That makes me sad. I hope that one day, someone, somewhere, will revive the tradition.
As I read this, I had to chuckle to myself and check off all of the things you mentioned in my mind and come to the conclusion…My grandfather was gay haha.
He grew up in Brooklyn, lower working class family. He was a huge fan of theatre, classical music, and opera. He instilled that love in me as well. He too would intersperse conversation with show tune lyrics, would randomly break out in song; I absolutely loved it.
He was also a big guy who never lost that Brooklyn accent, even though he lived almost half of his life in the South, retired from the Navy, ran a commercial construction company. “Manly man”. But LOVED what he loved. Good food, good wine, theatre, and opera.