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Volume 18/Issue 26

Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

14th GAA Gala Unifies Community;
Raises $3,000 for Brotherhood, Inc.

The 14th annual Gay Appreciation Awards [GAA] Gala proudly brought together all segments of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities under one roof, at one time. The snappy affair kicked off precisely at 8pm Dec. 10 at Body & Soul, in the Marigny, unifying the dance, show, neighborhood and leather bar communities with those from the retail and service industries, and including, the political, social and performing arts arenas.

The hour and a half evenings festivities raised $3,000 for this year's chosen charity, Brotherhood, Inc. The agency serves the greater New Orleans area as an HIV prevention organization with emphasis on men who have sex with men providing peer programs and HIV training.

Charlene Schneider received the evening's highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Because Schneider is acknowledged for her numerous contributions as a longtime GLBT activist and business entrepreneur in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast communities, the GAA Board chose her unanimously to receive the 2000 honor.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Jimmie Callaway, Dan Fountain [Betty Buttons], the late Andy Boudreaux, the late Buzzy Fanning, the late Dirty Dottie, Miss Fury, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, the late Dan Romero, Miss Do, Louise McFarland, Miss Dixie Fasnacht, Alice Brady & John Dodt and Gene Adams.

The Fly Fashion Awards were presented this year in memory of Ms. Fly by Southern Decadence Grand Marshal Thom "Smurf" Murphy. Winners included Miss Do for Big & Beautiful, Bianca Del Rio for Outstanding Achievement, Tabu for Artistic Interpretation, Miss Love for Fashion Victim and Scott Horner for Sexiest Man.

The Cheridon Comedy Award, in memory of Sonny Cheridon Cleveland, was presented by the GAA Board of Directors. The winner was the hilarious Slutpuppy Revue.

The Marsha Delain Award of Excellence, known as the GLBT Ambassador to the World Award, presented by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain went to 735's multi-talented Tabu.

The winners selected by popular vote from ballots appearing in Ambush Mag and on-line at archive.ambushmag.com/gaa, in each category included:

Circuit Party of the Year [new award]: Abracadabra/Pensacola

Hair Salon of the Year: Arthur's House of Glamour

Newcomer of the Year: Coca

Neighborhood Bar of the Year: Good Friends

Buzzy Fanning Fight Against AIDS Award: Ursuline Burgundy

Bitch of the Year: Bianca Del Rio

Show Bar of the Year: Oz

GLBT Friendly Business of the Year: Something Different

Performing Arts Award: Becky Allen

Restaurant/Deli of the Year: Lucky Cheng's

Dance Bar of the Year: Oz

Bartender of the Year: Smurf Murphy/formerly of the Corner Pocket, now of Voodoo

DJ of the Year: Tim Pflueger/Oz

Leather Bar of the Year [new award]: Phoenix

Political Activist of the Year: Larry Bagneris

Leather Person of the Year: Scott Garrett

Transgender of the Year: Felina Colby Shane

Lesbian of the Year: Yvette Migues

Gay Man of the Year: Tommy Elias

Entertainer of the Year: Bianca Del Rio

Since the Gay Appreciation Awards and its gala were sponsored in full due to the generosity of Ambush Mag, AMBUSHonLine and Bud Light, all of the evening's proceeds from VIP table sales, ticket sales and stage performance tips went to Brotherhood, Inc.

VIP table sales at $100 per table raised $2,100. Revenues included $400 from 735 nightclub/bar, $400 from Ambush, $300 from Oz, $200 from Arthur's House of Glamour, $100 from Bourbon Pub/Parade, $100 from the Country Club, $100 from Cowpokes, $100 from Miss Do/Double Play, $100 from Lucky Cheng's $100 from the Phoenix, $100 from Rita Ray and $100 from Something Different.

General and door ticket sales raised an additional $676 while stage performance tips raised the final $224.

Show Bar of the Year nominees, The Mint, Footloose, 735 nightclub/bar and Oz, as well as last year's Entertainer of the Year, Tonisha Thompson, provided outstanding stage performances.

The GAA Board of Directors includes President Toni J.P. Pizanie, Vice-President Rhyn Pate, Show Director Lisa Beaumann, Lance Ford, Teryl-Lynn Foxx, Mickey Gil and Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain.

Phyllis Denmark
Will Reign As King Cake Queen VIII

The Co-Captains of the Krewe of Queenateenas are proud to announce the selection of Phyllis Denmark as King Cake Queen [KCQ] VIII. Denmark will lead the 14th Annual Queenateenas Bead Toss from the balcony of Ambush headquarters at 828 Bourbon St. on Mardi Gras, Feb. 27, 2001, at 1pm.

phyllis As KCQ VIII, Denmark will celebrate the 2001 theme of "Tetons et Derriere" or "Tits & Ass." Denmark will be presented to society at the by invitation only, KCQ VIII Coronation Bash on Tues., Feb. 13. Additionally, former queens will be honored including KCQ II-Jay A. Loomis, KCQ III-Smurf Murphy, KCQ IV-Reba Douglas, KCQ V-Elizabeth Simms, KCQ VI-the late Christine Cheridon [Sonny Cheridon Cleveland], and KCQ VII-Stephanie Williams.

It all began back in 1987 when a group of some 400 guests joined Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain for their first bead toss at their new home at 828 Bourbon St.

The following year, guests were limited to 50, thus enabling revelers greater access and movement on the balcony. The group was dubbed the Krewe of Queenateenas that year by Jay Ann Loomis, a close friend of the Naquin-Delain's, making them co-captians of the revelers. The balcony was converted and decorated into what is now known as Queenateenas Balcony Float #69.

In following years, the balcony has taken on its own themes of Carnival. As a joke in 1994, the co-captains chose a King Cake Queen to lead the festivities Carnival day at 1pm. This was the beginning of a new tradition for the Queenateenas. Now, each year the co-captains select the individual who works the crowds the best for beads as the criteria for selecting next year's King Cake Queen.

2 Celebrations
Mark the Life of Lee Fetherston

Two celebrations marked the extraordinary life of Lee Edward Fetherston, aka Ms. Fly. Peter Thomas, Hoyle Byrd & Jay Looms, long time friends at Petunias, hosted a celebration of the life of Lee Edward Fetherston on Dec. 6 at their restaurant. Miss Do, Michael Elias, Jay Sewell, the Krewe of Petronius and the staffs of the Corner Pocket and Double Play hosted a gathering in celebration of the life of Queen Petronius XXXIX Lee Fetherston, aka Ms. Fly on Dec. 12 at Lee's bar, the Corner Pocket.

Although both events were different, they both brought out a huge group of friends and acquaintances who celebrated the life of the St. Louis St. legend.

At the Petunias affair two moving letters were read from Lee's brother and sister-in-law by Lee's Pastor Ron. The family has graciously allowed us to reprint them here.

Dear Family - and make no mistake, you are my family,
My brother, Lee, embraced you as his family, and by extension, you are my family. Much the same way Lee embraced my children as his family, thus, we are all family.

As you share memories of Lee, I know we each knew him differently. Perhaps some of the stories you share would make me blush. Some of the stories I could tell would cause you all to roar with laughter.

Lee was a son, a brother, an uncle, and a godfather to my children. What is most painful for me is the loss my children have been dealt. They needed Lee - "Wild, break-the-rules-Lee" - to give balance in their lives from their parents, Theresa and I, who sometimes take parenting too seriously.

Before there was Cher, there was Elton John. "Mr. Flamboyant." Now, when I think of Lee, I recall the song Elton John wrote of Marilyn Monroe and later reworded for Princess Diana's funeral. The lines are as follows: "Your footsteps will always fall lightly on St. Louis Street -Your candle has burned out long before your legend ever will."

Lee always had a spark in his eye. It's what drew people to him and captivated them. He was full of life and people gravitated to him - almost wanting a piece of the energy he had. He soared above us all, on special wings that God grants only to a select few. I'm reminded of the words from a song by Sara Evans, which asks, "How can you keep your feet on the ground when you were born...born to fly?!"

I ask you, were there any truer words written that better capture the essence of Lee? He was born to fly, and soar he did!

I wish I could've seen the angels' faces when he arrived in heaven shouting, "Well, I'm here!"

"My brother, go rest high on that mountain, your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a shoutin' love for the Father and Son." Those words from a Vince Gill song encourage me to believe that Lee is on that mountain watching us, wanting us to live as he did, the essence of which is captured in Matthew 25:34-40:

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When we saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

My family, those we love remain nearby through memories that live. They warm our hearts as we recall the sweetness that they give. I hope it comforts you throughout each passing day to know Lee is not really gone, he is just away; and we will meet up again. Thank you,

Dear Friends,
I'm assuming that most of you here knew Lee as a friend. I would like to share with you some of the ways I knew Lee. He was my brother-in-law. As my brother-in-law, he was easy to talk to and fun to be with. I loved his wit! He kept me laughing with his sharp sense of humor and his ability to call a spade a spade. He was a loving son and brother. He kept peace (or regained peace!) many times when our whole family was together. Oh, the verbal sparring I've witnessed on occasion! The kind that would make you laugh most of the time. I have to share this with you: it was one of the best (funniest) lines that I ever heard come out of his mouth. Lee was ahead of his mom and me walking into church one Sunday, and his mom said, "My, Lee, your rear-end is getting a little wide!" And Lee turned around and said, as only Lee could say, "Out of all the things I could have inherited from you, I had to get your fat a-!" I never laughed so hard!

I also saw Lee as the uncle of my three children. He showed them some great times. He took my two girls and me to our first concert - I don't even have to tell you who he took us to see! He spent some quality time with my kids. They played UNO by the hour, Chuckie Cheese and shopping at the mall will always hold memories of Uncle Lee. Here's one last story that you probably haven't heard: When Lee visited us in Illinois one summer, it was HOT! We set up a "pool baseball" game. We filled three of those little plastic pools with water and placed them where first, second, and third bases would be. Then we played. It was Lee's first turn up, and he wanted to kill that wiffle ball. He smacked it pretty good, and then went running to the pool that was first base. He put one foot in it and went flying as his foot slipped out from under him and he landed flat on his back and cracked the pool! The kids and I were laughing so hard we barely got the words out to ask him if he was okay. And he was; he recovered and kept on running.

That was Lee, always recovered and kept on running. I only wish he could have done it one more time and been able to finish out his earthly life the way he should have. But he's with God now, and that brings me comfort, as I know it brings him joy. Peace and grace be to all of you, who were with Lee on a daily basis. As much as you loved him, I know he loved all of you. With love,

At the Corner Pocket affair, Michael Elias and Mickey Gil addressed the crowd remembering Queen Petronius XXXIX, Ms. Fly. A continuous computer-driven slide show of Lee through the years was outstanding. And, of course, every song Lee ever did as Cher was the background music, plus all of the diva's many other hits.

The Petunias' affair was catered by Chef Jay Loomis, while the Corner Pocket affair was catered by Chef Joseph A. Gaines.

Both evenings remembered the vivacious Ms. Fly and the sometimes timid Lee Edward Fetherston.

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