Tag Archives: gay bars

Cape Cod #4

If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air

Quaint little villages here and there

You’re sure to fall in love with

Old Cape Cod

The song Old Cape Cod had me looking forward to an enchanting, tiny sand dune tucked into the lapping sea.

If only!

Once I got across Massachusetts I started up Cape Cod. For sixty miles I didn’t even see the sea!

Apparently there were quaint little villages here and there, but they were on the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, not along US Highway 6. Today a freeway for half the distance of the cape, in 1969 Hwy 6 was a two-lane affair running smack up the middle of the massive sandbar.

The only tiny things I noticed while hitch hiking Cap Cod were the short little rides I got from summer home owners heading back from whatever chores were keeping them in a scurry.

Yet I was rewarded—at the end of those sixty miles was Provincetown, the enchanted town Patti Page had promised.Entering Provincetown w

Provincetown, right at the very tippy tip of Cape Cod, was, indeed, a quaint little village. Yes, it was filled with good looking tourists in bright colors carrying every sort of beach paraphernalia one can imagine. It was busy. And it was quaint.

As busy as the town and the grocery and the shell shops were, they were roomy compared to the gay bar.

Which was perfect for me!

What can I say? I was young and tall and carrying a pack. Finding a place to crash was no problem at all. And, folks, after months of the agrarian beauty of living in an isolated Catskill Mountain retreat, I was ready to pursue some lust!

Before long I was invited to a most fun and accommodating crash pad. For three days I was out every day enjoying the sun and sea and dunes and salty air.

As for the nights? Well. My host was most accommodating. You’ll have to wait for the book …

Fourth Stomp


Dean Hitch hikingIn December of 1968 I set off hitchhiking around the country. First stop, New York City.

New York City was my first stop thanks to my friend Jim Housley. He had moved Back East (as we Westerners say) and offered a place to crash outside of Princeton, New Jersey. Within days we were in The City (yes, it deserves the capitals), checking out the possibilities.

By dusk we were at the top of a flight of stairs in lower Manhattan knocking on a black door. At eye level a square panel slid to the side. After Jim was recognized and I was eyeballed the black door was opened. This was the winter before the Stonewall riot and gay bars in New York were still under siege.

Under siege, perhaps, but that wasn’t stopping anyone. The place was packed, the dance floor was large, the music was loud and the beers and smokes were expensive.

I egged Jim onto the dance floor. He settled into a repetitive, quiet, still, eyes-closed throb of a dance, knees bending and arms keeping rhythm with hands in simple bobs from navel to knees. I concentrated on him, my arms in arcs, dancing in and away, circling, in and away, twirling, ever focused on his quiet throb.

During the dance it became easier to move without having to find space to move. My long arms opened up to loops, arcing up away from him and swooping down toward him, the energy brought to focus on his quiet throbs.

As the music approached its final chord I focused on our surroundings. There was space all around us. No one else was dancing. They were all watching.

Later that summer I was in The City with acquaintances and ended up in another dance dive. I met several guys and we enjoyed hitting the floor. For some reason I went on a finger rapping bender. Every song, when we were holding one another, I was thumping my fingers on their backs, like playing the piano. It seemed so cleaver.

A few days later I was reading one of the underground newspapers that were cropping up at the time. There was a fun article about what to expect from dance partners based on the partner’s name. There was Bill and Joe and Hank and a long list of others, including Dean.

And what to expect when dancing with a Dean? According to one New York City newspaper, Deans drum their fingers on you.

How did The City DO that ? ? ? ? !