Monday, September 30, 2013

John's Birthday 2009

It is rare to get a simple, unstudied picture of John.  I think that this one is very nice of him.  The fisherman's platter at Flo's clam shack on the east end of the beach in Newport. It is better than birthday cake, but then that was waiting for him at home too.
John likes gardens, but I think he chooses things to do because I like them too.  Unfortunately, we had no one to take a picture of both of us that day, and the pictures of me alone were horrible that day.  This is at Green Animals, the topiary garden a few miles north of Newport RI...One of our favorite destinations.
I am not so sure that Harry was prepared for this scalp job, this is the best of several photos of it.
Ok, so I guess if the picture is distant enough it is acceptable.  I have a fascination for Beech trees.

On the Lawn of Marble House in Newport.

John has an obsession with the Vanderbilts.  We have not been to Asheville NC...I guess that would be a good destination if we can make it.  However, he has read a number of books about them.  We have been to Marble House, The Breakers, Blenheim Palace, Consuelo V's post Duke of Marlboro divorce town of Eze  on the Cote D'Azure.  This is Consuelo's mother Alva's tea house at Marble House..."Votes for Women" was the main topic of conversation here.

Tangible Proof That We Were Slim for Quite Some Time.

What a gift I have in knowing John.  I cannot say that I have had no gifts in my life.  Some have been wasted, some did not last.  I must say that the greatest gift of all is the big blond in the picture.  Who knew that life could begin when you meet one person.
We had been together for four years when this photo was snapped at a house in Hull, belonging to an old friend of John's.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bahamas 2011 Aboard the Norwegian Gem

Our itinerary began in New York, we traveled by train to Penn station where we took a taxi to the Hudson river and boarded the Norwegian Gem.  Our first stop was Port Canaveral.  We could have taken a transport to Orlando, to see Universal Studios, Disney World, Epcot or any of the other big name sites.  Instead, we went into the old town and shopped.  John got a manicure and pedicure, and within minutes had a series of bad fire ant bites, which bothered him for some time.  The Norwegian private island(Great Stirrup Cay) was next.  The little harbor had just been put in, and was little more than a rough opening on one side of the island, carved out of the coral-stone.  There were long grooves cut everywhere presumably to catch sand, or to carve the island to their preferred shape.  We lounged away from the rest of the passengers who were congregating along one crescent of beach.  There was plenty of wind, so kayaking etc. were cancelled ,   We just laid on the "beach" after a barbecue buffet and waited for the return of the tender to pick us up.   We did go into the water a couple of times, especially watching a ray patrolling our little beach site.  It was a bit late and there were plenty of people returning to the ship after some time on the beach.
We landed in Nassau where we walked around the city.  We saw the government house, queen's staircase, the watchtower/fort at the top of the island, and a rather famous old hotel on the waterfront.    We bought some local handicrafts and "t" shirts etc.  We took a ferry out to the island known as the Atlantis Resort as evening approached.  Our Friends Cathy and Judy were staying there at the time, but we decided not to bother them in the middle of their vacation.  Fabulous aquariums there in the resort.
Back in New York, we stayed in  a nice Holiday Inn Express as we had employee discounts. 
We attended a taping of Martha Stewart.
We also got John to the top of the Empire State Building, despite his vertigo.
We returned home via Penn Station and our room mate at the time, Mike Fleming, picked us up at the Providence train station for the ride home to Mansfield.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


 A young Harry and two of his best friends

 Harry obeys me, but he loves John!  Who wouldn't with this kind of treatment?

 In front of the apartment we shared at Bay Colony in Provincetown.

OMG  Argyle?  Harry has a fairly large wardrobe of sweaters and Hawaiian shirts. 
He probably could if his feet reached the pedals. 

On the cool tiles of the shop in Provincetown.  Harry spent much time in the entrance to the shop, summer after summer.  He became a local personality, and people often brought him expensive treats.  He would take them very politely, then shove them under the display cases with his nose,
 to be found when the shop was closed years later.  What dog does not like treats? 
 Romana Rodinova was an employee and close friend from Brno in Czech Republic.  Harry's first "girlfriend".  It didn't last.

 When he got bored or fretful, the front window was a place to see all, but be out of the way.

 Ben and Jerry's was next door.  We ate remarkably little ice cream under the circumstances.  Pluto was a local SPCA type, and Harry had no idea what to do...or say.

 The detachable head did not help matters.

Only twice in a number of years did he go beyond the threshold without permission after his initial training.  The world came to him instead.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

John and Charlie's Family

Charlie Guthrie was John's partner for many years.  He died tragically young of cancer.  John cared for Charlie throughout his illness.
Since I have known John, he has remained very close to Charlie's family, and they have been there for holidays in our home for all the years we have been together.

Bill, Danny and Margaret.  How tolerant Danny is!  In their new house in NH.

Elaine was Charlie's mother.   Margaret his sister and Danny Sweeney his brother-in-law.  Megan is Margaret and Danny's daughter.
The family lives in       , where Margaret works in the public schools.  Danny has retired, and Meghan is a cook in the Coast Guard.

Megan at our house for Easter..Sorry Megan, I have to find a nice clear one of you somewhere.  I think that is the time we did overcooked lamb and Moussaka with Tzadziki.
Why can't I find a good one of you Megan...send one of you, will you?
Inside Elaine's little house.
BBQ at Elaine's house.  Heavens, Danny, you look like you are about to serve a summons!

We tend to spend Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving together, often at our house, but sometimes in their new home in

Finally a picture of Megan that is clear.  Margaret, Megan and Danny Sweeney.  Megan is in the Coast guard and is employed there as a cook, and a good one too.

Harry, Bill and Elaine...Look up Harry!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Lives Together.

Sunrise on the beach at Provincetown
Sunrise again.

John and I first met in Provincetown Massachusetts at the A House.  This is a very old establishment on a side street in the middle of the town.  It had gone through a number of changes over the years, from post stop, to bar to mostly gay disco and bar.  It has been frequented by authors and artists for more than a century.  Tennessee Williams tended to write there. 
I had worked all day, as usual, from 11 AM to 11 PM, and went out to dance.  I was on the dance floor in over-alls(they were somewhat popular at the time.) and very long hair.  John, at that time very blond and having just quit his job at the bank, joined me on the dance floor.
John looked very much like one of  Dick Van Patten's kids with the longish blonde hair. 
John was a few years younger than I was.  He had rented an apartment for a short time in the east end of the town on Commercial Street.   His birthday was two days earlier on June 5th and was, I guess, there to celebrate it. 
John just before we met on his birthday.
I was working at Simply Silver, next to town hall, and living in a very nice little apartment between Alden and Standish Street.  I guess we liked each other immediately.  It was not long before John had rented a small apartment which consisted of a studio with a large loft bedroom.

John and I on a whale watch.
  We saw a lot of each other.  Gay men tend to move in with each other at the drop of  hat, and following the break up with my first partner, Richard, who was really just on the edge of NUTS, I was not anxious to get too involved right off. 
My apartment on the far left and John's Thunderbird in the foreground.
John and I kept separate apartments, but spent time at both for most of the summer.

What John got.  John's apartment.
  I was staying over with him, when the news of two planes hitting the twin towers came on the television.  9-11.
I think that that was the beginning of a long slow decline for Provincetown, our business and our financial life together.  At least we had several years of prosperity after this, but the seeds of decline were sown that day.
John's apartment.
John's apartment.
We spent plenty of time on the trails.
I tended to ride 19 miles each morning, often stopping to swim to the jetty in the harbor before heading to work.
Bike trails through the dunes.

John was very unhappy that I went off to Europe and the Middle East that fall, especially just after 9-11.  I could not convince him to join me.  I went to Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
Sunrise on the beach in Provincetown.  The only time when the town was not crowded.

When I returned, we decided to move in together.  John's house on Sagamore Ave. in Chelsea had to be sold if he was going to move in with me.  When he decided to sell the house and move in with me, the tenant in his apartment refused to move and created all kinds of problems and delays before he was finally ejected from the house.

Vincent Strom was a close friend of John's long before he met me.  He has spent time with us off and on and rented a room from us one summer in Provincetown. This picture was taken inside Simply Silver, the shop I ran for a number of years there.   Harry's tush below.
John is pictured here, in his Summer mode with Harry at Simply Silver.  We spent several years driving home to Mansfield each week to do yard work and shop etc.  The first couple of years we lived at 71 Cross Street in Randolph above Dick and Zafa's apartment courtesy of Simply Silver.  When we got Harry, we had to move, so we bought the house in Mansfield.

 The house in Mansfield has three acres and a barn.  It was used as a dressage school for a number of years, but the woman who had the horses was washing one down behind the house and a train spooked it.  She was kicked in the head and died, leaving two young kids and her husband.
It is not a very special house, but the community is good, as is the access to transportation.  We have tried to add nice features to it, and the gardens have been fun, even though the soil resembles talcum powder for much of the summer. 
When Dick and Zafa decided that they needed income from the Condo that the company owned in Provincetown, we lived in an apartment that was very difficult to deal with.  The owner was a real problem.  The following year, John and I bought a 31 foot trailer and set it up at the North Truro Camping area on Highland Road.
Setting up for the season.
John's birthday in our trailer in Truro.
Need I describe this?
The trailer was plenty of room for us and offered us easy access to the beaches and bike trails.  I got into wonderful shape by biking into the National Seashore every morning  and riding around the park twice before riding back home. The campground offered easy access to John's job at the Truro Vineyard for several years.
The economy and especially the luxury trade folded up in Provincetown and at South Shore Plaza(where the second shop was).  The shop in Provincetown closed first, and a year or so later, so did the shop in the plaza. 
Dick had me try to work the shop, both Simply Silver and Simply Gold on line.  It took a long time to get it set up with the web designer, and then did not really catch on.  Gold and silver were very high, and we could not replace what we sold with fresh stock, and sales were non-existent.
John found work with Holiday Inn Express five nights a week.  He liked it, and seemed to do well with it.