TRUE CONFESSIONS - 18
By Mighty Mouth
As usual, everything I write is true, and without exaggeration.
One night in the summer of 1967, I took a stroll in my neighborhood around Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. I decided to walk down Flatbush Avenue and passed the local art-movie house. In front of the theater I noticed a nice-looking Puerto Rican boy loitering. We made knowing eye contact. I couldn’t figure out what his motive was, so I opened a conversation. He intrigued me, and I made the rare decision to invite him back to my apartment to watch porno. He accepted. This was the pre-video epoch. I had a projector that showed 8mm films of dubious quality and production. Of course, I always showed porno in the bedroom, with me and the victim sitting on the bed. For teenagers of that period, porno movies were a real turn-on, because they weren’t readily accessible. I watched his pants for the inevitable evidence, and it was visible in about two minutes. He made an effort to hide it, so I knew I had scored. I just asked him if he wanted a blow job and he accepted. Thus began a lasting and deeply rewarding relationship for me.
I gave him my phone number, and he phoned a couple of days later. When I moved to my townhouse in November of 1967, he turned out to be extremely helpful with painting, carpentry, and other manual tasks. We shared a love for the Beatles, and I made sure that I had every disk of theirs available for our listening pleasure. I have no time line to remember how long our relationship continued, perhaps as much as five years.
I often told him how great it would be if he lived with me. One night at dinner, he challenged me and said, "OK, you have three months to decide whether you really want this."
Sadly, I didn’t have the courage to make it happen. A year or so later he told me he was seeing a girl and had decided to get married. I wished him well, and bought a case of champagne for his wedding party. I received an invitation to the church wedding. This was no improvised affair as with George from Kansas City, as we will learn later. The church was filled with family and friends. When the bride and groom came down the aisle, they were both dressed in white.
After his wedding, our affair faded and he subsequently moved to California. I don’t believe his wife went with him, but I’m not sure. He visited me two or three years after moving there, and by this time I surmised that he was principally gay and had started wearing female underpants. That was a real turnoff for me. After the advent of the Internet I looked up every person in California with his name. There were many, as the combination of his first and surnames are common among Latinos. I selected one in the area where he had moved and phoned. A female answered.When I asked for him, she became nasty and said he had died six months earlier, and she demanded to know who I was. Without replying, I hung up, not knowing, but suspecting that I may have reached the correct number.
While working with Lynn Womack, the 1960s gay semi-porno king, I organized a meeting of his Grecian Guild in Kansas City. Very few people attended, but one kid hitchhiked from Wyoming for the event. I was a house guest of photographer Stuart Rosenberg, who used the business name, Troy Saxon Studios. He enticed and filmed a large percentage of the boys who appeared in Tomorrow’s Man and similar magazines.
He invited many of his models to the festivities. That’s where I met one who had posed for the magazine and whose photo I had seen before I met him. His name was George Miller. He was even better in the flesh than in pictures. He took me to a gay cabaret, the Jewel Box Review, where I got to hear and meet the female impersonator and comedian, Ray Bourbon. I had been a Bourbon fan for years, owning all of his records. While Bourbon’s act had grown stale, I enjoyed it, and when I told him afterwards how much I respected him and his genius, he showed genuine gratitude. It is tragic that he was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 at age seventy-eight, as an accessory to a murder, and died there. I gave George my phone number during my stay there. He began to phone me in New York shortly after I returned from Kansas City. George was about 6' 1", with a naturally developed body.
As the offspring of a big shot at TWA Airlines, George had the privilege to fly anywhere he wanted in the world for free until he became twenty-one. Soon he began to visit me in New York every second weekend, alternating between me and a doctor who lived in Los Angeles. The doctor too, had attended the event in Kansas City. George told me the doctor maintained a closet full of men’s soiled underwear, none of it his own.
George’s member was ample and he was a better than average oralist. He was also an amateur painter and on one visit to New York brought me what might be called a primitive abstract painting, with vague outlines of skyscrapers fronting a river, that contained forms suggesting fish. He had remembered the decor of my living room on Grand Army Plaza, so the colors in the painting matched the tones of that room. One could call it "painting to order."
George decided that since he could see the world for free, and was six months short of his twenty-first birthday, he would take advantage of the opportunity. He wanted to visit every city outside the US where TWA flew, and he did just that. He didn’t spend money on hotels or food. When he was hungry or tired, he simply got on the next available TWA flight, regardless of destination, to sleep and eat. Occasionally, he returned home to Kansas City to get his laundry done and take a couple of days off. On one trip back home from the Far East, the Middle East, or wherever, via Europe, he phoned me (collect certainly) and asked if we could have dinner before he continued on to Kansas City. I told him to meet me in an elegant mid-town restaurant.
When he arrived at the restaurant, he was carrying a small suitcase, a live parrot in a cage, and the most formidable sword I had ever seen. I told him, "You can’t take all of that into the dining room, you’ll have to check it." The hat-check girl was a bit taken aback with the unusual things she was checking in, but took it in stride. When we left the restaurant, there was a different hat-check girl on duty. Evidently the earlier girl had not alerted her about the parrot and he must have remained quiet. She took the ticket, went to retrieve the items, then let out a blood-curdling scream when she discovered the parrot.
When George reached twenty-one, his "frequent flyer" days were over. About a year or so later, he phoned me from Kansas City to tell me that he had met a wonderful girl and wanted to marry her. This took me by surprise, but I went with the flow. "I want to come to New York to get married and I want you to be my best man," he told me.
"What kind of wedding are your planning here?" I asked.
"I’m not planning anything, just decided to do it," he replied.
Within a couple of days he appeared in New York with the girl in tow, and I put them up at my house. They went off to see the city and get the necessary marriage license. Then he startled me by telling me he wanted a church wedding.
"Are you kidding?" I asked. "Who will come, you only know me here?"
"No problem," he replied, "I’ve already picked out the church. It’s Christ Church on the corner of Park Avenue and Sixtieth Street."
"Are you nuts? How are you going to arrange this?" I asked incredulously.
"Well, I went into the church and told a lady on the staff what I wanted. She was intrigued, and she phoned the pastor in Westchester County," he replied.
"Boy, you have big balls in more than one sense of the word. What did the pastor say?"
"He was fascinated with the idea and will marry us tomorrow. And I want you to be my best man"
"Oh, God," I said, "your bride is going to need a bridesmaid, and I don’t exactly know very many women. And what about her wedding gown and your outfit?"
He casually replied, "No, we will just get married in our regular street clothes."
About the only female I could come up with as bridesmaid was my secretary. She liked the idea, and agreed to show up at the church the next day, since it was a Saturday. So this unusual wedding consisted of only the bride and groom, his parents, the best man, and bridesmaid. They were married in the main sanctuary of the huge church and the bridesmaid threw a few grains of rice at the couple. Afterwards, the entire wedding party of six people went out to dinner.
I was still in touch with George when I took my jaunt to South America in 1966, and I paid for him to join me and my travel companion in Mexico City. When he got to the hotel, he remarked, "Wow, this city is larger than Kansas City." You bet it was. As with most tourists, I got Montezuma’s revenge.
After Mexico City, George disappeared from my life for three or four years. Then one night I got a collect call from California. He was living alone, and was trying to subsist by selling his art work. He wanted me to commission a painting from him. I politely refused, and we never had any further contact. The painting he originally done for me hung in my Brooklyn townhouse, where it served a second function of hiding a circuit breaker in the front hall. I sold the painting when I vacated the house.
If anyone wants to read a free copy of my book, “Memoirs of a Gay Rights Maverick,” I’ll send it to you as an email attachment. Advise me via email: [email protected]