Labor Day

Went to Cleveland’s Oktoberfest with two very old friends whom I hadn’t seen in decades: Jim S. and Jerry W. I first met Jerry in 1979 when I started working at the phone company as a clerk typist. He was in my department, and we hit it off right away. It wasn’t until three years later, however, that we finally came out to each other.

Around that time — 1982 — is when I first met Jim at the Friday Night Rap Group at Cleveland’s Gay & Lesbian Community Center. Jim also worked the Gay Hotline there on certain nights.

We were all young men back then, but now we’re getting quite old. I’m 54, Jim is 55, and Jerry — hard to believe — has just turned 65.

After leaving Oktoberfest — we didn’t stay extremely long because it was quite hot and muggy — around 90 degrees — we went back to Jerry’s place and hung out for a while. Jerry had been working on his house and had bought some new furniture, so the place looked quite different since the last time I was there. Very homey.

Except for getting older, and heavier, Jerry hasn’t changed a bit. He’s got a wonderful sense of humor which was peppered throughout the tales he regaled us with.

I found out with surprise that several people we all knew, back in the day, had died.

I also found out Jim broke up with his partner of twelve years, and is now living on his own pretty close to where I was living just before I left Cleveland twenty years ago.

It was good seeing them again. Felt like a reunion of sorts.