A Truman and Tennessee Evening

October 21, 2013

This weekend – I spent in Palm Springs – was one of those very touching moments in my life…..

I motored down with my dear friend Ralph….who has held onto his unphotograhpable handsomeness into his 70’s….has the most delicious sense of humor….slightly wicked….

We stayed with our dear friend Ron….who is one of those wonderful Midwesterners – Very caring – funny – and very very giving..

The reason we went down was for an Anniversary party for two gay couples….Gil and John who have been together 39 years and Gluten free Bobby and Geoffrey who have been together 40 years which kind of amazed me…only because Bobby does not look like he could be 40…..well maybe not 50 in all honesty…..

Bobby about a year or two ago…realized that Geoffrey’s smoking was killing him…and yes Geoffrey (who is a tad older)….looked like he was heading to the grave…he had a yellow pallor…could not walk very far without being out of breath….Bobby told Geoffrey he did not want to live without him….and laid down the law that he HAD to quit smoking….and change his diet……

well Geoffrey graduated to e-cigarettes and changed his diet to a gluten free one….

and MAN could you tell the difference about a year ago…Geoffrey regained his normal robust color….and has more energy now than 5 stallions…..

Bobby did not need to look any better …but does…he looks almost too Kate Moss skinny….and last night I wanted to kill him as he said his waist size has gone from 32 to 30…….

Bobby and Geoffrey are the kind of couple who have different opinions …I am sure they have had wonderful verbal jousts over the 40 years they have been together…….whereas Gil and John are like the same rock of Gibraltar….quiet….totally solid…..

the party they had last night was probably the Best party I have ever been to ….for so many different reasons….

First of all it was so wonderful to be celebrating 2 couples of men being together for such a long time….longer than most straight people I know…..the only couple that comes close is my brother Ricci and his beautiful wife Susi…..and there was another gay couple there who have been together 50 years now…

The setting for the party was sooo well chosen…..they took over an intimate restaurant….there were over 40 of us…..and to me the MOST important thing is …like the old gay bars …it was so small that you were pushed to get out of your shyness since you were elbow to elbow …..and talk to the stranger nearest you…..

this kind of closeness always made the gay bar scene so popular back in the pre-Aids 70’s and 80’s….which if you let your mind wander you will realize why …..

One popular restaurant and bar in West Hollywood in 1969 was “Por Favor”…which Jerry Toadvine owned…back then he had shoulder length hair…and wore a caftan and an ankle bracelet of bells….he often was stoned….Gays and Straights LOVED it …it was THE place to go….the gays sat and ate in tables in the bar area…and in the space that was sort of walled off…I mean it had like 3 gaps in the wall..so it was not really sectioned off…but this is where the straights ate (stars of the period like Liz Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette,
Angie Dickinson etc etc) ……and still could look in and hear us gays in the bar area…..

I use to go there with my first lover Paul Millard..as we lived just up the street….and my uncle and his lover Jim Reitzel would join us…and Jimmy Cabash was always there he was ..one of my uncle’s old lovers…a wonderful man….had his face done…so he looked like the diva of the period…Barbra Streisand….he use to wear one of those huge Plantation hats that I still .love…he was VERY animated…with another wicked humor….

Jerry made a fortune….and this is back when nearby Studio One was THE place to go disco…as people loved riding the freight elevator up to the dance floor….it was ENORMOUS…an old warehouse…..

but Jerry made a BIG mistake as so often successful restaurant people do…he EXPANDED…..rented the shop next to Por Favor…well it just did not work out ….

The point of this aside is that people really love (though they won’t admit at the moment) tight spaces…where you are enabled to talk to the blonde next to you…..

and last night they had place cards to mix up couples…so people would be enabled to talk to someone new….something my mother would always insist on doing at her dinner parties …..

this I am really glad for…as I met this most charming man….whom I had never talked to before….he was the youngest at the party – 29 I think…(the oldest I heard was 90)……but Mishu…is from Bangladesh….and I first thought he was saying he came from poverty as they did NOT have internet service when he grew up…and of course I said well I did not either..(but this was WAY before there was an internet)….I later realized he came from the elite family of his village…which was not big enough to have internet yet…..he is the youngest of 10 or was it 12 siblings…he was born Muslim naturally..so being Gay is a Total taboo…he said he is Atheist…..

but what struck me was his honest warm openness…his intelligence you are hit by…in his unassumed way…and his ability to understand English/American slang and colloquialisms….is astounding…..I ran into his lover Geno…(whom I have only known in passing..and want to know better)..on the way to the loo…and mentioned how Mishu is just astounding …and wondered if it was due to Geno……..

Geno said “Well no it is not me really…ask Mishu about the “Golden Girls” ….

Gil gave a toast to John….that was so moving that it had him and most of us crying with happiness…. a toast he had written that I DO want to get….Geoffrey toasted Bobby..well they all toasted each other….

it was a NIGHT!!!…full moon…out on the courtyard of the restaurant…

the food was Excellent….the service was beyond Excellent…..

Just a Dreamy night…

An Evening Truman and Tennessee would have loved…..

actually I think they were there behind the pillars…..

3 Responses to “A Truman and Tennessee Evening”

  1. Thanks so much Robbie! Truly well written and we are so glad to have you as our friend. We had a good time too, and would do it again in a heartbeat! Love, Gil

  2. geoffrey with a g said

    geoffrey here i am reading that you might be in love with ralph””””;thanks for the tad older.”””””””’

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