Member Stories

If you have a story that you would like to tell, either about being a member or about what the Prime Timers have done for you, feel free to submit it Harry by e-mailing it to everharry@aol.com or mailing it to 3 Vale View Road, Wakefield, MA 01880. If it would be difficult for you to type this up, Harry can help you by recording your story; just give him a call at (781) 587-1429.

Below is one sent in by founding member, Jim Norris.

Boston Prime Timers Founder

I have done many things in my life to be proud of: I joined the Navy at 17, got elected to the job of Lakeville Town Treasurer & Collector, and I was one of the first men to join the Herb Society of New England. It took me three years to join, I never gave up. But one of the proudest moments was when I became a founder of the Boston Prime Timers.

In August 1987, I saw a small ad in the Bay Windows, advertising there would be a meet up group for older gay men. You see, back then, gay men were the pits of society. Older gay men, were the pits of the pits. Because of this organization, we moved from the back burner to the front burner.

When you’re 40, you think 80 is old. But when you are 80, it is old. Who better than us to know what prejudice is all about? From one side, we’re hit with scorn from the heterosexual world, on the other side we get the prejudice of young gays against older gays.

On August 15, 1987, my partner, Bill Belliveau, drove us into Boston, to attend this meeting. On one of the hottest days in August, we walked up to the second floor of a building with no air conditioning. Boy, was it ever hot. 42 men from all over New England showed up that day.

The guy who had this brilliant idea was Professor Woody Baldwin. Woody was a professor at UCLA and Simmons College. He also was a Unitarian Universalist. Woody and his partner Shaun chaired our meeting. We chose the name, “Boston Prime Timers,” after a few names were tossed about. We all realized we really hit on something great; so many stories were shared, some very sad. We set up a date for our next meeting in September. The energy was high, and we came out of that building with some lifelong friends.

Prime Timers became a brotherhood of mature gay and bisexual men and their friends who join together for educational support and social activities. Our diverse membership, some retired, some still working, are involved and focused on improving the image and quality of gay life through activities like volunteerism, politics, gay issues, arts, sports and entertainment.

Today, the Prime Timers Worldwide, has thousands of members in more than 70 chapters on three continents. Today, out of the 42 founders, we have 4 left, and I am proud to say, I am one of the 4. I am also a founder of the Rhode Island chapter along with my partner Frank Girard.

Member Stories

If you have a story that you would like to tell, either about being a member or about what the Prime Timers have done for you, feel free to submit it Harry by e-mailing it to everharry@aol.com or mailing it to 3 Vale View Road, Wakefield, MA 01880. If it would be difficult for you to type this up, Harry can help you by recording your story; just give him a call at (781) 587-1429.

Below is one sent in by current member, George Wright.

Reflections from a Bloodshot Eye

At the behest of Harry, our revered leader and dearest friend, as one of the longest standing members of our club, I have been called upon to report on some chronology of my history to the present time, so I will endeavor to dredge up some of the more printable remembrances.

I was not on board with the original crew, but I became a member not long after our beloved founder, Woody Baldwin, forged all of our destinies. But for him, I, along with many of our constituents, would be contemplating a solitary life from our rocking chairs. Bless you, Woody, for giving us all the friendships and memories that have enriched our lives.

Well anyway, since Harry asked, I will quickly summarize a long and lurid past which in its infancy as a gay man began with my service as a Navy veteran of World War II (not a day of which was spent on a ship or in combat) but in Washington, D.C., culminating as the personal yeoman (secretary) to the famed explorer, the then retired Admiral Richard E. Byrd. While still enrolled and adorable at 19, I became inducted into the then unspeakable precincts of That Which Has No Name but which has evolved into our present day acceptance in the social scheme.

Following my discharge, I attended college at Boston University, then found employment in a well regarded travel agency in the glamour world of travel before the jet plane reduced it to Amtrak and package tours. My last employment was office manager in the Office of Scientific Studies within the National Park Service. It was my happiest working experience as friend and colleague of that venerated and prestigious group as they strove to investigate and preserve our natural resources.

We then come to the fortuitous moment that brought me to the welcoming embrace of the BPT and the source of most of our social and sometimes romantic relationships. It was my pleasure and responsibility to serve as a board member for several years. There were good and not so good members at the helm but I am pleased to say that in my opinion we have now arrived at our best leadership with the best board ever. I have every confidence that these fine gentlemen will guide us to a stronger and more cohesive position. My hope is that we will continue to improve our status and achieve the best of our organizations potential.

Respectfully,

G. Wright

Member Stories

If you have a story that you would like to tell, either about being a member or about what the Prime Timers have done for you, feel free to submit it Harry by e-mailing it to everharry@aol.com or mailing it to 3 Vale View Road, Wakefield, MA 01880. If it would be difficult for you to type this up, Harry can help you by recording your story; just give him a call at (781) 587-1429.

Below is one sent in by our former office manager, Bob Adams, who took over the office from Dick Bourbeau, as many of you may remember.

My Love Affair with the BPT

My entry into a gay lifestyle began when I moved to Boston in 2002. Until then, my life was a totally straight. Being new to Boston and new to a gay lifestyle, I needed to build a circle of gay friends and that is exactly what happened when I attended my first PT meeting in January 2003. This first meeting convinced me to join and get fully involved. Shortly thereafter I volunteered to assist in the office. Dick Bourbeau took me under his wing and patiently taught me all I needed to know to take on the management of the office which I willingly did.

By doing so, I got to know the entire active membership and greatly expanded my circle of gay friends–true and caring friends, many of whom I remain in contact with today!!!

Looking back, I am so thankful and grateful for all the Boston Prime Timers brought into my life. The monthly meetings, the monthly dinners, the after-meeting dinners, pot lucks, weekends in P-town and Ogunquit and anniversary and holiday parties. I can’t even imagine what my gay life in Boston would have been without the Boston Prime Timers. Thank you for all the joy and enjoyment you brought into my life.