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Volume 15/Issue 23


Bud Light & Ambush
Sponsor '97 GAA Gala

Bud Light has joined AMBUSH Mag 2000, sponsoring the '97 Gay Appreciation Awards [GAA] Gala, Sunday, Nov. 23, 8pm sharp, Body & Soul, 2300 Chartres. This 11th year's gala will benefit Shelter Resources, popularly known as Belle Reve and Belle Esprit.

The mission of Shelter Resources, Inc. is to provide permanent housing and full support services to adults and families living with AIDS and HIV-related infections. Concern for quality of life and equal availability of services are the founding principle of the agency; herefore, service delivery will not be influenced by race, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Services include monitoring medications, daily activities assistance, meals, mental health, case management, skilled nursing, social activities and transportation to appointments and community recreation.

Due to the generosity of the corporate sponsors, the entire evening's expenses are covered. All proceeds from VIP tables, reserved seating and door admission sales, plus all stage performance tips will benefit Shelter Resources.

VIP table with 4 seats run $100. Theatre style seats are $15 each. General door admission is $10. Contact Ambush Headquarters for advanced ticket info-504.522.8049, 504.522.8047. Checks for advance tickets should be made out to Ambush/GAA.

As the Official Beer of the Gay Appreciation Awards, Bud Light continues its commitment to the GLBT [gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender] community. Bud Light [www.budweiser.com] is also the banner sponsor of the GAA website @ archive.ambushmag.com/gaa during November. As part of the AMBUSHonLINE conglomerate, the GAA site contributes to the conglomerate's record 1.5 million *hpm [*hits per month]. Unlike many sites on the web, AMBUSHonLINE statistics can be verified through its independent executive summery reports prepared weekly @ www.ambushonline.com/reports.

GAA Show Director & President to Emcee

N ew Orleans celebrities Lisa Beaumann and Sonny Cleveland will emcee the GAA presentation gala. Beaumann stars at Oz, Rubyfruit Jungle and Some Like It Hot, and is a board member and show director of the GAA. Cleveland is Managing Editor/Sales Manager of AMBUSH Mag 2000, a webmaster at AMBUSHonLINE, Vice Chair of New Orleans Alliance of Pride and president of the GAA.

Scheduled entertainment includes production numbers from Bourbon Pub/Parade, Footloose, The Mint and Oz, four of the GAA Show Bar of the Year Nominees; as well as GAA Founder Marcy Marcell.

Public voting took place during PrideFest Weekend at Washington Square Park. Almost 600 voters selected the winners, choosing one out of the top 5 nominees in each category.

Nominees include:
Newcomer of the Year... Felicia Renee Cole, Madame X, Robin Malta, Tommie Raye, Vickie Vines
Neighborhood Bar of the Year... Footloose, Good Friends, MRB, Oz, Pookie's Palace
Buzzy Fanning Fight Against AIDS Award... Joyce Alberts & Lou Theriot, Ursuline Burgundy, Lazz Fest, Billy Warr, Doug Weiss
Bitch of the Year... Danae Daniels, Glenn Fonte, Jerry Head, Michael Kleinpeter, Miss Love
Show Bar of the Year... Footloose, Mint, Oz, Parade, Pookie's Palace
GLBT Friendly Business of the Year... Aaron's Antique Mall, Fashion Cafe, Straya California Creole Cafe, United Cab, Verti Mart
Performing Arts Award... Becky Allen, "Boys in the Band", CAC [Contemporary Arts Center], Barry Marino, Gordon Randolph
Dance Bar of the Year... Oz, Parade, Pier 11, Traditions, Wolfendale's
Bartender of the Year... Rick Duplechian/Pier 11, Dan Finney/MRB, Fred Holmes/Footloose/Mother Bob's, Patrick Rodgers/Footloose, Mark Santelli/Oz
DJ of the Year... Alien/Pier 11, Joe Gauthreaux/Oz, Mary Pappas/Rubyfruit Jungle & Some Like It Hot, Tim Pflueger/Oz, Lydia Prim/Parade
GLBT Business of the Year... Alternatives, Footloose, Gay Mart, Hit Parade, QuarterMaster-The Nellie Deli
Political Activist of the Year... Larry Bagneris, Randal Beach, Brian Hartig, John Rawls, Nancy Sharp
Leather Person of the Year... Rickey Henry, Jeff Jeffers, Willy Marroy, John Taylor, Jamie Temple
Lesbian of the Year... Lisa Ducre, Pussy Galore [Evelena Wareing], Susan Giroir, Nikki Kearby, Yvette Migues
Man of the Year... Roberts Batson, Andy Boudreaux, Johnny Chisholm, Kenny Falco, Joe Rodrigue
Entertainer of the Year... Becky Allen, Raquel Chevallier, Reba Douglas, Cody King, Stephanie Williams
The Fly Fashion Awards and the Marsha Delain Award of Excellence will also be presented during the gala.

Celebrities from throughout the community will make the award presentations.

GAA Lifetime Achievement
goes to...

New Orleans first gay bar proprietress/chanteuse, Miss Dixie, was chosen to receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award by the Gay Appreciation Awards Board of Directors. Board Members include President Sonny Cleveland, Vice President Toni Pizanie, Lisa Beaumann, Mickey Gil, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Connie Marcelle and Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain.

[Interview by George Patterson.]

"Why, honey, I buried the Kaiser!" Bragged Miss Dixie, a.k.a. Yvonne Fasnacht who, having been born July 7, 1910, proudly paraded around town dragging a wheeled coffin of the Kaiser. She also claims to be the original Mardi Gras girl, since her German name can be translated to mean "Mardi Gras," or at least "feast night." She also calls herself a "downtown girl" having been born in a house on the corner of Laharpe and Rocheblave.

She began working, while still a teen, as a commercial artist becoming the first person in New Orleans to do silk screen processing for the Idea Shop located on Camp St. where she helped create movie show cards. After work she'd go to the YWCA to listen to a female piano player there and sometimes lend her clarinet talent to the mix. She then joined an all girl band called the Harmony Maids and toured with them up and down the Mississippi. When her sister, Miss Irma, invited another all girl band called the Smart Set, which had been playing the Orpheum, to dinner, Miss Dixie soon joined them. This group evolved into the Southland Rhythm Girls who stayed in the city, playing the St. Charles Hotel.

In 1939 she and Miss Irma opened their first Dixie's Bar of Music at 204 St. Charles Ave., where the dynamic duo presented their own musical quartet led by Dixie's clarinet until 1947 when they were forced to close by an overly religious owner. A few months later found them opening the second, and last, Dixie's Bar of Music in the French Quarter at 701 Bourbon St. (the present Cat's Meow) where their brand of music brought them instant business.

The two sisters held their own court at that address, living above the bar, for 17 years. As the years passed, and the original Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop became the first openly gay bar in New Orleans, its clientele would often drift down to Dixie's to hear her play. Slowly Dixie's became the second, and more popular bar and held that distinction until its closing in 1964, at which time it was one of many gay French Quarter establishments.

Since 1964, Dixie Fasnacht has enjoyed dabbling in French Quarter real estate and fighting off the unwanted invasion of Formosa termites into her Bourbon St. home. She is truly the doyen of French Quarter bar owners; but, more than that, she is a living testament to the history of gay New Orleans.

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