As spring, 1967, of our second school year in North Dakota arrived, we realized that Tim had to make some hard decisions about diving and gymnastics-decisions that would lead him up to the Olympics a year from the coming fall (with the Olympics moving close to the tropics, they would be held in October even though they were the 'Summer Olympics'). He had forgotten how long he had been the National Diving Champion in both platform and springboard, but he had never seriously competed at the world level. The 1968 world championships would determine who went to the Mexico Olympics as the reigning World Champion. Tim wanted to do that, and felt that he should experience a world championship a year ahead of the crucial 1968 competition. It was quite unusual for the US National Champion not to have competed at the world championships, but Tim had never felt compelled to do that. This year, he decided-and I completely agreed with him-he had to go. The Worlds would be in Rome in August, and we planned our trip.
This immediately led to discussions among the group about who would be in the cheering section. Fred Milson took an active interest not only in UND athletics, but in Tim athletics in particular. One evening Tim and I were having dinner at Fred's house, and we shared Tim's decision to go to Rome.
Fred responded to Tim's news with, "Good, its about time you got recognized on the international level. Do you think you can win?"
"USA diving is the best in the world, and Tim dominates it," I said. I don't think he'll be intimidated at the world level, and if he performs like he always has, two gold medals await him."
"Think so, Tim?"
"I think so. No promises; I never make promises like that."
"I know. So who all is going to Rome?"
"The Gang is debating. It's expensive."
"That's why you young guys need old guys like me. We're called angels. For a hug and a kiss from my favorite diver I'll get the whole Gang there. But I get a hug and a kiss from every one-especially all the lovely girls you have in that Gang."
"And we thought Felix was the only dirty old man around. But you can't be serious. The Gang is fifteen strong." I should note that somewhere along the way Merle had become sufficiently entangled with Tina that we considered him one of the Gang.
"Yeah, and most of them have parents that are going to want to go. And Larry. And Felix. And your high school coaches. And if I remember the stories correctly, Hal's high school coach and his wife are almost charter members of your exclusive club. And Billy, it would kill him to be left behind. And Harry will want to go. They both have a chance at qualifying at this year's Nationals. We'll take 'em all. I'll charter a plane and you can fill it up. Just be sure to reserve a seat for me."
Tim hesitated just long enough for me to realize that "Buy the damn shoes" was going through his brain. This was a wonderful gift from Fred, but both Tim and I realized that Fred would get vastly more joy from the trip than he could buy with his money any other way. And he was good company. Tim decided that the proper acceptance couldn't be verbalized. He got up and walked around the table. Fred pulled his chair back from the table so that Tim could get to him. Tim climbed into Fred's lap like his grandson might, hugged him tight, and then kissed him hard, on the lips, his tongue going inside and being gratefully accepted. Fred held him a long time and then slowly relaxed his hold. Tim put his head on Fred's chest and said quietly, "You're the best angel a guy ever had. I love you."
Fred said, "When you first called me for an appointment I wondered what I was letting myself in for. You called at home and asked to visit at home-everyone else came to the store. I wasn't sure I wanted you at home, but I said, 'Yes.' You knew what you were doing. God, can anybody say, 'No,' to you? But I had no idea how much joy was going to come into my life when I let you in my front door. This trip to Rome is going to be a ball. And the more the merrier."
Fred continued, "You know, I've never been kissed by a man before. It was a little startling; perhaps exciting. Sort of forbidden fruit. I can certainly understand why Charlie loves you. Thank you. But just to set the record straight-maybe that's a bad choice of words-I would like that to be as far as we go. I'm straight, and I really don't want to explore anything else."
Tim thought for a moment before answering. "Thanks, Fred. I would never want to push beyond a person's limits. However, considering our relationship, going any further than I just did would've been out of place. It may be that I already pushed too far, but Charlie will tell you that I'm famous for pushing boundaries-especially sexual ones. But I knew that I was already pushing the boundary and wouldn't go further. Besides, you did ask for a kiss."
"What a kiss! That wasn't what I had in mind, but it was wonderful."
Tim kissed him again, very gently on the cheek. I kissed the other cheek.
Fred picked up his wine glass and Tim and I picked up our Coke glasses. As we clinked them together Fred said, "To Rome and gold medals. Look out world, Tim's coming."
The Fighting Sioux were conference champions in swimming and diving for the second year, thanks both to Tim's diving and his extraordinary enthusiasm which rubbed off on everybody. The NCAA diving championships are hardly worth mentioning. Nobody could touch him.
Summer Nationals were another matter. Neither Billy nor Harry were NCAA divers, but both were eligible for the open nationals: Harry simply because of being a finalist the year before; Billy had been dominating North Dakota diving, and had earned himself a place at the summer Nationals.. They would be in Atlanta this year, and we made plans to go. I would be Tim's support group. Billy's parents and Tim would be Billy's support group. Lida and her parents and Harry's dad would be Harry's support group. Fred couldn't stay away, and he rooted for everyone. Harry improved his position to 11th place off the springboard. Billy was 5th off the platform, but 13th off the spring board. Tim was first and first, not really giving second place the tiniest window of opportunity. Tim totally dominated U.S. diving that year.
Tim told Billy, "Second next year and first the year after that. We'll be the North Dakota dynasty. You know, you've earned a trip to the World's in Rome with that 8th place finish. Age sixteen and off to the Worlds in Rome-it's been quite an adventure, hasn't it?"
"You know, Tim. I've never had as much fun diving as I did in the middle of the night in Grand Forks talking with you about diving for the first time. I was a perfect stranger, four years younger than you, and you were treating me like a colleague. The only thing that I can imagine that'll compete with that night would be standing on an Olympic podium with you. But I've a long way to go, and a Hell of a lot of practicing to do before I get there. Thanks for the ride."
Tim said, "We have a date in Rome. I wouldn't miss it for the world. And I think that Harry'll be coming, too."
At least in gymnastics Tim had to accept medals other than gold, but he was again the overall winner at the NCAA championships, with golds in three events plus the individual medley, two silvers and a bronze. In the floor exercises he was causing consternation. His game of playing the lines was being copied, but the copycats weren't good enough to avoid missing and going over. His starting that game was resented by some and admired by others. For good or for ill, the sport was stuck with that pattern-at least for a while.
How do I keep up with everybody? The group was getting out of hand. Hal won the Boston Marathon. Both Jim and Big Paul had been true to their predictions and had been undefeated for the year, making them Big Ten Conference champions. Andy was happy at Michigan, and seemed content to remain in Jim's athletic shadow. They were both still looking for girlfriends. Ronnie's academic successes were piling up, and he had co-authored a couple of articles in Physics-unheard of for an undergraduate. Hal and Sue were going to be married in the summer, and had set a July date that fit around everybody's impossible schedules. Franklin and Phil were happy as larks down in Kansas, where Franklin was getting involved in the management of drug treatment programs. Chicago was suiting Tom and Nancy to a "T" and they had decided to put off wedding plans for another year-they were having too much fun as unmarried undergraduates. The old married couple, Carl and Carol, were doing just fine at Minnesota, and both would graduate in a year.
Tina had stayed in Minnesota and gone to the U. Merle, a year behind her in school, had dated her all year. We saw them when we visited in Minneapolis. This year Merle had gone east to an art school, I think the Rhode Island School of Design. They wrote; saw each other at vacations; pined for each other; ran up phone bills; and decided that one year was enough of that. Rhode Island offered little for Tina, and Merle wanted to continue his art studies and felt that Minneapolis didn't fit the bill. They've agreed upon New York City. Tina applied for admission to Teachers College at Columbia University, planning to be a high school science teacher. Merle is going to drop out of school-though he plans to take art classes or lessons in New York-and start painting, hoping to support himself by working in an art gallery. Tina plans to live in the Columbia dorms and Merle is going to rent the cheapest digs he can find. We're all going to miss them as they move east.
On one of our spring visits to Minneapolis, Carl and Carol joined the family for dinner and stayed over for the night. At dinner Carl said, "This isn't simply a family get-together. Nor are we here because we're horny for your bodies-though we probably are. We have a serious question for you, which we need to have answered soon."
"Shoot," said Tim. "What's on your mind?"
Carol continued, "We're juniors; next year is when we have to do some serious life planning. Like, where do we want to live?"
I said, "I'm pretty sure I know where you're going with this. It's really a two part question: Is the Gang really going to all live near each other? And, are Tim and I really going to make our home in Grand Forks, and if so, when?"
"You got it. Quite simply, should we be heading for Grand Forks? And, is it really as cold there as it's reputed to be?" That was Carol.
Tim said, "Yes, to both questions."
I said, "Understand, we're going to be leaving after we graduate. Tim'll be going to grad school and I would like to clerk for a judge."
"You mean for a Supreme Court Justice."
"There are very few such openings. I can't be guaranteed that kind of opportunity."
"Regardless, we'll be gone from Grand Forks for four or five years. Then we're heading back. We're both confident that we can get jobs at the University. Prexy has virtually offered them already."
Tim continued, "Are you thinking of heading to Grand Forks when you graduate?"
"No. With my engineering degree I want to work in development design. I want to open my own shop, but I need experience, and it will be very useful if I get that experience in the state where I plan to work. Since Grand Forks is on the border with Minnesota, I'll be working in both states. But I have good background in Minnesota already. Carol and I are thinking that we'll head for Bismarck. She's going to teach and I want to get a job in the top design shop in Bismarck. I have excellent grades and a good portfolio. I think I can land just the job I want."
"You know, we can't give you any guarantees about the rest of the Gang. They say they're coming, but a lot of things can change minds as you work your way through college."
"Bullshit." That was Carl. "You know they're going to follow you like lemmings. Carol and I among them. And not the least embarrassed. We all want to continue the wonderful relationship we have, and I think there is serious determination on everybody's part for that to happen."
I said, "I think you're right. But you won't be much closer to us in Bismarck than you are in the Twin Cities, but being in the same state seems a lot closer."
"That's only for a year. Then you're headed to Washington. The grand gathering of the clan won't begin for a few years. It'll seem like a long time."
"Nothing like the 40 months that Charlie and I had," said Tim.
"Get over it," I said.
"I know. I'll never live that down-even if it was the right thing to do."
"Don't go there, Tim."
"OK. If you'll fuck me tonight."
"We have company, maybe they have other ideas."
"They can watch. Then we can watch them."
Carol said, "You're on."
Norman interrupted with, "This has been a very interesting conversation. I learned more about what my sons and their partners have planned for their lives than I would have any other way. But with this shift in subject, I think Betsy and I'll head for the kitchen, clean up, and then perhaps retire to our own bedroom. We'll take care of the kitchen, you all bring the stuff out and clean up the dining room."
We did, and then we headed for bed. Both of our rooms had double beds, and the guest room had two singles. We opted for the guest room, where there was room for us all to sleep. We were all experienced in sharing single beds.
Carol said, "I think that Carl and I would like to get Tim ready for this; it would be fun." She went over to Tim and slipped off his tee shirt, taking some care to tickle his ribs as she did so. She got the anticipated giggle from Tim, and just as he giggled she jerked his pants and Jockeys down around his ankles. Then she pushed him back on the bed and said, "Carl, hold him while I get his shoes off." That didn't take long, and soon his pants and undershorts followed. He wiggled up the bed so that his feet no longer hung off, and Carl and Carol, each taking a side of the bed, tickled his balls and dick until he was very hard and getting excited.
Carl said, "I think that's enough for now. Charlie, how do you want him, upside down or right side up."
"You guys choose."
Carol said, "On his back." She and Carl pulled his legs up toward his shoulders. Carol held them while Carl went down to our room and got a tube of KY.
He returned and asked Carol, "Do you want to get him ready, or shall I?"
"I'd like to, if you don't mind."
Tim said, "Don't Charlie and I get any say in this?"
"No." It came from both Carl and Carol.
Carl said, "Charlie, get your clothes off."
I did as I was told, and lay back on my side on the other bed, watching the proceeding with interest.
Carl took Tim's legs, and Carol the KY. She squeezed some up Tim's crack and slowly massaged his butt, sticking her fingers in a little way, one at a time. I could tell Tim was really getting aroused, as I was I. I said, "I think it's soon my turn."
Carl and Carol left Tim on his own with his legs in the air and came over to me. They had a little conversation about my genitals, as if I wasn't there. "Cute looking aren't they?" "Could be a little longer." "Nice bush." "Look at it jerk around when I touch it."
Tim said, "Hey, I'm ready, get on with it."
They attacked my penis, getting it good and messy with KY. Then I was led over to the other bed, helped on, guided to Tim's hole-now exposed because Carol had pulled his legs up to his shoulders again, and given a good healthy shove by Carl. I slipped inside of Tim easily; he grinned at me and said, "Shove it, Charlie."
I did. I banged him pretty hard, but I could tell from his face that he was enjoying every bit of it. Carol reached her hand in between his legs, and just as she made contact with his dick he came. I followed almost immediately. I stayed inside till I was soft, and then we stretched out with me at Tim's side. My hand found its way to his cum and I used my finger to give us both a taste. Then I got some more and gave both Carl and Carol some. Carl seem intrigued-it wasn't the first time he had had cum in his mouth, but as an essentially straight man, it was a fairly uncommon experience. Carol obviously liked the idea; suggesting that sucking might not be outside of their repertoire!
I said, "OK, now you get to clean us up."
Carl headed to the bathroom and brought back two washcloths, one of which was given to Carol. Then they both went to work, Carol taking Tim. I was immediately sorry that I hadn't done it myself, Carl's cloth was as cold as the tap could provide, and he did a very thorough job. Tim got the same treatment, but cold really didn't seem to bother him. Either that, or he could put on a really great front.
Tim said, "OK you two. Get your clothes off and let's see you perform. No help from us, just do your thing."
They did. Carl undressed Carol and then himself. They lay on the bed and used their hands to explore each other, kissing frequently. The kisses moved around their whole bodies, and ended with Carol having both of Carl's balls in her mouth. "I'm ready," she said.
Carl said, "We have an audience, let's try something different." He lay on his back and Carol sat on his middle, facing his feet. She leaned forward and wiggled around, and soon Carl was able to shove himself inside her. Movement was going to be up to her. Carl motioned to me to give him the KY. He pushed her gently forward so that her head was down between his ankles and her ass was pointed at his face. He lubed her and poked his index finger inside her. She moved according to the rhythm of his finger and as she moved she slid up and down on him. It didn't take long for a real explosion as they went off almost simultaneously. The problem with the position, which was really intriguing, is that as she came Carol had only feet to hug. Carl, on the other hand, dove his nose into her butt crack. It was quite a show.
Carol said, "To the shower."
We took turns; each showered and was washed, rinsed and then dried by the other three. It was almost as exciting as what had gone before. When all of us were dry, Carl asked, "OK, do we want to sleep together in little beds or separately in decent beds."
Tim settled the matter simply by saying, you can sleep where you want, but Carol and I are sleeping together in the guest room. Carl and I followed and climbed into the other bed. Tim said, "Spoon him Charlie, he'll love it."
I said, "I doubt he has the wiggle down pat."
Carl asked, "What wiggle?"
I said, "Carol, let Carl borrow Tim for a moment." They got in a bed together and Tim demonstrated. Carl said, "Wow, Charlie, I know why you like sleeping with Tim."
Carl and I finally ended up in bed together, and Carl tried, but he wasn't Tim. That is probably just as well; Tim was always wonderful to come home to.
I am writing this about forty years after the fact. For some things my memory is as clear as a bell, or at least I think it is. Other things are a little vague. I hope you don't mind if I fill in some details out of the hazy mists that mix memory with imagination. Tim thinks I am doing a pretty good job. His brain is six years less worn than mine, so maybe he is a good judge. In any case, I do the best I can. The night with Carl and Carol is one of those times that is clear as a bell. Tim remembers it just the same. Tim and Carl had always been close. We had always been very close to Carl and Carol since Carol and I had come on the scene. But that day, with the discussion of where we would live taking place at dinner, and then the sharing in bed at night, brought us a closeness that's hard to explain. It continues today.
Before we could be off to the Worlds we had to get Hal and Sue married. The entire Gang assembled, along with most of the parents. My mom came, insisting that she never wanted to miss an assembling of the Gang. At the last minute Tina and Merle couldn't make it. Merle had found a good job in a New York art gallery, and Tina was in New York with him, helping him settle in. There was simply no way for Merle to be away from his new job, and Tina decided that her place was with him. With much regret we realized that we were losing a wonderful part of the Gang. Both would be missed.
Hal and Sue pondered long and hard over several aspects of their wedding. First, where? Though they both had church affiliations of their own, they opted for the Unitarian Church where Tim's and my commitment and Carl and Carol's wedding had been. There was a new minister now, but she was as welcoming as her predecessor. Both Hal and Sue felt that it was totally inappropriate for them to be married in a church that didn't accept Tim and me, and Franklin and Phil, as full partners. We knew that it was a hard choice for Sue, who had grown up in the Presbyterian church and would've liked to be married there. But while the national Presbyterian Church was officially silent on homosexuality in 1968, her local minister was very clear about how he felt about Tim and me.
Hal and Sue virtually copied the ceremony that Carl and Carol had used, involving the entire Gang. It was wonderful. In addition to the Gang, and both sets of parents, Herb and Phyllis Johnson had key roles. Coach Johnson had a special place in Hal's heart, and Sue's as well. Instead of trying to pick one member of the Gang as "Best Man," Hal asked Herb to take that role, and insisted that Phyllis be up front with them as well. Using couples instead of singles had worked for Carl and Carol, and Hal and Sue did the same.
The biggest decision regarded the honeymoon. After much back and forth, they decided that the honeymoon would be in three parts: First, they came back after the wedding and spent the night at Hal's house, just as Tim and I, and Carl and Carol, had spent the first night in their loving home. The next night they went to Sue's. The following morning they set out on part two of their honeymoon, a short trip alone. Not only did they not tell us in advance where they were going, but afterwards they never told anyone where they had been. They've insisted that that is one part of their life together that they don't wish to share. We all respect that, though I think most of us think it's silly! And I'm serious: Forty years later I have no idea where Hal and Sue spent that week!
The next week, however, was pretty public: Rome, Italy!
In that week before Rome, Franklin, Phil, Tim, and I headed for Pike Lake. We had commitments to carry out! Franklin and I were going to be lovers for a week, and Tim and Phil were going to get to know each other better as well. Franklin and I drove over in my car, while Tim and Phil drove in Phil's. On the way over Franklin told me, "Charlie, you know that I could easily have fallen in love with you that first summer at camp. In fact I did fall in love with you, but it was very obvious that Tim had gotten there first. There was no way that I was going to move against Tim."
"Franklin, when you whispered to me, 'I'm gay, too,' as you left camp that summer I was floored. I had completely missed all the signals-I guess I was more wrapped up in Tim than I realized. In many ways I fell in love with all seven of you boys. I still am. But Tim is special. You are, too, Franklin, but for me Tim's extra special. I truly love him."
"I know you do, Charlie, and we both know that nothing that happens this week will change that. But what's going to happen this week?"
"What do you have in mind?"
"Last summer I told Tim that I was his sex slave-that he would call all the shots. We had a wonderful time. He's really one sexy kid. That offer is open for you, Charlie."
"Sex is fun, Franklin, and I want to have sex with you. But I'm more interested in loving you and being loved. I want to go to sleep with you spooned behind me. I want to lie on the couch with my head in your lap. If it were Christmas I would want to kiss you under the mistletoe. I want to take a long walk with you, just holding hands. I want to count stars with you. I want to shower with you, and be washed and dried by you. I want to kiss every part of you, and stick my tongue into every opening in your body." I pulled to the side of the road, stopping the car. "Most of all I want to hug you." And that's just what we did, for how long I have no idea. But Phil and Tim got to the lake ahead of us.
And we did all those things, over and over. Well, yes, we did other things too. Having Franklin's big dick pushing at my throat was quite an experience. I seldom let it go down my throat-I liked the cum in my mouth where I could taste it. Franklin was more aggressive with me that he had been with Tim. He didn't hesitate to tell me when he wanted sex and how he wanted it. And he never once hesitated to give me what I asked for. Under Tim's and my rules fucking was off limits, and Franklin knew that. Sucking was always fun, and as he had shown Tim the year before, Franklin liked hands on his dick. One time he produced a dildo and insisted that it should fuck him, and I asked for the same treatment. He definitely enjoyed it more than I did, and he asked for a second round-I didn't.
One afternoon the four of us decided to head up to Lake Superior and take a swim. Well, we had other things in mind as well, remembering the adventures of the year before. We ate lunch on the way up, and got to the Huron area about 2:00. We stripped off our clothes and headed for the water. It was a little bit warmer than the previous year, making it a lot more enjoyable. Nevertheless, about a half hour was all we could take, and we headed back to the shore. We lay naked in the sand, paired as we had been all week-me with Franklin and Tim with Phil. I'm not sure what Phil and Tim were doing, but Franklin and I were doing 69 with me on top of him. Just as he came I looked up and there was a young man watching us. He was sort of half hidden by some rocks, but came out into the open when he knew I had seen him.
It was hard to tell what his reaction was to what he had seen. He spoke first, "I want you to suck me. If you won't let me I'm going to get you all in trouble."
Phil laughed a little, and said, "And just how do you think you're going to get us in trouble?"
"Tell people what you were doing here."
"How about what you're doing here? I think there's a big difference here kid. We don't hide the fact that we're gay. I'm guessing you do."
"Yeah," he said. Then his eyes began to tear up, and it was clear he was going to cry."
I asked, "What's your name? Just your first name."
"What're you doing here?"
"I walk the lakeshore a lot. I live about three miles up the shore, and across the road."
"Do you see many people along the shore?"
"Not many. Every now and then a few swimmers. I saw you today and realized you were all nude. I've been watching about a half hour. You wouldn't have seen me if I hadn't come down close so I could see exactly what you were doing. I wasn't sure I was going to surprise you or not, but then you saw me."
"And you thought you could threaten us?"
"I guess. I'm desperate. I know I'm gay. I've never had sex with a boy-or a girl. I don't know any boy to even talk to about it. Please do something with me."
"How old are you Dick?"
"Tim here is the youngest, and he's twenty. Twenty year old men don't have sex with fifteen year old boys. It's not acceptable; it's not legal."
"No, Dick. It can't happen."
"Can we talk some?"
"We have to get dressed first." There was no way we were going to get Dick to leave while we put our clothes on, so he stood there and watched. We knew he wanted to do more than watch, but it wasn't to be.
We talked for about an hour. He lived with his mother, up the shore as he had said. His father had died several years before. He went to the local high school, but was really lonely during the summer. His mother ran a little bakery, and he helped out there. But they started early in the morning-his hours put Tim to shame; they started baking at 3:30 a.m. He was done by noon with little to do. He walked the beach for long hours, sometimes jogging. He would skinny dip from time to time, but it was usually too cold for him. He knew he was gay, and didn't have the slightest idea what to do about it-other than jack off, which he did frequently on his long walks.
We told him a little about ourselves, and he finally figured out who Tim was, and that added a little more excitement to his day. We drove him to his home, telling him that our summer was soon ending, but that we might look him up on a fall visit or next summer.
"Oh, please do!"
"We'll see you."
One morning, Franklin really fooled me, saying, "Charlie, I want to shave you. Would you let me?"
I hesitated more than I should have-there is no reason that the answer shouldn't have been, "Yes," but it didn't just roll off my tongue.
Franklin picked up on the hesitation, and said, "Forget that, Charlie. I shouldn't have asked."
"Yes, you should have, Franklin. If you wanted something and were unwilling to ask, it would really hurt me. But if you're going to shave me, don't tell Tim. Let him find out at the end of your visit. It'll certainly surprise him."
"Charlie, you were hesitating. I'm not going to shave you."
"Yes, you are. And we aren't going to discuss it further."
Franklin sort of changed, quite suddenly. We were in the cabin alone, Tim and Phil having headed out for the day. Franklin stood up and said, very forcefully, "Charlie, come here." I did. He picked me up and took me to the queen size bed, tossing me on it. "Strip." I did. He got out plastic rope and quickly tied me spreadeagle on the bed. He headed into the bathroom, leaving me tied on the bed. This was a new Franklin; not the gentle, lovable, do-anything-for-you guy, but a very assertive, forceful man. It wasn't a Franklin I would've wanted over the long haul, but for this morning it was really sexy. I loved it, and I sensed that Franklin knew I did.
He came back, naked and hard, and carrying a can of shaving cream. I was lathered up from my neck to my ankles-a vastly larger amount of body than I expected-but I didn't say anything. This was Franklin's show.
He produced a double edge razor and started on my chest, then over my right hip and down my leg. He untied the leg, lifted it up and shaved the back, right up to my ass, which was swiftly cleaned. Changing blades, he did the other leg, hip, and came to my waist, moving down to my pubes. He did them very slowly and delicately, and then very carefully got the hair on my balls. I was then untied and taken to the shower, cleaned, and then carried back to the bed. Very delicately he made love to me, rubbing my entire smooth body, ending up at my genitals, which he massaged very gently, slowing moving to a stroke that brought me to a fantastic climax. What an experience. "Do you want to do me?"
"No, Franklin, I don't. This was your pleasure, and I think it should stay that way. Tomorrow, I'm going to take you up on your offer to be my sex slave. You're going to make me come in so many different ways that I'll run out of ideas.
"Well, I didn't run out of ideas, but I'll let you use your own imagination-after all I had to tax mine to keep Franklin busy. I think I had seven orgasms that day-maybe more. Franklin got one, a do it yourself job that he was permitted after he had sucked me as we went to bed. I knew from Tim that Franklin liked being treated that way, or I would never have done it to him. From the hugs and kisses I got at the end of the long day, I knew Tim was right.
Franklin hadn't shaved my arms so as not to embarrass me in public. But he had done a good job on my legs, and Tim spotted the change the next time we swam. I got well kidded by him and Phil. Tim could hardly wait to experience hugging me after I had been shaved.
The World Swimming and Diving Championships, Rome, Summer, 1967. It rolls off the tongue very sweetly. It rattles around in the brain, and touches fond memories. Not just for me and Tim, but Harry, Billy, the whole Gang, parents, coaches, Fred, and most of North Dakota.
That three North Dakotans had qualified for the Worlds was quite sensational-at least in North Dakota. Eddie Schmidt, the reporter that we often worked with at the Grand Forks Herald was really building up the story, and all the newspapers in the state were joining in the excitement. When Eddie broke the story that Fred Milson, of Milson's Sporting Goods, was taking a huge crowd in a chartered 707, it became even bigger news. We left from the Fargo Airport at ten in the morning with more than 600 people there to send us off. Tim absolutely refused to talk to the press, greet crowds, or do anything unless Harry and Billy were with him. As far as he was concerned, the spectacular thing was the three of them together, and he insisted that it be portrayed that way. Eddie did wonderful biographies of Harry and Billy. He got the story of the midnight diving the night of Tim, and even managed to wring out of Bill an old snapshot that he had taken of Billy and Tim on the platform. It appeared on the front page of the Herald with the caption, "Old Diving Buddies." Fred had made room for a press contingent on the plane, and Eddie, Susan, Bill, and Mike-our special friends-filled those spaces.
It was interesting to see the different reactions of the three boys to all the excitement. It wasn't new to Tim, and he seemed to take it in stride. But I could tell from the way that he hugged me at night that the excitement was getting to him-positively-he loved it. Harry didn't seem to know what had hit him. This was a diver who had rated his diving career a huge success when he had made the Nationals once. He had made them three times, gotten into the finals twice, qualified for the Worlds, and was now off to Rome amidst a press hullabaloo that he could hardly understand. To say that it was the time of his life would be much too weak an expression. He was doing OK, and it wasn't going to his head (well, not too much), but he simply didn't have the composure and maturity for the situation that Tim had. His interviews were stilted and hesitant. But when he was among his friends-Tim, the Gang, his fellow divers-he was great.
Billy was a case study. It had just been seven months since Billy had started following Tim's diving regimen for him. He had improved as much in those seven months as most divers accomplish in their whole careers. He was easily state high school champion, both platform and springboard. And that was only four months along. He was second in platform and third at springboard in the upper midwest regionals-not for high school, but overall. That got him a berth at the Nationals where he had been 5th off the platform and earned the right to go to Rome. He wasn't in Tim's league, but at age 16 he was already being talked about as Tim's successor.
How did he handle all that? Like a pro. Tim was his teacher and model. But Billy differed from Tim in one important way. He showed his wonder, exuberance, and excitement much more. Tim was more controlled. I could feel his exuberance in bed at night, but to the press he was Mr. Poised, with nerves of steel. Billy was Mr. Bubbly. But he combined it with a poise and maturity that made him a real press darling. At times he upstaged Tim.
I was really proud of Tim. He was so pleased with Billy's success that it never seemed to even sink in when he was upstaged. In fact, the more fuss that was made over Billy the more Tim liked it.
Rome was almost an anticlimax. First of all, Billy and Harry were not the sensations on either the national or international stage that they had been in North Dakota. This was Tim's first visit to world swimming competition, and the international diving scene was more interested in him than he was in it. He responded to most questions with the suggestion that everyone wait until he had had a chance to dive; then they could see for themselves, and he would know how he stood in world competition. Until then, he and they could only speculate. But, of course, speculation is the main business of sportswriters and speculate they did. Agree they did not. There was the school of thought that concluded that Tim hadn't competed on the world scene because he was afraid; because he wasn't going to do well. Another school had him dominating the meet. Most thought he was good, but would just be one of a number of top level competitors. Nobody paid any attention to Harry or Billy, which was just as well, as they needed to relax, practice, and get their emotions under control before the competition started.
And it did start. Would you believe Tim, Billy, and Harry as one, two, three? Well, neither would I. It was nice to dream about, but impossible, because Harry was on the springboard and Billy from the platform. Harry had no chance at medaling and knew it. Being there was Harry's triumph.
Billy was another matter. He wanted to qualify for the Olympics in less than a year. These men were going to be his competition at the Olympics. He had to be in the running if he was going to have a chance in Mexico City.
Coach Billings was there, of course. He knew all about Billy-it was his business to know all about all of the top divers-and had met him briefly at Nationals. He had four divers in Rome-making North Dakota's fuss over three look a little excessive. Of course, only two of his four were actually from Indiana! Stan was there, and was very friendly with Tim. Stan seemed to have come to terms with the fact that, in his words, "Shit, you can't beat perfection." Just knowing perfection seemed to be OK. This was the first time that Stan had competed with Tim and not seemed to resent him.
Tim had pushed Billy incredibly hard to increase his repertoire of difficult dives, knowing that degree of difficulty would make all the difference at the top. Tim had already decided that for the Olympics he would simply select the seven most difficult dives in the book for his optional dives. Such a regimen was unheard of, even for Tim. "Charlie, Larry, I can do them all, why not tackle them all?" But he was only doing five of those seven at the World's. He decided to wait until the Olympics to bring out the full seven.
Billy didn't have time to work on excess dives. As the required dives changed from meet to meet, he had to add those to his repertoire. But he didn't see any reason to add extras to his optional list, just so he could change dives from meet to meet. If he kept diving after the Olympics, that would be the time for that. Incredibly Billy had chosen Tim's list of the seven hardest dives for his repertoire. Absolutely unheard of for a sixteen year old. In fact, almost unprecedented for anybody. When he had told Tim, Tim had simply said, "Good. That's what I would've done with your time constraints." Tim was as nuts as Billy!
But they weren't nuts. Billy was competing in the Worlds for the first time with the most difficult dive list of any other competitor off the platform-including Tim. Tim swore that he had seen, at one time or another, Billy do each of the dives to perfection. "If he can put all of those dives together, which he's capable of doing, he gets the gold medal."
Nobody seriously thought that Billy could do that, and they were right. But Tim's point was that Billy wasn't overreaching, he was being reasonable in his approach to the meet-even though everybody else, including Coach Billings, thought that both he and Tim were insane.
Well, I won't keep you in suspense. Off the platform, it was one, two, three. Tim, Stan, Billy. Tim was number one off the springboard, and Stan managed a fourth off the springboard. A charming Danish boy named Sten, about Tim's age, was second, and a Japanese third. The Japanese spoke no English, so there wasn't really much of a chance for communication. Sten, on the other hand, was quite fluent in English and he fit right in with the Gang.
Well, Tim and Billy were the sensations of the meet. Tim was now officially the World Champion on both platform and springboard. Billy, age 16, with less than a year at serious competitive diving, was now the third best platform diver in the world. Tim basically said, "I told you so."
Billy's response was simply to say, "Wow."
It was Billy's parents that were in a state of shock. Bill simply couldn't believe Billy's success. It had been fun for me to watch Bill watch his son dive. He could hardly look for fear Billy would mess up a dive. But he couldn't take his eyes off Billy, either. I really thought he might have a stroke or a heart attack-but he made it through in good health. Martha was a little calmer, but only slightly. She really had a hard time grasping just how good Billy had become. She was back home in Fargo before it really hit her.
The American sweep of the three top platform medals was almost unprecedented-it had happened a couple of times before-a number of years ago. Coach Billings was ready to take on the world in Mexico City, you could almost feel him salivating. When the three came back to the locker room after the medal ceremony, he said, "I can't believe that I'm not looking at my Olympic diving team right now. And, my God, are we going to tear things up in Mexico. I can hardly wait."
Harry hadn't made the finals. In fact, he hadn't made the top half, though he came close. But he had competed hard, got some high point scores, one 9.9 and one 9.8. But his dive difficultly still held him back severely, as did a couple of not so good dives. He didn't care. He was just barely able to sort out dream from reality. He was Cinderella, Prince Charming, Snow White and all the seven dwarfs all at once. He was almost more fun to watch than Billy. We didn't need to worry that he would feel bad being compared to Billy and Tim. Just the fact that he was being compared was a huge ego boost.
Stan blew us over with his parting question: "You know, I graduated in June and my college eligibility has run out. I can't compete for Indiana any more. But I need to keep up my practice schedule if I'm going to get to Mexico. If I could get into the graduate program in education at North Dakota, could I practice next year with you guys?"
Tim responded, "Can't you stay on at Indiana? They have good graduate programs, and I know you'd be welcome to continue practicing with the team even if you couldn't compete."
"Sure I could. But Indiana doesn't have Tim. Or Billy. Look at what diving with you has done for Billy. I want equal opportunity."
I said, "It's past admissions deadlines, but Tim has a pipeline to the top. I'm sure that exceptions can be made."
Billy, who had been listening to the conversation, said, "It's going to be quite a year. But I don't want to be stuck in Fargo, only able to dive with you about half the week, Tim. I've got to figure out how to move up to Grand Forks."
I said, "I think I have an idea about that. But what would your parents say about your living in Grand Forks? And what about your high school team that you led so spectacularly this year? They wouldn't be happy to lose you."
"Good point," said Billy. "I'd hate to enroll in another high school and complete against them."
Tim said, "Charlie, what do you have in mind? You're not thinking of his living with us, are you?"
"That would work, but there would be some problems. No, I had something else in mind. I bet Fred would like a foster son."
Tim said, "I'll bet you're right. A wonderful idea. And here's how to work out the rest. Billy stays enrolled in Fargo North. Most high schools have a program that lets kids take credits at the local college, while they complete high school. Taking all his credits at UND would be stretching a point, but I'll bet both Fargo North and Prexy could be persuaded. Then Billy could dive with the Fargo North team, and Stan can do practice teaching in the phys ed department of Fargo North."
The circle of people that thought that was a good idea slowly grew, encompassing Bill and Martha, Fred (who loved the idea), Stan, Coach Billings (who didn't love the idea-it meant losing Stan, but reluctantly agreed), and eventually Prexy-after his getting a really hard sell from Tim. His response to Tim's sales pitch was, "Tim, I didn't really need the hard sell. Billy's welcome here."
Fred was the host with the most in Rome. The Gang fell in love with him, and he was even more of a Pied Piper than Tim-as he pointed out, money had its advantages. We were 107 strong-the seating capacity of his chartered 707. For this group, he chartered buses for tours, booked whole restaurants, took over two floors of a good hotel, and arranged an open soft drink bar and light buffet going all the time in a lounge on one of our floors. We were all invited to bring anybody we wanted for food, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. I have no idea what it cost him-he refused to discuss it at all-but he didn't blink, and was having more fun than any of us-with the exception of Billy-no one could top Billy's Roman adventure!
Harry and Lida disappeared for long period of time. They were clearly letting their romance bubble, and sought time alone. Hal and Sue mixed well with the Gang and the larger group. Sue said, "Hal and I are going to spend our lives together. This trip is a group adventure, not a time for privacy."
Sex reared its delightful head frequently among the Gang. Early on we discussed the matter and decided that this wasn't the time to invite newcomers into our sexual adventures, and it wasn't the time to make a show of our sexual interchanges. But there was a lot of bedroom shifting as the nights went by, but not much that hasn't already been reported on in this story-except that they all had fun at my post-shave expense. I got even though: By the time we left Rome my chest and legs had grown out enough so that it was pretty scratchy when I rubbed a naked body. And I took every advantage-especially with Franklin! Hal and Sue did keep to themselves at night, except for one night when Franklin and Phil were invited to join them. Hal's special spot for Franklin would never go away!
Harry and Lida had been married almost 8 months. They were very happy to be alone at night, and Harry got all of the love and support he needed the night before each meet day.
Billy was quite content to share a room with his parents. Wholly supportive and totally loving, they were all the love and support he needed before his competition. At age 16 it wouldn't be long before love from his parents wouldn't be sufficient, but it was in Rome-as his performance bore out.
Not very many people knew the most interesting story of clandestine sex of the trip. Hal's folks and the Johnsons decided to explore their relationship a little further. There had been no follow-up since the Boston trip, although each had thought about it-at least a little. They had gotten adjoining rooms with a connecting door, allowing them to move back and forth without anyone knowing. I'm pretty sure that only Tim and I, and Hal and Sue suspected what was going on. None of us said anything in Rome, but Hal quizzed his parents pretty carefully once they were back home. They had already set the stage for not being able to refuse to answer such questions, so the story was out. However, I don't think anybody other than the eight of us even suspected-that is until this story was published. At their present ages, late seventies and early eighties, none of the main characters will be upset at the telling-knowing them they probably wouldn't have been decades ago, but there was no reason to tell the story.
Their first decision that week in Rome was that they would never shut the connecting door. All four had been eager to test the implications of that, and wandering back and forth started and continued even as clothing got less and less. By bedtime the first night they were all naked and sitting on two of the beds, talking about the boys' diving prospects. Discussion turned to Hal and Sue and what they were likely to be doing at the moment. That turned to what the four of them were going to do while in Rome. "When in Rome, do as the Romans," was tossed out, but nobody was real sure just what the Romans would be doing.
Herb Johnson, Coach Johnson, asked, "What do you suppose Hal and Sue and Carl and Carol would be doing if their rooms adjoined like this?"
John Bruder, Hal's dad, had said, "I'm not sure I want to know."
"Why not?" asked his wife, Hazel. "Don't you think you can keep up with them?"
Phyllis Johnson said, "It sounds to me like we're beginning to dare each other. That could get dangerous."
Herb said, "I know that Carl, Carol, Hal and Sue are all in the Gang together, but those two couples are probably the least close in the Gang. Just how far do you think they might go together?"
"As long as you didn't get into kinky stuff, or talk about hurting each other, I don't think there would be much off limits," said John. "I know that Sue has had intercourse with some of the Gang, with Hal present."
"Good Lord," said Phyllis.
"I think that the four of us are actually closer than the Carl, Carol, Hal and Sue quartet. What is off limits for us?"
"I vote for nothing," said John. "I'd like to let myself go for a week here in Rome. Why should the next generation get all the fun? On the Boston trip we already pushed far enough to set the tongues of a lot of Minneapolis prudes wagging-if they knew. Let's let ourselves go. When we get home we may change our minds and never want to venture that far again. But we'll have had one Hell of a week."
Hazel said, "You know, Tim and Charlie draw a line. They won't fuck another boy, nor let another boy fuck them. Everything else is OK."
"How the Hell do you know that, Hazel?" asked Phyllis.
"They all talk: Charlie, Tim, Hal, Sue, the whole lot of them. If you treat them as equals, are willing to answer their questions, and don't condemn their answers, they'll all talk to you about anything. It's quite remarkable!
Herb said, "If you talk about sex as if it were just another topic, like looking at the oak trees as you run cross country, they'll answer the same way. If you make a big deal out of your question, it probably won't get answered. For example, I could turn to John and say, 'John, there's something I've wanted to ask you for a long time; you don't have to answer if you don't want to; I certainly don't want to offend....' You get the picture. Or I could just ask John, 'Does Hazel ever watch you jack off?"
John said, "Sometimes."
Herb said, "I think you get my point."
At this point Herb had his hand on his balls and was gently fondling them between his fingers. He said, "Someone help me out here."
All three moved toward him, but John got there first, took hold of his dick, and squeezed a little.
"Harder; that feels good."
"Would you like me to jack you off?"
"God yes," and he lay back on the bed.
John lay beside Herb and stroked his penis, while Herb continued to fondle his balls. Soon Phyllis replaced Herb on the balls, while John continued to stroke. It didn't take long.
"God, that felt good."
Phyllis lay back on the bed and said, "John, fuck me. Don't worry, I'm on the pill."
Herb and Hazel watched as John got on top of Phyllis and fucked her pretty hard. It got a little wild, until both of them found release and lay collapsed in each other's arms. At that point Hazel said, "Herb, have you ever had oral sex?"
"Now is going to be the first time."
Herb said, "Not tonight. I think I should save that for Phyllis."
Phyllis said, "Thank you, Herb. How about right now?"
While Phyllis took on Herb, Hazel pulled John on top of her and guided his head up against her cunt. "Let your tongue go to work, John. There's a first time for everyone."
For sometime after their return from home the only thing that Hal and Sue could get out of the four of them about their week was that it was "raunchy." Eventually details came to light. Basically there wasn't much left undone by the end of the week. Gay, straight, anal, oral, manual, you name it they tried it. Once the damn broke they easily slipped back to being teenagers once again, doing all the things they had talked about then, probably even bragged about, but certainly hadn't done. They were along for the ride on this trip; Coach was a track coach; Hal was a runner; they had no responsibilities except to show up when Tim and Billy were diving-and they would never have dreamed of missing that. They took Fred's tours, visited the buffet when they were hungry (they did get dressed to go down the hall for the buffet, but they often took the food back to the room and ate nude), ventured out at least once a day, but for the most part the week was one grand orgy.
When Hal and Sue had pushed, about a month later, they admitted that the only thing they could think of that they hadn't tried-S&M aside-was oral anal sex. Hazel had said, "Sticking my tongue up someone's ass is just not sexy for me." But she had turned it on Hal by asking, "Hal, do you do that?"
Hal answered, "Not yet," and found himself wondering if he ever would find himself doing that.
Sue asked the $64 question: "And what've you done since?"
John and Hazel had both said, "Nothing with Herb and Phyllis."
Hazel went on, "But sex with John has been more varied, more exciting, more frequent, more everything since the trip. I really don't see us into partner swapping-at least only in very special circumstances-but sex with each other has been wonderful. We wouldn't trade that week for anything."
"Do Herb and Phyllis feel the same way?"
"I'm pretty sure they do. We haven't talked a lot, but they've certainly indicated that things are going very well for them since coming back from Rome. No one has made any suggestion that we play around more. We had them over for dinner once, and sex didn't even come up-not out of fear or embarrassment-it's just that we've been there and done that, and it's time to move on to other levels of our relationship."
Hal had said, "It seems to work a little differently for the Gang. We really enjoy experiencing each other sexually. Different generations. But you four really are at the top of your generation!"
We stayed two days in Rome following the meet. The divers were glad for the time to relax and see a little of Rome. They had been under a lot of pressure before and during the meet. It was great that Fred had planned the trip so they would have the two days at the end, with the pressure off. Rome was a big enough city that most Romans were totally unaware of the World Swimming and Diving Championships in their city. Thus Tim, Stan and Billy were seldom recognized on the street, allowing them to really escape the pressure. A couple of folks that flew out with us had had to go home right after the meet, so Fred invited Stan and his parents to join the 707 for the home trip, but they decided to stick with the Indiana team.
The call from the White House came not long after the medal ceremony, with press all around. President Johnson called Tim, and wanted to speak to all of the American winners. It was the traditional, "Congratulations," "Thank you Mr. President," repeated three times. There was no invitation to visit the White House.
In our lives together thus far Tim had kept very few secrets from me, but he had been keeping one for the last week or so. That night after the phone call he told me that he had been contacted by a member of the White House Office of Protocol. The man had actually flown to Grand Forks for the very quiet conversation. The President fully expected Tim to become the World Champion, and President Johnson would like to invite him and the other American swimmers and divers to the White House. Tim had sensed the issue immediately. "Charlie and I would be honored to come."
"The President truly regrets that the invitation can't include Charlie." Homosexuality was just too hot a topic. In the political equations of the day, having a gay couple in the Oval Office was across the political line.
Tim had said that he understood, but hoped that the President would understand why he wouldn't be coming. However, Tim was no fool, and never lacked for balls. "Tell the President that I am going to medal in Mexico City, and so will Charlie. Therefore each of our invitations to the White House can be in our own right, and the couple business won't arise. However, I want assurance before Rome that if Charlie medals in Mexico City he'll be included in the invitation. Otherwise, I'll make a big deal in Rome over the lack on an invitation."
I couldn't believe it. And he got his assurances-the next day, from the same Protocol Officer who had remained in Grand Forks until he was authorized to deliver the message.
I also couldn't believe that Tim hadn't told me about the meetings.
"Charlie, you would've insisted that I accept the invitation, wouldn't you?"
"That I was not only hurting myself but the other members of the team."
"Right. And you were."
"I don't accept invitations to which you're excluded. Period. No discussion, no debate, no reconsideration. And I'm telling you this story after the fact to insure that there was no discussion, no debate, and no reconsideration."
"Tim, I love you. But I feel sorry for Billy and Stan, and a lot of others. Think what a trip to the Oval Office would've meant for Harry."
"As soon as we violate our principles once, we might as well do it every day. When you aren't welcome, I'm not there. And you damn well better have the same rule regarding me."
"Then there was no issue, nothing to think about. And the White House knew it was going to be a problem-that's why they sent a special envoy to North Dakota to try to negotiate. They wanted me there; elections are coming. Hell, in Washington elections are always coming. They couldn't deal with the fact of you." He got a sly grin on his face and said, "But I can," and was in my arms, kissing me.
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