..they drained my pond…ducks would come to the edge  and look down in bewilderment…I imagine if I went back to the Wonderful shores of Lake Superior or Lake Michigan and it had been emptied…I would gaze down Totally befuddled……

 

And today they carted in truckloads of sand to fill it in….

 

Most of my ducks have left tho afew come by in the early morn or in the eve….was surprised to see the family of (originally 9 reduced to 2 chicks) come by yesterday…the kids have Grown Soo!!!!

 

I saw the movie…well really documentary “At The Carlyle”….a hotel I have visited many a time as my aunt lived around the corner….on E 77th (the Carlyle being at E76th)….she was wealthy and never knew how to cook which she admitted to…tho said she did know how to boil water……..as she always had a retinue of servants…her mother whom I adored…and who was one of the two backers of Polaroid but whom also  held a lot of Kodak stock….. was  … one of the original Female  film makers..as she would write, direct, produce films (and have her help make the costumes) with her daughter “Aunt Mimi” the star

 

The films were made at..their summer home (she also  owned a Fabulous house in St Paul where the interior walls were  imported from a French or was it Italian villa …it had a Marble ballroom and the first elevator in a house in St Paul….she also owned ..a coop on 2 floors in NYC…and a large house in Palm Beach FL) was at Forest Lodge near Cable Wisconsin (basically a  sort of to me Grand logged cabin with other houses (the maid’s quarter, the Guest Cabin where the main room soared two stories…with Cathedral windows looking out over the Badminton court…above the Bear’s cage……..built by her father for hunting  Lake Namekagon outside of Cable WI)

 

…well Aunt Mary…would get kids  from Cable to come and perform in the films she made about Aunt Mimi…they were classics..like Little Red Riding Hood etc …….this was way before sound or color…and REally are quite amazing… we use to watch them as  children….in the “Great Hall”…the movies were the kind where one threads the film through a projector and it is thrown on a screen…across the room

 

When Aunt Mary use to arrive for the summer at Forest Lodge….all the help would stand outside of the main house to Welcome her….and she travelled with several cars…..her daughter…the help …..Miss Stuart …her  daughter’s governess…Bertha the Scandinavian nurse/maid…and a few domestics…(in nothing grand…Midwestern thrift…old station wagons)….

 

At Forest Lodge she had 2 cooks, two house cleaners (to make up your bed in the AM)….Tony…head of the gardens…and of her dairy…(she had a herd of imported Swiss cows  for milk, cream, etc…they had the softest of ears) his brother Hank and his Gorgeous sons to work in the two gardens and 3 green houses….she had muscular Don Jalowitz whom I had a crush on who mowed her bowling green….and help take care of her two vegetable gardens…one up by the tennis court (clay) the other down by the lake…(she owned like 300 acres around the lake and back from it across County Rd D)…I was there every summer  since my birth until Aunt Mimi died of Alz…like 5 years ago….and NO we did not inherit a cent…. we were Not blood relatives…when my grandparents on my father side were killed in a car accident Aunt Mary took my father who was like a sophomore at Carleton College in….with his brother my gay Uncle Sumner…s junior at high school….to live with her on Summit Avenue in St Paul…my mother was Aunt Mimi’s “best friend”…and I think that is sort of how my parents ended up marrying…

our summer house on “Burgundy Point” was a wedding present from Aunt Mary (and Aunt Mimi)…it had a mile driveway in from the county road….she gave them the 13 acres on the tip of the peninsula…Forest Lodge was across the bay from us…will never forget one dark eve as we were all leaving for dinner at a local restaurant…. in our station wagon and driving down the mile long road to the county road…Aunt Mimi in the front seat saying…”Well Mother is giving you the rest of this land on her death…….”..I was a child and looked out in the dark….not really understanding…it was NOT to happen…which is besides the point as some of my most Wonderful memories are from those summers……as a child one takes it for granted…as an adult…I look back and think How Lucky was I!!!!

 

Forest Lodge  was Magical for me as Aunt Mary would set up these Treasure Hunts for us children…where we would follow a string through the pachysandra (she had planted around all the houses at Forest Lodge)….we would all find small wonderful things from anywhere…Tiffany’s to the local gift shop….

 

Watching “Always at The Carlyle”…..LOVING the stuttering  Concierge then…Dwight Osley…(now retired) …gosh a Wonderful wonderful man!!!   What he said about how times have been changing (the reason for his retirement)…..resonated So with me….

 

As back in his day and in my youth…people would DRESS to travel…to go to the theatre….

 

In my prep school where I was bullied and attended from 4th grade to 12th…one HAD to wear a coat and tie….Every day…and you had chapel every morn before classes began…it was an all boys school…of the elites (tho my family was not)…ambassador sons….congressmen …this was DC….

 

You had to address your teacher by “Sir” or by “Mr”…..but back then no one called their friends parent by their first names…it was always Mr or Mrs…..

 

My father organised a birthday party once for me (he was a big jock)…where the whole class was sent out by street car (yes they ran back then) to Cabin John (the farthest it would run…along the Canal)…where we were given bagged lunches that our cook had prepared….and the instructions we were to walk the 8 miles back to our house and whomever brought back the most snakes, turtles etc would win a prize…well Dad was Shocked …as he thought it would take hours for us to get back…well some got back sooner than he had expected as he was lounging on the back porch having a beer…..

 

But then there were the obese kids who took forever…and then those who turned at Chain Bridge and went the Wrong direction …and crossed the Potomac River and ended up in Virginia

 

A party like this Could NOT happen today…but I do love having had the experience…..

 

And Lord being Gay back then…I actually did NOT know I was “Homosexual”…as I had NO point of reference…except possibly the Fuller Brush man…who was Quite Nelly….and I always Wondered why mother was Sooo Awful to him when he knocked on our door…(she practically slammed it in his face)

 

I did subscribe to a Weight Lifters Magazine back then…which they sent in a plain brown wrapper…but I still did not know I was Homosexual (the term “Gay” was Not in existence)…I did Not fantasize about sex with men…as I did not know that could happen….so had many an affair with girls….up until my third year at Carleton….

 

When BOOM…it happened….and I Was SOO Happy…..

 

Well retiring to the Desert is one of the Happiest moments in my Life…..as I am with my tribe of men a decade or two before me and a decade after me…and they are ALL so caring…most from my Grandmother’s home…Milwaukee…a dear few from the NW…and some from the East…probably 40-50 in all….

 

Saturday I was with 10 at a concert by “ModernMen”…a gay group of so many talented men….

 

What touched me …these guys …like me are in the  latter point of their lives…..most overweight…with their belt hanging  southward…..

 

There was a duet…one guy stood 90 degrees away from his partner…they sang one of my favorite songs from the movie “Ghost”….”Unchained Melody”…they sang  solo….away from each other…then in duet…then turned to face each other…..

 

Ending the song where they kissed…bowed….. and left the stage holding  hands

 

I wiped away a tear…and thought “Being Homosexual HAS come  such a long Long Way”

 

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