As I was gazing out…

as the shadows of night fell over my pond….

after spending my usual day of  doing research for my book….reading the period from 1895 to 1946 …studying autobiographies…bios… about  notable gay men and women of that period…..in the UK

I think the thing what bothers me the most is that people Never felt free to put down their TRUE  thoughts on paper …what Actually happened….

they just could NOT do it in that period

as well being Gay back then was thought of as a mental disease and you could be locked up….

…..but yet it was considered normal by the wealthy….as most “colleges” …high schools like Eton …there was no coed system..

women were second class…they could never inherit…as it always went to the First born Male…..

But it was normal back then for guys to form love affairs with each other….or sexual relationships…..

Most guys were not gay and went on to marry a woman…and have many a child and some would divorce and then have more children

…like today…except straight guys today have Never had the wonderful experience of having the camaraderie of a homosexual relationship….as after WWII it was still  totally a sickness…and not a product of schooling like  in the UK back then…

I can think  of only one straight guy who did try  it…he is a dear younger friend….and when his dear girl friend told me one luncheon what had broken up their college romance…

….I thought what a Wise man…as so few people will allow themself the exhilarating challenge….

He did it… and I totally take off my hat to something that was so taboo.. And still is….

As I Know one learns so much by experiencing …

It was NOT for him…but he DID have the balls to challenge his beliefs and what the “Moral” Society was whispering in his ear…that he was indoctrinated by generations of society ..as we all have been

But fathers back then NEVER talked about their gay experiences…if they were lucky enough to have them…

I mean back in the 1920’s it was almost OK for women like Vita Sackville-West to have her many affairs…Virginia Woolf being one ..they were both Totally Gay but married to men…Vita was married to the gay talented Harold Nicholson….Virginia to…. well he was boring to me…his last name was Bell….

I guess what came over me this eve….was I am starting to read the book “”My Father And Myself”…by J.R.Ackerly…who was a an open homosexual …which was TOTALLY forbidden  at the time (he lived 1896-1967)….was a British writer and editor for the BBC  etc….

The comment on the back page of the paperback I have says about JR’s father:

“On his death he left a letter that his life of respectable  prosperity was a facade.  Thus began what for Ackerley was an ongoing quest to comprehend a father who remained always just beyond his reach…”

(JR   was to find out that his father had also  been Gay all of his Life)

For me the comprehension of my Father will always be something that will NEVER be totally fulfilled…I mean he worked in the White House…the State Dept…the CIA…where I don’t think anyone knew what he did

…..the mystery is  left with his ashes that we canoed out and coughingly threw  out  near our summer house on Lake Namekagon (lord no one told me there would be chunks of bones in the ashes…)

I remember when I was transiting into puberty…All of a Sudden there were these bumps on my balls…and it took alot of gumption…to go up to Dad…and ask him

We were weekending away from DC  in our weekend house at Blue Ridge Summit….an old log cabin house built before the Civil War and was supposed to have been a stop for the black folk escaping slavery on the Underground Railroad…

When we were first shown it by dear Dad…it was Overgrown…weeds and bugs Everywhere……the house had no windows…there were cows in the lower floor….in which was a spring that went down to fill a pool…pond…which was originally built to be the supplier of natural water to the town of Blue Ridge Summit…in the end it did not produce enough water so the town gave it up

But that first night that Dad dragged us kids and Mom up there …we camped out…

when a REALLY long  snake crossed Mom’s path…she said OK Bob…enough!!! I will sleep in the car….which I did also…

As time went on Dad added a tennis court…a paddle tennis  ball court. A football /baseball field ..imported Rainbow Trout for the pond/swimming pool with sand in front for  a  sauna…and built a house for Mom and he to escape to in the evening from us children put  on old Army bunk beds he had bought..

the “house” away from us ..well it was a one room structure…no plumbing or electricity  on a rock up in the hills above the main house.. the copperhead snakes loved to   sun themselves up there….

But that one day…on the top floor of our Blue Ridge Summit house….he had been hanging the Certificate he had received for climbing the Matterhorn with my sister…..along with the pythons he had to wear climbing Mt Blanc…..

I  showed Dad my balls and asked  “Dad what does this mean”…for as a young male I thought it meant I had some disease…

He merely passed it off saying it was nothing to worry about….

I so wanted to go ask my mother…well you just did Not do it back then

I remember years and years later…after my Father had died….

My Mother and I were at the Dakota Jazz Club in St Paul back then…(now in Mpls)….

She was sipping  her usual iced coffee or was it iced tea…..was on her cane…we were at a table in front of the “action”….she had a Big crush on the wonderful owner…Lowell….

She was blind in one eye….did not have the greatest hearing..had to walk with a cane…..always asked me if her lipstick was OK….I Told her when it was NOT…and she would take out her small brush and apply it…without a mirror…

And when Lowell appeared…she would just exude these  STRONG lazers of Love and  Life….that always stunned me….

I mean he was like 40 years or more younger…actually I always wished he was Gay…..(he is Ecstatically married now to the wonderful Karen)

But that night I told Mom about my showing my balls to Dad all those years ago…..

Her comment was “Well I am Glad you did not show them to me…as I was Totally clueless back then …I never knew anything about masturbation….or vibrators…

will you get me one……”

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