Elementary School Drop-out

Steve Katz

Steve Katz

Steve Katz
Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA
November 27
Norma Glamp's
Steve Katz, owner of Norma Glamp's and Memories Gallery, began his career as a school teacher. He has taught art and ceramics at the high school and elementary school levels. His family is in iron and steel. His mother irons and his father steals, In 1988, he took a break from teaching to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood. While finding neither, he did manage to secure a recurring role as an extra on the TV sitcom, 'Cheers." Duties performed included sitting, standing and leaning against walls making silent conversation. Returning to the east coast in 1992, he became a full-time Provincetown resident and founded his two galleries to showcase his hand-colored Polaroid transfers and woven photographs. He lives with his partner Herb and his cat Louey in a home located on the most bumpy and rutted road in North America.....are you listening Provincetown Highway Department???????


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MARCH 8, 2011 7:02PM


Rate: 38 Flag

Yoohoo....Robert? Is that you in the box?" 

Shirley Finklestein poked her head  all the way into the window of  the four by four foot cublicle.

“Aunt Shirley! What are you doing here?” Robert was working his daily shift selling tickets at the Whale Watching booth. "You didn't tell me you were coming."

“We’re here in Provincetown,” Shirley said excitedly. “Would you believe it? I’m on vacation!  Me and my friend Betty took the bus up. All the way from Fresh Meadows. Your parents told me you were working here this summer."

 “Well what do you think so far?” Robert asked.

“I think you look so handsome.” Shirley answered with pride. “My cute little nephew.”

She  started to kiss him on his cheek, but was interrupted by the voice in back of her.“Hey Lady, buy a ticket or get out of the line. This ain’t no family reunion.”

“Hold your horses, Mister,” Shirley replied."The whales ain't going nowhere. I haven’t seen my nephew in six months."

“Aunt Shirley,” Robert whispered, looking at the angry customer, “I really can’t talk now. Meet me at Joe’s Coffee tomorrow morning at eleven. We’ll talk then.” 

"OK, Cutie." Shirley winked. "It's a date.    


 “My first lobster!” Shirley exclaimed. "What do I do with it?"

 “Eat the tail first,” Betty urged. “Take the meat right out of the shell.”

Shirley picked up the big piece of meat, dipped it into the melted butter, and smiled. “Deee-licious!” she said with a grin, butter running down her chin. “Mr.Lobster, where have you been all my life?


After dinner, Betty and Shirley took a walk downtown. It was a warm summer evening in Provincetown and it seemed like everyone in the world was strolling on Commercial Street.

“So many things to see.  I’ve never seen such a place,” Shirley exclaimed. “I don’t know where to look first.

"Ten o’clock show time, Ladies and Gentleman. Ten o’clock. Don't be late!"

Shirley looked around to see where that sexy voice was coming from.  One of the most beautiful women she had ever seen was standing in front of the Art House Theatre handing out leaflets. Nearly six feet tall, Eva deRainbow, dressed in a sparkly evening gown. a tall blond wig, and rhinestone eyelashes was working the crowd.

 “Now selling tickets for the ten o'clock show," Eva announced to her fans. "Come see the fabulous Eva deRainbow in her fabulous new all-star review."

Shirley was mesmerized by this stauesque beauty. She inched through the crowd to get a better look.

"Hey Lady, what's your name?" the glamorous woman called out for all to hear

Shirley looked up. "Me?"

"Yeah, you Honey, you," Eva replied. "Tell these people your name."

Shirley looked up. The crowd was staring at her. "I'm Shirley Finklestein."

"Hiya Shirley!" the woman answered in a Mae West voice. "Why don't you come up and see me some time?"

Shirley blushed.

"Where'ya from, Darlin'?"

Shirley smiled. It was fun being the center of attention."Fresh Meadows. That's in Queens, you know."

"Oh Honey, here in Provincetown, we all know about queens." The crowd laughed. "Ya' comin' to my show, Shirley?

"Maybe tomorrow," Shirley answered. "We're a little tired from our bus trip"

"Don't forget Honey," Eva smiled. "Would you like to take a picture of me?"

"Oh yes!" Shirley replied. "Betty, take my camera."

Shirley and Eva smiled. Eva put her arm around Shirley's shoulder as Betty snapped the photo.""Now you won't forget me, Honey. You'll remember to come see my show?"

Shirley turned as she started to go. "I won't forget, Eva. I won't ever forget you. I'll see you tomorrow night."

"It's a date," Eva yelled as the two women contined down the street.

 Shirley looked at the image in the back of the camera."Tsk....what a glamorous person she is," she mused.

"Showtime, Ladies and Gentleman, Showtime." Eva returned to her spiel. "And where are you from Sweetie?"


At eleven fifteen, Shirley and Betty were sitting at a table at Joe's Coffee."I know he said eleven o'clock," Shirley said. "I just know it. Do you think we're in the wrong place?"

"Relax Shirley," Betty replied. "He's only a few minutes late."

"Hello Boys and Girls!" a familiar voice called from the door. "It's me, Eva deRainbow! How is everybody today? Is everbody having a faaaaaaaa-bulous time in Provincetown?" The crowd laughed and applauded.

"Shirley Finklestein!" Eva yelled from across the room. "How's it hanging, Honey?"Shirley blushed as Eva made her way around the tables, handing out leaflets to her show.


"Hello, Aunt Shirley." It was Robert. He had finally arrived. She turned around to kiss her nephew. But he wasn't there.

"Aunt Shirley?" Robert asked. "I'm over here."

Still no Robert. Was he playing a trick on her?

And then she got it. Eva deRainbow was standing right in back of her.

"Oh my God," Shirley said looking at Eva deRainbow. "Robert, is that you?"

"It's me."Aunt Shirley. "How do I look?" Lifting his floor-length skirt, he took the seat next to her. "

"Robert, you look very pretty." Shirley declared. "Very attractive. I like your earrings."

"I know this isn't the way you expected to see me," Robert explained, "but you are my favorite aunt and I wanted you to know about my life. I knew you would understand."

"Robert, I ain't forming no judgements. You wanna wear a dress, you wear a dress.....but your parents told me about your working at the Whale Watch. They didn't say nothing about you...uh..dressing up."

"Aunt Shirley, they don't know. They don't know I'm gay and they don't know I'm a drag queen."

"Drag queen?" Shirley asked. She had never heard that term before. They certainly didn't have drag queens in Fresh Meadows.

Robert looked down. "They never would understand my "other" life.

Shirley took his hand. "Oh honey, I'm so sorry."

"I'll be OK...but Aunt Shirley, but please don't tell my parents you saw me dressed as Eva."

"You're secret's safe with me." Shirley said as she made believe she was zipping her lip. "Safe with me."


Two weeks later Shirley and Betty were at the Fresh Meadows Diner.

"I'll have your Lobster Special," Shirley announced with anticipation.

The Lobster Special turned out to be neither lobster nor special.

"Feh," said Shirley. "They make them lobsters better in Provincetown."


And that night, as Shirley was watching "Wheel of Fortune," she had an idea. She went to her jewelry box and chose several pieces of costume jewelry that she never wore.

She placed them in a small box, sealed it, and wrote on the outside of the package:





Because she loved them both equally.

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This make my heart smile every time I read this.
rated with hugs
shirley sounds like she'd behave the same way as steve....kind, loving, accepting, understanding. we should all be as lucky as eva to have someone in our lives like that!
steve -- i think this is my favorite story of yours.. i could write a thousand words but none would do you justice.
wonderful work!!!!! wonderful you!!!!!!!!!!!
What a tender love story, Steve. I love your Shirley Finkelstein series. Looked forwards to this, thank you !
This is wonderful, just wonderful!!! I love how you write and what you write about. It touches my heart, great job Steve!
Shirley always knows the right thing to do at the right time. How thoughtful a gift for Eva and what a way to say I love you just as you are. Great story Steve. Rated.
I hope Shirley and Betty got complimentary tickets to Eva's show...
Great story, Steve.
I want to meet Shirley!
Great story! The world should be filled with Aunt Shirleys! And Evas too!
Provincetown rocks!
Went there last year and had coffee at Joe's.
Great story.
Shirley is one fine gal.
Robert/Eva is a lucky nephew.
Sweet and funny and touching as usual, Steve. Good to see you~r
FunsunA: Thank you for your comment. I'm sure Shirley feels the same about you!
Linda: Thanks for your friendship and support. Your emails mean the world to me.
Sheila: Shirley is right here and she told me to say thanks.
Yserba: You're right. We all could benefit from an aunt like Shirley.
Torrito: Thanks. Family provides the best material.
Baroness: You? Me? Shirley? Saturday night? Get back to me.
Joan: Always good to "see" you....
So pleased you're back.
Tell Eva that I've booked her/him for an exciting engagement at "Tink's Thornbush" for the second Tuesday of next week......!

Shirley can invite the family.....;-)
There is not a hard edge or bitter twist in any corner of Shirley's heart. How badly her kind are needed in this world:) Thank you for stirring her to life:))
Great Heart Warming Story. You're really quite the writer..I just love Shirley...Love You Too.....
Everyone needs an aunt like Shirley. I've missed your colourful stories, Steve. Glad you're back.
I grew up in Queens (Flushing rather than Fresh Meadows). I'll take Cape Cod over Queens any day, but Brooklyn is a whole other story.
Rated Highly
I could paint Shirley ,you describe her so well.Love it.
i love shirley and that she's got all this incredible goodness about her. of course shirley would understand! thanks for another grand shirley story, steve.

my favorite line is "mr. lobster, where have you been all my life?" i may have to steal it once in a while. xo
Great piece!! LOVED it!! Rated!!!
Great job, Steve. As we say down here in South Carolina, Shirley is "good people."
Another great one from S. Finklestein.
This is great. I love how you told this...yay for Aunt Shirley!
You certainly know your way around readers' hearts, Steve.
Miss Shirley never disappoints. I just love her!

Cute story. I wonder how many guys in Provincetown have aunts that are that understanding?
Let's hear more about Shirley and Robert/Eva. There's lots of material there and this was a good intro.
Oh this is beyond sweet. I LOVE the way you write and what you write about. R
Awww... I loved the ending and I love Shirley Finklestein :-)
I'm crazy about this woman (and you for "creating" her for us.)
I can't believe I almost missed a Shirley story. She's such a special person. I leave grinning every time I read about one of her adventures.
Love everything Shirley.
I love Shirley . . . Robert and Eva too . . . but that Shirley . . . seriously, Steve . . . the characters you create are so very amazing, so believable and wonderful . . .
Robin sent me. Glad she did. This made me smile.
Wonderful. Just wonderful. Gave me goose bumps. May everyone find that they have an Aunt Shirley in their life...they are so so needed.