Chapter 25 New Boy 50 years a Watchtower slave
Lola La La La Lola
I’m not sure where I met Steve H but it was love at first sight. Not physical love, thought looking back I don’t think he would have minded that. I was in love with the fact he had been there for almost two years and he had enough seniority to get us a room in the Towers Hotel.
The Society had got three floors in an old run down hotel in the heights called, The Towers Hotel. These rooms all had their own bathrooms. They went up for bid. If these rooms had been in the 119, 107 or 124 buildings you would have needed ten years seniority to get them. They were two blocks from the main complex and still had a bunch of “worldly” people living in there. So none of the Bethel elite wanted to live there. New boys however who wanted a decent room and didn’t want to live with six or seven other guys, jumped at the opportunity.
So Steve H and I were part of the first group of guys to move into the towers. We got room 211. A beautiful view overlooking ventilators and directly over the ballroom.
I’m twenty one and really knew nothing about homosexuals. Never met any growing up and even if I had met some wouldn’t have even known it.
My upbringing in the church had taught me that they were detestable in god’s eyes. That their sins were than much worse than fornication. These were the sins that got Sodom and Gomora destroyed. Bottom line is no tolerance for this with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were hated back then and they are hated up to this day.
My heart goes out to the thousands of gays who have lost their families. There have mean many others who have even taken their own lives because of the guilt and shame their religion bestowed on them because of their sexual orientation.
They are part of our society and should be accepted as such.
However that is not how I believed back in the house of god. Many of them had been kicked out before I got there and many got kicked out while I was there.
I remember seeing two guys (not Bethelites) walking down a street in Greenwich Village and kissing each other on the lips. I was totally shocked.
A friend of mind another Steve, ran his hand through a table saw almost up to his wrist in the carpenter shop on Dec 26, 1972. He cut off his middle finger and destroyed 2 others.
They took him to the emergency room in Brooklyn. His hand wrapped in a bloody towel. He was in all kinds of pain. They moved him out of the waiting room into a smaller room. An orderly was helping him get into this gown. The orderly told him "We need to get a urine sample." Steve is going nuts. This guy is grabbing Steve’s penis for the test. Just then another guy comes through the door and sees what is going on.
"Jerry you sick fag! What the hell are you doing? This guy is bleeding to death and you are trying to get a free feel?”
I guess you really don't need a urine test, if you’re bleeding to death.
I must admit it does remind me of Bethel. You’re down and out, bleeding on the floor and they still want a free feel.
My poor friend Steve was getting screwed over by everyone. This orderly wants a free feel and Bethel wanted him gone.
The good brothers told him it would be best for him (not them of course) if he left Bethel. Why? Because he was no longer a $22 a month asset, he was now a ten thousand dollar liability.
He and his family had no money and no insurance, for the many operations he would need on his hand in the months to come. So he begged them to let him stay at Bethel. So after many talks, they finally gave in and let him stay. That was nice of them.
To say we were homophobic is putting it mildly. A group of guys there even beat up a couple of gay guys one night in the Heights. They felt bad about their actions the next day and went to Brother Couch to confess.
George set there with a smile on his face and told them. “Don’t worry about it boys, just don’t do it again.”
Their attitude was, since god was going to kill them all off pretty soon, why should he get all the fun.
They were hated by the society back then and they are hated up to this day. Of course the Witnesses will be quick to point out. “We don’t hate the people we just hate their actions.” Bull shit.
My new roommate Steve had all of the characteristics of someone who was leaning this way. He had all of the mannerisms and was very clingy. Let me put it this way, I wasn’t going to do a much of rum and cokes with him on a Saturday night and see what happened next.
He would say things like. “So what are we going to do together this coming Saturday after work?” I don’t know what are “we” going to do together? I started to ditch Steve after work.
On the same day Steve ran his hand through the table saw, December 26th 1972. A guy that lived in the towers hotel committed suicide. He jumped off the roof of the Towers Hotel and hit a parking sign on the way down. I didn't, really see him hit but I did see his blood and tiny bit his flesh on the sidewalk for weeks afterwards. No one cleaned it up.
I remember that when someone jumped off the Towers. He hit the window sill of my room and this knocked him toward the street sign. I had a bunch of potted plants on the sill.
Do you remember when Phil Wilcox got his hand in the press and it took off a finger? I think it was press 35. I pulled the rollers out of the color section and saw his finger fall down.
Do you remember the "Mr. David Convention" at the St. George Hotel? That was my first introduction into the gay community. I was from the back woods of the south.
at the St. George
The St George had a salt water swimming pool on one of the the top floors. A friend got groped by a gay while in the water. I think the Clark street subway entrance was inside that Hotel and one took the elevator to the street level.
The Heights became more and more gay throughout the years and they were wearing jeans with a handkerchief in the left or the right pocket and they would not only walk throughout the heights but also hang out on the promenade. The wt did not want the Bethelites to wear jeans for that reason.
That era was during the Moonie movement and the Harry Krishnas. Years later the Harry Krishnas had a Temple near the 25 Building on the street that goes to the water. You could see a magnificent view of the twin towers there by the water.
Muggings were common in that era and since the dollar went a long way back then, even mugging a poor Bethelite was fruitful. I remember Songer tackling a purse snatcher that tried to steal a purse from a sister.