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Ask a senior (AAS)

Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs

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My briefs are aimed mainly at seniors, the retirees, but I try to interest everyone. To get different generations to interact, I often make a joke or a point requiring younger readers to “ask a senior” (from now on AAS). But we are all seniors to somebody, so whom do I mean? I think of four age groups: A 20-35, B 35-50, C 50-65 and D 65+. Moving either up or down, people understand most references of the next group, but beyond that they usually need help. “Patty, Maxine and Lavern” are OK for D and maybe C, but B and A are lost. The crossword clue _ _ _ _ Turner could mean “Tina” to B and C, “Lana” to C and D and “Who?” to A.

To be more specific and relevant, LGBT topics are no different: Well of Loneliness, Christine Jorgensen, the Mattachine Society were at one time discussed by many in our community in whispers. Why? AAS. We seniors had lots of tough times when we were young, but we had some great ones also and not only those of us living in a big city. Men in small towns took business trips, remember, and women teachers (most other jobs were unavailable) sharing a home was common and accepted: “Old maids living together to save money.” Ha! Little did people know. We can tell wonderful tales revisiting our youth and about how LGBT life became what it is today. We were there! So ask us. Use an AAS as a starting point. Be friendly and enjoy the conversation. Who knows where it might lead. Afraid they might make a pass at you? So what! The day will come when they won’t. Then you’ll really get upset. Don’t believe me? AAS.

A year well spent

Forty years ago I dared leave teaching for a year to produce educational theater. I treated my first audience to the historical giant Everyman a 15th century play of Christian salvation with allegorical characters speaking old English. Sadly, I misjudged the youth of Iowa. The ensuing near-riot caused the school board to replace my show with Reefer Madness (AAS).

Never a quitter, I next tried to educate by reviving America’s only original contribution to theater, The Minstrel Show. Alas, somehow my young cast was under the impression it was an early version of Soul Train. The first script reading occasioned such appalling language and hysteria I felt it wise to cancel – encouraged by hints of painful retribution should I continue.

My final attempt to uplift and cultivate beyond the norm was a creation of Hal “Hunk” Harvey, avant guard playwright and former Chi Chi LaRue star (AAS). His Billy the Kid and Johnny Appleseed was a gay romp we staged in the basement of the Holy Blood Tabernacle, a cheap, but regrettable choice of venue. The graphic love scene ending Act I resulted in our fleeing out the back. I had voiced misgivings, but was assured art would triumph. Bull feathers! Lord knows what would have happened with the nude finale. My funds gone, I returned to teaching.

Was the year a failure? Absolutely not! It was just what I’d hoped for: a year of fun, excitement and great memories. So, for whatever time you can, get out of your rut and go for it. Enjoy.



Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=60265

Posted by on May 14, 2015. Filed under Bill's Briefs, Bottom Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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