Ron Hughes

October 26, 2017

 

Well tonight 11 Mallards walked single file across the football field (in length) that separates the pond from my kitchen toward the old Chez Pannise  pop-up….

 

I felt so awful in Not feeding them….

 

But they looked so well fed…..

 

When they saw the sign in duck hieroglyphics that we are closed til the spring when  the next ducklings are born… they all flew back to the pond…..

 

The change of seasons…well it getting dark so much earlier…has bothered me more than previous years….

 

Maybe it is because I have lost two of my dearest friends this year  ….

 

and well something about darkness makes the loss more vividly…  mentally  conscious…..

 

The loss of my dear friend Jim…my uncle’s last lover…whom I knew back in the beginning of Gay Liberation that we both experienced 50 years ago

 

…..in West Hollywood…which was a simple refuge for All artists Gay and Hetero….. and had been developed by us gays from what had been a town (then called Sherman) for the local railroad and farmers into a town of magic and mystery…..and gays were arrested for being gay….we could be arrested for dancing together (at the Canyon Club a red light would flash and you’d immediately grab the nearest dyke to dance)…..we had to enter all bars through back doors…in some ways …..it was kind of wonderful…like belonging to a mysterious society….

 

Since Jim decided to take that Crystal Rainbow Staircase Up…I just can Never go back to West Hollywood….as those memories are sooo soo vivid to me…and like SF, NYC everything has become a bit Too Gentrified Now ..the town Has Totally changed from a village into a City……time to move on….

 

At this moment I have a different friend  deciding whether he will take that Crystal Rainbow Staircase UP…or to stay wonderfully among us mere mortals……

 

He is one of those Wonderful men…with a smile on his lips always….he is married for Many years to another dear dear man…..

 

Gil is a man with the Softest of Lips and voice….loves his Bombay Blue Gin  Martini’s….is an Engineer…

 

(an aside…I did a charades party last year…and Gil well performed as we all tried to …but kind of awkwardly…but dear Darrel came up to me (Darrel is a retired judge from Utah (I think)…with his husband wonderful Jerry))…but Darrel said Rob don’t you see the Way Gil acted…

 

I said No

 

He said well he acted out the part like an Engineer Would….

 

My mind clicked for a few seconds…and I REALIZED Darrell was soo Soo right…the way Gil  acted out the clue was in Engineering-Speak

 

He was born in Atlanta and moved to North Dakota to a town of 500 when he was quite young….his father had 500 acres…a 3 bedroom house with the loo outside…(and scoozie but the notes on my cocktail napkin say he was “711.21 an Army typist…clerical in Germany”….but you know how cocktail napkins kind of distort what you might have heard….(sigh))

 

Acc to the napkin Gil’s father was on a Naval destroyer …that left Pearl Harbor 2 days before it was bombed

 

At the End of the day….I have to say at the age of 71 I am Sooo Soo Happy to have met Ron Hughes years ago….due to wonderful Ralph Yanek who knew him in Chicago….and raced to Ron’s rescue after Ron was  beaten to an almost bloody pulp by his lover…to be ex after this…

 

Ron is from that Very Special City…. Milwaukee….

the first person I encountered from that  city was the Beautiful Donna Korman (married at the time  to Harvey.Korman…and really she was Responsible for his his success as an actor)…..

…she gave me my most priceless birthday present I have  EVER been given …a stalk of Brussel Sprouts….which she hated and I loved……

and then Milwaukee is where   those  dear friends of mine are from…dear Robert…Jackie and Greg..Vance and Jeff etc etc)

……but Ron  use to work for Pabst (?)…

(I think…my cocktail napkin is illegible…must have been having a Real Good time)

but it says He was lowered Way down  on a rope to clean out the silo’s that held the hops that beer was made from….and you all know how high silos are…….

He worked up to being one of those guys who lifted crates off the conveyor belts….

To being a guy who drove the truck Early in the AM… delivering in the dawn hours  to liquor stores and restaurants….

 

Ron moved from Milwaukee to Chicago to Atlanta…to Palm Springs…where he became a realtor…..

 

He, like the Wonderful Marv and Robert and Carol, has been at John’s side to help Gil navigate this stage  in his Life….

 

One of the Wonderful (yes I Love that word) things he did was he helped create for New people (to Palm Springs) to whom he sold houses …and who knew No One….and I can tell you when you are in the last chapter of your life you really Do Not want to or you Can’t make new friends

 

what we call the “Boozy Bunch”….it is where men/woman  past the age of well any age  (but most in the 60’s-70’s) get together every Friday for a drink…..at the wonderful Jim Runyan’s club Toucan’s …..and talk about Anything…as my cocktail napkins testify to…..

 

All I can say it it is due to Ron that the last chapter in my Life is Sooo Soo Special…with such Wonderful People!!!

 

Ron will hate me for telling you this but it is his 70th on Monday the 30th…(he asked for his birthday to be removed from the Boozy Bunch  birthday list..as he did Not want the recognition …)

 

So if you should see Ron before then grab him and kiss him…and Wish him a Happy Birthday….

 

To paraphrase “Imagine Dragons”

 

“… when the days are done and …..your cards are folded…and your dreams are… of Gold…..”

 

…. you Will Not find a better man…than Ron Hughes …..

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