Jan 22, 2018

Searching for Beefcake in "Almost Home"

When I was growing up in Rock Island, we drove out to visit my parents' family in Indiana once or twice a year.  On the way back, about 20 miles outside of town, there was a sign that read "Galesburg."

"Galesburg!" Mom would always exclaim.  "We're almost home!"

Today Galesburg still resonates in my mind as "almost home."

We didn't actually visit often -- there was nothing there that you couldn't get in Rock Island.

Except a train: if you wanted to take the train anywhere, you had to go to Galesburg -- the famous Rock Island line didn't actually stop in Rock Island.  We drove in to pick up my grandmother and Aunt Nora, and drop them off again.

And Carl Sandburg: Our teachers never let us forget that Galesburg was the home town of the "great" Illinois poet that we all hated -- The People Yes!, American Songbag, Always the Young Strangers. 

It was also the site of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

And the Marx Brothers were performing at the Auditorium Theater on Broad and Ferris when they adopted their stage names: Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo.

And there is a substantial amount of beefcake.

The high school has a swim team.

So does Knox College.

Plus wrestling.

And powerlifting.

There's a sex club outside of town, the Hole in the Wall, the only one I've ever seen that wasn't in a big city.

It's just for sex -- no exercise equipment, no sauna, just cruising by a lot of gay and downlow men.

Though I'm pretty sure this one is a fake.

1 comment:

  1. That sex club surprises me. I thought small towns skipped the sex club/bathhouse subculture. The only small towns I've even seen with bathhouses were reservations, and that was because HUD had a habit of making rowhouses with no bathrooms. They were literally just for bathing.

    For most small towns, though, I thought parks and gyms were the standard hookup spots. Possibly colleges or bars, depending on the bar. Links to the outside world: Truck stops, train stations, airports and shipyards.

    Today, of course, no one needs hookup spots: There's an app for that. The guys you meet on these apps are morons as a rule, but you're not there to discuss Dostoevsky.

    But then, I had a very different experience than most gay/bi teens. In high school, we cured each other's blue balls by hand. Why would I need to go off with a stranger when I can just have a circle jerk with the (not literal) bros?


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