February 20, 2023
Happy 85th, Dad!
Today is Jerry’s 85th birthday, and I want to share something Sharon sent me a few days ago. I guess they’ve been getting into the photo albums and shoeboxes of memorabilia, as this is a jem. It’s entitled “Gearld Lucas,” and it seems like a regular column in what I infer is the student newspaper at Eastern Kentucky University, circa 1956.
His friendly smile and his gay “Hello” to everyone are reasons enough to ..say.. “Hats Off” to GEARLD LUCAS. Whether you pass him in his red Ford convertible or in the crowded grille, you’re sure to notice that he likes people, especially Eastern students.
Gearld, a graduate from Lee County High School in Beattyville, is nineteen years old and is a junior at Eastern. His major is pre-denistry which means that Eastern to him is a place to study as well as a place to have fun.
He has received a music scholarship and plays the French horn in the band and orchestra. He also serves on the Student Union Council.
He likes good music but says he dislikes Elvis. He enjoys his records on his own high fidelity set. Also among his likes are good movies and pretty girls. His one great dislike is getting up in the morning. And can you blame him? He likes common food but lists chicken and pizza pie as his favorites.
We proudly say “Hats Off” to you, Gearld Lucas, because you, by being your cheerful, friendly self are making Eastern a more enjoyable school for us.
OK, who the hell is “Gearld”? In his diary, William, his father, spells Dad’s name “Gearl,” leaving off the trailing “–d.” I’m assuming that Dad’s real name is Gearl—I can hear their thick Kentucky hillbilly accents saying “Geeer-l” maybe implying the “–d”—and Dad probably later added the “–d” officially. I guess, too, that he also changed the spelling at some point to the more main-stream “Gerald.” Maybe they happen simultaneously when he moved to the big city.
French horn? Get the fuck out of here.
Pre-dentistry? LOL. The last thing I could see Dad doing is practicing dentistry. Maybe...? Nah!
But seriously, he doesn’t like Elvis?! How can he not like Elvis when he looks so much like him? I’m beginning to reevaluate Dad’s cool factor. At least listing chicken and pizza tracks.
Happy birthday, Gearl! I hope to see you soon. Oh, and if you see him before me, give him a big gay hello!