Tuesday, April 26, 2011
ROBBLOG # 256
That blog will have to wait for another sunrise. You see I was reading a column today that had been written by someone who was at the infamous Bathhouse raids in Toronto back on February 5th 1981. 30 years has passed.
I also learned something new. Maybe I had read it before but I have just forgot. I forget a lot of things these days.
In 1975 Police in Montreal raided a place called “Sauna Aquarius”, known as a Gay hangout, I suppose. The following half dozen years saw the beginning of the Gay and Lesbian Community being harassed on a regular basis in areas that Gay and Lesbians frequented. Police and Law Enforcement agencies were trying to keep a rising Gay Voice quiet in the media. However, the LGBT movement could not be silenced- even after the Bathhouse raids in Toronto in 1981.
I was living in the City in 1981.
I just didn’t go downtown that evening.
As a matter of fact, I had never been in a Gay Men’s Bathhouse. Not that I was against the idea, it’s just that the opportunity never presented itself. I was more of a going-out-to-dinner kind of guy. A “bar boy”.
I liked going to the bars although it was daunting and most uncomfortable at first. It took a while to adjust even though these were “my people”.
So today, I was reading a first-hand account of the Toronto Bathhouse raided written by Phillip MacLeod. It was very interesting. Accompanying the article was a photo of Phillip. An attractive man with a beard and tousled hair. One would have guessed the photo was taken yesterday. Looking at the picture, he appeared to be a man in his 40’s or so. Reading along further I was shocked to discover that Mr. MacLeod passed away a year ago, on May 31st, 2010. He was 86 years old.
I had to take out a pen and do some figuring.
He was born in 1925.
So he was 50ish in the photo and was 56 when the raid took place.
My mind did a flip.
How could Phillip be dead?
I was reading the article like it had been written recently when in reality it had been written the day or two following the raids in 1981.
This definitely messed with my mind. This is “today” but the whole story- picture included, was of yesterday. I am talking about a life lived and passed on to the next level.
All these thoughts and more flooded into my mind as I took a walk in the afternoon rain. After reading the story Philip had written and discovered that time truly waits for no man, I had to get out and get the adrenaline flowing or whatever it is that flows when one walks a distance and feels 100% better in body and spirit when the walk has terminated.
A friend had e-mailed me earlier today, answering another e-mail where I had lamented the loss of Ken Kostick at 56 years of age and a friend of local theatre Moe Cloutier at only 40 years of age. Both passing’s were much too soon.
She said in her e-mail- “None of us gets out of this life alive.”
We all are treading down the same path to eternity, some sooner than others.
This brings me to some kind of point I was trying to make when I started writing this blog.
Life is short.
Here I am staring 60 in the face.
I know people tell me- “God, you don’t look 60!!”
Thanks for that. I don’t feel 60- whatever 60 is supposed to feel like today.
“Things” make me feel like 60 however. Recently, I applied for my Canada Pension. I start receiving that in August- if that asshole Harper doesn’t spend all the money in all the Government Banks in Ottawa on those freeking fighter jets.
Another friend said- only a year ago, “Rob, the way I figure it, we’ve got 20 good years left.”
This year on her Birthday she e-mailed- “19 years left!”
It’s all going too bloody fast.
I still have a load of travelling I want to do.
I want to write more.
I want to do new things.
Maybe I want to move again and start all over again.
There’s still a world full of new people and places.
In the meantime I get my senior’s discount at Zellers. That’s a plus. I am working on getting discounts elsewhere.
Finally, one other friend tells me once I hit 60 I have to ask every clerk or salesperson I deal with in every store I go into-
“Do I get a discount on that? I’m a senior living on a fixed income!”
Posted by Rob Reid at 9:18 PM