"People let me tell you 'bout my best friend, He's a warm hearted person who'll love me till the end. People let me tell you bout my best friend, He's a one boy cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy.
People let me tell you 'bout him he's so much fun Whether we're talkin' man to man or whether we're talking son to son. Cause he's my best friend. Yeah he's my best friend."
We could hear Hardy fussing with Uncle Billy as they made their way in the front door of the "Ale Haus" (Uncle Lou's). Hardy was lecturing him on taking it easy, watch your step, and so forth.
"For God's sake, Hardy," Uncle Billy complained, "I'm not going to expire on the spot you know! I'll be just fine so stop your worrying."
"But, I love you so, Billy!" came the soft, plaintive response, "and I don't know what I'd do without you!"
It grew quiet; finally, Uncle Billy, speaking in a hushed, tender, loving tone, responded, "And I love you, Hardy. You're my best friend, my partner in life, my love, and my light. I don't want to leave you either. We'll be okay. I'll watch what I do and you will too and our boys will watch out for both of us. I won't take any unnecessary chances, so please don't cry, Love!"
"They've been together since, forever," Skeeter said, overhearing the conversation.
"Yeah," added Buzz (Steve Carlson), "where you find one, you'll find the other."
Our conversation came to a close and a poignant silence, noticing the depths of the feelings these two very gay and most happy men had for each other, floated over the table as Uncle Billy and Hardy, arm in arm, with Hardy offering his support to Uncle Billy, came across the room and settled at the table where the rest of us waited.
"'Bout time you two quit the game of hide the sausage and joined the rest of us," teased Sketch Donahue.
Settled, with a plate of fruit, some scrambled eggs, toast, a little sausage on his plate, and a cup of coffee in his hand, all brought to him by Hardy, rewarded with a wink and a smile, Uncle Billy said casually, "Have to do what Hardy says you know and I love doing what he says."
It was my opening to ask how long the two of them were friends and together for life's journey.
"You know, I really don't remember a time without him. He lived across the street and we played together and, with each other, like forever."
Edward Carlisle Hartman was born five days after me and, according to his father, was an "oops" baby arriving when children ordinarily weren't conceived or expected to be conceived. In many cases those babies aren't wanted and life can be pretty miserable for them. Not in Hardy's case! His brothers and two sisters were already moved out and on their own when he wiggled and giggled onto the scene. In fact, his next oldest sister was the same age as my Momma and were friends throughout high school. No, Hardy was wanted and loved and he showed it in every way. Momma said he was a happy baby, as was I.
Since our families seemed fairly knowledgeable and comfortable, having lived as neighbors all these years and since Momma and Hardy's sister were friends, it was a natural Hardy and I became close friends and comfortable around each other as well.
Like many families in Frenchtown, money at the Hartman household was scarce, although somewhat more available now most of the family was grown, albeit except for Hardy. His Daddy worked at the Ice Plant (factory near the tracks) where "reefers" (refrigerated train cars) were loaded with ice to transport perishables via train to other parts of the country.
The pay wasn't the greatest, but they made do, as we all did. Grandpa Thompson worked at a lumber yard. It was hard work as well and he was growing older. The owner was a relatively kind man and assigned Grandpa mainly to yard work; not the lawn type yard work but working in the lumber yard area where boards and other items were stored. He was spared the delivery work he'd done in earlier years such as scooping coal from trucks into basement coal bins. Chutes were slipped into the bin openings on the side of houses, trucks backed up to the chute, and workers, using big shovels, unloaded the coal from the trucks into the basement of the houses.
Momma worked as a clerk in an office downtown. Again, the pay wasn't great but, when combined with Grandpa's, it helped with total household expenses. Grandma worked at home trying to keep the house clean, meals on the table, the garden produce harvested and preserved, laundry done, and all of those endless chores it takes to keep a household running.
The early "40's, when we were young, it was war time and everything was in short supply. What wasn't in short supply or lacking was Hardy! I can remember his mother standing at the curb across the street watching for cars as Hardy scooted across the street to my house to play and vice-versa my Grandmother Thompson doing the same when it came time for him to go home or when I'd go to his house. It was a daily occurrence.
I'd wait, not very patiently I should add, on the other side of the street, my feet practically dancing with excitement and joy waiting for Hardy's arrival. Every time, no matter how many times one of us crossed the street, we were so happy to see each other we'd hug. A big hug, so tight, so embracing of one to the other, you'd think we hadn't seen each other for decades! We didn't identify our actions as unusual or unnatural, but as genuine affection for each other. Finding ourselves in love would come later, although sooner than I expected, but right on time as far as Hardy was concerned. If truth be known, we probably loved each other from day one, never really wanting to be apart!
Summer time can be so, so hot and humid along the big river! Grandpa once said, and rightly so, once you take off all of your clothes when suffering from the heat, there's nothing left except shade or cool water! Of course, we weren't allowed to strip completely naked, but we were often reduced to shorts only, sans underwear. No impediments from our boxer underwear meant our boy parts, uncut and hairless, with balls the size of marbles and cocks about one and half inches long when flaccid, caught the breezes as we frolicked in the tire swing, legs spread and exposing our cocks to each other.
Do little boys get boners?
Do dogs bark and fart?
Of course, our dicks were familiar since we slept over quite often, took baths together, and pissed behind the tree together. Even at our young age I still had a bit of an edge over Hardy in the dick department, but that pleased him just fine.
Could we keep our hands to ourselves?
Nope! Didn't want to and I loved how smooth and soft his pecker was when I clasped it, stretched it out a bit, and when we discovered sucking, it was great fun, lapped up the taste. Hardy would just giggle and sigh and when I let up, he'd take over and give me the same treat. He admitted he'd rather suck me than vice-versa but I gave as good as I got. We knew the adults in our lives, except for Uncle Lou and the Sunday Club, wouldn't approve so we kept it pretty secret. If Hardy and I went to breakfast with Uncle Lou, he'd reassure us "some boys do what some boys have to do" and grin his approval!
It certainly didn't stop us from scoping out the man-cocks we saw on display in the restrooms at Uncle Lou's. They did teach us how to look without really looking, if you know what I mean.
"Don't want to get the shit beat out of you," Walter Phillips (Piano Player) cautioned us.
We tool his advice and worked on perfecting our skills!
Hardy and I trooped off to kindergarten together to our small K-6 grade elementary school. Franklin Elementary School was part of the larger city school system but located not too far from home in Frenchtown. We both were relatively smart, but Hardy was definitely the smarter of the two. For my part, since I was older and just a bit taller, although we both were quite slender and not very muscular, and the most aggressive, I decided I was to be his protector and champion! Woe be to anyone who thought or tried to do harm to my best friend.
We enjoyed school immensely! Eager to please the teacher and our folks, generally well-behaved and polite to the teachers and others, we began forming other friendships as well. There may have been other friends, but nothing, and I mean nothing, came between our own friendship, it was that deep!
In first grade, my role as champion and defender was challenged during recess one day. We shared recess with other grades and a couple of upper grade boys, while we were in the restroom, decided to stuff Hardy into the piss trough. The boys were third graders and big, ugly fuckers I thought!
I cautioned them in my most forceful manner. "Back off, you ugly mother-fuckers," I said, extending fair warning. They both were much larger and stronger than me, but it made no difference, as far as I was concerned. The assholes were picking on my best friend!
I received a snarl and a sneer in reply. One of the boys, still sneering, grabbed at Hardy again.
I mean, what could I do against such a big ugly bastard!
Remembering advice we'd received at breakfast on various occasions, I didn't fight fair! "Need to clobber the bastards first," Vinnie once said. "Draw blood and draw it good!"
So, I clobbered the heathen bastard with the metal waste can; bloodied his nose proper like and he fell to the floor howling! I turned to swing the now bashed in basket on the other chap and he was busy hustling his ass out the restroom door, so I missed my chance.
I turned to see how Hardy was doing and discovered he was pissing on his crying, bleeding attacker. I still had to dribble, so I joined him in the baptism. Didn't say any prayers over the son-of-bitch either! We finished quickly, each gave the kid a couple of kicks, Hardy hugged me and I hugged him back and we left to go play on the merry-go-round!
Evidently, it established some sort of reputation for us. Other kids sort of saw us as being a bit on the rough side and not to be fucked with! It carried on through junior high and high school!
Hardy was a hugger and a cuddler from early on! During our sleepovers, once in bed, he'd snuggle as close to me, face to face, as he could. Reaching for me, he'd pull one of my arms over his side and urge me to hold him even closer. Hardy would rest his head under my chin, the side of his face on my chest or collarbone, and with a sigh of contentment, fall asleep.
One night, at my house, when we were about eight years old or so, he settled himself in, but with a giggle and a wiggle of his slim, narrow hips, slipped his pajama bottoms off and, with a soft, but pleading whisper, urged me to do the same. Hardy never needed to plead with me for anything and he knew it. I'd do anything he wished, so off came my pajama bottoms as well. He scooched his bottom closer still and "Wah La;" we were pressed tight, stiff boy cock up against and rubbing on small boy cock! We thought there could be nothing better!
Well, that changed as, through experimentation and sage, experienced advice, we discovered there are many ways to pleasure each other! As best friends, with no inhibitions concerning each other, we tried almost anything at least once. Encouragement and damned good advice was offered and, I might add, heeded quite well, from Uncle Lou and the men in the Sunday Club. We weren't bashful in asking our questions and they answered just as honestly, finding no stupid questions being asked, but questions queer boys needed answering. Who better to answer the questions in a straight-forward manner without ridicule, rancor, or using "polite" language to beat about the bush, so to speak (we did "beat" about the bush once both of us sprouted our curly hairs near and around out growing cocks), so we got the "straight skinny" from the experts. God love those men for respecting our questions and us. They let us know how and when and what to experience as a result.
Nothing like sitting with your best friend learning how to love each other better and more!
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