The weekend prior to Labour Day weekend is traditionally the Rochester Rams' Run weekend. Of course, many of you are already aware, due to a regime change at the Presbytery of Geneva with someone who's a homophobic bitch, the contract between the Rams and Camp Whitman, (run by the Presbytery of Geneva) was canceled at the 11th hour, resulting in no run this year... Not to be completely defeated, the Rams held a private event for members and associates at Albert's home in Hemlock. This century has been hard on the rams, between losing almost half their membership from people moving, quitting, becoming associate members or in Rich R's case, passing away, only six members of the twelve in the photo below (from 2001) remain active full members...
When I joined the Rochester Rams in 1987, AIDS and in-fighting had torn the club in pieces, leaving only six members -- we were on the brink of packing it in. It took some charismatic persons and a lot of effort to keep the group going for some time -- but we pulled through and re-invented ourselves, ending up with almost sixteen full members in the mid 90s.
My partner Dave swears that the classic "leather club lifestyle" is becoming extinct. Some believe the need of such organizations fade as mainstream acceptance of various lifestyles increases, not to mention cruising on the internet is making the whole "bar scene" evaporate. Looking at the string of decimated clubs over the past decade, I would tend to agree -- however, I still believe there is a strong need for the leather club/community scene and honestly believe that it will continue to flourish, albeit at a much slower pace than in the 70s and 80s.
But I digress...
The private club gathering in the Finger Lakes was subdued but fun. It was a bonding of brotherhood and friendship with lots of story-telling and people catching up with each other. Johnny with the help of Albert and Duane threw a very entertaining cocktail party in the upstairs dungeon (Heaven) on Saturday night.
Following the weekend, I spent the week at Johnny's until Thursday morning, working remotely (dial-up, yuck!) from his home. I had no idea that Thursday morning when I left for Toronto that it would be the last time I'd ever see Johnny alive.
I arrived in Toronto ahead of schedule, got a spiffy buzz cut and hung out at The Black Eagle -- I entered myself into their "wet jockstrap contest" and met up with a circumsexual mate of mine from Saint Catherine's. As the night progressed the contest began. There were a total of seven contestants -- the competition was stiff. I was quite shocked to discover that I was picked as the winner! After a night of gomco play at Steamworks with Don, I met up with some friends for breakfast and headed north for the Spearhead Run.
The Spearhead Run was lightly attended this year, only 62 people. They normally get between 100-200 men. Spearhead was also short-handed, so I lent a hand and volunteered to run Cabin-4 (the play cabin) all weekend. I did some demos: Sounding, Scrotal Inflation and a few other things. It was a somewhat quiet event this year, but never the less enjoyable! On Labour Day I left the Spearhead Run and met up with Alex (my ex in Ottawa) and spend the night there. We had a lovely dinner and a lot of catch-up time with each other.
On Tuesday I left Ottawa, stopped over in Montreal for a few hours of gaming at the casino, then drive back into the United States, ending up at Gargoyle House, a gay naturist (nude) bed & breakfast. It was the perfect end to the extended Labour Day weekend.
Wednesday I drive back to Boston, and got the call about Johnny about two miles before arriving back home...
After a week of heavy emotions, I flew to Rochester for Johnny's Remembrance Party at Lux Lounge on Sunday the 16th September. I arrived in Rochester about 1:45 and got to the party by two o'clock... Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Many people from different aspects of Johnny's life all together in one place sharing heartfelt and funny stories -- it was tough to tell if the tears in people's eyes were that of sadness or from laughing so hard. I think Johnny would have been happy to see everyone supporting each other as we did... No sooner was I in Rochester, I was back out that evening and back in Boston by eight o'clock, in time to pack for Portland, Oregon...
Why visit Portland Monday thru Wednesday? Because I fucked up. I was going to be there the weekend of the 17th-19th of August, but I punched in the wrong numeric month (I've always mixed up August and September, the 8th and 9th month when having to write the numeric month date.) So I ended up going during the week... Sigh. Still, it was a nice trip! I did a lot of the tourist things, and you can see photos of Portland, OR that I took if you want... I spend Monday and Tuesday nights at the PDX Eagle -- a nice leather bar (even on the week nights!) I got home late Wednesday with enough time to catch up on my snail mail and laundry in order to hop a plane to Denver, CO on Saturday.
Last week, the 22nd of September, I went to Denver, CO. Of course, this was a work trip -- but I got to go to The Wrangler on Saturday night, Sunday Beer Blast and Tuesday night. Of course there are stories from Denver too, but you'll have to ask me in person about those! ;-) (Ask about my jacket and colours being stolen -- it's an interesting story...) Well, I'm now back in Boston and gearing up for a visit from Dave Pike, my mate from Nottingham, England, who will be here on Thursday! We're going to travel all over New England and New York until the 19th of October.
... and people wonder why I haven't had time to update my blog?!? :-)
Want to know what I'm up to next? Check out my online calendar! Perhaps you'll join me -- I still have more trips coming up this year!