by Brad Benedict
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
The Balls and All
Mardi Gras is over for another year, and this one has been the most hectic one I can remember. As a member of a New Orleans krewe, I found a lot of my extra time being devoted to long drives to support all the activities. It was also a time of garnering wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Mardi Gras 2000 has come and gone, but those memories are there never to be taken away by anyone. It was a great period in my life.
I know that it was a time of sharing with friends because they were all there with me. Whether it was before the ball, during the ball, or after the ball, the closeness of these friends was what made this so perfect.
Colla and Jay did their part in helping with costumes and picture assignments. Little John and Kevin helped with gifts and in the building of costumes. My beautiful BC John was there and seemed to know when I was in need. His concern for my well being did not go unnoticed. Leonard did his part to coordinate table work and ended up losing a prize memento of Desert Storm. It is such a shame to know that ball attendees are sometimes petty thieves. His help was there, but he is always around to support his friends in times of need. Todd was Mr. Perfection when it came to centerpieces and help in general. He's such a joy to be around. Members of the Knights d'Orleans were everywhere and helped in any way they could. They are a very special group. Bruce Orgeron put the finishing touches on a couple of costume masterpieces, and Bruce Benton spent the entire day helping to decorate, dress, undress, and get a couple of guys in their costumes. Along with his significant other Pat, they added so much energy just to make this a successful ball. I really don't know how it would have come off so well if the two Bruces had not been there.
It was nice to meet and greet lots of friends - Marlene and her partner (who I met at the Armeinius ball), Anna and Edie, Richard and Guy, Larry and Steve, Greg and Vinnie, Nichcole and her friend, Wild Tiger Bill who was with Stan and Kevin, Patrick and his sexy cousin, a very handsome Kyle, Raul and Robin, Edwin and Kevin, and so many others. I was especially honored to get to see Ryan Goldner again when I stopped by Danny's house in the Marigny. This young man just has to be one of the most fabulous guys around. He always makes my heart go pitter-patter while my clock strikes a big 12. Well, maybe half of that! You are very special, Ryan. Your Scott is a very privileged man.
I didn't get to see all the balls this year, but I have to say that the Lords of Leather Bal Masque XVII had its very special meaning for me. All the guys and gals did a great job, and thanks should be sent out to all of them for making this a wonderful experience. You can read about it in a special column written exclusively for Ambush.
Perhaps the most beautiful of all the balls was that of Russia, executed by the fine members of the Krewe of Armeinius. My Vinnie was gorgeous in his returning king's outfit, but he's so special that he would be beautiful without anything on. My goodness! Be still my heart! The new queen (Bruce) was absolutely the most beautiful of all the royals of 2000. You are gorgeous as a man, and you are equally gorgeous as a woman. What more can I say for such a fine human being? I also liked those two leather studs who shook their weenies - oops - bodies in one of the costume numbers.
I especially thought Ms. Fly was beautiful in the Krewe of Petronius ball, but I've always reported her excellence to you in previous columns over the years. In fact, out of all the people I've written up, she is the closest to being a stranger. I can't ever recall just chatting with her. Maybe that can be done in 2000.
Petronius is another very special group, and Mickey knows how to pull off good ones. It's always a good ball, a funny ball, and a ball full of surprises. That's what makes their presentations so special.
Now it's time to sit back, relax, and plan for another good Mardi Gras season. They come and go so quickly, but with krewes like the Lords of Leather, Armeinius, Petronius, Amon-Ra, Mwindo, Apollo(s), and ROUs, this holiday is one to be enjoyed and promoted. Lasting friendships are made here. They are the true treasures of Mardi Gras.
Around Big BR
The only real excitement in Baton Rouge the past couple of weeks were the break-ins, a murder, and the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, which brought out a very sane group of revelers this year. Usually, I stick around my home just to greet friends. I walk around the floats before they begin the parade. Then I return to my porch to watch the passing parade. I usually walk over to Al's house to check out his decorations. Then I check in on Debbie, Claudette, and Josie. I added Scott to my stops this year since he is now one of my favorite neighbors (and a sexy one, too). I even stopped in to visit David and Paul and their guests. This year I was honored to have Little John, Ramona and her significant other Sheila, Randall, several family members and friends, and my wonderful BC John there. I think Little John and BC John are two of the finest young men around. They are simply good human beings and great friends. I treasure them both.
Paul was back up from Key West for the holiday, but I didn't get to see him because of the festivities in New Orleans. Lots of happy people were at Bogart's to help make the holiday nice. This is fine place to stop for relaxation and good drinks.
James and Kyle were also busy over at 7th @ Main. Their decorations were perfect for the occasion, and they added a special touch to the spirit of the season.
George's was also packed with revelers. They have lots of great shows scheduled, and they usually draw big crowds for all of them. Richard and Guy were special guests at the Lords of Leather ball in New Orleans, and they reported back to me of the wonderful time they had. That probably included the Corner Pocket too, but I don't know for sure, so don't quote me on it.
Our spiritual adviser spent the entire weekend in the Crescent City. I'm expecting a full report on his activities, and I'm sure I'll get plenty. Most of them will probably be from other people. I do hope you had a great time, darling. I await the news with much anticipation.
The Hide-A-Way also had a big event for Mardi Gras. They always have a big party following the Spanish Town Parade, and this year was no different. I do need to pass on something about our marvelous Minette. She made a house call (in her other job), and the patient and her significant other were totally relieved when she took over. If you do need medical assistance, just hope that it is Minette or my BC John in there in your time of need. They are exceptional medical specialists.
I plan to be back at Evolution this week, so I'll report on my visit there in the next column format. I was so pleased to see Kevin at the LOL ball in Chalmette, and I'm going to correct that error in seating. (Some people are absolute bitches! Right?) This sweetie is such a nice guy, and I think he is a treasure of the capital city. At least I can't say that for the "no-show" boy. Sometimes you think you know someone very special, and then you realize you don't. Oh, well, maybe time will alter this opinion. For dancing, great music, and drinks supreme, try Evolution. I think I'll try a mixed drink and have my wonderful Kevin stir it with his weenie. Mercy! What a thought! I may have to take a break and continue this later.
After the Ball is Over
Celebrating comes in small packages sometimes. Take that new diner (Huddle House) in the middle of the freeway interchange at LaPlace, add a wonderful waitress named Darlene, and you have the end of a perfect night. Of course, the people in attendance were all so nice, and I'm glad I ran into them. Included in this group, were Matt and his new love Tommy, Colla and his Jay, Kevin, Sam, Little John, Damon, and BC John. Tasha and James came in later but had to sit in a booth. We controlled the table area, and all the chairs were in use. All I can say is stop in on your way back from New Orleans, and ask for Darlene. Tell her the Baton Rouge guys sent you. This may well become our stopover place. It was absolutely a great experience, and the food was very good.
Well, it's time for din-din, and I know exactly who to call. I enjoy his company, and he lifts my spirits (among other things). I trust you all had a nice time, and you can tell me all about those Mardi Gras experiences if you like.
And with that, let me just pass on one final comment that closes out this holiday: "THANKS, DANNY!"
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