BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Billy Boy Hits 40;
Apollo BarRunners Do Their Thing;
Jamie Named to Leather Royalty
The anniversary/birthday bash on Dish Row brought some old friends back together. Billy and Ronnie celebrated their anniversary, and the following day, our Billy Boy hit the magic 40. With that young and vigorous mate, I can only imagine what a "big" present he received when he got home.
However, I remember one party on Dish Row when these boys couldn't keep their clothes on long enough to come outside to greet their guests. Young love! Ain't it great? When do I get to visit you or participate in a party down French Settlement way?
The pictures of their hide-a-way down in the wilderness show what love and understanding have done to a deserted old home. The before and after contrast shows what these two have done to their new residence. I think of them every time I go by Dish Row, and I miss seeing them.
It's been busy, busy everywhere with both happiness and sadness. Some of the Apollo guys made it to New Orleans for the BarRun even though there was sadness there. Many guests had been invited to join the group as an effort to play up the benefits of being a member of such a prestigeous krewe, and it was impossible to call all and cancel the event. The sadness came with the death of our fellow member, Jimmy Stehle, of Beaumont, Texas.
A special toast in honor of Jimmy was made by Denny, our Bal Masque XVII captain, and it was an appropriate and wonderful gesture on his part to do this. I've known Denny for a long while and feel his sincerity at this time was most honorable.
A BarRun, which you all know is done in brief stopovers at the various bars, started at the Apollo "hide-a-way apartment" in the French Quarter and got off to a great start at the Queen's Head Pub at GoodFriends. Queen Apollo XV, the lovely and gracious Kenny, was our leader, and he did it all up right-but then he always does. He has always been one of my favorite people, and I definitely enjoy being in his company and that of his wonderful Michael.
After GoodFriends, it was off to the Rawhide, where I became acquainted with two of the sexy bartenders there, John and Mitch. The drinks flowed, the laughs were abundant, and the whistle signaled us to gather ourselves together for the next stop on our journey.
This was to have been the Parade, but we were told it was Sunday tea, and we weren't allowed to go in without paying. I'm sure this wouldn't have happened if we had notified them in advance, so I returned later with my Ambush credentials to show my support for this wonderful watering hole and to chat with the sexiest of all bartenders, the marvelous Matt.
It was off to Oz next for more drinks, and I was delighted to see charming Chuck on duty. This young man still gives me a charge every time I see him. He is such a gorgeous and sweet child that I cherish all my times with him.
From Oz, we made our way to the balcony of Lafitte's in Exile. Things were really rockin' and rollin' by this time, and we had a marvelous session here. I'm not sure what everyone on the street thought, but we were all enjoying a grand old Sunday afternoon with friends-with one exception, an uninvited hanger-on following one of our guests. He was nice enough, but he didn't know when to go. BUT I can't say as I blame him at all. After all, he got the instant hots for that fabulous hunk of manchild, the precious and extremely good lookin' Kyle.
I think we made it back to GoodFriends again, then to the Clover Grill, then to MRB, and finally to the Phoenix and Charlene's. I do hope I kept the sequence in order, but I guess it really doesn't matter. After everyone stopped at the Clover Grill for much-needed nourishment, I took this opportunity to go back to the Parade to get some nourishment of my own in the presence of my Matt, or maybe that was with my Matt. Oh, well! What the hell! I love the Parade and always enjoy the atmosphere and the fine company there.
Let's see. I lost track of the number of beers I had and the number of pee-pee breaks. I do know that I ended up the only one left when I got to the Phoenix. This was fine with me. I sat on the patio and lucked into an appearance by the fabulous Phoenix owner Jamie. With all the traffic congestion earlier in the Quarter, I had missed an engagement with him at his home and his announcement as the new Lord King for the Lords of Leather, that marvelous New Orleans krewe. I was so happy when he showed up in the patio, and I was able to photograph the new majesty in his own royal court. I find this young man to be most charming, and I think he has a fine and interesting establishment in the Phoenix. I enjoyed it Sunday, and I've enjoyed it every time I've been there with friends or just for grabbing a beer on the run. I'll report on his consort when I gather more data on him. Perhaps a private consultation is in order for this young man.
I did Charlene's next. I have gone all these years without ever setting foot in this bar, and I just felt it was time to do so. Charlene wasn't here. It seems she had gone up Mississippi way for the weekend, but I want you to know, this was one of the nicest times 1've ever had in any New Orleans bar. Let me explain.
Debbie was dishing out the drinks, and I decided to have another for the road, or at least for my walk back to my car. It was then that I met these two marvelous women from down under. Ni and Kath were on an ancestor hunt, and I found them both to be so very charming. Not only did I learn about the search for "blood kin" (because Kath is an adoptee), but I learned so much about Sydney, Australia. I really feel as if their home would be open to me if I made it down to the far-away continent, and I feel a long and lengthy friendship has just begun. All of this happened because I wanted to finally meet Charlene.
Well, I actually had more than one beer here, which put me well above my limit for alcohol consumption, but this didn't stop me from returning to the Phoenix for one last cool one. I've always loved New Orleans, and I have to admit that this was one of my most rewarding return visits to the city that I used to call home. And by the time I finished my chats, my notes, my picture sessions, and all the walking I did, it was way into the wee morning hours. Baton Rouge is so far away when you know you have to make that drive back.
When I look back on this day and this event, I realize how much it means to be a part of a group of men who share the good times and the bad times. This was a time to remember and a time no one can forget. It was another Apollo-style function that goes down in the memory bank of greatness.
It's now time to take a look back at the capital city and some of the good and bad times here. Of course, most of you know that the Blue Parrot's sexy Italian Paul was hospitalized but should be out of the hospital by the time you read this. I'm sure most of you also know that Paul and his partner Mike plan to return to Key West. It will be a sad departure but they have a business opportunity there that they can't refuse. The good thing about this is that I'll have a place to stay whenever I go to this island paradise. It's one of my favorite cities, ranking up there with San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston, and Washington, D.C. I'll probably be adding Seattle to the list come October when I plan a week up there and up into Canada.
The Parrot bunch had a great underwear party last week, and there were good times in abundance here. This pantless party turned out to be one of their most successful evenings, and the sights were amazing, so amazing that I was at a loss to get pictures of the event.
I stopped in at George's to check up on Shane and Bokey. Richard had just returned from Tampa, where he and a group of happy people went for some much needed rest and relaxation. I love Tampa. It's a beautiful city and one of my best buddies lives there. Brian, my old Quarter buddy that I met at Lafitte's, lives there now, and he has nothing but good things to say about the city.
I must tell you about the turnabout they had as part of Rodney's going-away party. Everyone had a great time, but the hilarious antics of Bokey just about brought the house down. This dragster did his thing with a flair that had everyone in stitches. I really think Bokey is one of the most talented young men around this capital city. In fact, I don't really think he realizes how talented he really is.
Besides being an excellent writer, he has a stage presence that makes him perfect for acting, singing, or just about anything, stripping included. Now isn't that wishful thinking on my part? But he is a gorgeous young man, and I would like to do a complete photo shoot with him. As far as looks and personality are concerned, this sexy youngster has it all going for him, a fabulous and wonderful friend, and a bartender who can pack them in for Daddy Richard.
The Mirror Lounge is the site of another major contest which I will report on in the next issue. Jackie and Sandy always make everyone feel so much at home, and I enjoy drinking a brew here occasionally. Randy and Charlyn (Chatlyn) were in a lively conversation when I stopped in last week, but then things are always lively with Charlyn around. I also talked with Jackie at length, and she is belly button deep in work at Eagle Copy Service. The business has really taken off. That's great. It couldn't happen to a nicer person (or persons because I dare not leave the blonde other half out). Miss Sandy, like her Jackie, seems to be going around the clock. They're an energetic duo.
The Time Zone's crawfish boil really packed them in over on Main Street. It was a great time with customers lining the street. The occasion was enjoyed by everyone, and the cooks made sure there was plenty of food for all. Across the street, Hibiscus Bookstore was having their one-day 40%-off sale. Because of the activities at. both places, parking was at a premium. Gawkers were driving down the street wondering what the hell was going on. When happy people have a gay old time, it is fun city, and Main Street is a great place to be any day of the week.
The Miss Hide-A-Way contest was held recently, and I need to congratulate Miss Sha'nayia Narcisse on her win. Stephanie Williams was first alternate, and Effie Marie was second alternate. There were seven contestants.
The Names Project Central Regional Conference will be held at the Best Western, Richmond Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge on May 2 (at 7 p.m.) to May 4 (2 p.m.). Host for the event is the Names Project Louisiana Capitol Area, and the fee is only $20.00 per person.
The Candlelight March at the State Capitol is set for 7 p.m., Sunday May 4. Please be there.
And on a final note for Jimmy: I'll always remember your smile, your great sense of compassion, and your willingness to help. You were a fabulous Eve, but then you were simply a great and caring human being. Apollo has lost one of its most spirited members. We loved you, Jimmy. We all loved you.