My Auntie Mame

April 12, 2015

There is nothing like going back to a restaurant where everyone knows you from years past….

I just had brunch at the Idiot…..

Junior was behind the kitchen bar slinging English Breakfasts….

Lucas (?) greeted me…

with a smile that can curl back the sheaves on an ear of corn…..he just makes you start grinning

….he is such a handsome man….there is something about Ebony skin that I find soo soo Gorgeous….I remember Ben Abbe at college —he was from Kenya..I think…he had this dark delicious skin the color of Smoking Chocolate….with such white – perfect teeth….

Last night I went to The Golden Bull.on Channel Road in Santa Monica…

My Uncle Sumner introduced me to it in 1969 …Don Cranford was the bartender then….

…as time and lovers passed….he eventually bought it… in the 70’s the bar area was 100% Gay…

never forget one Valentines Day …. it was standing room only and an hour wait for a table…….and on the other side it was Straight….

well now it is almost totally all Straight…..

(by this I am just commenting on how things have changed from when we (Gays) had to go in back doors to meet…now it is Wonderful that it is so Ho Hum if one is Gay…but for us older Queens… we lost our exclusive club….which was mysterious and thrilling…sex by the dumpster…..on the pool table…..)

My uncle had an apartment building in West Hollywood…and a Fabulously comfortable ranch style house above Malibu…on a bluff…surrounded on both sides by empty lots….the one to the North of him was owned by these dykes that use to come out to camp on their lot with their girlfriends and play volleyball way down on the beach…like 200 steps down from Sumner’s house….they would challenge Sumner and his Gay guys to a match and ALWAYS beat them…….

Sumner was SUCH a character…I loved him dearly…more than my Father with whom I had nothing in common….

he had a God given talent for telling stories….that I always marvelled at as a child…well 20 years later they had gotten better…

when he told one of his tales….he started laughing…it was contagious and hooked you …so you started to laugh…..

he went to the University of Virginia…for 6 years and only had accumulated 3 years of credit….this was back in the 40’s and finally the Dean said “Sumner …I think you should do something worthwhile and join the Navy….”

Sumner was a Total playboy…and did not realize he was Gay….he and busty Cynthia Dowrimple were an item…

they would get drunk and walk down the streets of Charlottesville seeing who could shoot out the most street lights….were arrested twice but got off…………..

he bought a gas station during the war…as gas rationing came in…..locked it up…so only he could use it…..

one night…..got drunk with Cynthia…drove off a bridge to land on the train tracks below…only as a train was approaching….Cynthia was thrown into the floor well…and somehow she ended upside down…and all he could see were her bloomers….with her legs sticking up toward the roof…..they both were laughing so hard that it seemed like forever to get out of the car

so the Dean was right in sending Sumner into the Navy…

or so he thought…

Sumner smoked back then with a cigarette holder….as did President Rosevelt….

he brought a case of cig holders onto the ship….which the Captain did not know…

the Captain thought it “Affected” to smoke with a holder…

certainly NOT macho….so as he passed Sumner on deck he would yank it out of his mouth and throw it overboard…not knowing Sumner had a case of them…..which when he did TOTALLY made him see Red….

Sumner would say “Well if President Roosevelt uses one ..Why can’t I…?”

which would just exacerbate his Captain’s ire more…..

I will never forget his story …of when he was put in “command” of his ship one night…in the South China Seas…..after the Captain had retired….

I should digress…Sumner only passed the blinker test to become an officer…by paying a mate to tell him what the devil the blinkers were saying from a different ship…guess it was Morse Code….Sumner said for him ..it was all Just Flashes of Light…which made no sense…..

so anyway this one night he was in charge of navigating the ship (during WWII) in the South China Seas……..well it turns out that he kept turning the ship in circles..so much so that the Captain was thrown out of his bunk,, and stormed up to the Bridge saying “Matteson…WHERE in the F… are we”…..

Sumner pointing at a map….said “Well I am Not quite sure…we started Here…and could be anywhere…”

needless to say he was relieved of his duties but put in charge of the PA system that played music through the ship….(now that I think of it he is one of the FIRST DJ’s …)….

but when he put on “Daddy Beat Me Eight To The Bar”….the Captain saw Red and raced up …tore the 78 off the player smashing it over his knee.,….he was flummoxed about WHAT to do with useless always laughing Sumner…

there was 28 years between us….and this was in 1969 that I moved to California after graduating from Carleton College….

we both were Gay…

and you have heard what happens that creates a downfall in a lot of men….

the fog was heavy…leaving the Golden Bull ..driving to the bluff above Maibu…..

we both had our manly desires……

I said “Sumner you are weaving”….

he laughed….

then we finally drove down …to his house on the cliff…

a butcher block kitchen table…….

my screaming and saying “Sumner it is SALTED butter”

the two of us dissolving on the floor

Laughing Uncontrollably

Sumner WAS MY Auntie Mame!!!

One Response to “My Auntie Mame”

  1. Richard said

    I didn’t like it, I loved it!!!!!!!!!! Wonderful story, thought part of it was my life–but unsalted butter is best!!!! Or a little dippity doo!! good for your hair and lots of other things. R&R

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