Long Lasting Relationships Part 2
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.
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• 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!