All about Gary:
Full Name: Gary Howard Hammock Jr.
Born: Jacksonville, AR
Birth Date: June 11th, 1973
Interests: clubbing, outdoor activities, movies, music, writing music, trips
Let's begin with stating I am an only child, and was a military brat. My father was in the Air Force.
I have moved around quite a bit in my life. About 4 years after I was born, we moved from Jacksonville Arkansas to live overseas in what was then called West Germany. We lived on an Air Force base called Rhein Main Air Force Base. I went to Daycare, Kindergarten and 1st Grade there. Let me tell you, I still have wonderful memories of living there. It was very beautiful.
After 3 years, we moved back to the states to live in Laramie, Wyoming. This is a small college community kind of town. There was not much to do there for a kid my age. I went to Linford Elementary School. There, I made my way through 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. This is where I entertained my musical talent of singing, of which my music teacher (Ms. Rosell) singled me out as gifted, and gave me the lead role in musical shows our class performed for our parents. I will always be remembered as playing a young John Denver, singing his tunes. I looked just like a miniature version of him (ha ha)! At this time in my life, I made many friends. I joined a bowling league at the age of 10. Watching my mother and father bowl every now and then sparked an interest. Every Saturday, I was out there bowling my heart out. My father provided me with a coach, who taught me all kinds of techniques. Believe it or not, I ended beating my coach, and also becoming the #1 male bowler in the league. I was bowling 180's at this age, with an average of 155. Pretty darn good for a kid, eh? But like in Germany, I once again had to leave to move. However, I have many fond memories of living there as well. Most memorable times were driving up to the Cheyenne Air Force Base with my mother every 2 weeks to go grocery shopping. I always looked forward to this time, as I was always able to get a toy or two! Also, every so often we made family trips to Denver, Colorado to go to the Denver Zoo, and eat at a fantastic Mexican/American restaurant called Casa Bonita. I absolutely loved this place, as you could get old time photos taken...and they had this scary thing called "Black Bart's Cave". You walked through it and saw all kinds of scary things. Entertainment wise, during dinner, you could watch a show of people diving from high places into a large pond. Exciting! Also, getting to go camping in the Rocky Mountains was fun.
So then we come to my final family oriented move. After Wyoming, we moved to Glendale, Arizona where we lived at Luke Air Force Base. It is here in Arizona I have remained. I completed 6th grade at Luke Air Force Base Elementary. I continued my singing here, but eventually lost interest when my parents began to have problems. I had also continued by bowling, continuing to improve and beat anyone who bowled against me. I won MANY trophies and patches, as well as awards for my skills. Again, I was the #1 male bowler in the league. Now, at age 11 - 12, I was bowling 200's - 250's. It was at this time my father and I thought I might be able to go pro and make bowling a career. However, like the singing, I lost interest in seeing my parents suffer through issues. In my Junior High School years, 7th and 8th grades, I attended Dysart Junior High School. I was Treasurer of Student Council here. Being as this school was a predominantly Hispanic school, it was a little uncomfortable for me, but I made friends easily. After I graduated Junior High School, my parents decided to separate for a while, to see if they could work out their issues. I moved with my mother to an apartment in Glendale. My High School years were spent at Independence High School. I attended this school approximately 3 1/4 years. It was during these years, my life was to change forever.
Let's begin with Sophomore year. I ended up sinking into a depression due to the problems between my parents. My mother was seeing a counselor, and suggested maybe I should go with her to talk about my feelings. In doing so, the counselor recommended that I may want to try going to Charter Hospital for a while, to deal with my issues. Mind you, I was only depressed, not suicidal, like half of America! Anyway, I accepted to go there and stay overnight. I was told that if I did not like it, the next day I could leave. Well, I did not like it. All the other teens were in there for drugs, alcoholism, suicide, anger issues...etc. I was the ONLY one in there for depression. So the next day came along, and I told me counselor I did not like it, and he said I could not leave, as the hospital deemed that I needed to stay for a 3-month program. I told him I did not want to, but he said my mother would be heavily fined monetarily if I was to leave. So, with my mother's interest at heart, I stayed. It was the worst time of my life. To make a long story short, I had to ACT my way out of there. Terrible things happen in places like that. So I missed the first month of my Junior year due to being in there over the summer. Explaining to my friends where I had been was not easy, and very embarrassing. During the latter half of my Junior year, my parents seemed like they would reconcile. A house was rented, and my mother and I moved out of the apartment to this house. Things seemed good, until they ended up getting worse. My mother and I ended up moving out again, and renting a different house in the area. Before completing my Junior year, I met a girl who helped me find myself, and be comfortable with who I am. She was my girlfriend at the time, but she had a secret...she was gay. Well, so was I deep inside, but I didn't know how to meet others like me. So, I lived the straight life up until that point. She introduced me to a Gay Youth Group. It was a weekly meeting of other gay teens, headed by adults, to help teens come to grips with it. There were frequent guest speakers, and fun outings. This was a free group. Unfortunately, during the time I was attending this group, I lied to my mother about it. I told her I was attending outpatient Charter meetings. This is where my gay life takes off, and I became the person I am today.
During the Gay Youth Group meetings, I discovered a hot night spot that people went to. It was a gay bar called Preston's in Phoenix. Being we were underage, we had to wait until 1:30am to get in. They provided after-hours from 1:30am - 3:00am. To go to this club, I frequently snuck out my bedroom window, and stole my parents' car. Being the good boy I was, I always put the gas back in that I used, to be sure they didn't know. Anyway, it was during that first quarter of my Senior year that I met the man of my dreams. His name was Pony.
He was doorman. He had just moved to Phoenix, and just got this job. He worked in construction also. He did not know it was a gay bar at first when he applied...but decided to keep it, as it was easy. I'll always remember the first time we ever met. Upon entering the club and paying the cover charge, I was waiting to get my hand stamped. Pony held my hand for a little longer than normal while he stamped it. He looked me straight in my eyes, and said "Hi". Not knowing how to react to this, as most gay men had previously treated me like a piece of chicken, I smiled, then took my hand back and patted him on the shoulder. I then walked on by. That was our very first encounter. Our next would be more social. It would be a couple of weeks later. Some friends and I had spent some time in our car drinking bottles of Boone's Farm wine to get silly, before going into the club. So when it was time, we went in, tipsy. One of the friends I was with at the time, decided he wanted to have a silly little contest. We would choose a man in the bar, and both hit on him. Then we would see which one of us he liked better. (juvenile behavior, I know....totally immature!) So, Pony became the target. I had no interest in him really, but my friend did. So, we asked him to come over. I was shy, so my friend did all the talking. He bluntly asked Pony which one of us he thought was sexier and better looking. Pony immediately said me. My friend, a bit irritated, walked away, leaving me alone with Pony. I was so nervous and wasn't sure what to do. Pony could sense that, and politely started a nice conversation. Between throwing someone out of the bar, stamping hands, and doing some general cleanup of the bar, he came to the spot I was sitting to talk to me. I began to like him. He wasn't a stereotypical gay man, not feminine at all. Neither was I, which is why I liked him. The night progressed, as did the intensity of our conversation. I ended up walking around the outside of the bar with him, while he patrolled the parking lot. It was at this time, he asked if he could hold my hand. I about melted. So we held hands while we walked, and got to know each other. He asked if he could see me the next day...and I said yes. Our first date was officially set up. It consisted of going to McDonald's, as I had to work that day. We had to make it a quick date. It was this date that introduced me to 2 new things: my first Quarter Pounder with cheese....and my future husband.
As of today (7/26/2001), we are in our 10th year together, going on 11 on October 5th. I couldn't be happier! It is very rare for people to find true love, as well as their soul mate!