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allons acadiana

A M B U S H M A G 2 0 0 0 - V o l u m e 1 5 - I S S U E 1

by J.D. NORRIS, Lafayette, Louisiana

New Year, New Hopes?!

John and your's truly partied all over Lafayette New Year's Eve like good little girls do, (and remained sober for the most part) ... Images had to be pushing the limits with several hundred people out revelling. I've had some great personal experiences during 1996, but none that hit me quite so hard as the past several days.

Over the three-week holiday period, John and I have had a few friends drop by the house to wish us well. We've run into several more while out in the night scene. It dawned on me New Year's Eve how wonderfully well and plump many of our HIV+ friends have become in recent months. One pal who dropped by the house last week has gained several pounds and commented matter-of-factly that he'd have to start hitting the treadmill soon.

Anyway, I'm not hearing the sad voices I've become so accustomed to over the last few years when asking an acquaintance how he or she has been. In place of long frowns, I've seen smiles and just a little bit of excitement in the eyes of some of my friends, thanks mostly to the new drugs being used to combat AIDS.

It's really working on some of our family members; whether or not it is meant to last remains to be seen. I know one thing though, these new protease inhibitors making the rounds have reminded us all how to spell HOPE ... I know my glee is a bit taboo in a community afraid of continued false hopes, but I couldn't hold it in anymore ... Things aren't as dark on the path to a cure as we might have thought ... Is that a light at the end of this gloomy tunnel I see?

Is That A Wad of Money In Your Pocket, Lori Dear?

While tons of New Year's revellers partied all night long at Reality's, The Quarter and Mojo Monkeys last week, Images has to be the winner when it comes to numbers. There was a major balloon drop at midnight and all the free champagne a tipsy queen could pore down her hatch (probably more than a few who brought along flasks too, if you know what I mean).

When the clock ticked down, anyone standing next to anyone got grabbed, groped and kissed to welcome in the New Year... There was more lovin' going on there than in a Jimmy Swaggert motel room. Now if we could just keep that attitude.

Images kept its reputation as super host by owners JOHN GILLAND and LORI WHEAT personally pouring the champagne ... (ummmm, the bouquet, the color ... I'd guess Holly Beach vintage, 1994).. What great hosts they were.. Sweet John said he'd been up since 7:30 a.m. preparing for the big event, (yeah, right) ... LORI, did I mention you look GREAT?! And it's not just the pinstripes!

Reality's Has First Big Headliner

Reality's hosted the club's first major performer two weeks ago, dance diva TIA... I couldn't make the show but understand there were tons of people who turned out.. Kudos to club co-owner SCOTT LANNIE for having the contacts to snare the girl at the peak of her career. Who's next?!?

Mojo Packs 'em In

Still Acadiana's newest night spot, STEVIE GREGORY'S Mojo Monkeys is getting more and more popular with area women. If you haven't been by, please do so. If you're a woman, you'll find the club caters to what you've been looking for.

If you're a man, stop by anyway. DAWN REICHEL (is that how you spell it sweetie?) is always good for a pleasant conversation ... (and they say lesbians don't go to finishing school!) The club is all DAWN and STEVIE wanted it to be and more, sort of that bohemian ski lodge look that's so "in" right now... YOU GO GIRLS!

Quarter Gossip!!

Oh, John Gilland told me some juicy stuff New Year's morning ... seems he and club manager Connie decided to ... (just kidding John) .... Let's just say you should keep dropping by, if not to say HEY to CONNIE and DEBORAH, then to keep your eyes, ears and noses open to some changes not too far away from what I understand ... (but I'm not one to talk).

Miss Southwest To Be In Hub City!

We also ran into ROBERT DOYLE and DARREL SUIRE over the last week. Darrell, I like you a lot, but I love you even more when you've had a few!! You know Robert and Darrell from CLUB MAJESTIC fame and probably a lot of other things. They're usually the organizers of the MISS GAY SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA PAGEANT, (did I get that title right guys?) Doyle and Suire tell me the pageant will be held in Lafayette around March and they're looking for a host club.

The nature of this pageant is usually huge, second only to the Miss Louisiana event. It also sets the scene for the annual presentation of the Ramona Leger Memorial Community Service Award.

If memory serves me well, past winners have been Rick Martinez, Lois Slaughter and Ted Richard. The award was Darrell and Robert's brainchild and likely one of their best. It serves to recognize people throughout the state who have dedicated time, sweat, blood and tears to the betterment of the gay community and, unlike those generic New Orleans-based awards that seem to think all the good that's done is confined within the Crescent City's city limits, this one has no boundaries.

The two promise me they'll keep us up-to-date on when nominations for the honor will take place.

Those Ain't No Felons Behind Those Bars!

Just a quick THANK YOU!!! to the unsung, take-a-lot-of-crap- and-get-a-shitty-tip heros who work behind Lafayette bars .... Quarter hunky bar stud RON was working his pecks off New Year's Eve behind the one of the city's busiest bars. The drinks were stiff and the service was friendly, just the way we like it!! You do a great job, boy!

Kudos to RON and EMILE, the club's dynamic duo! Really, though, I should thank the guys (and girls) at Images!! I mention the folks at the other clubs all the time but tend to forget the ones I've known longer: RICKY, AUGIE, BUDDY, CONNIE, DEBORAH and RENE' keep the club running and don't seem to mind the constant flow of slobbering, sloshed-out big girls crawling to the bar at all hours of the night. They're most generous with their drinks and don't mind taking a few seconds to chat despite the busy crowds ...HAPPY NEW YEAR Augie, Ricky, Rene, Connie, Deb and Buddy!!!

Add to that impressive list the infamous RUSTY, formerly of Frank's!!! I'm saddened by the bar's tragic fire and those who have been left without jobs, but Images has gained a prize!!! We love you too RUSTY!!

Seen and Noted, 1997 Style!

Saw Tori Tayler New Year's Eve out at Images. Why do I ALWAYS remember that girl?! Also saw the mess of New Iberia himself, Lady Troy Romero flipping her lid, (and her cocktail) on Reality's dance floor!! Where's Jody?

Apollo toast BOB RALSTON was next to us as the clock counted down to make 1996 yesterday's news ... looking dapper in his double-breasted no less. Bob, let's run away and join the Log Cabin Republicans ... I know you'd come around if given the chance!

Oh goodness, the whole damned KREWE OF ROU was out at all the four clubs as we made our rounds last week! What'd I tell you about these krewe people ... They all come out around carnival time ... Where do you girls go the rest of the year?

Anniversary sweeties Mike and Bob, straight (or not so straight) from Carencro ... also, Daniel and Mike from the Berry.. Lori and Dawn - Dawn was ever so go-goish in her vinyl minidress ... oh, too many more to remember after a few cocktails ...

And NEVER do I forget DJ DIVA ALYSON!! Need I say more?! That's it ...

Again, happy New Year from my family to yours; I hope it's the best yet! Got info you'd like to drop us? E-mail me at: Ti amo Carlos ... You too John-boy! Until next time.

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