Sep 15, 2013

Summer 1969: Why My Parents Took So Many Shirtless Pictures

Got enough evidence yet, Mom?
I keep getting asked for more shirtless or preferably nude pics of Verne, the preacher's son who liked nude horseplay, or Todd, who I spent the night with at music camp, or Bill, the reformed Mean Boy.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot, and most of those that I have were already posted on my other blog a few years ago, so you've probably seen them before.  I have quite a lot of me alone as a teenager or college boy with a pretty good physique -- my parents kept snapping pics, especially when I mentioned a guy I liked.

 Were they using muscles as evidence that I wasn't gay?








When I don't have enough shirtless pics to illustrate a story, I substitute a modern pic of someone who looks like the guy.  It's easy to tell the modern ones -- piercings, tattoos, gang signs by people who aren't Crips, Hollister t-shirts, plastic bracelets, and cell phones.

I have no pics of my Uncle Paul, so his story is illustrated by two pics of random guys.

When I was a kid, I knew that a boy who liked a particular girl called her a "girlfriend."  But no one gave a name to a boy who liked a particular boy.  It wasn't "boyfriend" -- I tried that, and got corrected.  Superman called Jimmy Olsen his “boy pal."  On My Three Sons, Robbie Douglas called the boys he liked "buddies."  But I found out the real word in the summer of 1969, just after third grade, when we went to my parents' home town of Garrett, Indiana to watch my Uncle Paul get married.

Uncle Paul was my favorite uncle because he was still a teenager, in high school, and he wanted to be called "Paul," not "Uncle" anything.  When I visited, we did cool things, like going swimming or catching frogs or playing hide-and-seek in the cornfield.  He drove us to movies (my parents didn't know) and to the Blue Moon Drive-In, where he bought us milkshakes and introduced us to all his high school friends.

There was no bathroom in my grandparents' house, so you had to use the outhouse or pee into the wind.  Paul taught us how, giving me my first glimpse of an adult penis.

 But in the summer of 1969 (the same summer I saw the Naked Man in the Peat Bog), Paul was a grownup, and like all grownup men he had to go to work in the factory and get married.  He was marrying a petite girl with small hands and freckles, who said we should call her Lana, not "Aunt" anything.

At the wedding, five men and boys lined up on the little stage next to Uncle Paul, and five women and girls lined up next to Lana. My Cousin Buster, only one year older than me, got to stand up there, but not me; I had to sit in the wooden pew next to my parents and little brother and baby sister.

“Don’t worry about it,” Mom said, noting my disappointment. “Someday when you get married, you can have anybody you want standing next to you.”

“Bill?”

“Sure. He can even be your best man.”

I beamed. When Mom said boys don’t get married, she meant they didn’t have wives, they had best men! So when I grew up, I would stand on that little stage with my best man, Bill or someone like him, and we would get married while all of our friends and relatives clapped.  Then we would go on a honeymoon trip to Hawaii to look at muscular surfers, and afterwards we would move into a house together.

Nearly a years passed before I discovered that "best man" meant something else altogether.  But I still used it as code, calling the boy I liked my "best man" through high school.

Meanwhile, my parents kept snapping those pix.

See also: Dad STILL Thinks I Like to Look at Girls