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Author Topic: Remembering BayCityJohn  (Read 879 times)

Offline Gazapete

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2019, 06:03:54 AM »
I can see all of them.

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2019, 10:49:16 AM »
Same here (being able to see them). Strange.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 11:07:42 AM by fritzkep »
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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2019, 12:52:25 PM »

(still not)

(maybe it's a browser thing)
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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline killersmom

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 04:41:28 PM »
I can't see them either.
Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot.
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Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 05:27:00 PM »
Strange, I can see them all

Offline BlueAmber63

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2019, 02:29:07 PM »


R.I.P Bay City John.
The Forum has lost a good cowboy.  :(
Wanting him to come back... before anyone notices
part of the world has not moved...since he left.

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2019, 04:52:22 PM »
One of John's earliest posts, in the "How Brokeback Affected Me" thread.


I live in Bay City, Michigan. I'm 49. I came out in 1974 when I was 17. Spent a lot of time in Wenona Park because there was nowhere else to go. I met my lover Alan there. We were together for a year, and then on and off for 14 years.

He was married, and even after he got divorced he was afraid to let me come live with him in Chicago. He was in the Navy and he was so afraid of losing his job if anybody found out. I drove down there when I heard about the divorce and I drove back the same night, crying.

 We saw each other a couple of times a year until 1989. He would usually come to Bay City and we'd go up north. He loved to fish. The last time i tried to call him, his phone had been disconnected. I heard from a friend a few months later that Alan died. I didn't know where his parents had moved to, and by that time all of his friends that I knew where dead or moved away.

In 1995 I typed his name on some internet search and an address and phone number popped up. It was a listing in Hersey, MI.  I remembered that his parents had a summer place there. So I called hoping. Alan's mother answered. She told me that Alan did die in 1989 from cancer. I remember very clearly when she said "he was just 39 years old".

I still have a jacket hanging in my closet that Alan gave me to wear one night.

Brokeback Mountain puts everthing in perspective now.

Offline CellarDweller115

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2019, 04:53:53 PM »
I posted this already, but someone said they hoped I could fill in the details. I am doing that in my life now. Thank you to everyone on this forum!

I filled in some of the details in my previous post as well. Here is the revised version:

I live in Bay City, Michigan. I'm 49. I came out in 1974 when I was 17. I spent a lot of time in Wenona Park because there was nowhere else to go to meet people. I met my lover Alan there. We were together for a year, and then on and off for 14 years.

I was more shy back then than I am now. I hardly ever talked. Even with Alan it took a few weeks. I remember the first night we really had a long conversation and he said that's the most he ever heard me talked. I told him it was the most I had talked to anyone in years. I know exactly how Ennis was thinking when that happened in the movie.

Alan was an alcoholic. We had a few fights when he was drunk. I got more than one bloody nose and a few bruises. I even lost 2 teeth.
In a lot of ways I am like Ennis in the movie-quiet, afraid, lonely- but in my life it was Alan that had the uncontrollable rage.

He was married to Bonnie. Her father owned a furniture store and she stood to inherit a lot of money when her father died. Alan told me that was why they got married. He never went to college and he thought that would be the best way to have a decent life. It was all about the money.

He gave up on that idea quickly. They seperated and Alan went back into the Navy because it was the best paying job he could find at the time. They ended up getting divorced, and even after he got divorced he was afraid to let me come live with him in Waukegan, IL.  He was in the Navy and he was so afraid of losing his job if anybody found out. I drove down there when I heard about the divorce and I drove back the same night, crying. I am devastated every time I see the scene with Jack driving away from Ennis' house after the divorce.

We saw each other a few of times a year until 1989. He would usually come to Bay City and we'd go up north. He loved to fish. I would hitchhike or drive to Waukegan.

I would not allow myself to get seriously involved with anybody for all those years although I did have opportunities. I was waiting for Alan to ask me to come live with him. The scene with Randall talking to Jack about going fishing is very familiar.

The last time I saw Alan was the summer of 1988. We went up to the Rifle River. It was a nice weekend until Sunday afternoon when we were getting ready to leave. We had a big argument and I can't remember what started it. But I do remember asking him why he kept stringing me along, why he wouldn't just dump me so I could get on with my life. And just like the movie, Alan tried to hug me when I was crying and I pushed him away. The final scene with Jack & Ennis together was the hardest for me to watch.  I didn't talk to him for a long time after that.

 The last time I tried to call him, his phone had been disconnected. I heard from a friend a few months later that Alan died. He said he heard it from a friend but wasn't sure since he never saw an obituary.I didn't know where his parents had moved to, and by that time all of his friends that I knew where dead or moved away.

In 1995 I typed his name on some internet search and an address and phone number popped up. It was a listing in Hersey, MI.  I remembered that his parents had a summer place there. So I called hoping. Alan's mother answered. She told me that Alan did die in 1989 from cancer. I remember very clearly when she said "he was just 39 years old". The tone in her voice was almost exactly like Lureen's voice in the movie when she said the exact same phrase.

I still have a jacket hanging in my closet that Alan gave me to wear one night.

I keep going back to the movie. Not because I enjoy remembering the pain, but because I feel so much better when I see Jack & Ennis together and happy. The last flashback-the 'Dozy Embrace' always takes my breath away. Alan used to hold me and sing softly all the time. I intend to see Brokeback it every day until it is pulled.

Brokeback Mountain puts everthing in perspective now.

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2019, 01:20:13 AM »

Very good to have these two statements.   ;)
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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline Sara B

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2019, 02:15:58 AM »
It really is. Thank you, Chuck.

It’s extraordinary, and so sad, that his life resonates so much with Brokeback Mountain. But also beautiful that he found comfort from it.

But he died so young - I knew he wasn’t very old but hadn’t realised he was only in his early sixties...
“When we grow older still we’ll speak about those two young men as if they were two strangers..... And we’ll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.”

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Offline Gazapete

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2019, 02:31:55 AM »
I didn't know John's story, it's heartbreaking how similar it was to BBM, no wonder it had such an impact on him.

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2019, 07:16:59 AM »
John shared his past story with me a couple of times in a PM, and yes, it was a sad telling, but again, it helped me understand his attachment to BBM, the film and the book. He wasn't sure he would ever find love like that again. I don't know if he did or not, but I do hope he found some peace and acceptance in Life. Such a quiet Man he was......... :'(

Offline dejavu

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2019, 08:27:07 AM »
It really is. Thank you, Chuck.

It’s extraordinary, and so sad, that his life resonates so much with Brokeback Mountain. But also beautiful that he found comfort from it.

But he died so young - I knew he wasn’t very old but hadn’t realised he was only in his early sixties...

Just reading these statements from John puts a lot more of his life in better perspective for me now.  So thank you from me, too, Chuck.

Sara, what you said really hit home for me.  I had been wondering how old John was, and this makes it clear that he wasn't that old at all.  It's a shame that his illness took so much out of him so soon.

I've been thinking a lot about John during the past week.  His words "I was more shy back then than I am now" resonate well, because even when I knew John, he was so quiet.  I was just telling my sister about him in an email to her, and said that John was "quiet, kind, helpful, with a bashful smile."  He didn't talk a lot, but he might sit in a corner listening, and you might not even know he was there because of the more boisterous conversations among other people, and then John would come out with a single sentence that let you know how well he'd been listening.  Sometimes it was a dry, or wry, humorous statement, and there might be a twinkle in his eye.

I missed some of the early Brokie gatherings that Chuck mentioned, like Linda's (Auntie's) BBQ in Texas, and the Bay City gathering.  Although I did see the recording of John and the rest of the band playing in Bay City, and from that, I especially remember Trish's singing.  Guess John didn't have to say a lot when playing the piano, either.   :)

I first met John at the Estes Park gathering, which took place over Memorial Day weekend, 2007.  And I last saw him at the Tucson gathering, which I believe took place in 2016 (?), when we gathered to watch Brokeback Mountain on the big screen, during a film festival.  Both times, I stayed at Mom's house in Denver before going to these gatherings....I drove her car to Estes Park, and I flew from Denver to Tucson on Southwest Airlines.  Mom died in January, 2017, but I think she was still alive at the time of the Tucson gathering.  In any case, what I wanted to say was that Mom knew of Bay City John.  She knew about some of my other Forum/Diner friends, too, especially Chuck and Linda (she even talked to Linda on the phone once in 2007 when Linda called the house looking for me; and Chuck was the person I texted from the hospital just before Mom died), but Mom knew of John Trudell, or Bay City John.  To her, he was "Telescope Man."  That's because, as Chuck mentioned in his earlier post, John brought his telescope to Estes Park and set it up in the parking lot where we were staying, and showed me the amazing rings of Saturn.

That was just one example of John's kindness and caring, helping me to get adjusted to the telescope so that I could see through it properly. I also remember that at our last gathering in Tucson, I told a few people at breakfast about having seen something black on the floor before going to bed the night before, and it looked like either the electric cord for a cell phone charger, or possibly a scorpion, except I couldn't find it when I tried to look for it again.  "It might have been a scorpion, down here," John said, rather seriously, although allowing for his dry sense of humor, I supposed it really hadn't been a scorpion.  But I took it that he was trying to help me understand whatever the problem had been.

I saw John a number of times over the years, and he would tell me....very briefly....a little of his plans.  I was so glad when he found a good job out in California.  I was glad he stayed with the Forum in some capacity after he told me he was thinking of not being so active.  Somewhere he gave me his work address north of San Francisco, but it never made it into my address book, so he wasn't on my Christmas card list.  I'm sorry I never sent him a card when he was sick.  But earlier this week, in looking for another number in my cell phone's Contact List, I did come across the phone number for John Trudell.  I suppose it will be another one that I won't ever want to delete, along with the number for Jackie.

Just one more memory, and that is of Christmas 2007.  I rarely went to visit family in Colorado at Christmas because it snowed so much that Mom didn't want to have to worry about out-of-town relatives flying in and then not being able to drive to Christmas dinner locally.  So Linda invited me to come stay with her in San Bruno for Christmas, along with several other Brokies, and she cooked a delicious Christmas dinner, which I believe was a spiral ham.  I stayed in her guest bedroom.  Rob flew in, and I believe that John, Linda and I went to pick him up at the airport....probably the Oakland airport.  Jimmy and Michael came to dinner.  John was sleeping on Linda's couch in the living room.  Some of the details are hazy by now, but I remember that I didn't bring any Christmas presents with me in my suitcase, flying across country.  But the others did, and in particular I remember that John brought little Christmas presents for everyone.  He did care about making people happy.

And that's how I'll always remember him.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 10:30:32 AM by dejavu »
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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2019, 08:40:32 AM »

I'll repost here again what I wrote the other day on the Mourning thread.


Summer of 2007:

A fantastic Brokie weekend - in and around San Francisco and San Bruno.

On my first evening there, I spent a long evening with John, at Linda's home. (Jimmy and Linda were absent for quite a while.) We - he and I - didn't talk much, but music was our main focus.

The next day we went together to the rodeo, danced at the ball.

In the hotel's bedroom that Linda had rented for us (  :-* ) , John and I also Jimmy I guess shared a bed - don't worry, we all kept our underwear.   ;D

(It was a short night anyway).

I remember John preparing a lot of stuff (stands etc.) in the Castro Theatre.

Between 2007 and 2014, we exchanged a lot of mails and pms, mainly concerning music and piano playing. (Composers, aesthetics etc.)

In 2014 I saw him only briefly again in Madrid - no time for a chat.

What I remember is a very quiet, silent, sometimes withdrawn man who surprised me by everything he WROTE to me. I think he actually had a lot to say and to express, he was a fine musician too in my opinion (although I've never heard him play in RL), he certainly KNEW a lot about music and many other subjects,

and he certainly loved this forum and our movie to pieces - everything he did here (for us) was an enormous labour of love.

I think that basically he was a DEVOTED man.

I'm happy for him that he grew so close to Diana O., I know that this meant the world to him.

It is hard to understand and it is unacceptable that he's already gone.

Terrible.

I so wish he'd still be here, for quite a number of decades at least!

 :'(
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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline jack

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Re: Remembering BayCityJohn
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2019, 09:33:53 PM »
John at the BBM Backyard BBQ in Texas - 2006.



yay, finally a picture that shows that i was part of the forum as well.  for some unknown reason, i never seem to be in any of the photos from events that i was at on facebook.  i feel like kilroy, ie, i was here comments made.
John shared his past story with me a couple of times in a PM, and yes, it was a sad telling, but again, it helped me understand his attachment to BBM, the film and the book. He wasn't sure he would ever find love like that again. I don't know if he did or not, but I do hope he found some peace and acceptance in Life. Such a quiet Man he was......... :'(
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