By Mighty Mouth


I swear to you, dear reader, that everything I say is true and without exaggeration. My parents divorced when I was 17. My mother rented an apartment on East Walnut Street. Living downtown, I could explore it on foot, day and night. One evening, I stumbled upon the cruising area at Sixth Street and River Road. It was on a narrow band of land beside the Ohio River and extended some fifteen blocks or so. It had entrances only at both ends. Part of its width was covered by the trestles of the Illinois Central Railroad, with a train station above.

When I first entered the very dark area, I imagined I was alone. A black guy emerged out of thin air. I thought, "What have I got myself into?" I imagined I was going to be robbed. Instead, he said, "You’re sure a good-looking kid, do you want a blow job?" I couldn’t believe my ears. Always horny, I answered, "Yeah, sure." We went up under the trestles and he did his number. From that moment, I was hooked on the area.

I soon found out that the spot had nonstop action, day and night. Most of the "servicers" were black, while the "servicees" were white, straight, and mostly young rough-trade types. These guys weren’t there to get paid, they went there to unload. Why this black-white division of labor, I never figured out. I have always believed that blacks give better oral sex because many have larger lips and bigger mouths. This certainly must contribute a more enjoyable experience. I suspect that the cruising area had been in operation for years, and was apparently widely known, as there were always Acustomers.@ I didn’t fit the mold. Sometimes I gave, sometimes I got, but not with the same person. In spite of being totally open, it was completely safe. I never saw cops there, although they must have known about it. Nor did anyone go there to rob.

At times the railroad workers would stand above the trestles and peer down. Sometimes there were two or three and they would make comments like "Look, that guy can really suck." This never bothered anyone being watched. That’s because there was no way to get down into the area directly from above. Had they wanted to stop the action below they would have had to run fast for four blocks just to get down there. There were unobstructed views toward each end of the cruising area, so any suspicious persons could be seen from a distance and one could disperse long before they reached the spot. I suspect that some of the workers would sometimes sneak off from their colleagues to go get their share.

I got to know an assorted cast of characters that frequented this haven. One was a black guy who earned the name of "Sweet Lips" due to his superior talents. He had his own regulars, who insisted on using him and no one else. I met a white gay a few years older than me and we became speaking acquaintances. I asked him why he always wore a toboggan cap even on hot summer days. He answered, "I’ll show you why." He pulled off his cap and long tresses fell halfway down his back. I gasped in disbelief. I had never seen a man with such long hair before. This was well before the age of the Beatles. He explained that he was a drag performer with something called The Jewel Box Review, and that his stage name was Bonnie Belle. I begin to attract my own regulars. Two were an unlikely pair that often stopped by together to get serviced. One was a man in his mid-thirties, the other a teen-age kid of about seventeen. The boy had only one nut.

I deliberately chose the location of my last apartment before leaving Louisville because it was only two blocks from that cruising strip. That way, if I met someone I liked, I could take him the short distance home. On one visit, the place was deserted. I waited for a while, and a cute teenage boy arrived. I decided to play a game with him. I struck up a conversation and said something like "Really slow today, I’ve been here a long while and no one has showed up to blow me. I guess I won’t wait any longer. I think you will be waiting in vain. I’m going home. I live two blocks away. You are welcome to join me, I can offer you a coke." He said OK, and home we went. Once there I began my strategy. I asked him if he went there often, and he said whenever he got horny. He liked the blow jobs guys gave there. I told him that I did too and wasn’t it too bad that there was no one there to take care of us that day.

I told him, "You know, I’ve never sucked a dick before, but if you want me to try it on you I am willing to do so." Of course he accepted and I gave the best performance possible. It was over quickly. He said, "For a guy that never did that before, you sure are good." Whether he was naïve or just playing along with me, I didn’t know.

Earlier, when I had my single room, I met a boy at the trestles whom I guessed was about sixteen, judging by his level of maturity, and the size of his huge tool. He was short, but I figured he was a bit late in making the adolescent growth spurt. I invited him home to my windowless room. He turned out to have a huge tool. After my performance, I asked him, "By the way, how old are you?" He replied "twelve." I almost died that instant from heart failure. I was an "old man" of eighteen. I never suspected he was so young. I am not now, nor never have been, a pederast. Nevertheless I continued to see him off and on for several years. And I wasn’t the only one. He developed the reputation of wanting it from someone every day.

Eventually, he turned into a hustler. I introduced him to an acquaintance, with whom he had sex and tried to blackmail. My friend went to the police and, coincidentally, the kid was picked up in an alleyway with a man he had tried to rob. That guy and my friend both brought charges. Needless to say, the judge believed the two men’s story that they were innocent of any sexual misbehavior. The kid was sentenced to a term in prison. Should anyone doubt this occurrence, court records from 1954 can be consulted in Louisville. From age seventeen until twenty-four I frequented the trestles, stopping only because I left the city. It’s an irony for me that the Illinois Central train station was torn down, along with the trestles, and a magnificent concert hall was built at the spot. I attended a concert of the Louisville Orchestra in the hall, having the exquisite experience of the music, and knowing that I was sitting right above the locale of so many of my sexual adventures, another coincidence.  

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]

Mighty Mouth


Mighty Mouth


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