Happening in Kansas City
Trending around OUTvoices
Well, this winter weather has been giving me the blues, so I was excited to catch up with Sue Brazelton this month to learn a bit about the history of the LGBT community in Kansas City. That always warms me right up! Brazelton owned the LGBT women’s bar Birds of a Feather in the late 1980s, and she has been incredibly involved in the Kansas City Co-Ed Dart Association. Unfortunately we’ll be losing her to the state of Florida this year, but for now, she’s still ours!
1. I understand that your nickname is “Suzie Creamcheeze.” You know I have to ask what that is all about!
Oh my, I have just had the nickname of Suzie Creamcheeze most of my life and used it in my alternative lifestyle mainly to keep my professional life separate. You are not the first to be curious. You must note that I’m a product of the ’60s, and maybe we should just leave it at that.
2. Years ago, you opened the first women’s bar, Birds of a Feather, in Kansas City, Kan. First of all, during what years was it active? What was it like to open a women’s bar during this time period?
“First women’s bar” is not the appropriate description of Birds of a Feather. Much before Birds, there was the Rail Room (located where Crown Center is now standing), then the Alternate and Pete’s Pub (first located on 12th Street then relocated to 47th in Kansas) and Billie Jeans (located on Main just south of the Plaza), which were all mainly for LGBT women. I had a partner in Birds of a Feather (Pat McCall, or better known as Potz), and we purchased the bar from Pete and operated it for three years in the late ’80s. I would have to say it was one of the most exciting, fun and rewarding times of my life, mainly for the friends that have resulted from that chapter. We sponsored a fantastic group of women in the HASL softball league that went to nationals three years in a row and I believe came home with a first place one year.
3. Did you have any trouble with the neighborhood disapproving of the bar?
I don’t believe we had any trouble with any of the neighbors. However, that was about the time that the drinking and driving laws were becoming more strict and the Westwood and Kansas City, Kan., law enforcement were known to be overactive in the enforcement of the law. Pete had probably dealt with any of the negatives that were maybe in the beginning at that location.
4. Why did the bar close? Have you owned any other bars?
The Missouri liquor laws changed sometime in the last year we were open. That changed the closing time for Missouri from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. Birds of a Feather had a private club license and had a 3 a.m. closing. We knew that this would keep people from crossing the state line and subjecting themselves to DUIs and DWIs. With this in mind, we looked at several locations to relocate, one location being what is now known as Buddies. But during this period, my relationship with Pat McCall was ending, and I had to make the decision to either keep the bar or end my railroad career, which came with retirement. I chose career/retirement and am so happy I did. No, I have not owned any other bars, but people do keep asking me if I’m interested.
5. What do you think is currently missing in the Kansas City LGBT community or bar scene?
Unity of the bar owners is one of the missing links. I’ve always said if you join hands you can conquer all. I truly believe in that philosophy with all aspects of life.
6. I also know that you are active in the darts league in Kansas City. How long have you been involved? And this is a mixed league of straight and LGBT people?
While owning Birds of a Feather, Jim White (former owner of the View) and his partner, Bill Dugger, started what is now known as KCCDA (Kansas City Co-Ed Dart Association). This league, we felt, would not only introduce people to darts, but with scheduling games at the various bars at that time, people would make new friends and go to establishments they had previously not frequented. This league is now some 30-plus years old and is now very much a mixed league with straight and LGBT participants.
Also, in the dart community, Bobby Bremer (former owner of Taps) and his then-partner, Larry, along with my partner, Gina Jenkins, coordinated an intrastate dart tournament called Darts Over Missouri with the dart league in St. Louis. Darts Over Missouri will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this coming May. During the 25 years from the start of this tournament, we have made many sizable contributions to the KC CARE Clinic. I also believe this tournament was in the forefront of what is now six tournaments, all based in the gay communities of Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver and Missouri.
7. You recently helped form a new spin-off darts team that is more amateur and all LGBT. Why was that necessary with the existing darts league? Has there been lack of acceptance of LGBT people in the current league?
Last year, with KCCDA becoming so competitive, there were a lot of darters dropping out. The new league is called the Creampuff League, and along with several other people, we decided to make it a league of no skill standings and a charity (fundraiser) event, with all money collected going to a LGBT charity that is selected by the participants of the league. Our first season, we donated over $300 to LIKEME Lighthouse. This last session, we doubled our donation amount, and the charity has yet to be voted on. This league throws darts on Wednesdays, and since KCCDA throws on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is in no way a result of any lack of acceptance of the LGBT community, but rather a league that throws for fun and charity.
8, I understand that you’ll be moving to Florida with your partner soon. Do you plan on becoming involved in the LGBT community there, perhaps by finding another dart league?
Yes, we are excited to be moving sometime in 2014 to The Villages in Florida. On several of my visits to that community, we have met members of the LGBT community, and members of PFLAG and Rainbow communities. It is our understanding that they have many active groups and events, but at this time no darts. Guess that will give me something to work on.
9. I always like to have one or two fun questions. If you could be any cocktail, what would you be?
All right, this probably won’t be a surprise to most that know me: a flaming Lemon Drop shot.
10. What is your favorite game in darts and why?
I’m not sure I have what you would call a favorite because I really enjoy all of them, but I think Cricket is a good game because it teaches you to aim, and there is a little more strategy to the game.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.