Category: Changing Times

Aug 01, 2019
By Michael Rupured

Climate Change & My Garden

More than thirty days with little rain and highs above 90 degrees have taken a toll on my little garden. After much deliberation, debate, and a water bill three times the usual amount, I decided to withhold life support. Since pulling the plug, we’ve had some rain — not much, but enough to keep things alive a little longer. How long remains to be seen. Hot, dry conditions will likely persist into October. Keeping my summer garden alive is not a new struggle. Heat, drought, and an abundance of deer have long conspired against me. Though I grow tomatoes every year, ripe fruit are nearly as rare as snow in summer. By comparison, my first winter garden was a nearly …

Jul 03, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on LGBTQ History: Missing Pieces?

LGBTQ History: Missing Pieces?

June 2019 was the best LGBTQ Pride Month ever. The level of media coverage was unprecedented, and several excellent shows were aired. All in all, I was blown away and thrilled for our history to be so widely shared. Coming out in 1979 sparked a life-long interest in gay history. I realized while doing the research for No Good Deed and Happy Independence Day that the history I’d gleaned from magazines, books, and the grapevine was more than a little incomplete. Documentaries aired during Pride Month filled in even more blanks. The Lavender Scare (PBS) is an excellent overview of gay history in the United States. Homosexuals have been around forever, but didn’t emerge as a social group until early …

Jun 05, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on No More Garage Sales

No More Garage Sales

Late last year, I set a goal to have a garage sale in April or May — before it got too hot. Setting the goal lit a fire under my butt to finish organizing closets, cabinets, and drawers, but the garage sale ain’t happening. In fact, I may never have another garage sale again. I do a mean garage sale. Lots of signs and ads attract a big crowd. It’s not about getting the best price or what things are worth. The value to me is zero or it wouldn’t be there. Getting rid of stuff is the objective. Any proceeds are icing on the cake. “Keep, sell, donate or toss” was my mantra as I slowly worked my way …

Oct 15, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Gaydom’s Golden Age

Gaydom’s Golden Age

Never has there been a better time to be a gay man in America. Well into the 1960s, homosexuality was a sin, a mental illness, and a crime. Police routinely raided gay bars and often published names in the local newspaper of anyone arrested. Gay liberation has been one of many fronts in the decades-long fight for equal rights. We’ve come a long way in my life time. Police stopped raiding bars (mostly) in the early 1970s but continued to publish names of men arrested in sting operations. Local gay bars became a safe place to meet other gay men. By 1979 when I exploded out of the closet, Lexington’s gay bar was packed six nights a week.  The crowd …

Sep 03, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Southern Heritage

My Southern Heritage

I grew up in Kentucky and have lived in Georgia for twenty years. My ancestors have lived in the South for centuries. By any standard, I am a a bona fide Southerner. Pride for our Southern heritage is universal in my family, but stories about the Civil War weren’t part of my upbringing. I heard we’re kin to Robert E. Lee and John Wilkes Booth, but nobody in the family has any old photographs, letters from the battlefield, or other Civil War memorabilia. My DNA results shattered the myths I’d believed all my life. We are not related to Lee or Booth, and records linked to my family tree reveal ancestors who fought for the Union, but none who sided …

Mar 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Comes the Time in a Man’s Life….

Sex in later life is not without challenges. Men of a certain age sometimes experience equipment malfunctions. The mind is willing, but essential parts refuse to cooperate.  Over time, once in a while turns into more often than not. Sigh. Prior generations accepted male performance issues as a natural part of the aging process. That has changed. Thanks to the makers of Viagra and similar drugs, impotence has become a treatable illness with a new name: Erectile Dysfunction. The ads crack me up. My favorite features an attractive older man tossing a football through a tire swing. Get it? Eventually, I worked up the nerve to broach the subject with my doctor. She told me to see a urologist. Fear …

Dec 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Relationship with Santa

The arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog kicked off the holiday seasons of my childhood. The massive tome offered everything I ever wanted and served as a reference for my annual letter to Santa. When I was old enough, Mom said Santa needed the page number and item number for everything on my list. Santa kicked off his U.S. tour with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, followed a few days later by the Christmas Parade in Lexington, Kentucky. He rode in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer atop the biggest fire truck in the city. Dad was on the fire department, so I got to ride on the truck with Santa and toss candy to the crowd. That’s right. …

Oct 23, 2017
By Michael Rupured
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The End of Wisdom

Change is constant, but the rate of change has reached the point where keeping up has become impossible. Once upon a time, things stayed more or less the same over the course of a lifetime. With age came experience, leading eventually, after many years, to wisdom about the ways of the world. Not anymore. The older I get, the more clueless I become. The wisdom gained through experience no longer applies, gets lost in translation, or simply isn’t heard. For most of my career at the day job, we’ve lost positions. Over the last two years, some of those positions have been restored. The result is a workforce that is either very young and inexperienced, or getting on in years …

Sep 25, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Picture It: Lexington Ky, 1982

Picture It: Lexington Ky, 1982

My fifth novel, The Case of the Missing Drag Queen, is set in Lexington, Kentucky and takes place in the fall of 1982. It’s my first story set in the city where I grew up, came out, and spent my salad days. Writing it has been a walk down memory lane. I chose the year on purpose. By 1979 when I came out, gay bars were the center of the homosexual universe. Thanks to the 1969 Stonewall uprising, police raids of gay bars had become increasingly rare. Outside of the bar, life could be rough, but inside, we could dance, flirt, make-out, and sometimes, fall in love. In September of 1982, the Centers for Disease Control identified Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome …

Jul 17, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

Online Shopping: Easy, Convenient & Cheap

The internet has changed the way we shop. Big retailers are closing stores at an unprecedented rate. Shopping malls look like ghost towns. It’s hard to compete with virtual everything. Shopping is not my cup of tea. In fact, thanks to poor or non-existent service, long checkout lines, and people getting in my damn way, I hate it. When necessity leaves me no choice, my goal is always to get in and out as fast as I can. I’ve dabbled with online shopping in the past in search of uncommon, hard-to-find items or gifts for out-of-town family and friends. Buying mundane, everyday goods online never occurred to me. #SlowLearner That has changed. My dog, Toodles, is responsible for a lot …