• Herbert Ransom was an actor who was a terrible poker player whose face always showed whether he had a good hand or a bad hand. Because Mr. Ransom was so bad, fellow poker player Franklin Pierce Adams once proposed a new rule: “Anyone who looks at Ransom’s face is cheating.”
Gays and Lesbians
• Lesbian comedian Judy Carter knows a lot about homosexuality: 1) She learned that not all stereotypes are true when she met and got to know a big butch lesbian who had both a tough attitude and a pink bedroom, complete with doll collection and lace bedspread. 2) She knows that people discover that they are gay at different ages. For example, she knows Mary Newman, who was a grandmother when she became attracted to another woman. At age 64, she left her husband and moved in with the woman she loved. 3) A homophobe once said to Ms. Carter, “The Bible says, ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman … he must be put to death’ (Leviticus 20:13).” She replied, “It also says in the Bible that ‘he who touches a pig must be put to death,’ and also that ‘he who wears clothing woven of two kinds of materials shall be put to death.’ So if you want to be literal, no more NFL (touching pigskin = death) and no more poly-cotton blends. And it wasn’t us gays who invented polyester!”
• Some homosexuals have been devoted to dance, including Sergey Diaghilev, who organized the Ballets Russes. One day, while watching a rehearsal of George Balanchine’s Apollo, he turned to Mr. Balanchine and said, “How beautiful.” Thinking Mr. Diaghilev was talking about the music, Mr. Balanchine agreed, but Mr. Diaghilev said, “No, no. I mean [Serge] Lifar’s *ss; it is like a rose.”
• A young gay man was so impressed by Bewitched’s Endora (played by the brilliant actress Agnes Moorehead) that when he was surrounded by bullies in a schoolyard he threw a curse on them: “Bat’s wings, cow’s eyes, the moon in eclipse! Make them as effeminate as Quentin Crisp!”
• When comedian Kate Clinton was growing up, her sister sometimes called her “a big fat queer.” When Ms. Clinton grew up, she discovered that she was a lesbian. Nowadays, hoping that history will repeat itself, her sister calls her “a big fat millionaire.”
• In early 2012 an oarsman on the crew team of Columbia University came out as a gay man to his father, who gave him an ultimatum: change his sexual orientation with the help of a Catholic “reparative therapy” program (and keep receiving college tuition from his father) or else his father would have nothing further to do with him (including giving him college tuition). The oarsman told his coach, an openly gay man, about this situation, and the coach contacted the financial aid office to arrange for an emergency appointment for the oarsman. Columbia gave the oarsman a full work-study financial aid package. The oarsman is no longer an oarsman due to lack of time — work-study does take time — but it is much better than not being able to go to college.
• As a child growing up in Texas, African-American choreographer Alvin Ailey discovered a huge snake living under his family’s house. Everyday, he fed the snake some of his own food. Unfortunately, this happened during hard times for his family when both money and food were difficult to acquire. His mother was not pleased to learn what he was doing with the food that she had worked so hard to provide for him. A good deed that did work out occurred when Alvin was taking lessons in tuba in the fourth grade. His school principal learned that Alvin’s family could not afford to pay for the tuba, so the principal paid for it and gave it to Alvin. (Sometimes, the mnemonic spelling aid “The principal is a pal” is accurate.)
• When Randy Cox of Gladewater, Texas, was diagnosed with cancer in early 2012, his son, Drew Cox, age six, wanted to help. The family had medical insurance, but out-of-pocket expenses would still amount to thousands of dollars, so on 14 April 2012 Drew set up a lemonade stand outside their home to raise money. Drew said about his father, “He is so important to me. We like to play with each other. Lots of times we like to play games.” He charged 25 cents for lemonade, but many customers paid much more than that. One customer even wrote a check for $5,000! People came from far away to buy lemonade. By the end of the day, Drew had raised over $10,000 to help pay his father’s medical bills.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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