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It wasn't until August 2003 that I learned Bob Barry had died of a heart attack in Dallas on July1. I've talked about Bob before but only now it hits me Bob Kingsbery , Bob Barry, Bob Igizi and Bob Shinck all died within a 10 year period and they were all special guys who gave a lot. I will always miss and think of them.

There are hills and valleys in every ones life and having gone through a few the past couple of years I had finally arrived at a smooth patch. Things were going good, life was good for/to me. I was, as always going to movies and the theatre but the most fun has always been eating out with friends. I couldn't afford to do it as often as I wanted but every once in awhile I did. There was the evening Anita, Robert, James, Gino and I went to hear the "Gay Men's Chorus" and afterwards we went to The Cheesecake Factory and Kilwin's for ice cream. There was a lot of laughing and talking while the last day of June we went to the Caldwell Playhouse to see--SURPRISE!!!!--a play called "The Last Day Of June" with dinner at the Roadhouse (closed) and, luckily I got my SS check and was able to go for dinner at The Ark (closed) with the same group. We always had fun when we got together! Oh yes, I won $200 with a boxed Play4 ticket. How could I complainaboutlife?

On September 1 I took Gino to the Cafe Del Rio (closed) for his birthday. On Sunday Bob and Betsy were in town and we went to The Cheesecake Factory and Bob picked up the check. I see a bunch of movies I went to like "Madame Sata", "Matchstick Man", "The Cuckoo", "Lost In Translation", "Secondhand Lions", "Mystic River", "Under The Tuscan Sun" just to mention a few and remember very little, if anything about them!

I picked up a new habit--going out on the 'Trip to Nowhere' on the Sea Escape, which was a gambling cruise that went out beyond the 23 mile limit of the ocean and the ship opened for gambling. While getting to that mark you had dinner, usually buffet style, not very good, but Anita enjoyed going so almost every Tuesday we were out there. When Bob Igizi came down he joined us and that week we would eat out almost every night. We went to Tequila Sunrise (open), a restaurant owned by the son of Flo's who lives here at Gateway. He sold it a couple of years ago and is doing okay while Flo just celebrated her 85th birthday.

Anita and I went to see Lorna Luft at the Parker PLayhouse and, in my opinion, is a much better singer than her half sister Liza but the latter looking more like her mother and having the same men and drug problems while the former lead a fairly quiet life she wasn't as well known. Ah yes, we also went to see "The Lord Of The Rings" because she loved the story but I found the movie boring! People are funny--all of Gateway was talking about Anita and I being a 'couple' because we were going to the movies, shows, on the Sea Escape and out for dinner whenever we could afford it and though everyone knew I was gay they were 'happy' for us. We decided to orchestrate a big breakup the following year AFTER my birthday party!

The big excitement in September was the 7 eggs that Jill's budgies (one was her mother's) laid and hatched in September and October and I was getting 2 of them!!! With 2 new birds, a new large cage, my 17th Leap Year birthday, a move to a larger apartment life was no longer level but going , effortlessly, up the mountain, but how long would that last?

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