1957 Gay

During a recent phone conversation with Tara, I told her that she makes me feel gay.

“1957 gay,” I added. “Not current gay.”

The truth is, I miss 1957 gay. If you were gay in the year that American Bandstand debuted, you were happy or jovial. Lighthearted. Carefree. Dick Clark was gay. My dad was gay. If I had been alive then, I’m sure I would’ve been gay, too.

For the record: there’s nothing wrong with current gay, either. I am firmly in favor of gay rights, same sex marriage, and equality for all. Because of this, I want gay to always have a positive connotation. So I told Tara I was going to singlehandedly attempt to bring gay back. 1957 gay, that is. “How will you do that?” she asked.

“Easy,” I said. “I’m going to tell everybody I’m gay!”

hm-coverAfter hanging up with her (I was at work), I started telling all my coworkers I was feeling gay. When Crawford looked at me funny I said to him, “You make me feel gay, buddy!” Which, oddly enough, precipitated an even stranger look.

I may have an uphill battle here, but I’m going to push on bravely and continue to spread my gay agenda everywhere I go.

Speaking of gay, yesterday we had a mini family reunion. My uncle and his wife flew out from Trenton, New Jersey for a vacation. My mom and aunt, not to mention my 97 y/o grandmother, all live out here, so having the whole family together is kind of a big deal. The last time I saw my uncle had been 1997 – 18 years ago. Which means he was the age I am now back then. Weird. He and I have developed a pretty good camaraderie over the years, fueled by witty Facebook comments, competitive Words With Friends match-ups, and a similar liberal mentality. So it was nice to see him again in person, and have him meet both my wife and daughter. And his wife, Sue, seems like a great person, too. We ate ham and potato salad and macaroni and cheese and rolls and creamed corn (holy carb fest!) and guacamole and drank alcohol and there was lots of laughter and reminiscing. Best of all, the day turned into an impromptu tribute to my dearly departed grandfather, who  passed away nearly 40 years ago. #@&! you, cancer. Last Tuesday would have been his 100th birthday, so we toasted to his memory and shared stories and even sang “Happy Birthday.” It was all quite touching. And a blast to see how my mom interacted with her sister, brother, and mother. Dare I say it? Everybody was feeling gay by the time the evening was finished.


Tom and Sue are in town for the remainder of the week. They’re renting a cabin in Mount Hood Village and have invited Tara and I to crash with them on Friday night. We’re planning on taking them up on that offer. Should be a lot of fun, and will give us an opportunity to catch a sunrise over Trillium Lake the next morning, something we’ve been meaning to do for a while.

In the meantime, we’re enjoying the rest of the long holiday weekend. The weather has turned cool and fall-like, a nice break from what has been the hottest summer in Portland’s history. The break will be brief – it’s going to warm up again in a few days – so we’re enjoying it while we can. It’s been a pretty low-key weekend, and we plan to keep it that way.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

14 thoughts on “1957 Gay

  1. I agree…..there’s something about the word ‘gay’ that ‘happy’ just doesn’t convey. I feel the same way about the word, ‘queer.’ Because ‘weird’ just isn’t the same thing!

    Holy cow on the 97 year old grandma! That’s awesome!


  2. I think you’re going to have a tough time with that word reclaiming, since it’s already been reclaimed – but by current gay. Maybe you could bring back something edgier like “keen”. I’m keen on that idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wait – I am related to a Tom and Sue. I had to look at the picture twice to make sure my world hadn’t gotten smaller. Here’s to being Christmas gay! Great times.


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