1 June 1986 Sunday
Finally summer is on its way. It's been so warm the past few days, and it’s a beautiful warm Sunday.
What is in my head? My wife went down to Levan for the weekend to get away and will be back tonight. I am feeling very disappointed and discouraged this morning because after waiting all day yesterday for someone to call me, no one did. I knew the phone would ring this morning and it did, someone wanting something of me. I didn't even answer it. I was so mad and upset.
I ran the Sacrament things over to Jon B's for him to take to Church but he wasn't home. So I had to go over to Bob McIntier's where David Ewing answered the door. He was in his Temple clothes so I just handed him the stuff and left. So they were having Temple initiations, and I didn’t know a thing about it or was invited to participate.
What is in my head? Disappointment, Sadness, Resolution, and a renewal of commitment to serve the Lord, the community, and myself.
Russ Lane never calls me unless he needs something. He acts all giddy and like he enjoys my company during the week when I am bringing him treats at work but on the weekends he saves those times for Frank F. and others. He never asks me out, even for dinner, or calls to visit unless he needs something for Affirmation. I'm such a fool that I should love someone so intensely who doesn't love me.
I am sad at having to say goodbye to Russ, but I am resolved to put time and space between us because I love myself, too much to keep on going as is. My new purpose is to let Russ just go, one way or another. I must remember the poem Waiting and the lines, "My friends are seeking my face”
As much as I care for Jon B., he has let me down twice. The first time was his fault, but by letting him do it to me again, that’s my fault. I really needed Jon last Sunday to go with me to Coronation, but I suppose God wanted John Crane to be with me instead, but that doesn't absolve Jon for not being there for me when he said he would. Then when last Friday, when I expressed to Jon that I was going to be alone this weekend and really needed his company, he promised that he would stay with me on Saturday. So I sat by the phone until 11 p. m. and there was no phone call from Jon. It made me realize that I can't rely upon Jon as I thought that I could, and I am sad about that. Jon is a sweet man and I will always be fond of him but I want to release him, with love, from my life. I am resolved not to let myself depend upon Jon to help me out of hard situations. Its not fair to him and its not fair to me. I am resolved to let him go on with his life without my emotional attachment on him.
I am deeply disappointed that Tony Feliz and I never got to develop a spiritual relationship or connection. I would have done anything for him, as the oracle of God, if he had but asked. But I am never called to sit in on the decision making aspects of this portion of the Kingdom even though the Lord called me to be the Church's Bishop Agent. Yes, I am called when they need an extra body to make up a prayer circle or prepare Sacrament, or run other errands. All this week Bob McIntier and Tony Feliz haven't bothered to pick up the phone to talk to me except at the last minute, when they told me they were having a Wednesday's Family home evening. I do not feel apart of this family any more. Well, God's will be done. If I'm not suppose to be in the Council of the Elders of Israel of the Restoration Church who am I to fight against God?
I know that the Restoration Church, as it was conceived in the beginning is of God, but I feel that it is drifting from the principles espoused by Lamar Hamilton who I’ve heard has broken with the church over Tony’s claim to be Seer, Prophet, and Revelator for the entire church. I heard that he doesn’t want anything to do with the Temple Ordinances that are being performed in the tabernacle.
I know that I am really disappointed in Bob McIntier’s vision for the church. He once confided in me that he envisioned the church meeting in a regular ward-like building with an organ with all the familiar LDS trappings. That was never my wish to see the church become simply a carbon copy of the Utah Church with a lavender twist. We had the chance to be unique and fill a portion of the Lord’s garden with the cast-offs and misfits that the LDS Church had no use for.
Maybe I'm not supposed to be part of this great work either. I once heard Pam Calkins say how that Gay people were the Lord’s tithing back to the earth and once the Lord even revealed to me that while some of His children were meant to procreate, others were blessed to recreate, meaning that they were sent to beautify and enrich this planet. This is my biggest disappointment and my great sadness, that I feel the church is losing its way while Tony consolidates his authority over the church.
But I am getting emotionally well as I am journeying into the land of Oz. I am not so disconnected between my head, my heart, and my courage anymore. The most courageous act in my life was to come out of the closet and so that I can follow the Yellow Brick Road towards what ever amazing adventure may come my way.
I realize I can not afford to cling onto people, places, or things which either no longer work for me or that do not love me as much as I love them. If I can give up my abusive relationship with the Mormon Church, I can certainly shed other emotional baggage that is impeding my progress.
My relationship with The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ is going to be put on hold for a while until I can get some more spiritual guidance. I am resolved to go on a “Spiritual Retreat” for 40 days. On the tenth of July I will make my decision on what to do with my life. I will use this time to fast and pray and renew my Covenants with Christ. I truly want to get to know Him again as I did in my youth. I would even like to rebuild my relationship with my wife, if it can be salvaged, but I know in my heart it is time to say goodbye. I will put all other relationships on the back burner.
No more attending the Restoration Church, no more Affirmation. No more accepting phone calls. Of course I will have to talk to Jon and Russ at work but I will keep it strictly business.
I need to get some introspection back into my life. I need to fill my own cup up. I heard Tony talk once on how Gays are often like cups with holes in them. We are constantly feeling drained until we are able to patch up our holes. After that we can be filled to overflowing so that we can fill other people’s cups. I need to patch my cup.
I am like a well that has gone dry. I gave and gave and no one ever primed my pump. Nothing ever came back. It's time for the Lord to renew my spirit but right now at this given point in time, I am not interested in any Church be it Catholic, Protestant, or Restored.
I walked to Liberty Park around noon, and laid out in the sun still trying to get a tan. Not a dark one but just a healthy looking one. I love reading the Sunday Paper while relaxing and drinking a 7/11 Big Gulp. After reading through the paper, I also read from Samuel I &II. Everyday I need to study the Scriptures and to talk to my Parents in Heaven.
After I lost the afternoon sun, I walked home and drove up to the U of U's locker rooms to weigh myself, and to sit in the sauna. I'm right at 200 lbs while last week I was 205 lbs. I want to get under 200 lbs so badly but that's not important, Having a good relationship with my Savior is what is most important to me right now.
I decided not to go to Affirmation tonight anyway because I wanted to go to Carol Kessler’s viewing. It's so hard to believe that she is dead. If she would have only taken her potassium pills or eaten a banana. Well she's a beautiful corpse now.
I was surprised when Mike H. came over to the house around 5 p.m. out of the blue. It was so sweet of him to be concerned about me. He said he missed my spirit at church. We went to Liberty Park, to layout in the sun, until 7 pm. We talked about how I was feeling about things at the moment and how I felt as I need to go on an emotional retreat. Mike was so sweet and understanding, I love him for that. Mike had to leave to go to Affirmation’s Pot Luck. I told him about meeting Marty Orton of Provo and asked him to make contact with him. Mike will make a great High Priest.
As soon as we came back to the house, Mike changed clothes and left. Only a few minutes after that, Jon B. pulled into the drive way in his van. I thought to myself, "Boy! this going on a retreat is going to be harder then I thought”.
Well I thought I owed it to Jon to let him know what is going on with me. We visited and he also said that he needs to find the will and mind of God for himself. I really love Jon. I just need to have my well replenished once in a while. Jon said he understood what I was trying to say and said that he would support me in my decisions.
I never made it to Carol Kessler's viewing.
In the evening before going to bed, I prayed to the Lord for strength to separate myself for 40 days so that I could be in the proper frame of mind to be fasting and prayerful as I seek for the renewal of my spirit. I want to get to know my Savior and spend time with Him alone.
2 June 1986 Monday
Today is the second day of my 40 day journey of introspection and Carol Kessler's funeral. My wife went to it but I couldn’t get the time off from work so I didn't get to go. My wife said that it was a nifty funeral with lots of well dressed rich people with sporty cars attending. Carol must have loved it. She was into the sporty glamour life.
Anyway at work the morning was hell with Dynacomp, our main computer server, being down. Visiting with Russ I let him know that I am going through some introspection and that I was going to be gone emotionally from everything, for a while, even though I will still be around doing my duties. I thought he understood what I was trying to say but hey even I didn’t know what I was trying to say. However instead of letting me be, Russ kept trying to make contact with me all day, way more than usual. I was polite to him but acted preoccupied. I know my withdrawals from Russ will be my hardest trial. My first instinct and desire is to run back to Russ and give in to him but that road leads to insanity. The Savior keeps me sane, however, saying, "Come unto me", and that really helps me focus on what I need to do.
I worked until eight p.m. and walked home through Liberty Park. It was a warm, warm evening. At home, my wife fixed some soup and salad for dinner and later Tony and his wife Wanda dropped by. Wanda finally moved to Utah to be with Tony and they are staying with Tony’s parents. They were in Salt Lake City looking for an apartment because they want to move away from Levan.
Before going to bed, I made out some tithing receipts and mailed them to Los Angeles and to Bob McIntier as part of my duty as Bishop Agent.
Changes in my life. Willy Marshall is leaving Utah to go buy a Corvette with some money he inherited. He said he wants to buy and sell Corvettes and travel around the country. Good for him. I don’t see much of Johnny W. anymore. He’s in Southern Utah more than he is here and I guess he is giving up his cute apartment behind the Utah School for the Blind. I have grown closer to Marc L.. He is a very eccentric and interesting person. He was in the Marine Corp, married with a daughter, and is a cross dressing queen who uses the persona Alice Foxx.
Many things about the Restoration Church are bothering me. At first the Law of Common Consent was strong in the church but now it seems that Tony Feliz is running the show with his boyfriends getting preferential treatment. The Law of Common Consent stated that the church had to be in unison before a revelation was accepted or a course of action was taken. That's not the case now. We simply sustain leaders like the LDS Church does.
I read the Scriptures today, mostly from Gospel of St. John. The two things I want to remember from my readings is that, Christ aspired to no earthly honor and fled rather than be made a king and secondly I want to be like my savior’s disciple Nathaniel of whom the Lord said. "Behold an Israelite in who there is no guile". I want the Savior to be able to say that about me. I always want my motives to be pure.
3 June 1986 Tuesday:
Today is my mom's 57th birthday. My wife said Tony and Wanda have found a house here in Salt Lake but need to come stay with us until they can move in. More company. I bought a Sunstone Magazine downtown, and discovered Elbert Peck's phone number in it. Elbert writes for Sunstone and was a college dormitory mate at BYU years ago. I called Virginia but the man who answered said that Elbert wasn't home but was moving to Utah to take over the editorship of the Sunstone!
At work was the pits trying to avoid Russ Lane. Mike H. called late in the evening. I wasn't even going to answer the phone but at the last minute I did. Mike said he felt prompted to just let the phone ring until I picked up. The reason he called was that he said he had met Marty O. and had gotten together with him. I asked him how did he find him and Mike simply said that he just went to the address I had given him. I told Mike that I never gave him Marty's address in Provo because I didn't know it. The Lord must have put the directions in Mike's mind. God does work in mysterious ways.
• Additional Material Elbert Peck left a job as a Maryland urban planner to take Sunstone's reins in 1986. He envisioned a "Big Tent," the consummate arena for historical, philosophical, artistic and cultural views in the LDS universe. Things at Sunstone heated up when Peck came on board. Sunstone's Symposium sessions covered feminism, homosexuality, secret temple rites and the veracity of LDS scripture. In 1989, Dallin Oaks warned against "alternate" views, and on Aug. 23, 1991, the ruling First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles exhorted the faithful to stay away from anything, including unidentified "symposia," that might undermine their beliefs. "Sunstone was labeled an evil thing." Elbert Peck was editor of the Sunstone magazine for 15 years.
4 June 1986 Wednesday:
I came out to Lynn F. at work and announced that I was Gay. She was the first person I felt safe enough with to share this information with. She was so sweet about it. I felt so good about telling Lynn that when Russ asked me to go to lunch with him because he had things to tell me, I said yes. We walked to Trolley Square and at the benches there and ate our lunches. Russ stated in on his stories about how Affirmation is growing his hopes for it, and his joy in seeing it take off. When he asked me how my life is going, I just replied, Good things are coming to me", and left it at that. Russ is so excited about Affirmation and the San Francisco Conference that is coming soon.
It clouded up in the afternoon and sprinkled in the evening so I was just going to stay home when for a strange reason I felt prompted to go to the Salt Lake Affirmation meeting. I hadn't attended a meeting with this group in months! There I met Ed B. a marriage counselor and school teacher for the Granite School District. John Cooper had asked Ed to attend Affirmation. There was just a small group of us, John Cooper, Ed B., Paul D, and I.
Ed B. was close to retirement and a very gentle soft spoken man. He and I visited about me wanting to go into the field of education and he was very encouraging. He said that he knew of a Lesbian elementary school principal who might have an opening next year. Wouldn't that be something?
I called Russ about ten p.m. to tell him about meeting Ed B. and how he would make a great guest speaker at Wasatch Affirmation. The conversation drifted to our volatile relationship and he made it clear again to me how he feels about me. I just said goodbye at that point and hung up. "Hearts do Not Break but Sting and Ache for old love sake but do not die."
5 June 1986 Thursday
Today was such a pleasant day at work. Russ Lane just could not leave me alone. he had to tell me about his calling Elder Theodore Burton to complain about an address he gave at BYU calling homosexuals an abomination. Russ said he really chewed him out and he told me that he felt that the General Authorities will have a lot of blood on their hands if they don't repent of their hateful ways towards Gays. I really admire Russ for his willingness to call G.A.'s and give him a piece of his mind. He has the integrity to follow up on his convictions.
After work my wife and I drove down to Orem to visit with Mike H.'s parents about the Restoration Church. Tony Feliz, Bob McIntier, and David Ewing were there also the Hs served us a nice dinner of stuffed potatoes and then we had a wonderful spiritual discussion. Sister H. is such a beautiful woman, spiritually and physically, and is so very Christ-like. She and I visited and I had to tell her how much I loved the Savior and we even held each other after that. I bore my testimony of Michael and how special he was to me after we bonded on our trip to California last May. I could tell that she loved hearing how special Michael is to this movement. My heart even softened to Tony Feliz and Bob McIntier when the spirit witnessed to me how much they indeed love the Savior. We visited and stayed at the H.s until one in the morning. Bob McIntier as usual may the suggestion that we end the evening an close the meeting since it was so late. I would have talked through out the night. Mike's father, Brother Howard offered a closing prayer, and we all held hands in a circle.
Before leaving, Bob pulled me aside and said that he heard that I was in reclusion and he told me that he understood and that he would be there for me when I am finished with my journey. He said he supported me totally. I just cried when he said that and I held him and told him how much I loved him for being so supportive. My wife and I didn't get to bed until after two a.m.
• Additional material SL MEETING TOLD PASSING AIDS TO HEALTH WORKERS UNLIKELY (SLTribune B4-5)
6 June 1986 Friday
It was a busy day at work and I was exhausted from lack of sleep. I sit in my cubicle and listen to my classical tapes. After work, my wife and her friend Donna picked me up to take me home. Donna finished my U of U coat that Gary R. gave me years ago when I worked for him at the Special Events Center. The sleeve stitches were coming loose. She did a nice job on it.
Later my wife and another friend Shannon went out together this evening so I went over to Bob McIntiers to drop off some things for church. While I was visiting with Tony Feliz there, I found out that we had a mutual acquaintance from Cypress College in California, Mr. O'B who was my art appreciation teacher. I once saw Mr. O'B soaking naked in a hot tub in a sports gym I belonged to in Orange, California. Because of the entourage of young guys around him I suspected that he was Gay even then. It had been over 15 years since I was his student so he didn't recognize me at the time.
7 June 1986 Saturday
This morning I walked to Liberty Park where I laid out trying to get a little tan. I read more from the gospels and had a gentle peaceful feeling surround me.
In the afternoon I went to the Libertarian State convention which was held at the University of Utah. I sat with Gordon J., Jon B., and Willy Marshall. Russ Lane was at the convention also, but we didn't sit by him.
I met Royston Potter, this polygamist who is running for county sheriff, I believe, and Alex Joseph, who is the polygamist mayor of Big Water, Utah. Royston Potter use to be a cop in West Valley before he got kicked off the force for having more then one wife. He's kind of cute in a geeky kind of way. His wives were at the convention I suppose to support him. They were all dressed in frilly stupid looking frocks. Alex Joseph kind of reminded me of Waylon Jennings the country singer.
The convention began with a procession of Scottish pipers which was thrilling. I love the bagpipes as much as men in kilts! It must be my Johnson and McLeod blood in me that stirs me so. Later a black choir sang, "We Shall Overcome", and it nearly got me to bawling; my emotions were so worked up. I was very impressed with the principal speaker, Karl Hess, from West Virginia.
Surveying the people attending the convention I would say they were evenly split between the polygamists, the pot heads, and us Gays with a few anti-government-tax resistors thrown into the mix. I guess I am drawn to the Libertarians because of their social message of getting the government out of our bedrooms but I totally disagree in philosophy with their views on economics. I am a social Democrat when it comes to supporting social programs to promote the common welfare of our people. I think it’s criminal that ten percent of the nation controls 90 percent of its wealth. Wealth is built on the back of labor and labor should have a more equitable share of it. Russ Lane totally disagrees with me on this point but I still sort of missed his company seeing him at the convention. Big Sigh.
I saw Elbert Peck this evening! After all these years! He was out walking and I encountered him on Broadway downtown. He said he was just walking home from working at the Sunstone's offices on 1st South. I revealed my involvement with the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ and he took it rather well. He even said that he saw a need for a church for the fringe elements of the LDS Church. Elbert said that he could feel that the Spirit of the Lord was still with me and I let him know that I know I still have the light of Christ within me. We then went to China Village for dinner where I treated him. We had the best time catching up with the past. He is still very active in the LDS Church although he gets his share of pressure because of his association with Sunstone Magazine. He said that he is very busy right now with the Sunstone Conference coming at the end of summer. I was touched when he said that he thought of me often over the years, and I confessed that I did him also. I will always think of Elbert as a cocky, rail of young man, leaning on a walking stick with two hands, and staring intently with his piercing eyes as he mouthed, "Indeed, indeed".
After we parted I went on home and watched the ten o'clock news. I was surprised to see Jon, Willy, and myself on television as part of the convention coverage. Yay! It was the first time I had ever seen myself on TV. And the last I hope! Television does add ten pounds.
So what am I thinking this first week of June? My wife is full of confusion about what is happening to us. She must come to a new state of consciousness or awareness before inner peace will come to her again. She is back to smoking, and seems to have lost her spiritual bearings. Her faith had always been in the church while mine has always been in Christ.
• Additional Material -"Live To Tell" by Madonna is number one song on national charts
• THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN SOLEMN ASSEMBLY: The Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly was formed by Alexander Joseph in 1974 after he left the Apostolic United Brethren in which he had been a prominent leader. Joseph has actively pressed the rights of polygamists in general and his Church in particular. Shortly after founding the Church, he attempted to homestead federal land but was denied access by court order. He moved to Glen Canyon, Kane county, Utah, and established a new town incorporated as Big Water, the current location of the Church's headquarters. Joseph became the first mayor of the town in 1983. Joseph had ten wives in 1983. He is the author of one book, Dry Bones, A Resurrection of Ancient Understandings, a commentary on the Pearl of Great Price, one of the Latter Day Saint scriptures.
8 June 1986 Sunday
I didn't feel well this morning so I tried to sleep for most of the morning. However I woke up at twelve-thirty after a loud thunderclap shook the house. Seeing what time it was I decided that I better get ready for church services. It was raining really hard, a down pour, on the way over to Rose Park. Exiting the freeway at 600 North my car did a tail spin on the off ramp. The Lord preserved me and kept me from harm. I wasn't as shook up as I should have been because I had the spirit of the Lord with me.
In attendance at church was Tony Feliz, David Ewing, Bob McIntier, Russ lane, Ric B., Mike H., Morgan S., who works for KSL, and I. Mike H. and I blessed the Sacrament. Tony Feliz gave a powerful talk and prophesized that the Church will grow and eventually be in every metropolitan community. The talk was so powerful that he gave me pause and I reconsidered my lack of belief in Tony's prophetic calling. At the end of Sacrament I stood up and confessed the sin of pride. The spirit was so strong that I was moved to tears. Afterwards, Michael Howard just held me in his arms for the longest time and whispered, "Good to have you back." Even Russ Lane came up and held me.
After leaving church I went and bought groceries before going home to get ready for Affirmation. Mike H. said he'd swing by and give me a ride. When he came to pick me up, I had him come into the house and I was prompted to share with him something sacred. I told him that I felt that we should be sealed together in the temple and Mike said that we needed to pray and fast about it.
At Affirmation there was a large turn out of about thirty people, probably more, although I didn't see Jon B.. There were at least eight Lesbians at the meeting and one transvestite named Marc L., as well as all the other fags. Mike H. and I sat together all throughout the meeting holding hands with each other. I could tell that Russ was jealous. Big deal. I feel so strongly about Mike H. and the ties that bind. He told me earlier that he had some real good teachers in the pre-existence and that I must have been one of them. Maybe that is what I remember about Mike. Watching Russ just glowing in the spotlight, I thought to myself, Oh Russ you don't need me just the adulation of the crowd."
When Russ had those attending Affirmation introduce ourselves by saying "My name is so and so and I am.....", when it was my turn I simply said, "My name is Ben and I am a member of the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ." Russ then said "Tell us a little more about your personality," and I said, "I am fun." Mike H. said, "My name is Mike H. and I am a well adjusted religious faggot." I just loved it but Russ wasn't pleased.
My wife dropped by Affirmation to tell me that she was going out dancing with her friend Bonnie. I nearly fell over when she said that she was going to Puss N Boots, a Lesbian bar on the west side of Salt Lake.
Neat kind of day although also kind of strange. I didn't get much time today to study the scriptures and ponder upon the Savior but I did try to be of service and be where he wanted me to be. I was able to greet people with an out stretched hand and give hugs with out stretched arms.
9 June 1986 Monday
Today is my oldest sister's 39th birthday. How could she be that old? How could I? Just seems like yesterday she was a teenager with boys chasing her everywhere. Boy was I envious.
It is the ninth day of my spiritual introspection and its been a rollercoaster so far.
At work Russ Lane surprised me and bought me a coke. He is usually not that generous. But still we didn't visit much. Gina who is in charge of the copy room and filing was being so funny. She kept coming into my cubicle and asking if I was Gay. I responded each time with a smile and "I beg your pardon?" and then she would scurry away. She is really a fun girl and a little crazy.
After work I called my wife and asked if she wanted to go out to a movie and she did. Later she called and asked if Tony could tag along. I really do not enjoy being around Tony anymore. He's not the cute teenager I knew in Grantsville.
He's arrogant, dirty, and kind of stupid at times. His arrogance I am sure is simply a defense for him. But he's smart enough to manipulate my wife big time. He doesn't get cleaned up when he comes home from working as a mechanic but stays in his filthy work clothes. His hair in unkempt and I am embarrassed to be seen with him. My wife who always sinks to the lower denominator is mimicking Tony rather then trying to encourage him to take more pride in appearances. She's wearing Meg's fat pants and she looks like hell in them. I know that it’s not all Tony's fault. He never had a father to teach him how to dress. He has asked me to go with him to pick out clothes for him but all he wants is golf clothes. I give up.
We went and saw The Color Purple, and although I absolutely loved and was moved by the picture I couldn't enjoy it being with my wife and Tony. They were more interested in wallowing in a giant container of popcorn than watching the movie.
My wife and I are at a stand off. She can't expect me to be cordial to her friends when she is as rude as she wants to mine. Tony has stayed far longer with us then Russ ever did and Tony is so immature that he has to be constantly entertained. At least Russ was intelligent and entertaining. I can't help how I feel. Since we were married I always put my wife's friends first. We moved to Grantsville and nearly starved to death so she could be near Tony's mother. Well I want Tony, his wife and kids, Linda, the whole bunch out of my life. They are all excess baggage that I refuse to carry any longer.
10 June 1986 Tuesday
I must really be into rejection. I was stupid enough to ask Russ Lane if I could see him at his place for a couple of minutes at lunch. He hesitated and looked pained and hemmed and hawed around before finally saying that he had invited John Butler over for lunch but if he couldn't make it then he could possibly see me. I remained serene and replied, "Forget it." I told him that I forgot I had business of my own to attend to during lunch. Gee! Russ I just love being rejected by you.
Anyway I then went over to see what's up with Jon B. and why he hasn't been attending church or Affirmation. He said that he's been reading up on priesthood authority and doesn't believe that the Restoration Church has the keys to actually perform all the ordinances that it has been doing lately. He said that he believed that Ross LeBaron, of the Polygamy LaBarons has the true keys to the Patriarchal Priesthood. Jon had given Ross the pamphlet that Tony Feliz wrote entitled "Jonathan Loved David," and Jon said LaBaron's heart was soften to Gays because of it. I wonder if I should meet this trailer park prophet.
Anyway I told Jon that if Ross LeBaron is indeed of God then he will use this Patriarchal Priesthood to bless and enrich the lives of the Seed of Abraham instead of sitting on it.
I ended up not taking a lunch today so I have an hour of overtime. I only have four hours of overtime on this check. Without the overtime I can hardly make it.
After work my wife picked me up so I wouldn't have to walk home. She is still not speaking to me and is mad. At the house was Linda and her brood and I am certain Linda has been bad mouthing me to my wife. I needed to get out of the house and a way from the scorned women, so I went to Bob McIntiers where I was in time to participate in Initiatory Ordinances in the Tabernacle. At Bob's at least there was a sweeter spirit. I had brought with me theater jells for Mike H. who wanted them. They were about all I had left from working the lights for shows at the Special Events Center back in 1979. Mike looked so cute. While visiting with Tony Feliz I told him about what Jon had said about Ross LeBaron and how I might go talk with him. Then Tony put on this authority face and counseled that I should only go see Ross LeBaron with Tony present. I was contrite and said that I would although I don't believe for a second that Ross LeBaron could persuade me to turn against my faith in the Restoration Church. I wasn't invited to stay for the endowment ceremony. David Ewing is having his endowments taken out tonight. He is the first person to have his endowments taken out within the authority of the Restoration Church. Mike H. is taking a name through the endowment for a Gay brother who was a member of the church but died before he could receive his endowments. This is the first ordinance for the dead within the church. A temple baptismal font will be up and running around the first day of summer. Baptism for those Gays who have died of AIDS and of violence is to be a special project of the church.
It was sweet being with the Brethren but not being invited to share in the endowment ceremonies was disappointing but God's will be done not my own. I waited in Bob's living room until the session was over then I was again sent out into the lone and dreary world.
I wasn't ready to go home to the contentiousness that waited for me there so I drove over to Jon B.'s to tell him the counsel that Tony gave me about Ross LeBaron but unfortunately for me he wasn't home. So then I felt like I wanted to see Russ. At the Juel Apartments he was helping his landlady with her genealogy. Since I knew more about the subject then Russ he gladly relinquished her to me. After I had answered her questions, she left and Russ and I began to visit about how things were going on in our lives. Things were okay until he began to tell me how much he's infatuated with Frank F.. I told him outright that I didn't wish to hear about Frank. It really makes me angry when he starts on about all the guys he's crazy about so we talked and talked and talked in circles with Russ explaining over and over again why he didn't love me but only wanted me as a friend. Then he had the nerve to say to me "let's just stay as we are!" He is such a son of a bitch. He is holding all the controls of this relationship and refuses to let me come in. Well fuck that. I said, that's not good enough for me because what does he think I am getting out of the relationship? Nothing but grief and heartache while he gets emotional, physical, spiritual and temporal support from me. Yet he gives his love to Frank F. because he says they are so much alike! Well fuck the both of them. I am through; totally and completely. To hell with the both of them and I am glad I am finally expressing my anger rather then be the "nice guy". Maybe the anger will help me purge him.
• Additional Material- Ross Wesley LeBaron: Within months of the organization of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, disagreements arose causing Joel LeBaron and Ross LeBaron to part ways. On 1 December 1955, Ross Wesley LeBaron incorporated his own church calling it simply, “The Church of the Firstborn.” During the ensuing decades, Ross remained in Utah and quietly promoted his own Church, cultivating a small group of followers. When asked in an interview 25 July 1959 concerning his priesthood authority, Ross stated that he was “ordained by his father in March, 1950, and that Joseph W. Musser confirmed the patriarchal Priesthood of Dayer LeBaron the same day.” Reportedly at one time Ross LeBaron lived in a storage unit with a dirt floor. His beliefs extended beyond the doctrines of the restoration to include UFOs and other extra-terrestrial beings. Often invited to speak on local radio talk shows, most people considered him eccentric, but harmless. Ross’ significance was enhanced through the attraction of three young followers, Fred Collier, Tom Green, and Robert Black. All three of these disciples assisted Ross in exchange for an opportunity to learn his teachings. Fred would become a prolific writer and proponent of plural marriage. During the 1960s and 1970s, with the help of his wife Bonnie, Fred successfully acquired unauthorized copies of many documents that were smuggled in and out of LDS Church Archives. His copies of documents, journals, discourses and early biographies would form the basis for many of his later publications. Tom Green would become famous, or infamous, for his own endeavors to publicize his polygamous activities. Tom believed Ross possessed an incredible depth of knowledge regarding patriarchal authority. After the death of Ross Wesley LeBaron, all three, Collier, Green and Black, would each claim that they were the recipient of Ross’s priesthood keys. LeBaron, a prominent Western polygamist who died in 1997 at the age of 82. LeBaron was a quirky but peaceable sibling of Ervil LeBaron, a homicidal polygamist leader who ordered the 1977 murder of rival polygamist Rulon Allred in Murray. Ervil died in prison in 1981. Ross Wesley LeBaron, Sr. Date: January 4, 1997 ST. GEORGE, Utah--Patriarch, Ross W. LeBaron, Sr., age 82, died December 31, 1996 in Malad, Idaho. He was the father of 17 children and three marriages, Thelma, Betty and LaVella. He was born in Overton, Nevada on November 16, 1914 to Alma Dayr and Maude Lucinda McDonald LeBaron. He spent his younger years in the Mormon Colonies in Chihuahua, New Mexico. For many years, he held the pole vaulting record in Colony Juarez. He was recognized as a genius by many. 01/04/97 SLTribune E14)
11 June 1986 Wednesday:
I spent a very restless night after coming home from Russ Lane's place. I kept tossing and turning all night as I mulled over our conversation and after each of Russ' statements I kept saying "fuck you".
This morning when greeted by the chill of a distant wife, I told her over breakfast that I wanted a place of mine own. I just can't live with the stress and mess that greets me every time I come home.
At work I wasn't ignoring Russ as much as I didn't care what his sorry ass was doing. And when I started feeling tender hearted towards him, as he flitted about the office, I kept saying to myself (but directed at him), "fuck you." That helped.
I went out to lunch with Jon B. who said that his life was up in the air too. He is breaking up with Gordon J. to renew a relationship with Lon Wright, his former boyfriend. Lon lives over on 8th East, near Liberty Park. Jon gave me some good advice and said I had to get over Russ and go on with my life. I told him that it's easier said then done because in some ways I love Russ more then I did John F. C. and I still am not over him.
After work I went over Bob McIntiers because he had invited me to dinner because Tony is leaving for California tomorrow. He had several people over including Mitch Golden, Alma S., Stephen Baustert, Tony Feliz, David Ewing, Jon B., and Lon Wright. It was a nice dinner and he served ham and Mexican food which was kind of a queer combination.
We visited and got to know each other better and it was a whole lot of fun. Alma S. was one of the organizers of the Salt Lake Affirmation along with John Cooper although he and Stephen are members of MCC now.
When I finally came home, my wife and I stayed up until after midnight discussing how we can separate our lives. She tossed out the idea of getting a house so she could keep the cats and dogs. I said I would agree to help support her with it but I am not very confident in her ability to take care of herself let alone a house and the animals.
• Additional Material- Lon Wright died 16 Sept 1994 of AIDS, Stephen Baustert died September 1988 of AIDS. Mitchell Golden born 4 February 1951 died 12 October 2001 of AIDS in San Francisco, California.
12 June 1986 Thursday:
An exhausting day because of the lack of sleep and from the emotional toll last night took on me discussing my marriage's break up. I didn't speak to Russ Lane all day. It was hard on me but necessary. Gordon J. and Jon B. are breaking up also.
Tony Feliz, David Ewing and the rest packed up and left for California leaving the Tabernacle set up in Bob's basement. I called Tony before he left and told him that Mike H. and I are discussing the possibility of being sealed. He made me angry when he said that he would have to pray and think about it. What does it have to do with him?
It's starting to get warm at night. I am feeling really empty right now and would very much like to feel excited again.
13 June 1986 Friday
Seventeen years ago I graduated from high School and spent my senior night with going to dinner and a movie with John F. C..
Work was fun today with the crazy crew I work with, but every time I saw Russ my heart turned to stone.
Jon B. told me today that he's going to ask Gordon J. to leave tonight since they are no longer a couple. I said if he needed to talk that we could go out tonight but he never called.
I got paid today $536 and walked to the credit union to deposit my check. From there I walked home from work since my wife had the car.
Tony and his wife Wanda were in the front room so my wife and I went into our bedroom to talk. We kept going in circles. Should we break up or stay together? Should we have separate places or share a place to save on rent? My wife said she doesn't have a problem with me taking lovers but I do. It would not be fair to either her or them. I am not a polygamist.
The hardest thing we discussed was what to do with Sam? We have had Sam since we were married in 1977 but he's now getting very old with cataracts on his eyes. Should we put him to sleep or not? His skin allergies have caused him so much misery and he doesn't seem to be enjoying life but he's my best friend. When I left him last year for two weeks, to come to Utah to find us a place to live, my wife said he laid across the doorstep every night waiting for me to come through the door. Not to have Sam in our lives is unimaginable. I love that old black lab so much that I can't even bare the thought of having to do the inevitable. After much discussion and having Sam lay between us, we resigned ourselves to do it. It's out of respect for Sam's life that I am even considering ending his. I'm going to call pet cemeteries next week to see how to go about making the arrangements. I can't write anymore about this. It’s to heart wrenching and disturbing.
My wife and I simply had to get out of that house so we took the dogs for a ride and we went over to see Jon B.. He wasn't home but we did encounter Gordon. He was distraught and confirmed that it was over between the two of them. Gordon's tears just added to my own melancholy. So many relationships ending. We left Gordon and returned home. We sat on the front steps and just talked. Nothing in particular just familiar conversation to avoid the words that might send us over into an abyss of tears and regret.
• Additional Material Benny Goodman, American legendary Big Band leader died ( 1909-1986)
14 June 1986 Saturday
Today was Summer Conference for the Restoration Church and it was extremely interesting. Mike H. picked me up, and this fellow named Mike P. was with him. Mike P. is a large bear of a man with striking blue eyes and black hair about 25 years old I think. Mike P. came with us to Bob McIntiers where the Conference goers in Salt Lake City met. Morgan S. came over this afternoon also, but Mike H. and I were the only members of the church attending. Bob was in Los Angeles but he had a system on his phone where we could hear the Saints in Los Angeles and they could hear us. During the business session, we hashed out the Revelations that were presented to be included in the Hidden Truths and Treasures.
The Conference lasted from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and after it was over, Mike H., Mike P., and I went over to Beauchaine's Aardvark Cabaret place he has on 6th South. He operates the Gay Help Line out of the cabaret which is kind of a non-profit organization for a Gay Community Center that Beau is involved in. The place is interesting and I hope he can make it work.
It was nearly eight when I arrived home and my wife had gone to Levan for the weekend with the car. So I took the State Street bus into downtown to see if Jon B. was okay, but instead I encountered Elbert Peck again. He took me into his office at the Sunstone Magazine located near the Dinwiddie Building on 1st South. We visited as he showed me around and I just love Elbert because it doesn't matter to him if I am Gay or not; he still loves me. He said that he loved me because I was in his eyes, "kind, spiritual, intellectual, and loyal to my friends." His words nearly made me start to cry and I told Elbert that I loved him for being able to see those qualities in me when others can't. He's leaving tomorrow to return to Vienna, Virginia but he will be back in July and permanently in August.
After we parted I walked over to Jon's place on 1st South and 3oo East but he still wasn't home. It was a great night to be out walking so I went to the corner 7-11, got a Big Gulp, and went back to State Street to catch a bus back to 13th South. As I walking down 300 East, I ran into Craig H., the cutie. We visited for a while and Craig said that he wouldn't be able to make it to church tomorrow. I made it back to the house by ten p.m. It was so warm out and it felt good to be out of the house.
• Additional material- "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald is number one song on national charts
15 June 1986 Sunday
My wife returned from Lavan last night but while the car was here, she wasn't. I was up by 8 a.m. to go to Smith's Food King on 9th East and 800 South to buy a bag of oranges to help feed the street people beneath the 4th South Viaduct. Yesterday when I was sunbathing at Liberty park, I had read in the paper that this woman named Jennie Dunlap felt that God had called her to feed the homeless. As I was reading about her the Lord impressed on me that this is something I needed to help with. Wondering what I should do the Lord said buy oranges so I did. I bought $10 worth and brought them down to the 4th South Viaduct at Pioneer Park. There I saw people lining up to be fed breakfast and I asked someone if I could donate some oranges and my labor. I was put to work immediately, peeling and slicing a bushel of cantaloupe. I was told we fed nearly 200 people, vagrants, street people, women and children, and it felt wonderful doing it. I spoke with Jennie and asked her how she knew how many people to feed weekly and she told me that God plans the menu with what ever people show up with to give. I was there until eleven a.m. and then went home to clean up.
Mike H. called when I got home and want me to meet Beauchaine and him at Liberty Park. I brought along a little picnic to the park, laid out a blanket and myself. The sun felt wonderful. Mike and Beauchaine found me near the volleyball nets and the central bathrooms. We visited and cruised the guys going in and out of the men's room there. After eating Mike wanted to walk through the Aviary which I had never done before. That was really fun.
At three we had to leave for Conference where I was to give the opening prayer. It seemed a little queer to be praying into a phone but I know the Spirit was there. Elder Pam Calkins gave one of the best talks I ever heard bar none when she said in effect that Gay people were God's tithing to the world. She said how we should be using our gifts and talents to magnify God's creation. Her talk was so filled with the Holy Ghost that it converted Mike P., who just yesterday was saying how he had no need for organized religion. The spirit was with us and nearly over powering. Wonderful Wonderful. At Conference here in Salt Lake City were Marc L., Morgan S., Mike P., Mike H., and I. Wondrous Working Power!
16 June 1986 Monday
Today is my sweet old crotchety Grandma Johnson's 87th birthday.
At work today I spent some time trying to call the Humane Society about putting Sam down but I could never get through to them. It was hard calling about a pet cemetery for Sam also.
Russ looked so sad today. I wonder what is wrong. I can take Russ being mean and callous but I can't take seeing him sad. But I have to remember that he has people he loves like Frank F. and probably others who he can seek out to whom he can share with his sad moments. He is a quite capable man and is able to take care of himself. I know that the savior loves Russ and will see that he gets what he needs without my interventions. And most of all Russ doesn't love me and gets along fine without me. But I do miss him so. Or more correctly I miss what never was. Sigh.
I didn't take a lunch break but did talk to Jon B. during morning break. I wanted to see how he and Gordon J. were holding up about the break up. Jon says its hard because Gordon cries and says he has no place to go. So Jon told him that he can stay another week at his place as long as he works all week.
I decided I wanted to go to the Lesbian and Gay Student Union on the University of Utah's campus tonight. I heard about the group on Concerning Gays and Lesbians. I asked Jon if he wanted to go to and he did. But he also asks if I minded Lon Wright and Gordon J. coming along. I said of course they can.
At seven-thirty we drove to campus and after finding the meeting room on Orson Spencer Hall, we discovered that the group was down at Liberty Park having a barbecue. We decided to head on down there and it was so much fun playing volleyball and getting to know new people. I met this guy named Lyle B. who works for KSL television who wants to get a group together to go to San Francisco for Gay Pride Day. If I can swing it I sure would like to go. He's really interesting and intelligent and so were the rest of the LGSU group. It was good to meet more people and get my mind off of Russ Lane. I was surprised that I knew more people at the barbecue then I thought I would. There were of course we four, and also Marc L., John Cooper, and others I knew by sight but not by name. There were about thirty people at the barbecue in the park.
17 June 1986 Tuesday
It is true that all things come to an end; and today my fantasy world about Russ Lane, and now it see it was truly a fantasy, came to an end. I have finally learned how Russ feels about me for real. No more delusions and lies. I found a note in his office trash can, after I was helping the office cleaning crew gather trash cans, that told me how he felt. Russ wrote:" The reason I haven't been attracted to you is because of your blubbery, ugly assed body, your shitty breath and your wimpy-whining voice. Now add to that I can't stand your childish immaturity."
I do think he was clear and succinct. Not that I validate any of what he says, it is clear to me that he has never liked me and has used me all this time. The peculiar thing is that I don't feel anything, anything at all about this letter as I write about it. Except perhaps relief or perhaps disappointment.
At first I was so angry and hurt that I wrote my own note back to Russ:
"Russ, everyone warned me that you are bad news. But I didn't listen. It's no wonder no one wanted to put you up when you came back to Salt Lake. Yes love is blind because why else could I fall for such a spindly gamey milquetoast thing like you. You think my breath is bad, my God I don't know how I could stand your body odor and that red blotchy skin of yours. What is really laughable is that you think you are good looking. Well Russ I hope someday you grow up an stop being the manipulative user you are. But I guess there are plenty of people you can step on until the pond gets too small and off you go to some other asshole place. You once said we aren't alike. What a great compliment! Boy how right you are. Well you have had your say -twice- to me and now I have had mine. I really don't think I have to do anything to you because you are your own worse enemy. PS Try not to talk anymore then you have to because your faggy-shrilly voice is really embarrassing."
I never sent that letter. I began thinking how would Christ handle rejection and since I knew I had to write him a letter to let him know I saw his torn up letter, I wrote another letter which I left on his desk:
17 June 1986
I know this is stupid to write a goodbye letter but I have to say this to you. I don't know how to stop these feelings I have for you. That's not correct. I don't know how to show I care about your life without interfering in your life. I thought it would be easy to simply let us leave each other alone; perhaps even start over like April, May, and June never happened and I could get to know you again as I would any stranger, with a clean slate, no entanglements, no history, and no emotional attachments. But that's impossible.
When ever I go to activities, someone will mention your name and all my thoughts from that point on are on you. Russ as much as it might not seem like it at times I do admire you so much and will always continue to take your part when people disparage, and I will support you in all your endeavors.
I've heard through others about your involvement with forming ties with MCC and your letter to the First Presidency condemning their intolerance. I have to let you know how much I admire your convictions and staying true to your principles.
Russ I know you are fine and happy, and those that you love and love you share in your triumphs and I want you know that I will also always care about your comings and goings and will try to support you in a way that might not be as vocal as I have been but is there just the same. You have touched my life in ways so deep, in ways you can't imagine. But I am trying to get some priorities right in my life. Mike H. has been sweet to me and life is interesting because good things are happening to me.
I don't want you to be like John F. C., someone I worried and wondered about for 13 years whether he was happy in his life. Please allow me to know how things are going in your life and it will be easier to stay out of your life so as not to complicate it anymore then I have.
Russ I will always think of you as a wonderful thing that happened to me. You were like my own Halley Comet, illuminating my life, shining brightly if so briefly. I can only hope that your life will be filled with good things, with people who love you, and who can recognize who you are and love your for it.
We did share a moment that was so exquisite and because of that I know I will never truly be on my own. You know I always wanted nothing but good for you and I always will. Continue to be your enthusiastic, charismatic self and you will never be with out the love of many. As I once heard you blessed, You are a joy and a delight.
I don't know what this letter purports to do other then to say goodbye. I had to write it and I hope some how in these awkward phrases the meaning in my heart will be conveyed to you. I have been your servant - now only a friend.
I do love you.
I know I am going to cry tonight but when I don't know. Russ' note in a way is good for me. I needed to realize what a bastard Russ really is to get over him and get on with my life. If I could just hate Russ I think that would be healthier then what I have been putting my self through. But I don't. I only feel used.
• Additional material Kate Smith, beloved American singer best known for God Bless America died (1907-1986)
18 June 1986 Wednesday
I didn't cry last night. I don't feel much of anything except loss.
I went into work and fooled around some. Jon B. and I went on a walk for our morning break and I read to him what Russ had written to me and what I had written to him. Jon said he was so sorry. I am too. I told Jon that if I ever start talking about Russ again to slap me up side the head. I'm done with it.
However after lunch Stan D. called and asked for some addresses in Sacramento I told him I would get for him. I had called Tony Feliz last night and he said that the people there who were interested in the church aren't anymore.
So I didn't have contact names for him after all. But my wife and I gave him $20 to help him on his journey to California. I asked him to meet me at Bill and Nada's Cafe on 6th East and 500 South on my afternoon break. There we visited some more and he told me some news about Russ Lane and Mike H.. I was mostly interested in news about Russ of course. I related what Russ had done to me this time and he asked to read the letter and I let him. Afterwards he said to me," I am so sorry. That must have hurt." Funny. I still didn't feel anything, maybe I will later.
I went back to work and stayed until 7 p.m. when I then walked over to the Crossroads Urban Center with Jon B. for the Salt Lake Chapter of Affirmation. My wife was there already with Stan. Others attending were John Cooper, Paul, Ed B., Marc L., Erik and Dave. It was a pretty good discussion group. After the meeting Ed said he looked over my resume that I had him look at before I submit any applications for a teaching position this fall. He then gave me a really good paper on Homophobia which is the irrational fear of Gay people.
My wife and I then took Jon home where Willy Marshall was waiting. He had just returned from Atlanta where he bought a 1967 Corvette! It was absolutely gorgeous. Willy said that the Libertarians are going to picket the Republican Convention this Saturday for using public money to fund their convention. I said I might join him there. We also made plans to see Rocky Horror Show tomorrow at the Blue Mouse.
19 June 1986 Thursday
I had an ego boost this morning as I went into work. This really cute guy flirted with me and said hello. So screw Russ Lane. Work went okay today also. No biggies.
I saw Lon Wright and we visited a little in the afternoon. He's still involved with Jon B.. I'm wanting to go to San Francisco this coming weekend for the Pride Parade but I don't know if I can swing it. I'll probably procrastinate until its too late anyway. That's a decision in of itself.
Read the article again that Ed B. gave me on Homophobia and its so right on. People do have an irrational fear of homosexuals which is a mental illness itself.
It wasn't as warm today as it has been.
I am on a vegetarian kick again. I haven't had meat or flesh of any kind since Sunday. I have been eating fruits, veggies, herbs, and nuts. I've had very little cheese and no milk. No refined carbohydrates or sugary products. Feels great.
After coming home from work I watched a little TV mostly Bill Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Cheers. Then I left the house to go see Bob McIntier but he wasn't back yet from California.. So then I just went to the Downtown Public Library and checked out some music records. I checked out some Cole Porter tunes, and Dubussy's Claire de Lune.
After that I went to Liberty Park to run. I wanted to run off some anger so I ran from 9th South to 13th West. I kept thinking what a son of a bitch Russ Lane is for calling me a wimp. Twice he has unleashed his anger out at me but I've tried to practice Overeaters Anonymous' principles and did not react to him so he thinks I am a wimp for not fighting back. Well its always easier to sink to the lowest denominator rather then trying to follow Christ's example. So I went running to get it all out. The anger sustained me on my run and it felt good to accomplish it. It's been over a year since I have been running.
My wife was asleep all evening. Depression. I can not help it but I do miss my friend Russ. I miss his humor. He could be so much fun. I do miss that. My inward retreat is nearly half over now and have I accomplished anything? Have I been more introspective?
20 June 1986 Friday
For the first time all week I have cried over Russ Lane. I was listening to Cole Porter's tune, "I get a Kick Out of You," and it just made the tears pour in streams. Fortunately it was after hours at work so no one witnessed the water works.
I worked until 7 p.m. and then took the bus home. I then went out to Liberty Park to run. I am running about 1/2 mile a day now.
My wife and I are agonizing over what to do with the animals when we split up. Put them all to sleep? I might as well put my heart to sleep with them.
At work earlier I had asked people if they were still planning on going to Rocky Horror tonight and they said yes. Kim, Gena, Debbie, from the recording department, Jon B., Willy Marshall, and Carolyn, this friend of Jon's all said they would be there. However when my wife and I went to the Blue Mouse at 11 p.m. we waited until midnight and no one showed.
21 June 1986 Saturday
Summer! It's Summer time! Summertime! Sum Sum Summer time! Yeah! I spent the morning at Cottonwood High School picketing the Republican State Convention along with the Libertarians. Willy Marshall dropped by about 8 a.m. to pick me up and I have been on the go all day. I helped carry a sign that read, "Republicans Do It at Taxpayers Expense"! TV camera crews were there so I was probably on TV again, marching and aggravating the squeaky clean Republicans. Willy carried a sign saying, "Are You Honest In All Your Dealings With Your Fellow Man?" which is a temple recommend question. It was great!
I marched with this 47 year old Gemini Woman who told me that she was an Income Tax Rebel. She said she thought that there would be more Libertarian kids helping and I replied "well with all the Mormon fundamentalists in the party, kids should be coming out of the wood work!" She the looked at me squarely and announced, "I am a Mormon fundamentalist!" I retorted, "well that’s okay because I'm a Gay Mormon!"
Anyway the picketing lasted until about eleven-thirty a.m. A kid named Doug J. also marched with us and he was drop dead gorgeous. Besides Willy and I, other Gays there were Lon Wright and Jon B. who marched with a Punk Rocker and a Military Reservist. It was great!
Everything was going great for me until I overheard Willy Marshall ask Jon if he wanted to go with him to Big Water Utah for Alex Joseph's 50th Birthday party. I felt slighted that I didn't get an invite too. Que Sera Sera. Perhaps it never occurred to Willy that I might want to go along. Still its kind of disappointing.
Willy dropped me back home and since my wife was at work, I walked up to Utah Title to retrieve some personal papers I had left there. Walking back down 6th South, I stopped at Liberty Park and laid out in the sun. KRCL was having their Day In the Park Event so there were mega people there. I stayed there for about an hour and a half watching the boys in a Sun Tan Contest before heading to the $3 Barber Shop across the street on 7th East. I had a hair cut and a beard trim.
Still not wanting to be alone I went to the Deseret Gym for the very first time. It wasn't as nice as the gym I belonged to in California but I did see Craig H. there. After we soaked in the hot tubs there, he invited me back to his place on 3rd East to watched videos and have some dinner. I stopped at the 7-11 on 1st South and 3rd East to buy some cottage cheese for dinner because I still didn't want to eat meat.
We watched "Educating Rita", one of my favorite movies, and visited for much of the evening. Craig told me some gossip about Russ Lane, like how Russ had tried to seduce him when Russ first moved into the Juel Apartments from my house. But Craig said he wasn't sexually attracted to Russ because he's too tall and skinny! ha!ha!ha! Russ did tell Craig that I had a cute face and that he owed me a lot for all that I had done for him. Well Russ Lane! ha! ha! ha! Craig told me that he thought I was very attractive and then we went to bed! ha!ha!ha!
Afterwards Craig related that the reason he doesn't go the Restoration Church anymore is because of the location in Rose Park. There is no bus service on Sundays and he has no way to get out to the Fairgrounds. I got to talk to Bob McIntier seriously about relocating back into downtown central city. Even the Central City Multipurpose Center would be better then where we are now.
Meeting up with Craig H. tonight has been a real boost for me. Thank you Heavenly Father for arranging it.
I am definitely not going to San Francisco next weekend. I will be staying here in Salt Lake picketing the Democrats. So here I am sitting at a Bus stop on 2nd South and Main Street waiting for the nine-thirty transit. I missed the eight-thirty one by just minutes but its a nice warm summer night. Full Moon. A car radio is blasting some top tune. Its nice. It’s magical. Salt Lake is beautiful in the summer. The horse drawn carriages. The Trolleys. Now only if my bus would come. I am really tired from lack of sleep and I need to rest.
My wife received her transcripts from the University of Utah today and she was very excited about that. She thought they were being held up for some reason so now maybe she doesn't have to live in fear and can on with her life. Hey Russel Lane. I miss you. You were fun but life goes on.
• Additional Material "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald is number one song on the national charts
22 June 1986 Sunday
I went to Pioneer Park this morning to help with the distribution of food for the street people about 8 a.m. we finished earlier then last time and I was through by nine-thirty. I came back home where my wife informed me that she was going to the LDS Church with Tony and Wanda, so I left the house and walked to Liberty Park where I laid out in the sun while reading the Sunday paper.
John H., who I had met at Liberty Park last August, saw me and came over and sat with me. He then asked if we could go to his place and since I think he's really special I agreed. John makes me feel Gay. We played together, using Crisco, which I discovered is fabulous, until about 1 p.m. I had to leave to get ready for church.
Mike H., always thoughtful, called and asked if I needed a ride but since my wife went off with Tony and Wanda leaving me the car I was okay. I was running a little late and the attendance was small, just Bob McIntier, Mike H., Morgan S., Mike P. , Russ Lane, Ric B. , Charles, and myself. I had to sit next to Russ, it being the only seat available. Bob conducted and presided while Mike H. and Mike P. blessed and passed the Sacrament. We discussed last week's Summer Conference held in Los Angeles, and Bob played a tape of the talk Elder Pamela Calkins gave. It was good to hear her voice again.
After church came home and rested before going out for Sunday's Affirmation at the Crossroads Urban Center. I went because Bob asked if I'd drop some church literature and brochures off at Affirmation. He could have asked Russ Lane but then I am the Bishop's Agent.
I stopped by Craig H.'s place before the meeting to see how he was doing and he agreed to come along with me.
At Affirmation I had a good time. Russ, who was pissed at me at church this afternoon and wouldn't even hug me, at Affirmation came up to me after the meeting was hugging on me, I suppose because I was there to support Affirmation and I had brought Craig along with me. I know I am getting over him but I still like him as a friend.
It’s warm again and my poor old dog Sam is chewing himself raw again because of either fleas or a skin allergy. I hate to see him so miserable.
23 June 1986 Monday
I do not want to record this day but I must. Today I lost my heart, my soul's delight, my little friends, my babies, Sam and Toby. How can I write this through the tears?
This morning my wife said that my black lab, Sam, had a really miserable night, itching and scratching and in torment. She said we should put him down and how would I feel if when I came home tonight Sam was gone? I said I could handle that and she said she would get her friend Shannon to help her. When the gravity of the situation of what my wife was saying kicked in, my heart went numb and my head took over. I told my wife that when she was ready I would take off from work and go with them to the Humane Society.
My wife then took me into work where I only worked for about an hour. I could not concentrate because I kept starting to tear up. My wife called about then and said she was taking Sam and Toby to the park for a last walk and about then my heart was breaking and I knew I couldn't stay at work. I told Bob E. that I wasn't feeling well and had to leave. I told him that I would be back later in the afternoon.
I walked down to Liberty Park and saw my wife with Toby and Sam by the enclosed Duck Pond. The dogs were so happy to see me and we all sat under a shade tree where it was cool. I stayed with the dogs while my wife went to McDonald's to get some hamburgers for them. We played and sat on the grass and I groomed Sam. He's so scabby and has open sores so in my heart I knew it was the right thing to do but he's been my pal since 1977 and I can't imagine life without him. No one had ever loved me so unconditional as he has.
While seeing Toby romp with Sam and lay next to him, I was impressed that we had to put Toby down too. While Sam was always my dog, Toby loved Sam and was devoted to him. That was a very hard decision perhaps the hardest decision of my life, having to choose death over life for the sweetest darlingness dog that ever lived. My sweet Toby. But in my heart I knew that Toby would grieve as much or even more then us for his companion, which he has been with since Toby was a puppy in 1980.
I was just miserable thinking that this was their last walk, their last meal, their last hugs, the last time I would hold my beloved Sam and darling Toby. God how I hated to have to make this decision because I had the power of choosing life or death. I hated it. I kept thinking of old Abraham and Isaac, and how God would spare me at the last moment from the terrible task I had to do.
When my wife returned we let the dogs eat as many hamburgers as they wanted and I so regret that we didn't get Toby some ice cream. He did love his sweets. Maybe that is why he was so sweet. Shannon never hooked up with us which I suppose is how God wanted it to be so we took Sam and Toby on a ride. Oh how Sam loved to travel and then we drove to the Humane Society. My heart was a stone and I kept calling upon God for serenity and strength to do what had to be done.
At the Humane Society, the woman at the desk was adamant that we couldn't be with the dogs as they were put down. My wife was so upset that she finally broke down. I then gently told the lady who would be administering the shot, "We have no children and these are our babies", which must have touched her heart because she allowed us to be them.
As we waited for a room to open up, I just held Toby in my arms, rocking him, while faithful Sam lay at my feet.
When the dreaded time came, we were ushered into a little sterile vet room with a stainless steel table. With all my soul I wanted to bolt and run away as far and as fast I could but cold hard reason dictated the rest of my actions. The woman finally came back into the room with a helper and she was so sweet to the dogs, so sweet. Her assistant tried holding Sam while she clipped him for the needle, but old Sam, true to form to the end, tried to bite him so I asked if I could hold him, like somehow I knew I would be doing. I owed him that. I owed him for all the love and devotion he gave me through out the years. So I held my beloved Sam, as the shot was injected, and 1, 2, 3, he was gone. I felt his spirit leave his old frail body, and he was gone.
Now it was Toby's time, sweet Toby. We sent him to be with Sam for they were never parted in life nor will they be in death. I held Toby, and kissed, and kissed his sweet head as he was given the shot. At the last he made such a pitiful, sorrowful sound that it nearly broke my heart but I know it was not from any real pain and then his body too went limp in my arms. My babies were gone. My wife hugged the woman and I thanked her for being so kind and gentle with our dogs and to us.
Then we had to leave our dear companions and we drove home to an empty house. Our anguish then was unbearable. My wife said that they were the heart and soul of the home and so they were. No one can understand our loss. If my wife and I had just loss our real children, people would b over to comfort, console, and cook for us. No one understands that Sam was my best friend and I loss my best friend and Toby, the sweetest spirit God ever created.
I went back into work about 4 pm because I could not bear to be home in the awful silence. I am sorry that my wife had to be there. Even though I had so much work to do, I was a basket case at work. When Russ Lane came back to my work station with some work orders, I told him, "We put Toby and Sam to sleep today." Russ didn't even turn around to look at me but just said as he left, "That's too bad," and I thought, you cold, unfeeling bastard. After six p.m. Jon B. came back to my work station and I started sobbing in his arms. My heart just could not take anymore. I wanted to die and enter the spirit world to be with my dogs. I miss them without words to express it.
Russ then came back and saw that I really was in a lot of emotional pain and he spoke to me really for the first time in two weeks. He said, "No one could have loved them more then you did, " and then he hugged me along with Jon, while we said a little prayer to Heavenly Father. I had been thinking just before the pair of them came back that no one cared, no one cared that my world came to an end today. But then heavenly Father and Mother sent Jon and Russ to me.
I could not finish work after that and went home to my wife, where we cried and cried some more. I thought it was suppose to get better but I can't help feeling that I made a terrible mistake. I wanted my dogs in bed with me. I miss them terribly. God never put this decision on me again.
Wanda and Tony came by to comfort my wife and perhaps me but I was inconsolable. Then Jon dropped by the house and I cried in his arms again, just sobbing for my babies. It hurts so much that I feel like I should be put to sleep. If I did not believe that God has much more for my wife and I to do yet in this Vail of Tears, I think I would have ended my life to be with them. I miss them so much.
Everyone says we did the right thing by Toby but I can't help but feel guilty. I called mom this evening and told her about Toby and Sam. She was sad of course but I don't think she really understood the magnitude of our loss. No one can understand our loss. Our baby boy Sam is gone. Throughout our entire married life, there were but a few months where we didn't have Sam. It was always the three of us. Never the two of us.
Then darling Toby. Darling Toby. Our baby. What joy he brought to our lives. I learned from Toby about the power of unconditional love wearing down all barriers. I was so drained today, heart ache. Heartache. I really feel like someone has beaten the shit out of me.
Before going to bed, I prayed to Heavenly Parents for comfort. I asked if there be anyone on the other side who loves us to please look after Sam and Toby. I miss them so much. While lying in bed I expect Sam to be at my side and Toby curled at my feet. I can't take much more of this grief. It hurts so much. I almost feel like I am being punished but what for? Where could I over replace Toby?
The house is an empty shell. Why go to work when there's no joy in the home? Why fix dinner when there are no more dogs to feed the table scraps to. I would never have done this if I had known there would be so much pain and emptiness. Christ is a mender of broken hearts. Heal my heart or send me the angel of death.
24 June 1986 Tuesday
Not a happy day. I am still in a state of grief, sorrow, and shock. I didn't want to go to work today but I thought I'd better just to keep busy. I am in such a state of depression. All I can think of is Toby's sweet happy smiling face.
At work Canyon A. called me into his office and told me that he was quite concerned about Russ Lane's productivity. He said that Bob E. is considering letting him go so Canyon asked if there was anything I knew of whereby he could help Russ. This news took me by surprise because I had no idea that Russ was in trouble at work. I asked Canyon if he's had a heart to heart talk with Russ yet to let him know the urgency of the situation. He had not so I went over to Russ' apartment at lunch. I told him that I was there only on business and then related what Canyon had said to me and that I was quite concerned for him. I told Russ that I thought he should know what was going on so that he could address the problem and fix it.
I knew that Russ was going through some emotional issues because Jon B. told me yesterday that Russ was upset because he and Mitch Golden had a relationship for a while as Mitch was coming out of a marriage. Russ said he was in love with Mitch but after Mitch had sex with Russ, he dropped him. Jon said that Russ was really upset over it but I couldn't help laugh thinking about Karma. I told Jon well what goes around comes around. Russ found someone just like himself! Well I still feel sorry for Russ. Jon also said that Mitch had been leading a whole bunch of guys on including Duane Dawson and others from Affirmation.
Anyway I later learned that Russ did have a talk with Canyon and Bob and said that he would increase his productivity. In the evening my wife and I went to the movies to get out of the empty house. We saw "Pretty In Pink" featuring Molly Ringwald but I wasn't really in the mood to be entertained.
25 June 1986 Wednesday
My sister Donna's 37th Birthday.
I went to work today and each day's a little better. When I came home at lunch I inadvertently called out "Sam" "Toby" half expecting to hear the patter of their feet come running to greet me from some other part of the house. Then I started to weep because I won't ever see Sam's old ears flop as he runs and gallops to meet me or see little Toby leap and dance so happy that I am home. No one is happy anymore when I come home. Not even me. It's not home any more. Home is where the heart is and my heart is with Sam and Toby where ever they are.
Why did I put them down? I just did not think it would be this hard.
At work Shauna is being a real bitch but Jon B. is being so sweet and supportive. Even between Russ and I there is an air of cordiality. My heart was soften again towards him from Monday when he was so sympathetic in my hour of grief. I do think his heart was soften too. Life is too short and fragile to hold grudges or to be miserable. If we could all but try to make life easier for each other rather than miserable.
Jon B. is so stressed out over Gordon that he can't concentrate at work.
I told Gina today that I would help train the girls in the recording department if she would let up on Jon.
At home tonight I didn't feel much like going to Family Home Evening at Ric B.'s place. My wife was out shopping for clothes so I just taped so music off of my records and tried to straighten up the house. I vacuumed up some of Sam's hair that he had shed all over the house. He's gone but his hair lingers on. I don't care. I would rather be knee deep in dog hair and have them both back in my arms.
Mom called to see how we were holding up and said that my grandma is up and getting around doing things after she heard that grandpa has cancer. Before she would just sit in her rocking chair all day. Mom is still out of work and she says its hard finding a job in electronics right now. Dad is wearing himself out because he's such a perfectionist at work. My nephew James is finally going to get his driver's license and my niece Denise is really into snakes right now. She is such a tom boy. I wonder if she will be a Lesbian?
I tried calling John H. after mom hung up but he was still at work at the Cabana Club. Jon B. then called me from Lon Wright's place. Jon is going to house sit while Lon and a friend of his visit New York City this weekend. It would be fun to be there over the 4th of July because New York is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. It will be a big to do.
My wife informed me that she wants to keep the cats after we separate. I said I didn't care. She found them and they are her responsibility as the dogs were mine. I did my duty by the dogs but it would have been easier just have put me down with them. My wife also informed me that she's quitting Taylor-Maid and is looking into selling pension plans to federal employees. I don't know what she will end up doing.
Our friends from California called and when we told them about putting down the dogs, Renie agreed and said that Toby would have grieved himself to death and that we did the right thing by him. Her words meant a lot to me because Renie new how much we loved "Sammer" She said that she's glad that she doesn't have the responsibility of Hostage, who died a month ago, any more.
26 June 1986 Thursday
President Tony Feliz called me at work from California. He said that the reason for his call was to recover the addresses of the members of the church here in Utah. Yesterday someone broke into Eddie M.'s car and stole his backpack which contained all the church's records and history. I told Tony that I would get them for him.
Mike H. later called me to see if I was still going to San Francisco for the Gay Pride Parade or knew of anyone else who was going. I told him that while it sounded like so much fun, it was a little too whirl winding for me, and besides I am still grieving from having put Sam and Toby to sleep earlier in the week. He said he understood.
In the afternoon I called John H. and we visited some. I can't tell how he feels about me from his vibes. I enjoyed John H.'s company so much but I want to see in what direction our lives go. There needs to be more then Crisco between us.
I took Jon B. home with me for lunch and fixed him some tuna fish sandwiches. I am still not eating meat. I had a salad and salsa and chips. Jon wanted to talk about Lon Wright. He's worried about his and this new friend of his. Not much could I say, so I just listened. Jon has been so sweet and supportive this week. Even Russ Lane and I are almost back to a working relationship.
When I came home in the evening the house seemed so empty. Even Jon commented saying you could feel the loss of the dogs' karma. My landlady informed me that our rent check bounced. I told her that my wife would take care of it since she takes care of the checking account. Makes me worry where she has been spending our money? She wanted me to go to the movies but I didn't. Its just an escape from the pain and I want to deal with it. I would like to be alone this weekend however. I hope my wife will go down to Levan or else make I could spend the weekend with Jon since Lon Wright is going to New York.
I read my journal from 1984 because it has some good Overeaters anonymous principles in it and that my Heavenly Father said that I am okay as I am. What's in my head? Pain, grief, hurt, uncertainty, guilt, loneliness, anticipation. What of my wife? She's my best friend and I am hers but there's got to be more for me. There must be more.
27 June 1986 Friday
Such a fun day after so many sad ones! At work Russ was so hyper about going to San Francisco for Gay Pride and I was so spaced out going out tonight with John H. that work flew by. Only bummer today was that Kim, the girl in recordings got fired. That was sad for sure because she was a hoot.
My wife was not at the house when I got there but had already gone out so I cleaned up and went to pick up John. We went to Hibachi, a Japanese restaurant on South Temple that had private booths were you sit on bamboo mats on the floor. We had teriyaki and Saki and really a sweet time.
Afterwards we went to the In-Between for a night cap and we sat on the patio beneath the stars. I thought it was romantic and Patty LaBelle was singing some soulful song. John had to be at work early tomorrow and I had promised Jon B. to go to the Democratic State convention tomorrow early so we called it a night about eleven. I just love kissing on John H. and the back patio is such a neat secret garden.
• Additional Material 27-29 June 1986- The 1986 National conference of Affirmation was held in conjunction with National Gay Pride Week in San Francisco. Carol Lynn Pearson, a very prominent LDS writer, was the keynote speaker for the conference. She spoke of her experiences and insights in caring for her husband, Gerald Pearson who had recently died of AIDS. Carol Lynn Pearson, a Mormon Poet, published Good-bye I Love You, an account of her Gay husband’s struggles with his homosexuality and eventual death from AIDS. The book brought the reality of AIDS to the mainstream Mormon community. “I’m sure it will be a shock to some people that I would choose even to discuss this.. There’s no way in the world that anyone could approach these topics and hope to please all of the people all of the time. However it’s important to note that the book is not an attack upon the Mormon Church… I just suggest that all of us need to look at the matter with more realistic eyes and be able to talk about it.” Stated Carol Lynn Pearson. Russ Lane Chapter Director of Wasatch Affirmation attended conference in San Francisco.
28 June 1986 Saturday
I didn't go with Jon B. and Willy Marshall picketing at the Democratic Convention after all because I slept in so late after staying out with John H. and having a bit much to drink. It was just as well because I heard that the police said they were going to arrest them if they didn't stop. So I went to Liberty Park instead after going grocery shopping and dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners.
At the park I saw Marc L. and visited for much of the afternoon while laying out in the sun. He is unhappy with the direction the Restoration Church is going and may be leaving it. We later walked through Tracey Aviary. It was the first time I had ever been inside. It made me sad however when we walked by the duck pond in the center of the park because that is the last place I played with Sam and Toby.
In the evening back at the house my wife and I talked more about splitting up. I think we are going to actually do it.
We left the house in the evening to go shopping at Weinstocks at the Crossroads Mall. We bought some summer clothes. Later at midnight my wife and I went to the Blue Mouse to see The Rocky Horror Picture show again. We saw Mark H. this guy I met at Affirmation there and we sat together. We had a terrific time. There was so much water being thrown in the theater that it was just wild. All in all it was a fun day and we needed it.
I am still missing Sam and Toby so much that I think my heart will break.
• Additional Material Gay attorney Howard Johnson offered an amendment to the Human Services and Resources section of the Utah Democratic Convention's resolutions addressing civil rights, proposing that the words “sexual orientation" be added. The amendment was defeated by a large margin. Later the same day Bryan Stone Daly and Michael Aaron sponsored a plank in the party resolutions that the Utah Democratic Party would support funding for education, research, treatment, and hospice programs in response to the AIDS epidemic. The motioned passed without dissent.
•"On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald is number one on national charts
29 June 1986 Sunday
I slept in again after being out so late last night. The weather is simply beautiful and warm. I didn't even make it over to feed the street people beneath the viaduct because it was nearly ten a.m. before I even work up.
My wife had gotten up before however and had been out buying a Sunday newspaper. After she was through with it I took it down to Liberty Park and laid out in the sun drinking my Big Gulp. I stayed there until one-thirty then walked back to the house to get ready for church. I really didn't want to go but my wife did so we went. Only Bob McIntier, Marc L. (who was dressed as Alice Foxx), Ric B., Morgan S., my wife and I were there. Very small turn out.
Most of the meeting was taken up with putting Tony Feliz's New Revelations into the Hidden Truths and Treasures. After sacrament we discussed moving from the Northwest multipurpose center back to downtown. I spoke up saying that several people, including Craig H., have expressed their concern about meeting in Rose Park so far from the Gay community which is mostly located in central city. Bob of course would rather that we stay on the Westside closer to where he lives.
I didn't go to Affirmation tonight because without Russ I am sure it would have been boring.
• Additional material Gay Day at Lagoon. Gay Pride Day at the Lake Park Pavilion. Over 300 Gay men and Lesbians attended. Resurrection MCC held services at Lagoon with Rev. Bruce Barton including a moment of silence to remember AIDS victims. Activities were held on National Gay Pride Day and was sponsored by Triangle Magazine.
• LOGAN SCHOOL BOARD SETS AIDS POLICY (SLTribune B12-1)
30 June 1986 Monday
Could it be an entire week since putting the dogs to sleep? I miss them terribly. Our cat Killer is so upset, just meowing and crying all the time searching for them. I know he must be missing them too since he was raised from a kitten with them.
Russ Lane sure looked sun burned and tired from his trip to San Francisco for Gay Pride.
When I came home from work my wife was gone. She didn't leave a note but is probably with Tony and Wanda.
In the evening I went out to met this kid named Tom. Ed B., the retired school teacher, wanted me to talk to him about the Gay community in Salt Lake. I said I would but said I didn't feel like I knew much myself. He's this nice guy from Texas but not someone I would be attracted to. He was down on his luck looking for work so I helped him out by buying a tank full of gas. He said he wants to stay in Salt Lake because he feels like the Lord wants him here. Who can argue with that?
So this is the end of June. It’s the thirtieth day of my retreat of trying to figure out where my life is leading me.
What a strange month it has been. Jon B. broke up with Gordon J. and sent him packing. I am breaking up with my wife. I broke off my obsession with Russ Lane in my own way and my sweet dogs went to sleep in June. I wonder what the Restoration Church has in store for me? Is it still relevant to my life? Tony Feliz is not the man that I wish to be directing my spiritual progress. My life is still very Christ centered but if the church is not then it can not be relevant to me.
• Additional Material The Golden Spike Gay Rodeo Association went to the Rocky Mountain Gay Rodeo Association’s Regional Rodeo in Denver. For the first time Utah was recognized in a regional rodeo.
• The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick that homosexual activity between consenting adults in the privacy of the home was not protected by the Constitution.