Remembering Randy Gano
By Anne Wyden
Randy Gano, 2004
Randy Gano passed away this past October at the age of 83. Randy,(Ruth), was the long term partner of Gloria Christian who passed away one year before. Gloria and Randy lived on Shelter Island, were retired, and were involved with NFWFWF when they were able. After Gloria died Randy was able to stay in their home (with assistance) for about 10 months and her last days she lived at San Simeon.
Randy was always feisty, ready to win an argument at a moment’s notice. We can only speculate how she got the nick name “Randy”, but we know she had fun in the process. Randy had many jobs- from working at Seagram’s Factory to being a professional photographer. Randy loved to play poker, collect stamps, and feed the deer.
Randy was unique and we will miss her.
The story of Randy and Gloria
Ruth ‘Randy (aka Randee – Randi) Gano and Gloria Christian
Lived on Shelter Island since 1994.
Gloria was raised in Brooklyn, New York, her family moved to Central NJ when she was 11 Y2 yrs. Old.
Randy was born on the Jersey Shore, Penn. She worked as a photographer out of high school. She went to photography school in NY and then she went back to NJ.
Gloria played softball on a traveling team called the Aarons. They traveled between NY, NJ, and Penn. Gloria also rode motorcycles and took flying lessons.
She the joined the roller derby on a dare from her friends. She bet her friends 100 dollars that she would join. Gloria was 16 yrs old at the time. The team was called the NJ Jolters and they lived together in a hotel. Her career ended when she was hit by a six foot two opponent with a “clip” – she was hit low and flew off of the track leading to several broken bones. Gloria was in a Y2 body cast for 6 Y2 months – she was 20 Y2 yrs old at the time. She then became a traveling salesperson.
After that, Gloria worked in a factory as a weaver on a 1000 thread loom making fire fighter uniforms – this was a night job. She lived in a cottage on a farm and learned how to can fruits and vegetables – she worked here during the day. Gloria collapsed on the job, left both jobs and went on unemployment. She then worked in an ice cream parlor – one day she woke up and couldn’t walk – residual damage from her roller derby injury. A chiropractor helped her back and told her that she could no longer stand on the job too much.
At 24 yrs old Gloria started to work for a real estate firm. Gloria states that she did well because she was a rebel and stubborn. She continued to school for insurance and for appraisals – she was the only woman in her class and the first woman candidate for appraisals in NJ. Gloria received a telegram inviting her to the Downtown club in Newark. As she walked into the club she was stopped and told that she could not enter because it was a men’s club. Gloria then showed up regularly and sat outside the club and waited until the invited her in. By the time she left there yrs later eight women were allowed in. Gloria eventually owned her own appraisal firm.
Gloria and Randi have been together for 33 yrs. When they first met they did not like each other. Gloria was 25 and Randee was 30.
Randy owned and showed show dogs – Dachunds. Randy also judged some of the shows. She worked during the week and showed dogs on the weekends. Gloria and Randee bought a house together in 1985 – they bought it from Gloria’s aunt – this is the Shelter Island house. They also purchased a condo in both NC and NJ.
Gloria states that she was convinced to retire before she wanted to.
Gloria heard of EEGO before she heard of NFWFWF. Gloria was invited to a New Year’s eve party at NFWFWF – this was her first event. They then started to meet people and joined committees.
Randy didn’t go to Dartmouth College because she was not allowed to wear slacks. She states that she didn’t live her life as a “gay” but as a woman who was gay.
Gloria believes that more discrimination is from being a woman than from being gay.