houston/galveston reality check
Visit Gay Houston
Volume 19/Issue 6/2001

hankby Hank Huke

Gallivanting Around Galveston:
Our Mardi Gras Tradition Continues

Gator on a stick, beer by the barrel, feather boas and festive masks. Revelers in the streets, screaming, shouting and smiles all around. No, it wasn't New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but it was a carnival for Galveston. Mardi Gras Galveston, while it may pale in comparison to N'awlins, was a smash success for party-goers visiting the Island the weekends of Feb. 17 and 24. With 9 full-blown parades, complete with dubloons and beads and fancy costumes carried by horse drawn carriages, you might not have known you weren't in the Crescent City.

With refreshing adult beverages available every few steps, and more (insert your favorite food here) on a stick than anyone would ever need, it's a very safe assumption to say that a good time was had by all. Mardi Gras Galveston: Space Above and Beyond was a hit for everyone, and especially the revelers of Gaydom. Just off the strand, Purgatory and Kon Tiki cleaned up, with a nice mix of straights and Gays, men and women. I found no issues of Gay bashing or intolerance in my dancing about. Everyone seemed to get along and enjoy what precious time there was before police took to the streets on horseback and cleared the streets at midnight. That's when the real fun began, the strand was closed for the night, and celebrants ducked into the bars. Atmosphere was grand at Kon Tiki where dancing was the order of the day. Fashionably dressed in everything from masks to - well, nothing almost, they were here to imbibe, carouse and generally have a good time.

Purgatory was a fantastic place to be for dancing, drinks and merriment, and to stretch out on the spacious patio with cocktails and pals. It seems like all the AA relapsers had arrived and intended on continuing the fun on into the dawn. Attendees were of every size, shape, color and sexuality, and none of it mattered. Genuine good times with old friends while making new ones seemed to be what it was all about.

When all was said and done, and the Gay floats had made their mark at Mardi Gras Galveston, the fun didn't want to die out on Fat Tuesday, and did so only when last call was announced. A very successful turn for these bars of our own to really meld into the rest of the scene, and create a fluid fun-filled two weeks. I can't wait for next year. First splash Galveston, May 5th and 6th will certainly be festive and grand encounter. My spy goggles have discovered that beer tents are going to be allowed at the beach again this year. Put it on your calendars now!

We Love LUEY

LUEY (Let Us Entertain You) Weekend 2001 put on by the Houston Council of Clubs was a tremendous success! Participation by Brotherhood of Pain, Colt 45's, Houston Area Bears, Lancers MC, Misfits Houston, NLA Houston, Rainbow Ranglers, Sundance Cattle Company, Texas Leather & Lace and Texas Renegades all made it worth the while.

From pre-registration at Outpost, right at the beginning, it was a blast. Outpost provided great food and their friendly bar staff served up the good stuff. A great chance for club members to see old friends, and for those registering to be introduced around. Fri. night at Mary's, the fun was non-stop. The patio was opened up and it was a nice evening to register if you hadn't, and enjoy cocktails and camaraderie. A fabulous turn-out and the colorful crowd gave all the out-of-towners all they needed to see to know they were in good hands this weekend. Friends I hadn't seen in nearly a year were on hand and we quickly recounted old times, and LUEY last year.

Sat. was an incredible journey, and also a wee bit tiring at times. I had to remember to pace myself with the refreshing adult beverages by NLA Houston at Ripcord that morning at a painful 11am, to EJ's, where things were in full swing with a 12pm cocktail party by House of Haway, 1pm cocktail party by PWA Holiday Charities, 2pm cocktail party by The Wreches, and TFL Tea by the Colt 45's.

At around 6 or so, we found ourselves at the Brazos River Bottom for food, fun and dancing. Demeris Catering put on quite a spread, and the food was amazing. It's funny how well bar-b-que actually goes with beer. The Colt 45's put out their Alabama Riots, and man-oh-man, lawd, it was potent, and fabulous! Just like I needed. The Ripcord was festive and inviting as always. A fantastic turnout by NLA, Misfits and even the out of town clubs like Firedancers. I saw Firedancer members from Dallas and San Antonio. Brotherhood of Pain was well represented, as were the Misfits who dished out their Peach Punch, and it did just that. Punched me into overdrive and on into the morning light.

The Show of Shows at Rich's on Sun. was simply incredible. If you weren't entertained, you weren't there. Fresh new acts and some returning favorites with new twists. Next, it was on to Mary's, to what has become a full fledged event for LUEY. What started out several years ago as a "wind down" of sorts, to sit and casually talk about the weekend's events, has grown exponentially to be one of the most fun activities. Almost certain I saw members of every club, from Houston and out of towners as well, there were easily a few hundred guests who stayed all day long, and into the evening. LUEY was a complete success, and we will be bringing you the updates on participation and monies raised in the next issue when the information becomes available. Thanks again, from me, to the Houston Council of Clubs and the participating bars for a wonderful time. Houston will not soon forget LUEY 2001!

Goings On

St. Patrick's Day, Sat., Mar. 17, brings a wonderful occasion to celebrate with friends, Irish or not. Decades is once again hosting their Annual Pool Tournament for St. Patty's, and is kicking in an extra $100 from the bar to the tourney pot. Darlene will be serving up her famous corned beef hash and cabbage, and that's not to be missed.

Purgatory is going all out, as they are an Irish owned bar, and owners Todd Emerson and Tom Brown assure me it will be a grand event, complete with drink specials, door prizes and a blarney contest. I can't wait!

Venture-N Galveston is back open, and doing grand; go see Donald! The rooms for overnight stays there should be ready this month sometime. The Houston location has some wonderful changes in store for us like introducing Joe in the Leather Store, the Tomb of Two-Can-Cum-In, and a Big Dick Contest on Sun.! Don't forget their Fri. Night Hanky Theme Partys and, of course, the Bare Chest Contests as well on Wed. nights.

Guava Lamp is not to be missed ever, but especially on Wed. and Sun. nights, when karaoke is in full swing! James and the rest of the friendly staff are always there to bring you the finest cocktails and cutest of faces!

WOW, with Mardi Gras and LUEY back to back, I need a break. For those interested, Matthew's and my wedding will be postponed until Sept. 29, due to his promotion and my book deal. Now I have to go get deposits back from all those places... As always e-mail me at MarForStud@aol.com, and I'm Hank and my Reality Check bounced, what's your excuse?

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