My Immediate Family

Len and Chris at Mountain Lake

      

It's going to be hard to put 25 years worth of happenings down but I will try. I met Len first then Chris came along later.... Here's the story....

    Where do I begin? I met Len in 1977. First, what was going on that year? Jimmy Carter was President. MRI's were first used to map the brain. Annie Hall was the big movie and trend setter for that year. Other movies were "The Goodbye Girl, You Light Up My Life. Hotel California was on the charts. David Soul was on the charts with "Don't Give Up On Us Baby".  The top TV shows were All in the Family, Alice, Charlie's Angels, Happy Days, Lavern and Shirley, Little House on the Prairie, MASH, and  Threes Company. Disco was very big at the time.

   Len had moved to Point Pleasant which was about 60 miles North East of Charleston. He had called the Gay Hot line in Charleston, ran by a group called G.R.O.U.P. (Gays Reaching Out for Understanding and Progress, which I was a member of).  He met Darnell and David, a couple of friends of mine. Darnell from high school and David from college. They were lovers. They took him to the bar and he met Michael, another friend of mine. 

    Mike was given the name Stella Jean Simple. With good reason. Mike would stick his finger in boiling water to see if it was hot. No Kidding. He was the one that helped me on my way to coming out. Mike was one of the sweetest people I knew. 

    Stella brought Len to Malden to a mutual friend of ours, Carl. Carl asked me to come over to his house and meet Len. Len had been told that I was this 6'2" loveable Gay Redneck, but, don't piss me off. So, he was wary about meeting me. When I walked in Len was sitting there smoking True cigarettes. One of the first things I said to him was "Why don't you smoke real cigarettes?" LOL. He thought "Oh boy here we go." After I started laughing he saw the humor in it. The first thing we found out about each other was that we were both stoners... I had just bought a bag, but, didn't bring it because I didn't know if he smoked. I went back to my house and got my bag and we all went to town. Len was living in Point Pleasant (we called it Point Dreadful). and he had a hotel room.

   After getting good and stoned we went to the bar, The Downstairs club. (Later it changed names to the Grand Palace). After the bar we went back to Len's room to party the rest of the night. 

    We became great friends right away. During that summer, I was working at the Post Office. Before Len moved to Charleston he would come down and get a hotel room. There was a 2 week period that my parents went out of town. I told Len if he wanted he could come and stay at my house while they were gone.. That was a great two weeks. We went out almost every night. It wasn't soon after that, Len moved to Charleston, in with David and Darrnell. 

    Len and I sorta lost touch because I was working and going to school.  One night after work at the Post Office in November, I went to the Up Club. I found Len there. I hadn't seen, nor heard from him for a while. He was really torn up. His Mother had just died and I hadn't known. This was his first night back out after her death. But we rekindled our friendship.   

     The next summer I got a job at Camp Gallahad. A Summer camp for the disabled. Every time that I would come home between sessions I would go to Len's. We would go out a lot. Actually it was every night. After I came home for good, I would go to Len's all the time. I went one more semester of college. Well, actually I had enrolled, but, didn't go much. I had more fun going to Len's after school. Or before school and during school. Mother and Daddy didn't like it that I had quit school and was going out all the time. So Len hired me to work at his job. A telemarketing job selling discount tickets to a local restaurant. The Owners of the Company bounced all our paychecks. Mother to the rescue! She bailed me out. Not quietly either. It was getting pretty hairy at home. That was when Len and I became roommates. October 28 1978 to be exact. I will never forget it. 

    We moved into 747 Amity Dr., on Westside Hill, that day and went to a Halloween Party that night. We had another roommate, Gary, who didn't stay with us very long. We had no Fridge or stove. A cooler and a hot plate. Have you ever had catsup soup? Not bad if you are hungry. There were a couple of young guys that would come over a lot. Nothing sexual of course. They were really young. Both were 16. Mike and Robbie. Mike was such a little cutie. Robbie got kicked out of his house because he was gay. Mike was his best friend. Well, the little place was a little too little. So we moved to 507 Wyoming St. on the west side of Charleston.

The next pages will be broken down into places we lived.

507 Wyoming St.

Chris's Picture Page

The Mountain Lake Years

The Point Pleasant, WV Years

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