by J.D. NORRIS, Lafayette, Louisiana
Apollo Throws A Party; More Apollo; Reality's Is History; Queens On TV & Lafayette Says Another Sad Goodbye -- Works D'Art? I Think So
So much to say, so little time to say it.. HAPPY CARNIVAL!
If the Acadiana Mardi Gras season is a light at the end of a long tunnel, then we're becoming blind about now. I won't waste much time or ink on talking too much about The Mystic Krewe of Apollo's Bal Masque XXI. If you went, you know all about it. If you had the invite and didn't go, you're too stupid to know about it.
CONGRATULATIONS to Ted Viator, Mikey Doumit, Ms. Poole and all the other Apollo notables for making this year's event, Works d'Art better than the other 19 all put together. It took our breaths away.... THANKS SO MUCH to the krewe for the special invites John and I received as well! What pals, what hosts (what suck-ups! Just kidding guys!) Every year I wonder more and more where the hell those costumes come from. Given the talent on hand, I still can't see how it's all done on time and to such perfection.
Keeping with Apollo's tradition, I've chosen not to mention too many names here, but King and Queen Apollo XXI, The Art of Comedy and the Art of Tragedy, respectively, were the most gorgeous couple I'd ever seen in all that satin and sequins. I thought it would be impossible to out do the royalty of the Grand Tour ball, but our fine monarchs outdid themselves and we can only wonder what they'll all come up with next year.
Mikey Doumit was a hit with his Art of Entertaining getup as was the infamous Ms. Poole with her 10-foot red pump she came swooping down on. Extra kudos to Ted Viator who obviously has his wears designed by the Disney studios. Check out the dozen or so photos of the ball in this issue, courtesy of renowned photographers Kent and Gwen Huntsler.
A big congratulations to all the supporting staff as well, from the Apollo dancers to the guys working the carts. You never see or hear much from crew members throughout the year on what they're working on, but come that cold January night, it all came together with more glamour, perfection, humor and pageantry than any Wayne Newton Las Vegas show.
Not only does the krewe give us something to be proud of in our community, it raises much needed money for local charities. How wonderful!
FLASH! Reality's Has Closed!
Images at Mardi Gras, It Just Don't Get Any Better!
So Images will be open most of Mardi Gras Day, right in the heart of the second largest carnival celebration in Louisiana, downtown's Jefferson Street in Lafayette. Club Gods Lori Wheat and Sweet John Gilland are promising to shoot loads of fun at holiday revelers with plenty of booze and all the dance music one brain can handle. Check out their drink specials too, I hear they're cheaper than K.C.'s underwear. The Quarter's going to have a lot going on that day too, so there's going to be plenty to keep us all busy... SHOW YOUR PRIDE and let's make 1997's carnival a family event!!!!!
Is That A Drag Queen On Your TV Or Did The Cable Go Out?
I know Jesus is coming soon 'cause Lafayette television hosted a series of stories last week entitled "Mr. Diva"-accolades to Channel 10 news for hosting the series. It showed real bravery and a cutting edge emerging in the hub city's otherwise dull media. I didn't catch each one of the newscasts, but I do know the series focused on Lafayette and New Iberia's most outstanding female impersonators. The one I happened to catch was, guess who? TORI TAYLOR! I found the reporting way too short and shallow in substance, but TAYLOR handled herself with all the grandeur and style of a first-class socialite! She deserves the big YOU GEAUX GIRL! for that one. While the series fell short on going in depth into the reasons why these entertainers do what they do, it did give even the gay community a small glimpse into the private domain of our friends without having to go backstage at a drag show. Congratulations girls, you really made us proud.
Saying Goodbye, Again
Many of you may have learned that Acadiana said goodbye to JOHN TRAHAN, former owner of Cest La Guerre. John left behind a wife and devoted partner, Mike and children. Establishing one of the state's oldest night clubs catering to gays and lesbians, John gained a name for himself by organizing the Ms. Bayou State Pageant, the Ms. Gay Louisiana of its time.
In later years, John began helping many of the street people who used the bar as a hangout. He didn't care much about what they did, but offered quiet advice when asked and on occasion, would lend money or food to many of his lost children. A little hard edged yet humorous, John's biggest complaint to me was how the police would never ease up on many of his customers when they parted the bar, but never a selfish word.
Eventually, bad business caused by a deteriorating Northside, rising crime rates and heart trouble led John away from the place he loved so much. We'll all remember him for one thing or another. John died nearly two weeks ago this weekend due to heart complications. He was in his mid sixties and we wish nothing but peace for the children, wife and partner John left behind. We'll miss him sorely.
Gossip Makes the Heart Grow Even More Curious
Who's the well known area drag queen caught with her hands in her pants at a local city park? If I don't tell you, the Daily Advertiser's recent police reports will, so start reading! And how about another local notable noticed at another city park by one of the parish's finest, a sheriff's deputy. Seems as though the rather sticky situation he found himself in couldn't be cleaned up before officer Friendly approached the car-neither could the "visitor" he was with.
That's it friends! Congratulations one more time Apollo! Now on to R.O.U.! I love you John, but you knew that already, didn't you? Ti Amo Sr. Carlos, still missing you so .... Until next time!