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Updated on October 9, 2009


Bruce and Stanley.  You don't know Stanley?
Bruce and Stanley. You don't know Stanley?
Brochure portrait!
Brochure portrait!
Bruce posed for this New York Sculpture
Bruce posed for this New York Sculpture
Bruce on a Wednesday morning sitting on my couch!
Bruce on a Wednesday morning sitting on my couch!
This is what 49 lit candles looks like!
This is what 49 lit candles looks like!
Sometimes our conversations get a little dark!
Sometimes our conversations get a little dark!


There is no way that I can do anything else but LOOK UP TO my buddy, Bruce. He is, afterall, six foot, seven inches TALL. No, he's not the tall guy in my other hubs! But he is a tall guy!

Not only is Bruce a good friend, but he is a colleague, and we get together weekly for as long as we can both afford. Usually, we meet early on Wednesday mornings.

There's nothing like having a MAN friend. You know, there's something we need from other men that we can only get from other men, and many of us try to get it from women. But they don't have it to give to us. That something we are looking for, I think it is a kind of validation or mirroring, we can only get from our own kind.

And you know what is SO cool, Bruce and I can give that to each other.

The other nice thing is we are both absolutely nuts and paranoid. But I think Bruce has a better handle on the paranoia than I do. He reminds me, and thank God he does, that I am not the bigger than life character I sometimes imagine myself to be and really there is nobody out to get ME. They may be out to get YOU, but not ME!! I'm just another name in the phone book or just another name on those long lists of folks who owe money to whoever is calling today!!!

Both Bruce and I believe in God and the universe and we believe that whatever we put out to the universe we will get back! And so the other morning, when we were sitting in front of Starbucks in Redlands and we heard a loud voice from the clouds, "Good Morning, Bruce," we were momentarily validated that the Universe and God are right there watching out for us. Of course, I was momentarily jealous that God didn't say "Good Morning" to me, and it also rankled my paranoia till it became apparent that Bruce's neighbor was driving by in his Highway Patrol Unit! But it was really miraculous for a moment there. I mean you could hear "God's voice" for blocks!!

As you can tell, we LAUGH a lot, but it also leaves room for our tears. Yea, yea, we're still not crying as much as we are laughing, but we're getting there. Yea, yea, we still get stuck in the manly stuff, but one of these days, we are both going to burst into torrents of tears, right there in front of Starbucks, probably right when his neighbor is driving by again, and the voice will bellow out, "For crying out loud, guys, get ahold of yourselves!"

We were having so much fun together the other morning in front of the Starbucks in Yucaipa that we thought for sure other customers were calling the cops, because after we were there for awhile, one unit after another kept showing up. Nah, we're not paranoid. We just think this little town gets all weird and phobic over two guys looking like they're having fun and maybe best buds! Yea, we were having a gay ol' time.

So here's the deal. Bruce is celebrating his 49th birthday tomorrow. He said "I'm so excited about being 49 and next year I will be fifty." I had to ask him to repeat what he was saying about ten times, because I just couldn't get it through all the sobbing. But I think he is excited. Those were happy tears!!

Bruce also has another very special friend who is dying, and I feel so very touched to stand with Bruce as he supports his friend coming to the end of this life's road. Being with Bruce in his grief leaves me feeling very very safe with Bruce because it speaks volumes about his heart and just how connected he is to his heart, to life, and to the people he loves.

I don't think Bruce would appreciate me giving out his phone number so you can call him tomorrow to wish him happy birthday. So maybe you can find an open space somewhere in your area and shout it out into the clouds and maybe like the Good Morning from God, Bruce will hear your birthday greetings.

If you're a man, I hope you have a friend like Bruce, and if not, FIND ONE, soon! And if you are a woman, I hope you have a friend like Bruce as well, but, of course, she will be a woman!


Bruce's website is


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    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      I'm not sure if I want to hunt in the woods with you while you doze off. Reminds me of the last VP!! Thanks for reading. I will be checking out Bill's story this evening


    • palmerlarryray profile image

      Larry Ray Palmer 8 years ago from Macon, Missouri


      I hope he heard. Great hub, Vern. It's funny how many people just assume the gay thing when they see two guys get along.... I don't have very many male friends because I'm not the typical guy. ( I hate football and sports. I like to hunt but I usually fall asleep in the woods...) so the few male friends I do have are usually close friends and people make that assumption even though I have been married to several very lovely women (and one royal %$#@&) in my life.

      I hope you all continue to make people nervous for many years to

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 8 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Thanks for reading about my buddy, Bruce. He is 6'7" and everyone including myself looks up to him!!

    • aefrancisco profile image

      aefrancisco 8 years ago from somewhere down the road

      thanks for sharing. it's so touching.

      to your friend, Bruce, belated happy birthday. :)


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