by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com
Gene Adams To Receive
Lifetime Achievement Award
at GAA Gala Dec. 12th
The Gay Appreciation Awards Board of Directors has selected Gene Adams to receive this year's coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented at the 13th Annual GAA Gala Sun., Dec. 12th, 8pm, The Mint, 940 Elysian Fields. Adams is the longtime manager of the Club New Orleans, 515 Toulouse, since July 15, 1972. The 1999 gala benefits New Orleans Center For Living. Due to the generosity of corporate sponsors Miller Beer, Ambush Mag and AMBUSHonLINE, all VIP Table sales, $10 door donations and all stage tips will go directly to the New Orleans Center For Living.
The Club was one of the very first gyms to initiate safe sex seminars and demonstrations in the country when the AIDS crisis first emerged. As manager, Adams has donated a tremendous amount of monies and support over the years in the name of the Club New Orleans to the NO/AIDS Task Force, NO/AIDS Walk, Lazarus House, Brother Ed's work at Tau House, AIDS Law, LEGAL, Buzzy's Boys & Girls, the New Orleans Gay Men's Chorus, and many other New Orleans organizations and causes.
In addition to the Club, Adams has also done work at Begue's Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Mike's Animal House. Gene had some schooling in the field of veterinary science.
Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Jimmie Callaway, Dan Fountain [Betty Buttons], the late Andy Boudreaux, the late Buzzy Fanning, the late Dirty Dottie, Miss Fury, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, the late Dan Romero, Miss Do, Louise McFarland, Miss Dixie Fasnacht, Alice Brady & John Dodt.
The GAA Gala will also honor the public voting recipients of Hair Salon of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Neighborhood Bar of the Year, Buzzy Fanning Fight Against AIDS Award, Bitch of the Year, Show Bar of the Year, GLBT Friendly Business of the Year, Performing Arts Award, Restaurant/Deli of the Year, Dance Bar of the Year, Bartender of the Year, DJ of the Year, GLBT Business of the Year, Political Activist of the Year, Leather Person of the Year, Transgender of the Year, Lesbian of the Year, Man of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. Public voting took place the week of Nov. 10-17 on-line at ambushmag.com/gaa and through the Public Voting Ballot appearing in that week's Ambush. Additionally, the Fly Fashion Awards, Cheridon Award and Marsha Delain Award of Excellence will be presented.
Entertainment will feature performances by Show Bar of the Year nominees Angles, Corner Pocket, Footloose, Mint and Oz. Last year's Entertainer of the Year Barry Bareass will also be part of the festivities. Emcees will be GAA Show Director Lisa Beaumann and GAA Board Member Teryl-Lynn Foxx.
A holiday buffet will also be served while it lasts. Restaurant/Deli of the Year nominees Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood, Moon Wok, Quarter Grocery & Deli, Quartermaster-The Nellie Deli and Tyler's have been asked to donate a dish for the public to sample. Additional buffet items will be provided courtesy of the GAA Board of Directors: President Sonny C. Cleveland, Vice President Toni J.P. Pizanie, Lisa Beaumann, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Mickey Gil, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain and Rhyn Pate.
Lafitte's Red Party VII Raises $1,827;
Features NYC's Varla Jean Merman
New York chanteuse Varla Jean Merman flew in to emcee Red Party VII hosted by Cafe Lafitte in Exile. Some $1,827 was raised for Belle Reve, an HIV/AIDS residence in the Big Easy. The annual event is Lafitte's 4th giant turnabout show. Merman's really "sick" videos were a hit! And did ya'll know Varla Jean is now international after a festive stint in Japan?
Many of your favorite Lafitte's staff members and customers did their own interpretations of crowd favorites. Gay Bob's blowout in the dressing room was a showstopper on stage. And of course, Aletha's ["do I see hormones"...Varla Jean] turnaround as a real man, was another crowd pleaser. Many of us were left a little disappointed when we found out Misses Grandpre, Marino and French were not taking to the stage for the turnabout extravaganza. Oh well! There's always next year! We know ya'll would be a hit!
Pansies & Dirt
New Orleans: Eating our way through Thanksgiving Day buffets was a bigger chore than we ever imagined this year. The kickoff as always was over at MRB at 2pm. Brian, just back in town, was behind the bar slingin' cocktails trying to get anyone to carve the big bird. He finally did the deed himself and we all headed over for a sampling of the holiday eats. The whole scrumptious buffet was prepared by MRB's own Dwayne, with a few dishes from MRB regulars.
Then at 3pm it was off to Lucille's Golden Lantern and her legs-spread-wide holiday turkey plus all the fixin's. This giant buffet comes courtesy of the Golden Lantern and its customers. Ted's store-bought deviled eggs were a hit as was Ms. Verona's niece's sweet homemade pickles. But let's not forget Ronnie Lee's cornbread dressing, the marvelous pineapple candied yams, honey baked ham, Jack's smothered corn and loads of other yummies.
Next up at 4pm was Le Roundup's annual holiday rendering prepared by Paulette. Manager George was behind the table serving it up to Le Roundup patrons. Even though we were stuffed like a big ole turkey ourselves, we managed a small plate of tasty eats. Owners Mark and Collette were among the revelers as was show diva Rosa Miranda.
We then waddled on down the street to the Double Play for a few more vinos to soothe our overstuffed bellies. Yavier was behind the bar slingin' cocktails for us revelers including Charlie Hooper, Lingerie and the Postman for the third time Jack "Lady Charles" Nicholson. Yes, Lady Charles was in rare form dishin' all the dirt from decades ago through today including names and scandals, many of the TT's variety, but anyone in town was fair game.
Heading on down the street to the Corner Pocket for our final stop, Lady Charles and the lovely Lingerie accompanied us. Smurf was behind the bar with the remnants of the CP's buffet crowd. The massive buffet had started at 3pm, and it was now 5pm. Miss Do was there along with Hoyle Byrd, Doc, Jay Sewell and many other St. Louis St. celebrities. We could not do any more food, but that had nothing to do with consuming a few more vinos, which would prove to our final nightcaps for the day.
Austin, Texas: We left Friday morning for a car trip to New Orleans' sister city, Austin. The Austin businesses and organizations have been big supporters of Ambush for the past two years, and our trip was long overdue. It took 8 1/2 hours to arrive at beautiful downtown Austin. The huge city is spread out through the hilly country in Texas.
Austin Ambush rep Eric Crabtree had given us some hotel ideas for easy access to the Gay bars located in the downtown vicinity. We settled on the Homestead Guest Studios. It was conveniently located and was only a $2.50 cab ride to one of Austin's popular bars, Dick's. Austin Ambush reps Eric and Vincent DuDonis met us there to show us the town. We met owner Warren, bartenders Kindell and Doug, dancers Skeet and Scotty, DJ Lil' Debbie and Austin's own Momma, Dale, whose Shower Dancers are such a hit. This festive group of revelers made us feel right at home.
Then it was a short walk over to Splash Video Bar. This club features some 48 monitors, and a new game called Video Post Office. Each person entering is given a number and message card. You fill out the card and can say anything you want to any other number, and then turn it over to the VJ, who then puts the message up on monitors around the bar. It's wild! Manager Eddie, VJ Matt and bartender Warren were just great.
Next stop, and another short walk away, was the Forum. This dance club, that just celebrated its third anniversary, was on the main drag and from its front door you can see Austin's pink granite Capitol building. We got to meet owner Mark, manager Eric and assistant manager Jaffa who filled us in on the Forum and its fun nights.
We then stopped in at Oilcan Harry's, not far from the Forum. Assistant manager Scotty and bartender Steve were quite busy, but still found time to take care of us.
The Boyz Cellar right next door is another of Warren's bars. He also owns Dick's. Manager Bobby and bartenders Ryan and Jeff were great. The Cellar featured Flesh on Flesh with Circuit DJ Jon Brown from Minneapolis Thanksgiving weekend.
Then it was over to Exotic Piercing & Tabu Tattoo's to look over their large selection of goods. This would be a great place to shop for that special gift for your GLBT friends and family.
Next door is the giant Rainbow Cattle Company. This club featured Dwight Arnold's 6th Annual Hard Candy Christmas show Sunday benefiting Pediatric AIDS League to the tune of $976. Many performers hailed from the Imperial Court of Austin as well as other stars including Madame Murrah singing live, Emperor VI David Pearson, Empress V Cecelia Martay, director Dwight Arnold, Col. Bob Collins singing live, Princess Royale Bebe Hughes, Emperor III John Cummings, Empress VI Deedee Davis, Eartha Quit, Widow Modine Murphy, Paris Chanel, Emperor V Bob Hemby, Empress IV Alix Courtney, Topaz and several others. RCC owner Mike was among the crowd, and we had the pleasure of meeting many of Austin's celebrities including Col. Bob Collins, one of Austin's biggest philanthropists.
A short cab ride away is Charlie's, Austin's oldest surviving club. Assistant manager David and bartenders Jack and Gerold filled us in on Charlie's and its colorful history. The club hosts holiday buffets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and occasional shows.
Another short cab ride away is the Chain Drive, Austin's own version of New Orleans' Phoenix or Rawhide. Bartender Jeff was slingin' cocktails for the leather/levi crowd here.
On Sat. morning we visited the pink granite Capitol building of Texas, and several landmarks including the State Cemetery. We also got to go to the annual 6th Street Victorian Christmas celebration chock full of booths with merchandise and eats. The Leather Chest is right off 6th St. which is where we parked. This shop also has many items that would be great gift ideas.
On our final day, Austin Ambush rep Eric took us out to the Oasis at Lake Travis' Hippie Hollow to watch the sun kiss the lake at sunset - what a spectacular view!
It was an exciting first time trip for us, and we were really impressed that every bar served white zinfandel except one. But, of course, white wine with a splash of cranberry worked just as well.
We did not get a chance to visit 'Bout Time, 1920's Club, Club Inferno and Tapelenders/Outlines, but we'll certainly stop in on our next trip.
New Orleans: The annual Art Against AIDS gala was a spectacular blowout again this year. Held at the New Orleans Centre, the '99 theme was "A Wonderland of Art, Entertainment & Great Food!" And artwork was the key word for the festivities. There were many pieces for sale or at auction with affordable to expensive price tags. But remember, all of the proceeds benefit the many programs of the NO/AIDS Task Force. Area artists donated many treasures and restaurants donated the massive feast for revelers.
Petronius' Annual Christmas Buffet & Auction held at MRB was a mega success bringing in some $4,600. In addition to the giant $5 all-you-could-eat holiday buffet, the auction helped raise the big bucks. The bidding was brisk on many items and bidding wars broke out amongst the crowd. Top bidders included Jay Borne of Second Skin Leather, Ms. Fly of the Corner Pocket and Dick Kirshner. Captain Mickey Gil was auctioneer and the many Petronius Krewe members served as hosts for the event including returning King and Queen Wally and Tom.
Happy holidays from the staff and family at Ambush. And please remember to shop Gay this holiday season!
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