HAPPENINGS OUT OF TOWN
Things started out with a whimper last month. I guess the winter weather threw everybody into the hibernating mood — I know it did me! I guess we can be thankful for one thing: Mother Nature provided enough moisture this winter that we are not under drought conditions anymore. The only drought condition I suffered under this winter was that snowy week when I ran out of vodka! They couldn’t get the vodka tanker into my driveway to fill up my tank!
Enough of my usual banter – the month started out with the Gay Pride ’07 Royalty Court Pageant held at Missie B’s on Feb. 8. This is generally considered the kickoff for all the fund raisers and events surrounding Gay Pride, which will be June 1-3 this year at the Liberty Memorial. My camera crapped out again, and I was unable to record this event for posterity. My congratulations go out to all the winners who will represent Gay Pride this year.
Valentine’s Day was a little lame this year. First, the Old Timers gathering at Missie B’s was rather poorly attended because a major snowstorm was raging on the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, which traditionally is when we celebrate couples in the LGBT community and their longevity. Last year, we found a couple who have been together for more than 56 years. That is some record considering that I have never made it past five years and that is with seven attempts!
Speaking of longevity, the picture shows my good friend Mort G celebrating his 80th birthday at Sharps Restaurant on Feb. 9. He and I go way back to the Red Head days in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The old Red Head Lounge was located where the Hurricane Bar is now near the corner of Westport and Broadway. I remember when I was just coming out in Kansas City sitting outside the front entrance to the bar just waiting to get up the nerve to go inside. I spent four Saturdays waiting for someone to enter and finally an obvious gay couple went up to the door and were buzzed inside.. I ran to the door, entered and the place was completely packed! Turns out that, typically for that time period, everyone entered through the back door. Just think of all the good times I missed sitting at the front entrance waiting patiently!
My good friend Sharon and my boyfriend, Jason, decided to celebrate the actual Valentine’s Day with dinner at Outa Bounds Sports Bar & Grill. We had the great fortune to have picked the night that George “the mad Hungarian” was the guest chef. There was only one dish prepared that night by George, but it was a fantastic combination of chicken, rice and beans topped off by an apple crepe. I found out that George cooks at Outa Bounds once per month on the second Wednesday evening. I would encourage my readers to experience any of the taste treats that he prepares, and all for a mere $7.50! Best $7.50 I have ever spent.
I want to relate what was for me a “virgin experience” on Feb. 17 when I was invited by my friend Nicole K. to attend a live auction at the Mayo Auction House. It was also their grand opening at their 8253 Wornall Rd. location. I was somewhat apprehensive as to who might show up because this was their first auction. Well, let me tell you, I couldn’t find a place to park within several blocks. Over 150 people crammed into the auction space that day. Hopefully, the ad that Nicole has been running in Camp helped fill the building. I registered late for the actual auction and was given #169 (a coincidence? I doubt it!). Nicole graciously showed me around and explained that not only was the auction taking place live at the auction house, but simultaneously, items were also being bid on the Internet through their Web site. Everything imaginable was represented at this auction from antiques and collectibles, to a motorcycle and finally a velvet Elvis painting, #422. I really wanted to bid on the Elvis painting, but with that many items to auction and the fact that after the first hour, they were only on #18, I decided to take my leave, as bingo at Missie B’s was about to start. It is a good thing I got to Missie’s when I did, as my dear friends were already enjoying the fruits of some young loins. I, of course, had to perform an intervention ( otherwise known as stuffing dollar bills down pants) and distract my friends long enough so that the young men could regain their composure and return to normal activities. Ha!
FUTURE HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
One event that I am certainly looking forward to is the AIDS Walk Open Mini-Golf Pub Crawl which starts at noon on March 3. This event is sponsored by our wonderful friends at Miller Lite and consists of four man/ women teams who compete in a miniature golf competition that takes place in seven different locations around the metro area. Buses are being provided to shuttle the participants between bars for the events. Prizes include a trip for four to San Diego and, for those beer drinkers, a chance to win a two case of beer every month for 12 months. I understand that more than 40 teams have already signed on for this event, so hurry down to your favorite watering hole to sign your team up. Also on tap for March is the Heartland Men’s Chorus next concert “Global Destinations: A Non-Stop Flight” which promises to be another sold-out weekend for the chorus. The Unicorn Theatre is presenting “Nickel & Dimed” from March 9 through April 1 and if this play wows the audience half as much as some of the productions last year, we are all in for a treat. Special congratulations are in order for the Rev. John Barbone, who will be celebrating 25 years with the Spirit of Hope MCC Church as its founder and leader. The Rev Troy Perry who founded the national MCC movement will be a guest speaker at a dinner being held in the Rev Barbone’s honor at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, followed at 10:15 a.m. Sunday by worship services. We at Camp wish the Rev. Barbone the greatest of health and success in the next 25 years.
Sadly, January marked the demise of another landmark in the LGBT community, Late Night Theater. A lot has been said already in the media regarding the loss that Ron Megee and the Late Night gang’s departure will bring to the already depleted LGBT scene, but I want to add my thoughts. I followed their 10-year venture into gender-bending comedy with great anticipation from the early days at the Old Chelsea Theater to its last location on Grand Avenue. Each presentation was unique, and the cast could always improvise when needed to keep each performance fresh and alive. My only hope is that Ron Megee will chose to keep his home here in Kansas City and that he will continue to develop this unique kind of theater in whatever venue he chooses.
Also, before I sign off for this month, there are many rumors flying around regarding the sale of the building where Missie B’s resides. Everyone is concerned that Missie B’s will have to close or relocate. This would certainly affect many of us who consider “The B” their home away from home. In talking with Michael B, the owner, the other day, he reassured me that Missie B’s has a long-term lease in place that will, hopefully, guarantee that this landmark establishment will survive the sale of the building. There are also rumors afloat that a certain bar owner was looking at the building where Sidestreets Bar is located for possible purchase. The understanding was that parking could be a problem so I understand the idea was abandoned. Could this have been the resurrection of a new Dixie Belle? Remember, only rumors, my dear readers.
Thanks again to my loyal readers for putting up with my meanderings this month. Hopefully, you voted in the primaries for mayor and City Council and will again vote for your favorite candidate in the final elections. As you can tell from this newspaper, the candidates are very aware of the LGBT community vote. Let’s not disappoint them.
HAPPENINGS OUT OF TOWN