On Saturday, I made a day-long trip to Columbus. I got there just before lunch time to meet a couple of friends for lunch. I've been chatting with Mike and Tony for years. Mike is a KY transplant to Columbus, a handsome ginger bear of a guy, and his hubby Tony is a sweet cub type from Michigan. We met up at the Old Mohawk for really good food and service. After lunch we walked to a coffee house next to a 32-room bookstore called "The Book Loft" for coffee-flavored drinks :)
Tony had to work and he and Mike had driven together, so they went on their merry way. I didn't want to be super-early for the party at Sean and Bo's (aka fedex_cub
), so I decided to check out The Book Loft. The bookstore is a converted multi-apartment home or something like that. The gay/lesbian section was all the way at the top of the floors. I ran into a group of trio of bears who were in town for Bearcamp. While we chatted I happened to notice a fourth daddy bear of sorts who seemed to be following us from room to room.
Eventually the bear trio parted ways and I was shopping alone again only to notice the daddy bear still going room to room with me. He was a tall, blue-collar guy, blondish-gray goatee and stache, and wore a baseball cap. The proximity of him to me was noticeable, but I thought I was just being cruised. It was very flattering actually. Finally we ended up talking, him asking me if I was local and where was this great burger joint he'd heard about. I had to defer him to the clerk for that info. After a quick chat, we split off to other rooms.
As I was roaming about, I ran into him again. He was sitting in a room reading through a book. He saw me and we started chatting again. He asked me what I was in town for and I explained I was there for an annual party some friends throw during the bear run. He perked up on the phrase and asked what that was. "Oh boy," I thought. So I explained what a bear run was and told him the three guys I was hanging with earlier were here for that gathering. He asked if there were guys that looked like him there and I told him emphatically, "Oh yeah...." He was waiting there for his wife to be done with a conference nearby, but that he often spent time at some adult bookstores to meet up with guys. He added, "Of course, I don't want my wife finding out about that."
He was heading out soon and I needed to make my way to the party too. I felt really sorry for him. He seemed like a nice guy who yearns for something he felt he can't have. I suspect he is one of those guys from rural Ohio who got married because that was what was expected of him.
Party time rolled around, so I went to Bo and Sean's and had a fantastic time. It was quite a list of folks attending, including Brian (cincycub
), Derek and Chris (_decibel_
), and Jeremy (jeremasaur
). I also got to finally meet a few folks in person, like Sean (txwriterbear
), Tommy (allsmilesbear
), and John (rockyjohn
The punch was tasty (and way too inviting on a hot day) and I skipped the Jell-O shots because I heard they were potent (Heh!). There were so many folks there, I've heard the number was around 150. It was hard to keep track of them all and I did eventually start forgetting names, though I will blame the punch for part of that. Despite the rain, it was a fantastic party and it was great to see so many familiar faces. Big thanks to Bo and Sean for another amazing bash!
I took lots of pics. The full set can be seen here