Camping Out in Kansas City

Happenings Out of Town
The month really started off in style with a trip to Palm Springs, California, to visit an old friend, Mac, and attend the 35th Anniversary bash of my friends Donald and Ray at the fabulous Casa de Liberace—so named because it was the last home of Liberace before he died in 1987. The word “fabulous” doesn’t even begin to describe this lovely Spanish style home and the party that was thrown for the boys by their good friend Stefan H. who owns Casa de Liberace. ) The home is steeped in history and Stefan has done a marvelous job of bringing back many of the original precious antiques that were auctioned off after Liberace’s death. I intend to go into greater detail about the estate in a future article so stay tuned, but here I’ll stick with the party for the sake of brevity. I was totally wowed by the impressive interior courtyard where the hosts welcomed their guests and directed us to sign the guest book, which was sitting next to a framed picture of Elizabeth Taylor with a congratulatory letter on the occasion of their 35th Anniversary. There is even a wrought-iron candelabra light post at the front entrance to remind us of the famous owner as you can see in this picture with one of the honorees Ray W.
Would you believe it? The gay African-American mayor of Palm Springs was in attendance to proclaim April 4th as “Don P. and Ray W. 35th Anniversary Day”? The evening swung into high gear as many of the invited guests gathered around the piano to listen to the talents of Auntie Mame, who flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for the occasion. My friend and host, Mac, had prepared a healthy salad before the party for the sole purpose of staving off the desire to “pig out” later. Well my dear readers, that effort failed. I gazed down the huge dining room table at the sumptuous feast that had been prepared by Melvyn’s Restaurant, a fine dining establishment that has been a fixture in Palm Springs for decades. Lucky for me, Mac had taken his leave for another engagement as I piled my plate high with the treats.
It seemed as if the evening was just beginning when I emerged from my second tour of the personal quarters of the house to find that most of the guests had taken their leave. I looked at my watch—9:30 PM—was it possible that I was still on Central Daylight time? No, the party was already winding down, though I was just beginning. I said my farewells and ventured to the west end of town to my favorite bar, Toucans. It was packed with a crowd of young and old alike. This was Two Fer Tuesdays, which brought the price of a drink down to what we usually pay at Missie B’s all the time! The best part about the bars in California is the No Smoking Law in effect. Even though every bar has a designated smoking area, usually an open patio, it’s possible to go home at night without watering eyes or smelly clothes.
I topped off the week with a short visit with a good friend of mine, Herman C, in LA. He and his new boyfriend showed me how great California hospitality can be with a trip to catch Basic Instinct 2 at Universal Studios (I don’t recommend it), followed by dinner at a fabulous Thai restaurant in the city. I even managed to sneak in a Sunday night visit to the old Melrose Baths—which I don’t recommend either! Not only has the facility aged, so have all the patrons!
Happenings Around Town
To get warmed up for the trip to Palm Springs, I attended the Heartland Men’s Concert on March 26th, “No Place Like Home,” and what a concert it turned out to be! I don’t know how they do it, but every one of their concerts just seems to be better than the one before. From the female impersonator, played to perfection by Dudley H., to the wonderful interpretation of Garland songs sung by Kansas City’s own Cathy Barnett, the evening was flawless. I look forward with great anticipation to the next concert in June, “A Homecoming: Celebrating Two Decades of Music.”
The rest of the month was consumed with many activities surrounding the 18th annual AIDS Walk. On March 30th, I attended the Union Hill Open House, which I understand was a great success. Here’s a picture that I snapped in one of the fabulous town homes on the tour. He is none other than our own gourmet chef, Bootsie (Larry), cooking up some stir fry that was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. On April 14th OutaBounds Sports Bar played host to a Tax Payers’ Happy Hour hosted by our own Belle Starr, who auctioned off many worthwhile items to raise money for the walk. On April 15th Missie B’s put on a car wash benefit the likes of which you have never seen, as you can tell by this picture I took of Drew and Sunny D. Light encouraging travelers on 39th street to turn in for a $5 wash. I don’t know how much money they raised, but more than a few startled drivers raised their eye brows in total disbelief at this dashing duo! To top off the day, Missie B’s threw an auction and entertainment fest hosted by the ever-fabulous Flo and guest-starring our own Fry Daddy (father of seven, grandfather of one) looking like Tippy Longstocking.
Changes Around Town
Across the state line, the Fox Bar is changing hands again. As Brian makes his exit, Marsha will welcome back Butch G. and a new partner from San Francisco who are promising some sweeping changes including a new name for the bar. Rumors are also sweeping town about the status of the DB Warehouse. I for one sincerely hope that Johnny P and the gang will be around for a long time to come, as this bar is steeped in the traditions that are part of gay life in Kansas City. We need to support DB Warehouse by attending such time-honored traditions as Sunday Beer Bust and Family Feud and dancing our tits off on Saturday nights. Another management change has taken place at Outa Bounds as Dean S. has departed on friendly terms and Allen and Cookie carry on in his stead.
Gay Pride Update
It’s official: The Saturday line up of entertainment will include the fantastic performances of Kim English, Eric Himan (drool), and the vocal group En Vogue. Can you believe such talent will be performing on our Gay Pride stage and for FREE? Not only that, but RuPaul will be the headliner on Sunday evening. Give Missie B’s credit for bringing RuPaul to town; they’re sponsoring her entire trip. Please remember to buy raffle tickets the next time you visit Missie’s as the proceeds will go towards defraying the costs involved in bringing him/her here. The best part is that you could win a fabulous painting of RuPaul and the chance to meet her/him in person the night of the concert.
I also encourage my readers to take the time to stop by Out There Cards and Gifts or the Community Center or one of the Pride committee members to purchase a $25 Pride Card, which will entitle you to a free wrist band for Street Blast on Friday night. Another event that you don’t want to miss is the after-bar party at the Firehouse on April 29th starting at 2AM. The last party was a great success and Kris and Rick have promised that the local constabulary will not harass the guests by parking out in front of the Firehouse with their lights blaring. Did you know that the Pride committee has arranged to bring a localized version of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Kansas City for Pride? John Koop told me that we will be able to go online to request that a particular panel of a loved one be included in those brought to town. You can go to to make your request.
In Conclusion
As usual, the words just flew out of my mouth and please don’t tell my editor that I’ve used up over 1,400 words and still counting. Please show your Gay Pride spirit by patronizing our advertisers. It’s very important that we show our support to the businesses and organizations that support the LGBT community.
See you around town and don’t forget to say hello… "
Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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