Shortly thereafter, someone came running up to the apartment and yelled
"get down to the street, there's a fight". There were about 9 of us all together in the street with an equal number of PR's.
I never did learn what started the fight but I found myself being attacked from all sides. I managed to get a couple of them
down on the ground, when one of the girlfriends of the guy I was fighting came up and started hitting me. I never hit women
but I didn't have time to be polite with this one. I pushed her out of the way and started after her boyfriend and heard someone
yell "he hit the woman". All of a sudden, every PR in the neighborhood was in the street and starting to fight and I was being
hit in the head by a steel bar from somewhere. I managed to get back into the apartment building with 10 guys chasing me and
locked the door. Unfortunately, Steve was the only one who didn't make it back into the building and he ended up taking the
brunt of the bashing. He had apparently started it by asking someone for a cigarette who turned out to be someone he had had
a beef with the week before and they had remembered him. My head was gashed open and my elbow was shattered from the steel
bar hitting me but Steve was worse. I remember it was during that time Steve's Mom and Brother had been evicted from their
apartment and they came to stay with us for a few days.
Can you imagine all of us staying in this apartment,
4 people sleeping on 1 full-size bed horizontally and 5 people sleeping where ever.
I was on Fire Island one
weekend and stopped by the Monster with Eskimo Steve who knew the DJ and retreated to the booth for a private talk. The music
was hot and I started moving to the beat and, being early afternoon, the floor was fairly clear with 35-40 people dancing
and milling around. I "Broke out" as it were and had a great time by myself, or so I thought. The next day as we were heading
for the boat, we passed by the Monster which, being Sunday Tea, was packed but as I approached the dance floor a space opened
nearly 1/3 the size of the floor. I knew they wanted me to dance for them and I really wanted to but my friends reminded me
the boat would soon leave and not finding the music overwhelming, we pressed on. I sometimes regret not having gone onto that
floor. It might have sent my career off and running had there been someone there who took an interest and ... who knows ...
I had taken my landlord to court trying to get him to fix
the place up and after two years of Housing Court
and numerous inspections, I won at which point the landlord sold the building in1981. Now I had to take the new landlord to
court and he brought in his contractor to state they had fixed all the repairs and I had torn the place apart. He shut off
the heat and hot water to my apartment for 3 months, January, February and March of 1982. They came in and capped the pipes
in the apartment below me and forced me to break into the new apartment in the first floor to shower and get drinking water.
I brought out an inspection report done 5 days after they stated they had done the work which was prepared by, at my request,
the same inspector who had done the original inspections. The inspector noted that all prior conditions were unchanged and
listed additional factors needing repair including the capping of the pipes. The legal counsel for the landlord withheld this
document at the original hearing and judgment was issued against me. I spent $500.00 to get a transcript of the proceedings
and underlined the passages where I had brought the report out and given it to the counsel as required by the judge and when
asked to return the document was told they never saw it. They settled out of court for $30,000.00.
During this time, I was on unemployment. Victor put me
to work when he could. I took a counter job for a deli at Manhattan
Plaza but the manager let me go when I refused to sleep with him. Joey
was living with me for those 3 months without heat and managed to keep me warm. I did a lot of backer auditions, walk-ons,
danced for a club opening at Studio 54, did some performance art, but mostly hung out at the local hustler bar and met young
men. I had a flock of them stay with me over those 4 years, so many, and since I wasn't paying rent through all these court
battles I had very little expenses and they all chipped in here and there. Bobby Gene Long(1/1/84) I still think of him and
wish I had been able to rope this stud; Joe Sancya, serial #1011159, now there was a HOT Marine MP; Mike Souza who went on
to do porn films to support his habit; David & Jennifer; Mike Strausser & James King disappeared into the woodwork
and was never heard of again; Freddie Perez (Angel) who I ran into on my trek through NYC to Florida; Richard Tolin, Derek
Valentik, Roy, Wayne, Craig, Nick, Jay, Frank Holliday, just one night stands; Jamie Wingo and his lover Greg Russell hung
around for a weekend; Michael, David K. Morrison, Wilburn Clay Bowling, Michael Valentino, Casey, Bo, Scott, Keith, Blue(Lloyd),
Christopher , who also went into porn, now those boys were hot; David Hundley, Freddie, Bobby ,Warren, Terry, Jose, Tito,
Brian, Timmy, Skip, Phil, John, Nick, Anthony, Mack, Hector, Tony Seville, JoJo, James Bailey, Sly, Rocco, George Pouza the
Bugman, Pito, Scotty, Dwayne, Roy, Johnny, Dean Tracy, Ira Meadows(Crazy Larry),Tim, Brooklyn George, Benji, Robert Campiglia(1/14/64),
Larry, Ed Campos(Dice), Terry, Ken Prymus, Jake Foster, Speedy, Bobby Allen, Philip(Kyle), Curtis(Butchie), Stallone, James
Young, Richard, Frank Osorio, Tom, Andy, Dino, Ken Casella, Keith Jones, Ron Perley, Jr., Brendan Smith, I have no idea where
any of them are now. Most are probably dead as a lot of them got into cocaine in the early 80's and never found the courage
to get out. Priest - there was a prize - I gave him one of my puppies when his son was born but I found it tied to the banister
outside my apartment about 6 months later with chewing gum stuck all over it. He said it was piddling in the house and making
the baby sick.
My brother Charles decided to marry in June of 1982 to
the most beautiful girl he could have ever found. Sweet, Caring and Gorgeous are the three words that describe Judy. I asked
if she had a sister but she was spoken for.
My apartment turned into a halfway house for every runaway,
. . . . . every good-looking gay runaway in New York City.
Most spent only a few days on their excursion to "The City", and few returned. I have pictures of most of them and remember
all of them with love. Sex was easy to find in New York.
Just walk down the Avenue and someone would notice, smile and away you went. "Your place or mine?" was the usual response.
Or try the book stores or the theatres on 42nd or 8th Ave.
The subway men’s rooms were another place to meet guys, and with a city that never sleeps, there is always someone just
getting off work. And then, there was always The Haymarket or O'Neil's where you could find almost anything. The owners were
friends of mine & I helped around the place now and then. If I wasn't trying to make a buck for myself, I was asking around
if anyone needed a place to stay. As long as I've had a roof over my head, it has always been open house for anyone in need.
I must have this fatherly complex because I'm always picking up guys, homeless, out of work, stranded; trying to get their
lives straightened out. I figure, most people don't give a damn about the other guy, most have never been in their situation,
but I have been there and people whom I met helped me at the time so turnabout is fair play. God has always seen to my needs
and has always made it possible for me to have enough to share. Life may not have been a bed of roses, but there has been
an abundance of beauty and love.
In '83, Steve and I had been through our ups and downs
and he started dating Billie who's father got into the act and confronted me regarding staying away from Steve. I wrote a
country western song entitled "The Love I Had Is Gone" to document the incident.
I remember a couple of the female hookers , we'll call
them 'Red' and 'Star', who frequented the bar and had the same tastes as myself, coming to me when their date wanted to try
something different. The young men, usually 18-24, were hustling other guys but the 'girls' found out that many of the 'boys'
wanted a girl on their arm to appear straight and would gladly oblique and in some cases became involved with the young man.
Some even left town together and started new lives away from the streets. Many of the 'boys' became lovers and did the same.
I remember two such boys, Louie and Chris, who were very heavy into drugs and supported each others habits by hustling. The
last time I saw them, they had cleaned up their act and were still together.
Kenny was from Ft.
Lauderdale but had gotten in with the wrong crowd. When 'Red' and I first
saw him come into the room, that blonde haired, blue eyed 18 year old, we looked at each other and said " I want him." Well,
we both got him that night but he preferred me and moved in for about a week. I managed to get him turned around and sent
him back to his family in Ft. Lauderdale,
or so I thought. Drugs were very prevalent even back then, and Kenny had started using cocaine, just snorting. Most of the
crowd at the bar smoked weed and some were into cocaine. The staff of many establishments were more apt to turn you on than
the customers. I always felt the reason some of them had bars in the first place was to have a fresh supply of young men to
choose from and they took their pick. But more often than not, they started them on coke. Take the kid home, get him stoned
and then get them to try something new, Cocaine: snorting; free base; or worse yet, mainlining. A year later in August of
1984, Kenny was back in New York and this time he was shooting
up cocaine. I spoke to him briefly on the street and asked him to come by my apartment, I wanted to speak to him about what
was happening in his life. He said he would come by the next day, but it was another friend who called me that morning to
say he was walking his dogs by the river and the police had found a body which he thought resembled Kenny. I went to the station
and identified the body but found that Kenny had given me false information. The body was his but the name and addresses I
had on file were all factious. I still do not know if they ever found out who he really was and believe he was buried in a
pauper's grave with no headstone.
1984 started with a bang, a mesc party at Carmine's in
New Jersey, where I was up all night. I went to a lot of
shows this year, Merce Cunningham , Lena Horne, Kaye Ballard, A-My Name is Alice
in the Village. I traveled to Fire Island in June to paint the house of the famed sculptor
Michael De Lesio, who was also a friend of Victor Carl's. In August, Eskimo Steve moved back in with me but it only lasted
a month or so, then he was off again. I met John K., a fellow actor who lived on my block, but that didn't last either and
by November, Steve was back living with me but only part-time. I met Todd Miller who was performing in the East Village in "Stag Movie" with Adrian Barbeau
as the female lead. The two were in their birthday suits through most of the show. Ah, the early '80s were great that way.
Oh! Calcutta was playing on Broadway and I had auditioned
so many times I was finally asked to have photos taken in the nude for the producer/music director. I still never got the
In March of '85, Bert came from Florida
for his specialty dog show and suggested I ride with him back to Florida
and he would pay the ticket to get home. It was my first time to vacation here and the week I spent was marvelous. I found
the Marlin Beach
Poopdeck and Tommy White was bartending. I went to the Copa one night but my days were spent at the Deck.
Three weeks after returning to NYC, my Grandpa Stinson
died. I had gone home because Mom & Dad were moving out of North Smithfield, RI to West Greenwich and they were having a yard sale. Gram & Gramps
came to help but it must have been too much of a strain on him 'cause Gram had to drop him at the hospital on their way home.
In June, the landlord shut the water off again for two
weeks and while we were still fighting in court, nothing was being done to fix the crumbling apartment which now had a hole
in the bathroom floor thru which you could sit on the john and watch the people on the third floor do their business. On October
13th, the Landlord turned the water off again and it wasn't until my court date on Nov. 21 that they restored the water at
the judge’s orders but that wouldn't be the end of it. It would take until Dec. 1986 before I would get my check. One
of the girls from work, Lisa Castagliola, borrowed $300.00 to pay her rent but never paid me back and I had to borrow $200.00
from Ken Prymus from the Wiz to rent a truck to leave the city. I never managed to get back to Ken to pay him back. I took
my check and, with Grandma failing, went home to be with her.
I took a cottage on the beach near Misquamicut, and bought
a moped to get around with the dogs. They loved the freedom at the beach in the winter. No one around to bother you, only
one or two cars a day to deal with. They could run free along the roads that in the summer are bumber to bumber but now are
empty. I would take the bike and zip around at 25 MPH and they had no trouble keeping right up with me for our 3 mile run.
Picked up a used Plymouth
Horizon for $300.00 (I would not suggest this to anyone. This car was a bomb) and spent the winter looking for work. I met
a young man named James who was a computer genius and had written programs to break into Government Surplus computers and
was receiving all sorts of electronic equipment from the Army. Seems to me he gave me that chip and I may still have it somewhere.
He was afraid the FBI was going to come and take him away, or something. God knows how I meet these people. They just seem
to come out of the woodwork. And why I've hung onto the chip is beyond me. I think it's in the bottom of one of the boxes
I've been carting around forever.
I got some work with the people who had done "West Side Story" years before. Jerry Gordon was now working as a teacher at New London High School and doing a musical
called "Runaways" and needed a choreographer/asst. director.
Dad and Gram were both in the hospital in January, Dad
went to Boston for his operation but Feb. 11th Gram died.
The funeral was held on Valentine's Day and the day after I was to be back on the stage at 'Hey Jude' in New London. I brought my friend Robert Wilson up to play the piano from New York but Judy,
who owned the club, hadn't called me to say they had not been able to get a piano into the club for the show and it wasn't
until I got there that I found out. We had to postpone the show and lucky for me Robert had not had a vacation in some time
so he didn't charge me for the excursion.
When summer came and the landlord wanted to up the rent
from $300.00 a month to $500.00 a week, I moved in with Mom & Dad in West Greenwich.
Dad had had a stroke/heart attack combination which resulted in a loss of memory and mucho frustration. I helped at home and
took a job working for a jewelry company as a bookkeeper. Mom felt Ty, who was now almost 3 years old, was dragging her mother,
Erin who was 8, down the back stairs and Erin would get hurt, so I gave Erin to Aunt Esther
who really loved her. Dad liked roses, so I put in 5 gardens around the house, a flower box in front with spring bulbs, an
annual garden in the rear over the leach field with a brick circle of bulbs encircled with miniature roses, Wisteria on the
fencing and Columbine in the borders with Mom's favorites pansies and inpatients. I love to dig in the soil and make things
grow. It can be such a relaxing experience after a hard day at the office.
I got a part in the Theatre by the Sea production of "Zorba"
playing the policeman and spent most of the summer on the beach getting a tan, something I had sorely missed living in the
city. I took a typist position at The Paragon, a mail order house. I'm sure everyone has seen there catalog but I found that
my 600 characters per minute was too slow for the manager and was let go. I met Michael Mark LaCroix of Cranston but found he had a lover, that lasted 2 days. I got a job for a sail boat company
which only lasted 3 months Then there was Steve, who's bumper sticker said 'Teach Peace', and Robbie, that hot New London
blonde that drove me crazy for a short while, Mark (LS288) from Westerly, whose car had broken down on the highway, Curt,
Dominic M of Wood River Junction, Chuck from Tolland, Michael Rae and Steve Alduk of New London, Mike D, the tennis player
from Warwick and John from Boston University. By November of 1988, I was working for the Finn's at Greenwich Bay Clam as bookkeeper. Unfortunately,
this and my job at Burgess Oil also only lasted 3 months. I found that once I had cleaned up their books and had everything
running properly, I was replaced by someone who could perform the job at a lower rate of pay. I finally started working at
Tivoli Jewelry in East Greenwich. The husband worked like
a dog while the wife watched over his money like a hawk but both was computer illiterate. I managed to make them millions
that year from their account with J.C. Penney Co.
I met Joe Cimiglia and we dated for a few weeks before
I learned that he was living with a girl who expected him to marry her but he was telling me it wasn't going to happen. We
went together for over two years off and on. I managed to get Joe a job working out of house as a polisher for Tivoli after he was fired at the office because of attitude problems.
In March of '88 I drove to Florida on vacation and upon returning learned that Pat had had Joe arrested for assault.
I visited him as often as he would allow and even bought a wedding band for him to wear at his request. I have no idea what
he did with it as I never saw it again, but with him in jail, everything changed. Now, Pat had a hold over him and was not
about to let go, so I did.
I met Steve C in New
London and we started to date. Steve raised orchids and was probably the best looking guy in New London but had a drinking problem. In May of '89 I was let go from
Tivoli when they found out I was looking for a new job because
she refused to give me a raise after a year of faithful service. I wasn't going out much anymore and the few people I met
were usually for an afternoon fling at the rest area. My Horizon was sold when I got a job at a used car lot and their buyer
found a really nice '84 Buick Skyhawk that he said he would buy for himself. I grabbed it and wish I still had it. The auto
lot's paychecks were all bouncing and I would take the amount off the balance due and it was paid for in no time. Then I found
out that the original check that purchased the car from a dealer in Massachusetts
had bounced and he came after me as well and I had to repay for the car. I joined the Rhode
Island Civic Chorale and sang at the Christmas performance. I also did a contest for P.M. Magazine
Talent Search and sang at the mall in Warwick. By this time
Steve and I were talking about becoming lovers. I was hanging out with Jeff Marsden and his lover, Ron, and playing Nintendo
for days at a time. I bought a CB radio and was meeting a lot of truckers passing thru R.I. at the local truck stop. I even
had a few over the house to swim in the pool while Mom & Dad were on vacation. In August of '90 I landed a job with Safe-Way
Electric Motor Co. in Providence and worked there for 6 years.
I was starting to show my dogs now and they weren't doing
I bred Ty to my friend Brian's dog which he had just sold,
and got Lydia, named after Gram. She developed
a problem in her eyes when she was a few weeks old and I took her to a country vet in Coventry
to be looked at. I had had a similar occurrence once in NYC and told the doctor what medications I would prefer but he chose
to give me an atropine gel rather than a liquid and it sealed the eye and allowed the infection to grow inside the eye. She
developed a discoloration on both eyes and has a cataract in one. When I took her to the National Specialty in Montgomery, Pa., my vet had assured
me that her condition would clear and there was nothing wrong with the eye but the judge noticed it and dumped her from first
to last in a class of four. Steve dumped me at about the same time and I started seeing a cute red-head named Danny in Providence, who turned out to be a founding member of FFA and a short
time after we stopped seeing each other he was diagnosed with AIDS. He died very quickly thereafter.
My high school class reunion is coming up they have asked
me to be part of the planning committee but when I got to Rudy's I find the reason is I'm to be the entertainment for the
night. I asked my accompanist, Robert Wilson, from New York
to come up and play for me and only Adrian Sheldon remembered she was the one who used to beat me up on the bus every day.
The show went well but Robert was called back to New York
to play in church the next morning and I had to leave the party early to get him to the train. I also took a show in Pawtucket for a dinner theatre but found I was only being used by the
producers to school the other cast members. I was dropped from the production only 2 days before opening yet my name did not
appear in the program which had gone to print 2 weeks earlier. I filed suit for $150.00, the sum I would have been paid for
performances plus $49.00 in costume costs and won.
rent from $250.00 a month to $300.00. I only had my bedroom
and was not allowed to bring home guests.
I started looking for a place in town to cut my driving
time down and my gas card down. I was spending about $200.00 a month in gas. It took me over 1/2 hour to get to work from
Mom's and on the weekends I was off the New London which was
about the same distance in the opposite direction. Most of my close friends were in Connecticut,
Steve, Jeff and David Beebe. I spent most weekends with them. David and I have started bowling every week and It feels great.
I used to bowl in NYC with the bar league at the 42nd street
lanes and had a 180 average but I'm only doing about 135 now.
In 1992, I found a nice place on the third floor with access
to a garden on Allen's Avenue and Ohio in Providence.
I talked the landlord into letting me fence in the back yard and plant a garden. I could put Lydia out and not worry about her blindness or other dogs attacking her.
The first year I gave Ty to some friends I had met in the
Greater Boston Kerry Blue Terrier Club, which I had joined
and was now secretary of. The landlord sold the building the second year and things turned around. A student of Johnson &
Wales moved in with two dogs, something he had neglected to inform the landlord of, and started turning his dogs out in the
garden with Lydia. She was attacked and
torn up to the point that I had to bring her in the house full time and bring her out only to do her business. This tenant
allowed his dogs to jump the fencing around the flowers and defecate on the plants, then refused to clean it up. The landlord
didn't want to hear it and rescinded the status I had enjoyed in the yard. I retaliated by taking down the enclosure fencing
which forced the other tenant to find somewhere else to walk his animals. I called the ASPCA on numerous occasions over the
holidays as this tenant had a home in Boston and he left the
two dogs alone in the apartment for two weeks over Christmas/New Years. I was attacked one morning by this individual in the
doorway to the garden as I, in my nightshirt and slippers, came down to walk Lydia.
He opened the door to his kitchen and, wanting to let his dog out in the yard, told me to move. I told him he would have to
wait a few minutes until Lydia was through.
He refused and came out of his apartment, grabbed me from behind and twisted my neck, still recovering from whiplash, threw
me to the brick floor and proceeded to try to throw me down the stairs to the basement. My training came in handy and I was
able to use his momentum to save myself and he was the one put through the plate glass window. He was arrested, found guilty
and dropped from Johnson & Wales for having a criminal record. Although the judge set down rules for us to abide by while
living together, he seldom adhered to them. During snow storms, I would shovel the drive for my car but would come home from
work to find his car in the spot and I was forced to park on the street and call the police after 11pm so as not to get a
ticket. He never lifted a shovel that entire year. I ended up shoveling the entire drive and then he would still park 1/2
way up the drive and block me out. The landlord would do nothing and so I moved again.
I was still receiving calls from Joe and from Steve on
occasion wanting to get back with me but when dates were arranged they never showed.
I did a Christmas show with the Gatlin Brothers in New London but Christmas seemed somehow diminished more than in years
before. The spirit seemed to be weak and everyone was effected.
I was becoming very discouraged and prayed to God as I
had done so many times before. " Is there no one for me. Am I to be alone always." A voice came back that day saying "Wolf".
I repeated it twice. "What does that mean? Wolf! . . . Is that a name?" Again I heard the voice say "Wolf" and it was gone.
I moved to Washington
Avenue and a small one bedroom apartment. My friend David B, who is decidedly straight, had decided
to attend Johnson & Wales and asked if he could move in with me. His girlfriends caused problems for a time with their
jealousy, but I never thought of Dave in that way. He was probably the only man I have ever spent any time with that I didn't
sleep with but neither Candy nor his former girlfriend, Kathy, could understand that. And even tho there were many times the
three of us, Dave and his girlfriend and myself, spent nights together bowling, or clubbing, both girls always felt I was
out to get her man. Things started looking up and February of '95, we moved to a two bedroom apartment back on Ohio Ave.
I was moving and leaving for vacation all at the same time,
Dave did most of the setting up of the new apartment, he painted the living room, unpacked the kitchen, and had the house
1/2 done by the time I got home. I decided to do something for Bert since he had put me up for so many years and took him
on a 5 day excursion to the Bahamas. I
drove to Daytona Beach where I had told the travel agency I wanted to be to find the reservations had been made for Daytona
Beach Shores, some 10 minutes away and this being biker week, travel between would be horrendous. I stayed in a gay guest
house for the night and went on to Bert's leaving behind 3 days of reserved lodging and "Biker Week" to have more time with
Bert at his house. He did really well at the casino and came home with $1600.00 for which they comped him to come back at
which he repeated his earlier win fall.
Upon my return, I bred Lydia to a dog from New York that
is showing promise, and kept a male, the 1st I have ever owned, Silver's Serbius Invictus, Indy, my 5th generation. David
had left and moved back to New London with Candy by summer.
I met a young blonde named Chris Shea and thought that
I had died and gone to heaven. Although we would get together only about twice a month, I found the time we spent together
really special. He was a free spirit which needed to be watched as he tended to follow the pack no matter what the outcome.
He called me one evening and asked me to come and get him. I had just seen him the day before and he had spent the night,
which was a first. It seemed strange that he would call two days in a row but then he and I had been talking about his moving
in with me so I got in the car and drove the 3 miles to his house. I sat out front of the house for over half an hour but
he didn't come out as usual, so I went to the door but got no response. I drove home wondering what had happened. A year later
I get a phone call, collect from Chris, and my first word are "Where have you been, Jail.", and he says "Yes, I'm doing a
5 year bid for car theft." He called numerous times after that and even talked about coming to Florida when he gets out in March of 1997.
By May of 1995 I had met a young man dancing in a strip
club named Edwin, 'Wolf ' to his friends. He was only 23 but had been brought up by an elderly gentleman who had taken the
time to refine and culture him. We liked each other from the first time our eyes met. I told him about my visions and he said
he somehow knew that we were destined for each other, and told me I would never be without him. No matter what happened, if
he were taken away from me due to circumstances beyond our control, if his mother somehow tried to stop him from coming to
see me, he would always come back to me and I believed him. We went to an Indian Powwow together with his 16 year old brother
and friend. They wanted to see some of the heritage being his mother is full Indian. I've been to many powwows before, this
is my second this year. I love to watch the dancing. I could have stayed all night but the kids needed to be home early. Wolf
and I spent many hours photographing for his portfolio. He wanted to get into modeling and I, being a fairly good photographer,
put together some shots to take to the agents. We found unusual locations to shoot, the beach was alright but I liked the
old deserted boy's training school with it's cobblestone buildings and broken windows. Our first trip to New York together landed a contact to the Ford Agency and they seemed very interested in
using him, keeping his book for over a month but were reluctant to sign him, so we pulled his book to pursue other avenues.
I rented a piano for the apartment in hopes of getting my voice back after years of smoking and thought of possibly teaching.
I had a couple of friends from the Players who had expressed an interest but they always came up with an excuse for the moment
as to why they never came over for a lesson, once I had it. Wolf would sit and play, what he called compose, for hours. His
music was unusual but worth exploring.
I started working with the Players, a community theatre
group dating back to the early American settlers. They are listed as the Oldest Theater Group still in existence in America. I was doing a small show in Barrington at the High School, the music teacher, James A. Merolla, had written a lot of
songs that he and his wife performed at clubs here and there. Someone gave them the idea to string the songs all together
by making up a factious composer and do a "This is your life" type musical. I was to play the singing lead, Lord Byron, and
really had to stretch to do justice to this music which required a 3 octave range. It was also the first show I ever blanked
on stage and couldn't remember my line. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness when your in the spotlight, the only
one on stage, and your to introduce the next show and you can't remember the title of the darn show. So many of the lines
were similar and ended with the title of the next supposed show and this show had been called "HEY!!" Lucky for me it finally
came back after pacing across the floor twice while scratching my head and pulling my hair, then finally pointing to the author
in the rear of the theatre I yelled "HEY!!" and the show went on with an actor sticking his head out from behind the curtain
and saying "What" and I say "No, HEY!! the show HEY!!" and except for one of the high school kids taking advantage of the
situation and repeating that scene with another "What" the show went on without a hitch. The young students father felt that
was one of the better scenes in the show. The music director was doing a show for the Players and asked me to come to auditions.
She was forced to drop out of the company but I got a nice part and stayed. The show was "Pajama Game" followed the next year
by "Flower Drum Song" in which I played Prof. Chen. I then asked to direct a show and was told I had to do something in the
Green Room, the smaller downstairs stage used mostly for rehearsals and parties. They needed to see what I could do before
taking a chance with an unknown. I directed the first act of T.S. Elliot's "The Cocktail Party" in 1995. Wolf was supposed
to be in it but at an audition for another show, had met Lucy, and when she found out we were lovers, told him it was me or
her. He chose her for about three months but called me the day of my Christmas party, Dec. 15, to ask if he could come home.
I picked him up that day and we started talking about moving to Florida.
I had been vacationing at Bert Jacques in Ft. Lauderdale
for the past 6 or 7 years and had made up my mind I wanted to live in Florida.
I quit my job which had become intolerable when they hired a redneck salesman who didn't approve of my lifestyle. I had been
in numerous auto accidents these last 18 months. My Buick Skyhawk that I had bought while still living at Mom's, was rear-ended
and I had very bad whiplash. I bought a VW Pasat GL second hand but that was a mistake. I was in one accident after another
with this car. It was as though it carried a sign that said "I have money. Hit Me." I was rear-ended twice and had a head
on collision as well, none of which I was at fault. I also slid on the ice twice and rapped a different front wheel each time.
If the sand truck that passed me as I sat on the shoulder had only come 5 minutes earlier, in both cases, I would not have
Wolf wanted to spend some time with his family before we
left for Florida and I dropped him off two weeks before Palm Sunday, the date slated for moving. He called to say I should
go on ahead of him, and even tho I had promised him I would not leave without him, he told me to go.
I had bought a computer for a grand this year and decided
I should take some of the money I got from the accident settlement and upgrade the computer. I spent almost $4,000.00 on a
Scanner, modem, new mother board, camera and TV cards. I picked the computer up on my way through Connecticut where Jeff had had the work done. I left on Palm Sunday by myself with the dogs
in carryon boxes in the car on a trailer behind the U-Haul truck but cried my way across Virginia, the Lover State, and to
sleep in North Carolina that night. The next day was better until I crossed the Florida
Line and saw the Welcome sign. I had to pull off the road and dry my eyes to see where I was going. Bert put me up for the
first 10 days which was really great of him. I was so depressed and yet trying to get something going. I took the first apartment
that came and moved into the apartment I now occupy. I set up the computer right off so that I could start sending out resumes
but found the machine wouldn't work. After numerous and expensive phone calls to Connecticut,
I ended up having to box up the unit and return it to the shop. They had it four weeks and since it's return only the fax
machine and Win95 work and are slow to boot. I went on the internet for a while but I think I picked up too many add-ons or
something. Now I have to spend more money to get someone else in here to go over it with a fine tooth comb and get it to work
I started work with Accountemps, having a long history
with them. When Wolf called in May to say he was not coming, something had come up; I would never hear from him again; I thought
things couldn't get any worse. Lucy had come to him stating she was pregnant with his child and, although I knew she was lying,
he took her at face value and stayed with her. I spent the next few months in a daze not knowing what I'm doing or where I'm
going. I had wanted to move even before I met Wolf and had been talking about it for a couple of years. I just lost the drive
to continue when he left me and have been kicking myself in the butt, punishing myself for having left him there, for coming
without him when I had promised him I wouldn't. I know he still loves me, I just know it. He told me during that time after
the Christmas party and before I left, that there might come a time when he would have to go away for a while but that he
would always come back to me because he loved me. I will hold that thought for as long as humanly possible and wait with the
patience of Job himself, I thought.
I went to the MCC church with Bert and joined the choir
and Bell choir hoping to get my life in order and back on
track, but one thing after another has shown me that this is not the church for me. The people I have met and opened up to
here have all told me to forget Wolf and go on with my life. Mom helped alot this year and has been there when ever I have
needed it. She sent me some money when she sold her truck and when that ran out she loaned me another $500.00 and then took
off $200.00 for Christmas. I'm not sure how long it will be before I can pay her back but she knows I'm good for it. I've
managed to keep the rent paid on the 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment that Wolf had requested we get as he wanted his own room,
but after losing my first good job after a 90 day trial period was up, I was forced to take in a roommate. Bert suggested
that it might help my financial state and I thought long and hard before I considered it. I had met Ken at the local bar and
knew he was being evicted from his present living situation. Ken had introduced me to a young man named Chad, who was hit
by a car while crossing the street in front of the bar only days after our meeting. He spent a couple of days in the hospital,
and when he got out, he asked if he could stay with Ken & I while he recouped. I moved him from the hotel room where his
lawyer had put him up to my place, big mistake. His accident had left him incontinent and he soiled the mattress repeatedly
to the point that I had to throw it out and sleep on the Futon in the living room. This also was ruined after a week or so
and I was left sleeping on the floor. Chad
had stated that he had money coming but I never saw it. I paid the rent in December but could not manage January bills and
rent alone and with Ken, whom I found was shooting up in my house, out, Chad
would have to come up with his share. I spent my January rent check to fix my car brakes, which I would have had to get done
anyway but it should have waited, so we could go to Savannah, GA where he told me his Mom had left him a house, a car and
$2,000.00 when she had died in October but after driving 7 hours to get there, we never saw a soul. Not even his sister who
was supposed to meet us at the mall showed and, after a 2 hour wait, Chad
called and told me she was still washing her hair. His Uncle Phil was to meet us at a park downtown next to the school where
Chad had gone but after 5 hours of waiting and 10 phone calls, I decided
it was time to head back to Florida. We never even went
to the house that was supposed to be his. The Lawyer, who's name was known only to Chad's Uncle Phil, was holding the keys. You would think that I would have realized
that these were all lies but I believed in Chad
and had no reason to doubt his claims. It wasn't until he was caught in a few more lies that I got fed up. When he told me
he was meeting the lawyer at Neiman Marcus then left me standing there while he "went to the head" and didn't return for 3/4
of an hour before I realized he had taken off and left me there.
When he called later and asked me to come and get him I
told him to find somewhere else to live and that night Wolf called from N.Y.C. to say he was trying to get some money together
to come down. " What's he doing?" you ask. Hustling at one of my old hangouts. Lucy's baby was born in November - he
said it was not his and he has been living with his Mom since. He says he wants to get back with me, although he seems
to be confused as to where he is going and what he wants right now. Sunday, he said he had to take the car back to Rhode Island
and that I should call him on Wednesday but he gave me a beeper number to reach him. I have beeped every day since and it's
weeks since we last spoke. I have gotten calls on the fax number from 'out of area' and he is the only one who has that number
up there. I don't usually give that number out. We had a system that when I'm thinking of him or vice versa, we would let
the phone ring once and hang up and he knows when I beep if *69 comes up, it's me.
With 459 (I.L.Y) or *0*0*0(hugs and kisses)
After all, it was he who called me from NYC after 9 months
apart, so I shouldn't give up hope yet, right!?!
Will Wolf come down ???
And what about Chris ??
Although May 28th will mark a two year anniversary of knowing and loving
Wolf, we have only been physically together a few short months. Maybe he will come! Only God knows and he's not talking to
me right now. Maybe he's not as pleased with me as he used to be. My theatre career is at a standstill, I quess I need to
produce my own show in order to get anywhere; and my accounting: I send out 30-40 resumes a week and receive less than 10%
response and my spirits are at an all time low. My life seems to be coming apart very quickly now and I have to ask "Where
did it go wrong? Why am I such a schmuck?? " If I had married, would things be different?? Probably, Peggy wanted me to give
up my dream of the stage. Mom has always disagreed with my choice. The roller coaster hasn't stopped yet and I have a feeling
it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Well, Wolf did come to
Florida to live with me - he finally told me that Canaan, his son, was living in the Orlando area with Lucy and her mom. He stayed with me for about
a year before getting into Ecstasy and Cocaine and stealing the rent money for drugs - then the apartment next door caught
on fire and burned down the entire unit - including my apartment, the managers didn't want to give me a new unit because the
rent had not been paid yet, but with the help of some government agencies and the Red Cross, I was able to get a place
- but Wolf was gone. He had been arrested one night for beating the shit out of me and the police listed it
as spousal abuse and I put up my beautiful VW Pasat as collateral to get him out of jail - but he didn't show up to court
and I lost the car. He is now living in Boca Raton and
I still calls every so often and hang up after 2 rings - our special code - I hope he knows I still am in love with him and
still pray that we will get back together.
Thank God for Mothers!!!
- My Aunt Ruth was selling her old car and mom had it shipped to me in Florida.
I got a call from Dwight
who was in Running Springs, CA - up on the mountain above
San Bernardino. Said he was doing MTV music videos and
needed my help - so I packed my bags and headed west in my Uhaul. Up on the mountain things are much slower - and I
found that Dwight and his wife Pam (a former member of the MASH tv crew and "The Lone Ranger's" grand daughter) were nothing
more that Con Artists and hadn't paid the rent for the cabin they were renting for over 8 years - and yet they were charging
me $400.00 a month for rent to stay there. They got me a job with one of their friends as an office manager and then
weaseled their way into his restaurant as chief cooks and soon I was finding that the house had boxes of shrimp and steaks
that came from the restaurant that they were taking home "For Research and Development" purposes. That is theft were
I come from and I got out of there and got them thrown off the mountain. I stayed in Green Valley for a while but the
woman living under me decided that she wanted the whole house to herself and her lover and kids and started tearing my car
apart, cut the brake lines, put sugar in the gas tank, wrote faggot across the hood in magic marker, - Nice stuff -
I moved out and got a
really great job for the City of Adalanto as Assistant to the town treasurer at $70,000.00 a year but then the car died -
blew the engine for the second time - and ended up on the top of the mountain with no means of transportation to and from
work and no money - I had to have a yard sale and sell everything I owned to get a train ticket home to Connecticut
- just a few boxes of clothes were all I was able to save.
I stayed with Mom for
three months and got a job as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Mystic Community Center and since I finally had medical
coverage, I could get my knees looked at that had been bothering me for some time. They tell me that I need a knee replacement
to my right knee - the one injured while teaching the Electric Slide - and now the left knee has a tear and needs surgery
also. I have spent the last two years trying to get Workmen's Comp in NYC to reopen the case - but they threw away all
the records of my case after 20 years and it is 27 years later and we have to start from scratch - In Sept. 2003, they finally
authorized the surgery to my right knee and now I have to wait some more for the doctors to get their acts together -
I was operated on December
4, 2003, a total knee replacement to my right knee.
January 2004 - My landlord
is evicting me because her son broke into my apartment at midnight with a crowbar and woke me up - my first reaction
was to call 911 - and they arrested him - now she is trying to kick me out because I had her son arrested - and this is Susan
Smith-Battone-Schneider - the girl I grew up with and slept with at age 6 - who told me that as long as she owned the house
I could stay there - but now tells me that she hates me and wants me out. As I said in the beginning - this is one hell
of a rollercoaster ride.
But things might be looking
up - I have been disabled since September 2002 and watching alot of movies.
I found two films done in 2000 and 2001 that included "The Electric Slide" so I have hired a lawyer to sue the
film companies and also several video companies that have sold instruction videos on how to do the Electric Slide - but have
taught it wrong. They say that by 2005 - I should be a Millionaire. Has the ride finally come to an end?
5/16/05 I received
my Registration finally. It can be found at the Official Electric Slide webpage at http://electric-slide.tripod.com
In March, I finished
a World Premier production of a new Musical - "FALLS". I shaved my head for the role of Labsang Rampa - a Tibetan
Lama (pics on homepage). I'm thinking of taking some of this copyright money (if it ever gets here) and producing
this show on Broadway. Look for it.
ON 19th of May,2005
Workmen's Comp held a hearing regarding operating on my left knee - unfortunately - they have postponed any
action until further documentation is provided. More Waiting and Stalling.
waiting. Although, my right knee has finally started to get better. After two years of pain, last weekend , while
doing exercises, I felt at least 6 tendons let go. I have been off my feet for a week now and, even tho I can feel the healing
going on, I am not in any where near the amount of pain I have been feeling for the last two years. Maybe something
is starting to go my way. MERRY CHRISTMAS All.
Well, time is fleeting
by and I'm still waiting for my left knee operation, altho there is a NYC hearing on the 10th and I'm hoping that It will
finally get resolved. On Sept. 7th I go into the hospital for a nose operation that I have been postponing for 20 years.
They told me then that I had a deviated septum and that eventually the post nasal drip would drown me, and it has started
getting really bad, waking me up in the night and causing me to dread sleeping. Well - hopefully that will be soon alleviated.
My best friend, and adopted
Mom died last month. Katherine Lowney was one of the original Boston
Kerry Blue Terrier Club members and a beautiful soul. I will miss her. Her son's Brian and Glenn have been good
buds for a long time - even after I left the club, and I will miss getting that call at Christmastime to come trim her
I bought a new car last
week, 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder Convertible. It is my dream car - except that it has automatic instead of
standard shift, but does afford the option to shift manually - but it's not the same. It's SILVER, with blue and black
leather interior. I LOVE IT! Finally - a car that I bought on my own and it's what i wanted, not what Mom or my boss picked
out for me.
My brother apparently
just found this page and I got a call from my Mother saying that he is going to sue me, and she too, if I don't remove all
references to them. Oh well - that's my family for you.
I heard for the Copyright
Office this week about the final registration paperwork and they say that due to their moving to a new location, things have
gotten slowed down and they are three months behind in sending out paperwork but I should have it in the next few weeks.
I also heard from Tyler Perry's group in regards to their use of The Electric in two films and three stage productions. I
referred them to my lawyer.
Well - It's nearly a year
later and I am still waiting for the Copyright Office to send my paperwork... I have had to contact my Senators - and still
I have been asked to be
on Black20.com news and the Deborah Interviews show - also have been asked to come to LA over Labor Day for something called
The World's Largest Line Dance Party - that should be fun.
Got my left knee operated
on - Arthroscopic Surgery - in May 2007 but still have not started therapy..... what is wrong with this picture.....
And I'm still waiting
for Workmen's Comp in NYC to make a decision on my appeal -
So the world has had me
in a holding pattern for 6 years now.... and I'm starting to get a bit sea sick....
BUT - my Astrologer says
things are about to break wide open........ if you believe in that..........not sure if I do .... or not.
October 2007 - I had to
file an appeal with the Library of Congress as they rejected my registration paperwork for The Electric saying that the 1976
publication could not be considered a limited publication as I gave it out randomly. Apparently, the inspector didn't read
my Bio as I specifically stated that the party which I premiered the dance at and gave out the publication was an INVITATION
ONLY party..... how much more "hand picked" can you get than that. My lawyers had cited a case law where a composer
had written a symphony and had given it to the orchestra at the time of the 1st presentation and later had submitted it for
registration and this was up held by the courts as a limited publication because he had given it out to a "Hand picked few"
and this inspector stated that my case did not qualify as the same because I had given it to the 1st 25 people that came thru
the door at my party.
Well - If these people
had an invitation in hand in order to get into the party - isn't that the same thing?
Now they tell me that
they have 120 days to make a ruling on this......... Geez....... By their by-laws, I was supposed
to receive my response within 120 days of filing and then - if I filed an appeal - another 120 days for that answer.
I filed the paperwork in February 2006, and had to wait until July 2007 in order to get the response and now I have to wait
another 120 days for the appeal response - so in the end - it will be 24 months of waiting....... 24 MONTHS!!! When
it was supposed to take a total of 8 months for the whole process........ but that's the government for you.... They
make the rules - but never stick to them........unless it's in their favor.
Well - we finally heard
from The Library of Congress - what was supposed to take 120 days ended up being 195 days and then they didn't even address
the issue that was filed for. They stated that even IF they accepted the "limited publication" issue, there was still
the question of it being a "Social Dance". So, again, I have had to file an appeal to restate for the 3rd time (two
other Examiners - Adam Friedman and Laura Lee Fischer had already ruled on this issue) my instance that the dance was created
for Professional Dancers and presented by Professional dancers to Professional Dancers at the Re-Opening Party for Vamps -
a Disco reserved for Professional Dancers Only.
In the mean time, I was
flown out to Hollywood to Judge a contestant on NBC’s
Amne$ia game show which aired April 4th, 2008. A clip of the show is located in two places on this website for your viewing
pleasure. I was also contacted by the Producers of the show in regards to another show they are doing called 'Farmer
wants a Wife' which airs April 30th in which one of the girls viewing for the hand of the Farmer teaches the townsfolk how
to do the Electric. I have not seen the clip yet - but I'm sure she teaches them the 18 step variation.
There has been some controversy
about the song to which this dance was choreographed. "Electric Boogie" was written by Neville Livingston for Marcia
Griffiths and a demo recording was sent to DJs in New York City
in 1976. My printed published copyright plainly states that and yet some people feel that since Neville didn't actually publish/copyright
and release the song until 1982 - how was it possibly for me to write the dance before the song was written....... Well, I
spoke to Neville, who is more widely known as Bunny Wailer, who stated that it was recorded prior to Bob Marley’s death
as he played on the original recording. And it's a little difficult to print "words and music by Neville Livingston"
in 1976 if I didn't have a copy of the recording in hand to know this. I have never met the man, and have only spoken
to him once a few years ago now, and had never known that Neville Livingston was Bunny Wailer until the '90s.
So how could I have possibly put that on my publication ????? Puzzling, Isn't It !
Am still waiting on Washington to sent me my paperwork - and am still waiting for surgery
on my knee - AGAIN. The Doctor has finally admitted that he put in the wrong type of knee when he replaced my knee in
Dec 03 but has just recently decided to redo the operation - I should be going into the Hospital for this in late August or
early September - about the same time that the Library of Congress says that I should hear about my copyright paperwork -
so all should be worked out by this Winter - God Willing!!!!
In December, I went back
into the hospital and had the right knee removed and replaced with a new type of knee that connects in the middle.
I then went to Avalon Health
Center in Mystic, CT for rehab - but the 1st day the therapist put weights
on my leg and pulled the knee out of socket. After 5 weeks of healing the new therapist pushed me too hard and tore
the knee up..... so I spent 6 months re-healing and working out on my own. Last month I started therapy again with a
different therapist, My Doctor's own Clinic and things are mush better now.
As for My Registration,
I spoke to Senator Lieberman's Office in July 09 and was told that I am supposed to finally have a decision this FALL, but
here it is the end of October and still no word. IF I do not have an answer by November 15th, I am supposed to call the Senator's
Here's hoping something
goes right and soon.