Atlantis Alumni

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Full Circle

(please click on the photo on the left to enlarge it.)

This past weekend a friend from New Jersey, Paul Orlando, visited Cherry Grove.
Paul and his partner Charles used to be Grove regulars, but in recent years
they have not often visited and are selling their home here. So it was a sentimental
journey to see them again, and I had wanted all summer to give Paul
a copy of "Queer Collection" which has a story based on certain adventures in his life.

After he recounted an early period of his life several years ago, I asked him if I could use the material in a short story. He consented and I wrote a piece called "The Golden Tattoo." With a certain amount of artistic license the story recreates a period in America's history, that time in the early 1970s when the country was full of hopes for a better future. These dreams are intermingled with the story of how Paul came out as a gay man.

During a few years when another gay magazine considered the story for publication but ultimately rejected it, I hoped somehow the story would eventually be published.Then I heard of the new publication "The Queer Collection" and sent the story out yet again.That's frequently the way it works in publishing fiction. I was pleasantly surprised when"Queer Collection" accepted the story last Fall and published it this Spring.

This past Saturday I was finally able to give Paul a copy of the magazine with the story.
Both he and his life were great inspirations, and I hope he enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

In the photo: a picture of Grove friends dinning in the Pines, taken in 2003, the year that Paul recounted the fascinating story of his early adulthood. Paul is the handsome gent in the foreground left, seated next to his partner Charles. I'm next to Charles, in a yellow shirt. Among the other Grove friends, the waving, smiling man in the background was Jerry Ehrlich, now no longer with us, but fondly remembered as one of the finest persons Jim and I have ever met and known on Fire Island.


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