Long Lasting Relationships Part 2

Joe, Albyn & Me  1970s
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
November 9, 2015 7:57am CST
Joseph and Albyn were the first gay couple in a long lasting relationship that I was to meet--it was 1956, I was just out of the Marines and (for many reasons) moved to Miami Beach--my first week there I met (actually Joe first, Albyn later that evening) them on the beach--Joe was known as 'the mayor of 6th street' and greeted everyone. They lived a half a block from the beach in a studio apartment where they were to live until Joe's death in the 1980s--when he died they had been together for 52 years --and as Albyn always said, "If I wanted to be alone and/or have some privacy I had to go into the bathroom and lock the door". How many of us would have survived for that length of time in that amount of space? They were both from a small town in the Northwest--Joe was married with children and fairly wealthy--Albyn was the town's newspaper delivery boy--they did not have sex until Albyn was 18--he was then drafted and as soon as he got out of the service they 'eloped' to Miami Beach--Joe made sure his wife and kids were taken care of financially--as they settled down in Miami Beach Joe became the 'wife' staying home, cleaning, cooking, etc while Albyn went to work (stereo-typically as a hairdresser) bringing home the 'bacon'. They took trips to Europe, many cruises, bought home many fine arts from all over. They mentored, guided, steered many gay young men along the way and some of their 'children' are still very close today. Albyn's aunts and Joe's grown children accepted them openly and occasionally they would visit back to their hometown--every year they would go to NYC and catch ALL the Broadway shows--they were respected and admired by all--gay and non-gay folks and had a great social life. The last five years of his life Joe got very sick--to pay all their expenses they had to eventually sell everything they had--by the time he died Albyn was left almost destitute BUT his 'family' rallied around him--one friend converted his large garage into a completely furnished home for him, including a working kitchen and bathroom--we took turns entertaining and keeping him company--before he died he told many of us the luckiest day of his life was when stopped at Joe's house to collect for the newspaper and met Joe. To this day they are still spoken of with awe, love and admiration by all who knew them--and I am sure they would be pleased to know their 'grandchildren' know all about the pioneers they were.
10 people like this
11 responses
@JudyEv (134576)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Nov 15
It's great that they had such a long, happy life together.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
12 Nov 15
Like all relationships that work they worked at it!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134576)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Nov 15
@GreatMartin I think that is the trouble with some relationships today. The least little thing goes wrong and they're not prepared to work at fixing the problem.
1 person likes this
@simone10 (21647)
• Louisville, Kentucky
10 Nov 15
What a wonderful, loving relationship they had. I always longed for a marriage like that but it just wasn't in the cards for me.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
10 Nov 15
I was living in Memphis when they reached that 50th year--they were visiting me and we went to a gay bar J-Wag's and the crowd went wild when they heard these 2 had been together that long! It was a beautiful night!
1 person likes this
@simone10 (21647)
• Louisville, Kentucky
13 Nov 15
@GreatMartin I bet it was a beautiful night. I wish I had known you back when you were in Memphis.
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
15 Nov 15
It is wonderful that they found each other, and had so many years together. Just sad, Joe got so very sick, and I think all who were there for Albyn after that, were or are lovely people.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
16 Nov 15
We were their family and family are there for each other!
1 person likes this
9 Nov 15
Sounds like a true love story! I think it can be hard to be with someone for that many years, so to go through the good times and the bad is definitely something.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
10 Nov 15
There is so much more to the story--they were two special guys!!
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@babaraimc (1323)
• Pakistan
9 Nov 15
i didn't read the first part did i miss something?
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
10 Nov 15
Yes!
@GardenGerty (102466)
• United States
9 Nov 15
I like the fact that the extended "family" took care of an aging Albyn. All seniors, gay or straight,need that kind of love and care.
1 person likes this
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
10 Nov 15
And, yet, most don't get it.
@PainsOnSlate (20518)
• Canada
10 Nov 15
Awe, you brought me to tears. What a wonderful love story. Thanks for sharing it.
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
10 Nov 15
Most long lasting love stories are wonderful!!
1 person likes this
@Rosekitty (19438)
• San Marcos, Texas
22 Dec 15
I really loved this story of your friends..they were destined to be together..what stories you must have known!
@jaboUK (55052)
• United Kingdom
13 Nov 15
How wonderful to read about this loving couple.
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
11 Nov 15
That relationship sounds like pure love and dedication. And for there families to accept them as they were is an awesome thing. They seemed loved and were very lucky as well. Especially back in those days.
• United States
11 Nov 15
Hopefully now, with laws being changed, fewer people will die leaving their loved one broke.