The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson


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Finally, I got to call myself a Senior! (Funny what a thrill that was then, but now that I’m a senior again, the appellation has lost its luster!) I pretty well had a lock on graduation, having managed to get passing grades in everything, even PE.

Secondary sexual characteristics were finally making their appearance, so with my body more nearly resembling my peers, and with them growing up and realizing the folly of beating up on a defenseless kid,  I was able to enjoy my final year in high school. My old Dodge made it into the yearbook,

My Final Year in High School

though stuffed with people was a rare sight: my classmates for the most part thought I was really peculiar to have eschewed the popular Fords and Chevies they drove.

Though my “career” as a writer would come much later, I did do a lot of writing in  high school and college. I still have a large binder with my oeuvre from that time collected in it: looking over it now, I realize how clear it must have been to adult readers (teachers, councilors, and so forth) that I was queer: my regret is that it wasn’t equally clear to my classmates, who probably would have rewarded me with a lot of rampant cock, if only they had known! How I would have loved it, if only I had known.

My English Lit teacher was amused by several of my poems. The most famous one, submitted to (and rejected by) numerous contests was this quatrain:

The day was cold

The food was old:

Soon it was covered

With ugly mold.

Only slightly more serious, if a trifle  longer, was a parody (1951) on a famous poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay:


I am not resigned to the dumping of dirty dishes into the hot water.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been for time out of mind:

Into the water they go, the dirty, the greasy.

Crowned With bones and scrapings they go:

but I am not resigned.

Scraps and bones, into the garbage with you,

Be one with the gravy, the indescribable mess.

A fragment of what we ate, of what we chew,

A  tidbit, a morsel remains, but the best is eaten.

The celery crisp and green, the stewed tomatoes,the onions, the beets

They are gone. They are gone to feed the dogs.

Elegant and curled Is the broccoli. Fragrant is the broccoli.I know.

But I do not approve

More precious was the taste of that lamb than all the Four Roses of the world.

Down, down, down, into the suds of the dishwater

Gently they go, the greasy, the gummy, the gooey;

Quietly they go, the handle-less, the broken, the chipped

I know, but I do not approve, and I am not resigned.

So that year my mischievous nature asserted itself: I pulled off numerous pranks, harmless kid-stuff, which nevertheless greatly vexed the Dean of Boys, in whose office I found myself quite regularly. The man was a pompous fart who harangued me about such things as morality, living an upstanding life, and so forth (remember, he was convinced I was queer and active, but unaware that I was not even out to myself). He reported to my father regularly, and may have been surprised when Dad refused to chastise me for any of it: he knew I was just “feeling my oats” and testing the system, something quite normal for a late-blooming teenager. As for the Dean, he  became a role model (years later) for Newt Gingrich. The day after his wife announced she had cancer, he filed for divorce and took up with a young bimbo half his age. This was too much for red-neck Modesto: he was fired and run out of town. I went on to graduate, a gangly nerd with a lot of very strange habits, totally out of synch with my classmates.

This is me in rented drag for High School Graduation.

To be continued …

email:     MYOB@BruceBramson.com



Written by Bruce

December 14th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Early Years

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