Font Size



Nobody Really Knows Richard

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Written by  | Published in: Click to show all news

A number of people reading this would recognize Richard Kenney by his white handlebar mustache, his booming voice, his 19th century wire rimmed eye glasses, and spats he wears on his shoes when dressing up. He also has a side that not everyone knows about.

Richard was born outside New York City as a sick kid. He was not expected to live and was assigned a biblical name by a priest who then baptized him. Richard survived and today will only give a hint that his legal first name starts with the letter "J". He grew-up in a family with a father who was hard working but not a nourishing parent.

As an early teenager, Richard discovered gay sex as an Indian Dance performer in the scouts. He later discovered the movie theater bathrooms on 42nd street in New York City. He found out he liked men older than him, preferably with a mustache. This turned out to be a lifelong preference.

Another teenage memory was being treated to the theatrical performance of West Side Story by an older man and then going to a high-end restaurant afterward. There was a waiting line, but Richard's date went to the front of the line and they were seated immediately. Richard has always remembered West Side Story and wondered how his date was connected to get into the restaurant and seated as easily as they did.

Richard wanted to go to a trade school to learn body and fender repair. His father initially supported the idea but then kept him in regular high school. Eventually, his father got tired of Richard and pushed him to enlist in the Navy. He earned his G.E.D. diploma and became a
Navy engine mechanic for both piston and jet engines. He took as many work related correspondence courses that he could. This made him advance in naval rate over his nine-year enlistment.

Upon discharge, the cold northeast U.S. was not in Richard's plans. Off he went to California. He first worked in a job grinding automobile cam shafts. He then landed a post office job where he worked in a difficult Los Angeles neighborhood and faced the wrong end of a gun more than once. What he did get out of Los Angeles was an eventual retirement and a partner.

Will was the love of his life. He was 15 years older than Richard and brought him stability. Richard loved old cars. At one point, car clubs were organized into brands like Chevy, Ford, etc.

Will thought there was a need for a club for wood sided vehicles of all manufacturers. They started it and today the National Woodie Club has over 3,000 members. Will would run the club and write the newsletter, while Richard would share his knowledge of the cars.
Richard and Will were together for 23 years before Will passed on. Richard's interest in cars continued. He has written several published articles in car magazines over the years.

Richard met Harvey through Chiron Rising magazine and they lived together, eventually leaving California and moving to San Antonio Texas. They were both members of Austin Prime Timers and then San Antonio Prime Timers. In addition, there were nudist and other social groups. Richard finally left San Antonio and moved 30 miles east to Seguin, Texas. He lived near the Guadalupe river. When the flood of 1998 came, his house was completely submerged. He lost all his pictures, copies of his published articles and all the contents in the house. Richard is now with his great friend Roy.

Over his life Richard started his working career as a soda jerk. He retired from the post office where he never shunned any job. He has driven to every state except Alaska and Hawaii in pre-1949 cars. He volunteers at a food bank, works part-time in a coffee shop, and proctors college entrance exams. He has traveled crossing the Atlantic on both the Concorde aircraft and the Queen Elizabeth II. He rode the Orient Express from London to Venice. He is known to surprise people with his secret Key Lime Pie recipe as a reward for a kind deed or just to say hello. He is with Roy when he is not doing everything else.

Read 599 times