Fight on for Victory --Fight Hard in Everything you do!
So there I was at the end of my first year at ¨Dear Old San Jose State¨ as a fraternity escapee extraordinaire (innocent yet guilty). I worked during that summer vacation of 1962 in San Jose/Santa Clara Valley (delivering flowers from the Town and Country flower shop while the regular delivery guy had a long holiday). I learned how to shift gears in a big white van and shift my eyes when dead people were displayed in coffins around me.
I moved out from my fraternity house arrest (btw, I just Googled Sigma Phi Epsilon/Epsilon Chapter/San Jose State and it no longer exists -- maybe they died from homophobia, R.I.P.) back to Lad Manor. I even had the same apartment but roomed with only one roomie. My roomate was Don, who was also one of my ¨Sig Ep¨ brothers, who had recently had his Sigma Phi Epsilon Golden Heart removed and survived the disgrace. WE WERE FREE. My Bro and I spent the summer looking for heart transplants to fill our voids but mostly I delivered sprays and casket floral pieces through the backdoors of mortuaries by day and busily tried to kill myself ¨death by drinks¨ at night...¨I Wanna Hold Your Hand¨ (if I am drunk) and ¨Never Would I Leave You¨ (I was gone by sunup) played on and on.
We discovered a Gay bar in downtown San Jose...the Crystal. It had mainly mature customers but there were a few younger guys mixed in with a few, very/very fun, Lesbians too. It was fine and welcoming as we were still in training to become full-fledged Gay guys. We had lots to discover. The flattery didn't hurt. The Bar was tucked away just behind the Cathedral and a block away from Hart's Department Store, main branch, Market and Santa Clara, where I would soon work part-time during my second year as a Spartan. Don and I were both very underage but the management of the Crystal Bar liked that (no worries of the police bothering them we were told - it was true). Craig the Straight bartender kept those glasses filled, with or without payment...¨it's on the house!¨ Lucille, the cranky, been-around-don´t-mess-with-me cocktail waitress was a delight..no smiles, a veteran beat-them-with-tray-bar fighter and more! Touchdown!
We loved being 19 and we went to San Francisco (just up the Bayshore) whenever we could (often) to further advance our homosexual studies.
Hippies we were not (even though we had brunch every Sunday at the The Cask Bar/Restaurant on Haight Street). No drugs for me (I figured I was ¨nuts¨ enough already). Besides, I couldn't wait to get to the Jumping Frog Bar - North Beach around 3:30 P.M Sunday afternoons and I wanted to JUMP and not crawl into the place...and so *it* began.
to be continued