by Brad Benedict
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade
When the Michael Jackson look-a-like appeared on his throne on the first float, I knew this was going to be one heck of a parade. When the float passed, and I saw the Krewe of Little Boys and Show Us Your Wee-Wee, it set the tone for the entire two-hour parade.
Iím not sure what year this was in the historical sequence of this parade, but I do recall the beginning of this great parade. Several gay guys got in a convertible and started riding through Spanish Town to celebrate the Mardi Gras season. Who could have guessed what they were starting? From that gay ride through this historic section of Baton Rouge, a tradition of hilarious puns and pundits was started, mostly floats with political themes. This year, it was the beginning of the sexual revolution, and it was absolutely hilarious.
Of course, my favorite float always belongs to the handsome and debonair Joseph Possa, Red Stickís outstanding lawyer and philanthropist. He and lover Stephen showered me with beads as did Stephanie and Dallas. (Iím not referring to ex-Traditions Dallas, but body-builder Dallas. However, I did run into my buddy Dallas and beautiful Ben on Seventh Street as well as Cory from Splash.) I have been a participant on this float before, and I may see if sweetie Joe will let me be a part of the Hedonites next year. Thatís what it started out being - the Krewe of Hedon, and I was a member several years ago. The Hedonites had beautiful and outstanding balls too.
Another highlight of this parade is always the Lawnmower Brigade. They have such a great time, and their costumes are always so original. They mowed their way into the hearts of everyone along the way. Iím not sure who won the awards this year, but there were some beautiful floats. They just keep getting bigger and bigger, and the crowds keep getting larger and larger. IĎll have to remember to wear my leather cowboy hat again next year. It was a magnet with all the ladies tossing me beads. Thanks, ladies! But no thanks to whoever hit me in the face with a wad of beads. That really smarted! Could it have been a jealous husband? Or was it some laddie looking for a husband? Hmmmm.
Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parties
Two parties always come to mind when Iím trying to pick the biggest and the best. Iíd have to say Debbie and Claudette go out of their way to provide friends with the biggest, and Al and Kathryn do it up the best with a major theme each year.
Seventh Street and the Debbie/Claudette home and yard is always a magnet for the beautiful people of the Krewe of Apollo, and no one is more outstanding than the fabulous and gorgeous Scott Blanchard. My goodness! That child just causes my sexual appetite to go into overdrive. He is absolutely one of the finest examples of manhood in this entire state. I just adore being in his company. Just touching him or kissing him on the cheek makes my hair stand on end - as well as other things.
And speaking of his company, I have to say that Eddie is a hot number too. Heís got the smoldering good looks and the quiet composure that makes him stand out in a crowd. He doesnít have to speak. He just glows with a kind of sexuality that is difficult to explain.
Eddie and Scott glow well together, but when you throw in Jimmy and Mark, you have what I consider a wonderful Fab Four. I always seem to catch them in the same spot each year - in front of Debbie and Claudetteís home. These four Apollo studs have winning ways, are just a joy to be around, and really hold the future of this krewe in their hands. As the older ones go and the younger ones come in, it is a nice feeling to know that such quality material is moving into prominent positions. It is their talents and their hard work as well as other younger members that make this krewe such an outstanding group. Keep glowing, guys! You are the future!
This is also the meeting place of studs and studdesses from the Lafayette Royal Order of Unicorn. I know for a fact that the most outstanding of all these studs is the one and only magnificent Kenny Hebert. He is just gorgeous from one end to the other and all points in between. Yummy! Kenny and Garland make such a nice couple. In fact, I really enjoy their company. Itís a relationship that you never want to end, like with Mark and John. Itís a love of friendships through honesty and openness, through sharing and giving. Iíll always treasure my relationship with all of them.
Well, I could go on and on and really spill the beans on so many guys and gals, but I need to move on to other parties. After all, my bosses at Ambush would be very upset with me if I didnít carry forth with my duties at a time like this.
Lafayetteís Roland and Jean at the Boas and Bowties Party
Moving down the street, past Terryís party and Erikís party (which I will get back to later), it was on to the Boas and Bowties Party of Al Boudreaux and the lovely costume-making queen, Miss Kathryn. Alís home is so nice, and the patio area is open onto another patio area shared by three houses with a central fountain. Everyone was really having a great time here. The living room is always one of the most elaborately decorated ones in the city. It starts at the front garden entrance and completely engulfs you as you walk through the entrance. The Mardi Gras tree was great, but the decorations hanging from the ceiling were absolutely lovely. Al may be talented, but Miss Kathryn is the heart of it all. She is such a dynamic young woman, and itís always a thrill to see her as well as her husband and parents who come in for Mardi Gras each year.
Chuck with kissable Cliff in the middle of Seventh Street
John D., Garland, Kenny, Michael, and Walter accompanied me on this little part of my wanderings, but somehow we got separated. Then it was my sweet child John D. going with me to the next two parties. Erikís party was smaller and more intimate, but his guests were so nice. I especially enjoyed running into Trace and finally meeting Jonathan. Equally nice was Erikís Cliff. At first, I thought Cliff was just a quiet young man who was out of his element. How wrong can you be! Later in the day after the parade, I was strolling around taking pictures, and there was Cliff sitting in a chair in the middle of Seventh Street trying to get kisses from everyone walking by.
This straight chick flashed her diamond engagement ring and said her boyfriend would not approve of her kissing him. Well, honey, I ainít got no boyfriend, and I damned sure planted one on him. Whatís wrong with a friendly kiss?
Next, it was on to Terryís Seventh Street complex decorated in pink feathers. You always know when this queen is at her best, and Mardi Gras is only one of the times that you realize this. I could tell lots of things on this one, but this is a family publication, and I dare not do that. Well, there was this time óóó.
After the parade was over and I had deposited all my beads back at my house, I made my way back over to another party at Scottís complex that he shares with D.J. (No, darlings, not the Blanchard stud - the Comeaux stud!) I can barely keep everyone separated between the Marks, Johns, Scotts and Sams. Oh, well, it was a nice little ending to the party-going activities.
It was the best Mardi Gras in Spanish Town to date. Like I said earlier, things get bigger and better. Isnít that every gay manís dream? Hmmmm.
Mardi Gras with the Lords
It is always a rewarding experience being with the Lords. They are family. We have good times together. This yearís bal masque was different, and I have to say that the royalty costumes were amazing. Both returning and new royalty backpieces were designed by Joel Haas, and you donít find the talent any better unless you look to Alan Daigrepont or Bruce Ogeron who also do great wirework.
Tommy Darensbourg and Elmer Godney returned as the Phoenix and the Eagle. They were great, and they carried out their duties to perfection. The new royalty will again bring great pride and dignity to the Lords of Leather. Jack Pruitt and Gerard Beaudoin came out in Indian attire as Dreamcatchers. I really consider their costumes the most beautiful Iíve seen in a long while, but then again you have two beautiful human being here to carry on the Lords tradition of greatness.
Gerard is the owner of the new Matrixxx on Elysian Fields, and he has such a wonderfully warm and friendly personality. He gives you a feeling of comfort with a caring and sharing quality not found in many individuals.
Jack is a public relations guy with a major historical firm, and he is another one that you have to know is sincere and caring. Iíve not been around him too much, but I plan to be. The dinner invitation is in the back of my mind, Jack. Iím going to be taking you up on that. It was nice to know you kept up with Baton Rouge by reading Hot Tails of Red Stick. Now youíve met a lot of the people I discuss each week. Itís time for me to tell them more about you.
There were lots of great costumes this year, but probably the one that would take the excellence award was Mina Hernandezís Mae West. That is one leather lady with pride, dignity, and a type of class that puts her head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. She can go from leather to lace and pull it off with complete perfection. Mina really did a great job with this one, and, sweetheart, you were absolutely charming and beautiful. And, yes, Iím taking you to dinner. Thatís a promise. I love you. I love your company. And anyone who doesnít love you is a complete fool.
Captain Timm Holt was the Peace Tree, and he really had it all tied together to make this a great rendition of the Old West. Ball Lieutenant was Red Stickís book baron Damon as the Sheriff. Iím not sure Matt Dillon ever showed ass, but this is one sheriff that did. From the Peace Tree to Law and Order, it was very nice. Mercy!
Todd Cole did a great engine. Talk about blowing off steam. Jules, darling, are you the talent behind this one? Other costumes represented the Gold Rush, Conestoga Wagon, the Stagecoach, the Cowboy, the Pony Express (and he can deliver to me any old time he desires), Lee Riders, and Spanish Missions. All this was done with the wonderful dance routines from Kevin Champagne and the Metropolitan Dance Theatre Dancers. (I missed Michael, but he was away on a ski trip, so Iíll have to just hope to see him again later.)
Lots of support for this ball came from friends in the bondage and leather groups, and Jared was an able assistant to the great Pat OíRourke. Now tell me the truth. Where in the world could you find a better bunch of half-naked men than at the Lords of Leather ball? My vote of the best and sexiest one would be Paul from Atlanta. Hey, honey, are you attached?
Joel, darling, congratulations again on the wonderful work you did on the royalty costumes. You are very talented, and I hear you are without a partner too. Hmmmm.
Memories of Mardi Gras
Thanks go out to Danny, Alan, Hal, Larry and others on helping with my costume and decorations. Thanks also to my favorite sexy doctor Rick and his other half Tom for the gift, and to Mark, Michael, Larry and Marshall for their presence, and, of course, to my very own Mark for honoring me with his presence at my table. Thanks also to Kenny and Garland for taking care of Scottyís gift. I wanted to deliver it in person, but the time will come when Iíll do a picture for my personal files. Iím sure Bobby will approve. Oh, and Iím glad David could join Alan at the table as well as Michael and Walt from Florida, and the new royalty from Baton Rouge Apollo, gorgeous Frank and beautiful Donald. And, Kenny darling, you still owe me big time. I bet you thought I had forgotten.
The rains came this year on Lundi Gras, and I decided to head back to Baton Rouge since more storms were predicted for Fat Tuesday. After taking care of Edwinís house while he was out of town and doing some work in his garden, I decided to pick up my Haydelís king cakes and start home. That was not the right time to do it. I hit a torrential downpour from Old Jefferson all the way to Destrehan, where I finally made it to a gas station. I hadnít been on that section of River Road in a long time, and it was a little creepy going up on the levee, down in front of the Bonne Carre Spillway locks and back up on the other side to reach the River Road again. I decided that I needed a cool one or two so I stopped at Bullyís in LaPlace. That was another experience that I wonít detail at this time.
Iím sorry I couldnít make the fabulous party that Rip and Marsha always have at their Ambush Headquarters but with the possibility of more storms moving through, I decided not to return for the festivities and spent time browsing bookstores and drinking coffee with friends in Red Stick. Everything was closed in the downtown area, and without the state workers, it was practically deserted. It was probably the most peaceful and serene Mardi Gras Day Iíve ever enjoyed.
I just want to add that my biggest regret was not being with Mark and John on Mardi Gras Day. I did run into Pat, Ben, and Tim on Sunday at Cowpokes, but after a drink or so with John D., Colla, and other friends, I just turned in for the night.
Actually, I did go by to see if John was home. He had been working in Lafayette and couldnít make the ball, so I thought I might surprise him by stopping by his and Markís home in the Bywater to surprise him. He got tired of sitting home waiting for everyone to get out of the ball, so he left a note that he was heading for the Phoenix. Well, John darling, you could have had me all to yourself. We would have had a great time waiting for your other half to get home.
However, things donít always work out the way you really want them to. Iíll just have to recall all the drinks we had last year, the nicotine fit where you bathed me back to health, the late dinner sandwiches at the Nellie Deli, the wonderful camaraderie of friends and friendships, and the love that comes from great relationships.
I wonder what we will do the next time we get together. Hmmmm.
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