by Brad Benedict
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
It's over, and I'm exhausted! And age has nothing to do with it. Along with the partying, I worked constantly to update you on all the balls (no pun intended) and weenies (you got it) from the 2002 Bourbon Balcony Brigade at Ambush Headquarters. This year was one of the best ever, thanks to some beautiful people and great friends, both old and new.
The highlight of the balcony was, of course, the famous bead toss, with King Cake Queen Lisa Beaumann leading the way. She was an excellent choice for this honor and charmed the masses with her beauty and fantastic costume.
The other highlight of the balcony was the sparkling beauty of Teryl-Lynn Foxx, all decked out in red, white, blue and thee. It was an eye-catching treat, but then Teryl Lynn is not only a beautiful human being but a fantastic entertainer too.
Michael and Damon took their places with the honored ones. Michael did the camcorder duties while Damon did the still shots for the Ambush Web site. Between the two, you can thrill to the sights that only Mardi Gras can produce beautiful boys with gorgeous endowments to treasure forever. Toss in a few boobies, and the ladies are happy too.
As usual, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain were the perfect hosts. With the hospitality that they provide their guests, it becomes an ideal environment for enjoying Mardi Gras.
The final ball of the 2002 season was a lively one, and it was none other than the one produced and presented by the fabulous guys and gals in the leather community. The Lords of Leather came on strong with "Once Upon a Time in the Lords Forest." It was held at the St. Bernard Civic Center in Chalmette on Sun., Feb. 10.
Several Baton Rougeans are members of this krewe, and some of the locals had major costumes. The returning Lord Consort XVIII Matt Scott is not only royalty in the leather world but was also crowned king of the Capital City Royal Order of Unicorn earlier in the season. Lord King XVIII Timm Holt is the owner of Cowpokes and a fine example of one who supports the community with dignity and pride. Their costumes this year were exceptional examples of all the hard work that goes into the creation of the splendor that sets the LOL balls apart from all the rest. My goodness but that sounds almost erotic!
The 2002 Bal Masque Tableau actually started with the opening ceremonies but as with all LOL productions, the costumes and entertainment numbers were timed out and moved swiftly and in a manner that kept everyone on their toes with eager anticipation of what was to follow. The filler entertainment this year was the best yet and coming by way of the Metro Potluck Dance Troupe of New Orleans. These youngsters are extremely talented and presented lively numbers throughout the show. Of course, I had a favorite but I won't embarrass him by disclosing my choice. However, let it be known that he was the most talented (in every way) and was well within a class of "Gentleman's Quarterly" modeling proportions. Need I say more!
Captain Mickey Hebert was the Mystic Forest Keeper, and he ruled over some very exciting individuals. His costume was magnificent and set the stage for what was to come.
The Unicorn (Wayne Monroe) led the way to a string of great costumes and performances. In fact, the Werewolf (Bruce Benton) was an extraordinary piece, brought to life by one of the most talented artisans in the field of costume design and creation. This was Bruce's first solo performance, and he did a great job. If you could see this one up close, you would have seen the work of a master craftsman. There is no other like him. After all, when you are good enough to design the work for the Governor's Ball and some of the past Baton Rouge Krewe of Apollo costumes, you have to realize you are in the presence of a perfectionist.
I think everyone was a little surprised to see the Snake Charmer in heels, but this charmer did his stuff like the professional he is. The charm was sincere and fun to watch. By the way, darling, the snakes were certainly unique and just what the doctor ordered.
The Warlock was none other than Red Stick's book baron, and the elaborate design of the cape, hat and clothing ensemble were great to look at. Coming out in the heavy fog to meet his audience, this one broke into a lively little dance to Guns and Roses' "Symphony for the Devil." It was quite appropriate for this costume and gave him an opportunity to show off the glitter and glamour of an excellent creation. In fact, he did such a good job he almost whirled himself out of it. That's what happens when pins break and things start slipping, but this didn't matter. Not a beat was missed in this routine.
A wonderful Lord Danny Alford was an amazing Gargoyle. This only goes to show what hard work and patience can do when bringing something to life on stage. One of the first comments I heard after the ball was how wonderful this costume was. With no feathers or frills to adorn the design, Alford came forth with a real masterpiece.
The Sanderson Sisters followed. These witches were absolutely magnificent, and I have to say, they were a very entertaining segment of the show. They were witches that any Warlock would love to have in his kingdom. One in particular stood out for me. I think she's the one who seldom wears dresses or makeup, who is a part-time student, an asset to Bywater Bar-B-Que, the leader of the Crescent City Outlaws, and one of the most beautiful human beings I've ever had the privilege to meet. Mina, darling, you are someone to cherish, and I'm so privileged to have you as a friend and leather daughter. Your support of the Lords of Leather and other organizational activities in the Crescent City is honorable and commendable.
Well, I could say more but I have to move on to another wonderful human being, the Wizard (my good little buddy John Desselle), who really strutted his stuff out there on the stage. A former Mr. Butt Beautiful of Red Stick, this child came alive with a lively little dance routine that had everyone cheering for more.
Cheering for more is applicable to Brett Kline's Dragon. Here is another young man who really knows how to put together a fine costume. I do believe he outdid his performance of last year, but then again that would be a matter of opinion. He followed Desselle this year, and last year he was chasing and impregnating the young man in a hilarious performance. The Kline man is not only a sexy costume person, but he's one of the more endearing individuals who you can enjoy being around. He is an asset to the Lords of Leather, a hard worker, a caring friend, and an all-around nice guy.
Next came the Dragon Slayer (George Hester), and this meant the end to a wonderful Dragon. The slaying was done in masterful style. And with this act of medieval bravery, the time had come for the presentation of the new royalty.
I can't say enough about the new Lord King XIX Todd Cole. This Baton Rougean is one of the most dynamic leaders in the leather community, and if you measure his actions and accomplishments, you know you are looking at a Mr. International Leather although he didn't garner the title. However, his support of all aspects of his Mr. Louisiana Leather 2001 title made everyone sit up and take notice of all the hard work and support that he did and will continue to do as a wonderful and talented leatherman. Todd, my dear, you are a real live wire and a very dear and cherished friend.
Lord Consort XIX Wayne Monroe was the other half to this fine set of royalty costumes. I could see the Jules Melon touch to the finery of both costumes, especially in those magnificent staffs. Talent just seems to run rampant in the leather community and especially in the Lords of Leather organization.
With the Grand March and the Open Court, Bal Masque XIX came to a close to the resounding sounds of happy people who came to enjoy and went away thoroughly pleased in the process.
Mardi Gras Miscellanea
Jamie's The Phoenix was the place to be to see Baton Rougeans doing their thing. Of course, Cowpokes is just around the corner, and both of these establishments welcome you at any time. If you haven't been to them, then you've missed the pleasures of fine camaraderie and lasting friendships. All neighborhood bars should be like them.
Baton Rouge has great neighborhood bars in George's and the Time Zone. For dancing, it's Icon. And I hear that Minette's Hide-A-Way is becoming The Fish Bowl under new management. Miss Minette has a full-time job and is still going to be on the scene but with more time for enjoyment of life's wonderful assets.
I'd like to personally thank Anthony Benton for his excellent photographs of the LOL ball. Sometimes it's impossible to make every event, and it's nice to have someone like him to count on. The man is a blessing, and I count my blessings constantly.
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