I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit forum for true lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. Earlier this year, founder and Executive Director Nathan Manske and two companions successfully completed a four-month, 50-state Story Tour collecting LGBTQ stories from towns and cities across the country. They're pulling some of the most relevant, important and sometimes just enjoyable stories from their archives and sharing them with HuffPost Gay Voices.
Thirty-three years before this video was filmed, Tim Hare and Earl Ball met, fell in love, and have been together ever since.
I had seen Earl three months before we met, at another place in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and I knew as soon as I saw him: "There he is, there's the guy for me, that I want to spend the rest of my life with."
Tim was moving to New York soon, so he decided not to approach Earl. As fate would have it, the two were thrown together just a few months later.
Three months later, I was in New Jersey, coincidentally, at a place, and Earl walked in, and I said to a friend that took me there, "There he is, there's the guy I saw a few months ago." He said, "Well, ask him to dance." I said, "Well, no, no I'm moving to New York soon, and I don't want to get involved with another turkey, sorry. I'll wait and get involved with turkeys in New York City."
Tim's friend insisted that he talk to Earl, and as Donna Summer's "Try Me, I Know We Can Make It" came on, he asked Earl to dance, and Earl obliged.
And I was kind of shy at the time -- reserved, passive -- and so when he asked me to dance, of course, well, when I saw him come in the room, I thought, "Wow." I said to my friends, "Look at that guy! He is gorgeous!" But I had a little bit of a low self-esteem back in those days, so when he asked me to dance, I was very passive, and when he asked me to dance a second time, I got a little more interested...
Upon going back to Tim's place, Earl noticed what was lacking, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I was surprised that as an artist he didn't have a lot of food, and he was living very simply, so the next day I showed up in my Volkswagen with food and dishes. I set up his kitchen, I cooked him dinner. They say the way to a man's heart is to his stomach; maybe that helped, but many chickens and roasts later, here we are, still together, and it's been great. And I can say, we're very much in love.
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