BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Carnival Cravings, Balls Galore
and A Beautiful Ouachita Weenie
It was Mardi Gras 1997 with the colors purple, gold and green proudly on display
everywhere. The weather was not very cooperative, but the Crescent City still
flourished in grand frivolity. No amount of cold temperatures can keep a good weenie hidden, and the show of shows was definitely no disappointment.
The prize weenie, the outstanding beauty, the most magnificent of the magnificents for 1997 was none other than sweet, gorgeous John of Monroe, up Ouachita Parish way.
I only hope he goes to Hott Shotz, picks up an Ambush, and reads this because I have some wonderful pictures he may want to see. They are my personal treasures. I trust you had a great Mardi Gras, sweetheart. You alone stood out as the outstanding individual of this l997 season of great bodies, great personalities, and true spirit of the season. I trust we will meet again. You are definitely a winner.
My four-day holiday week
end actually started in big
Baton Rouge, the pride of all redneckers, homophobic Woodyites, and religious zealots south of Shreveport, Monroe, and Alexandria (and also several Mississippi locales). I talked by phone with a cousin in North Louisiana while I watched the Spanish Town Parade from my porch. I always tour the float area before start-up, and then I don't have to fight the bead fanatics just to catch my friends on their floats. I just sit on my porch and survey the event.
Of course, my tour of floats did have to start with the magnificent Krewe of Hedon float. When you have two sexy lawyers (who are also kings), a beautiful secretary or two, and a bunch of happy people all in one spot, you just can't ask for anything any better. "Drunks Against Mad Mothers" was a fine addition to this year's group.
Next, I looked up my old newspaper buddies to see what they were up to, and they were also happy campers. The delight of this float was also the antics of that remarkably beautiful and dignified reporter, Miss Chris ("the more the merrier") Locklear, a cousin of that fabulous Heather girl.
From the lawnmower brigade to the floats sponsored by the local radio stations, it was a good show and always politically incorrect. This parade is a sight to behold and gets bigger with each passing year.
Just think! It all started when a group of "happy" guys got together in a convertible and went all around Spanish Town, screeching and screaming to the delight of all who weren't appalled by the display of pride and openness. And that was a long time before it was kosher to be open to the prying eyes of a hypocritical society of ignorant butt-wipes.
Oh, well! It was on to New
Orleans and a marvelous
Krewe of Armeinius Bal Masque XXIX, the Barbara Ball. I was extremely proud of my sweet and vivacious Vinnie. This young man came out as Desert Storm Ken, and, let me tell you something: he can storm my desert any time he so desires. The costume was absolutely the most fantastic of any I've ever seen - all balls included, this year or any previous year. It was huge. I thought the entire ball was a spectacular show, and I only hope it was taped so I can get a copy. It was well executed, highly original and worthy of viewing again and again.
I adored Barbara Stanwyck, my favorite actress of all time, and when she came out in horse and carriage, I was simply amazed. Of course, it helped to have those two sexy and half-naked horsemen along too. Barbara Bush was fantastic (and so was her gorgeous little sidekick walking her dog).
Barbara Eden was the genie of the evening, and Cub Scout (Rest Stop) Ken was hilarious (and extremely cute).
Other costumes covered various Barbies - Barbie on TV (Barbara Walters), Frigid Barbie, PMS Barbie, and, of course, I was turned on by that cute little king. Wow! I'm planning to check out his kingdom a little closer. It was a pleasure meeting this one, and I'm especially thankful for outgoing Queen Tracy for his continued friendship. You are a joy, my friend, a sheer joy. And your sister is an absolute doll.
Next up was the fabulous Lords
of Leather Bal Masque XIV,
"Before the Fire." Their look at fire stories was quite good, but then these guys always know how to get it on - in more ways than one. I was extremely proud of that gorgeous fireman. His flame just got bigger in my estimation. Gregory, darling! You were so fine!
The returning king is also one of my favorite people in all the world - the pride of Jackson, Mississippi, sweet George, and a beautiful Borg from Star Trek. It outdid the one he appeared in last year.
One of the most beautiful of all the costumes was that worn by happy-go-lucky James, who, as I recall, has one of those exceptionally beautiful weenies. And sexy Jamie (King Phoenix, himself) was the narcissus of the rain forest, another nice costume. I'm partial to flowers, and he's one of my favorites. I was also impressed with the Archangel Michael. I thought he was fantastic.
The special effects were great, as usual, and that sweet little helper (the one I photographed at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre last year) in the tight, white, see-all body suit was spectacular. He is an absolute doll. I'm looking forward to seeing him blossom into a first-class hunk. Do you need a manager, darling?
I have to pause here in my New
Orleans happiness and take you
back a week to the Royal Order of Unicorn Bal Masque in Lafayette. This was King Doug and Queen Effie Marie's big night, and it was a delightful occasion.
The high point of this ball was the magnificent tribute they gave to their past queen. Craig passed away shortly after the ball last year, and the video brought back so many memories of a wonderful human being. Craig and his king (Kenny) were a beautiful couple - a very gracious Napoleon and Josephine.
Captain Gerald and Co-captain Linda were fabulous, and so were all the other participants. The audience included many Red Stickers, who came over to wish their Effie a happy evening. I attended with Danny, Damon, Mike, Keyth and Mark, and we had a great time.
Well, Saturday night in New
Orleans during the big
Mardi Gras weekend is always a joy. I went street-viewing after the Armeinius ball. My favorite hangout - oops, vantage point - is Cafe Lafitte in Exile, located in that quaint and historic old building at 901 Bourbon Street, across from the Clover Grill.
Lots of Baton Rougeans were out. The list is endless. I can't even guess how many I saw on this cold February night, and they were all having a gay old time.
Later on, I was surprised to run into Marvin, Brandon and their friend. Sweet Marvin was having a great time drinking some kind of awful brew. One sip was enough for me.
I got up Sunday and headed for
Petunias and the most wonderful
brunch in the Crescent City. It is a "must stop" on my agenda any time I'm in the city. The food is fantastic, the employees are exceptionally nice, and the atmosphere is divine - elegance with a capital E. No gay or lesbian living or visiting the city should miss out on the dining experience of a lifetime. That milk punch gave me the kick-start I needed to meet the challenge of the upcoming events.
Dwayne and Ricky were hav
ing a ball on the Oz balcony
and so were Tommy and Ronnie. I also got to see Mr. Oz himself, the gorgeous Johnny, and that magnificent manager Tommy while there. They are delightful human beings, and I love them dearly.
I didn't run into Bobby of the Pub/
Parade, but I did look for him. I
enjoyed my time spent in this great bar too. I also looked for precious Brandon, but I guess he must have been elsewhere. I heard he went to New York, but I'm not certain of this. All I remember is the beautiful body dancing on the Pub bar, and the wonderful photographs Keyth and I took. Where are you, Brandon darling? You were missed. I need that private showing. Okay?
A certain Houston boy was delightful and having a wonderful time all weekend. I thought he was so cute sitting on that newspaper stand in front of the Clover Grill - the picture of innocence with a little touch of mischievousness thrown in. I hope my buddy Jim (of the Frat House Boys) caught him catching those beads.
One of my favorite memories of
this Mardi Gras is the "Evita"
presentation on the balcony at Good Friends. This was really great! Juan Peron and Evita (Christian and Jason) were flawless, and they even threw real money to their adoring audience. Gene and Truman were among the audience enjoying this.
Another favorite moment was seeing Joe once more. This is the best bartender you could ever want to serve you, and, if you are lucky enough, he could be a great friend. I love him dearly. I always have from that first time I saw him at George's.
Arlin and Delmon were also among the crowd, and I think very highly of them. And, of course, Kevin, my ex-Spanish Town buddy was a delight to view once more.
I must also say that Xenia was fantastic. Only Kent could have done this with such grace and dignity. This guy is absolutely fabulous in all respects. And so are you, Richard K.
I didn't watch the Bourbon Street
Awards - the Kenny Show - this
year although I did do a lot of photographing prior to the event as the contestants came in to participate. The penguins were a crowd pleaser, but then this was another treat from the Krewe of Armeinius ball. There's just only so much you can do and see, and then you have to choose. You always do a great job, Kenny darling. Michael has trained you well. (smile) By the way, when do I get to be a judge?
I chose the Krewe of Queenatee
nas, located at Float #69, where
the best pearls are always thrown from the most famous of all balconies, 828 Bourbon Street, home of the only newspaper offering the service, the news coverage, and the world-wide marketing expertise that makes for greatness - Ambush. They boldly go where no other newspaper has gone before, and they do it with a style and a class that can't be matched by any other publication.
This was the time for the crowd to meet the gorgeous King Cake Queen IV, the outrageously beautiful Reba Douglas, dressed in a fabulous orange creation which only spotlighted the lovliness of this unique human being. You were marvelous, darling. I think you are absolutely divine, and I'm so pleased to see what you have accomplished in the world of gaydom.
It was lively up on that balcony this year. I've never seen so many titties and weenies in all my life. Minette makes a difference wherever she is, and she was the delight of the day. One end of the balcony was shouting for titties, and the other was crying out for weenies. The crowd came. The crowd showed. The best pearls on Bourbon Street flowed. The cameras rolled. It was great.
Other delights on the balcony were the gorgeous Lisa Beaumann, the fabulous chef and former KCQ Jay, that cute and hunky little EMS boy (with the girlfriend, dammit!), Toni, Marie, Dee, the guy with the fuzzy ass and itzy-bitty, fully packed G-string, Sonny and his blonde beauty, and, of course, the first couple of Bourbon Street, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. There must have been fifty people at the gathering, all having a wonderful time celebrating this great holiday season.
Another pleasant memory of
this holiday was the auto
graph party at FM Bookstore. J.M. Redmann was there signing copies of her books for our illustrious Marigny book baron, adorable Alan. Redmann has penned Deaths of Jocasta, Death by the Riverside, and The Intersection of Law and Desire. It was a delightful gathering for a delightful lesbian - oops, lady. It was an honor meeting you, my dear.
As the sun set on this beautiful
and chilly day, the street scene
stayed the same until the midnight signal that ended the festivities. The litter and the stench from all the partying lingered into the early morning hours when the cool, refreshing rain moved back in to cleanse the city and wash away some of the aftermath of the weekend.
I took a leisurely Ash Wednesday stroll through the deserted Faubourg Marigny and the equally deserted French Quarter and wondered where in the world all the people had gone. I sipped coffee and ate pastries at La Marquise with the locals, read with disappointment the listing of Oscar nominations which excluded Madonna, Antonio and Evita from the list, and walked back to my house on Barracks, savoring the invigorating freshness of the air and the sounds of the Quarter.
The St. Louis Cathedral clock told me it was time to leave the city I dearly love and return to the daily routine I sometimes crave to leave in old Red Stick. I was about to say so long again, knowing however that I would return as soon as I could to delight in the city I once knew as home.
And now, I must say good-bye
to someone I knew for only a
short time. Good-bye Dane. You are missed by your friends and loved ones. Your passing was one of the tragedies of this weekend. Thanks for all the memories.