Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Blast From the Past...

     So… yesterday, while dirt digging, I tried to think of something to blog about today. There are a few things I’d like to pass along to y’all, but I also wanted something funny. I think we all need something to at laugh about now.

     A little story about my friend Alan…
     I’ve known Alan most of my life. He’s been a constant source of fun and entertainment as well as a great support person. He was always there when I needed him, but for now, I want to tell you about a time when I laughed so hard I actually peed my pants.
     Picture it… (I feel like Sofia from the Golden Girls) Atlanta 1981. It was hotter than hades, and the weekend of the Hotlanta Raft race. It was a weekend of hot gay men, hot weather and hot times.
On the River

     Note: This was how Atlanta got the nickname Hotlanta. It was the gay mecca for gay men and there was no hotter place in the country that Hotlanta during raft race weekend.
     Well, Alan being his true fun self, decided that a little MDA would be a good idea to keep things moving along. That was his drug of choice back then. Don’t judge. It was the time of drugs, sex and disco! He and a bunch of friends had gone all out doing their little decorating bit for their raft. Alan was more of the engineer than decorator. He is the one gay man I know who never got past Gay 101. He couldn’t identify a color to save his poor little gay heart. I swear, he couldn’t tell the difference between white and antique cream if his life depended on it. It’s been an ongoing joke for years.
     The big event was Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to work lunch that day, and yes I did try to get out of it. But it was either take off Saturday and do the race or work Sunday, and I knew I’d be in no condition to work the day after the big parties going on, so I suffered and worked Saturday lunch. Oh, and saved myself from having to buy sunscreen.
     Party… Party… Party…
     Back in the ‘80’s, it was party till you dropped or a hot man dropped his pants. Okay, that may have happened, and then you went back to the party afterwards. That is the way Alan saw it, as did so many others. I caught up with him and a few other friends around 2 a.m. at the Cove, a.k.a., the Cave.
     It was a gay bar in Atlanta that never closed. It was one of the few that had been grandfathered in, and on weekends like this one… it was packed to the gills. There were different sections in the massive building. A game room, a more quiet bar area and a huge dance floor. Because Atlanta is so flippin’ hot in the summer, they divided up those section and the doorways were covered in those thick plastic strip curtain type things. You know what I’m talking about: those things that are normally used in front of walk-in coolers when the doors are left open.
     Anyway, Alan, who’d been in town since Friday afternoon, hadn’t slept, which wasn’t that uncommon whenever he was in town. But here he was, early Sunday morning and he was in rare form. Okay, it wasn’t all that rare for him back in those days. To say that he wasn’t sober would be a major understatement. Alan was making his way back in from the outdoor patio… I happen to know what or who he was doing out there, but on his way back to the dance bar, he missed the doorway completely. How he did that I still don’t know, but he did, twice.
No, this isn't Alan.

     Alan missed that doorway be at least two feet. He bounced off the wall and fell on his ass. Being the typical good Southern raised man, he got up, dusted off his rear and adjusted his shirt, had he had one on. It took him a few minutes to realize that he wasn’t wearing one. Hell, the only thing he had on was a pair of daisy duke cutoffs that were so short his nuts were constantly falling out. It was rather funny to watch him push them back up whenever he had to leave wherever we happened to be. It was the look on his face as he struggled to put himself back together that was the icing on the cake. It was even funnier when he attempted to go through the doorway and do the exact same thing all over again. I and a small group of friends from Tennessee stood and watched him do it and laughed our asses off. The second time, when he’d finally gotten himself put together, as much as he could I guess, flipped us the bird and finally got through the door.
     Later that day, sometime after one in the afternoon, post brunch, I saw my friends off to make the four hour drive home to Knoxvegas. It was another epic weekend. Alan was in the backseat of that blue Volvo, already asleep with a thread of drool hanging off his chin and a big smiled plastered on his face. Yep, he’d had another great time in Hotlanta.
Backstreet Atlanta, another Party Central Location

     I have so many good memories of Alan and the rest of my friends from those happy days. Days before AIDS took most of them. How he and I survived is a real miracle. I may have to share more memories of him and our adventures another time.
     Oh yeah…
     Ooops, I almost forgot. Damn, I have a novella coming out this coming week. Duh, sometimes I really am blonde all the way to the white meat. Yep, A Christmas Memory 3: Home Sweet Home, comes out Tuesday, November 22. For those of you who like to visit the Sutton family this time of year won’t be disappointed. They are all back and doing what they do best: be a family. One of the beta readers I use said he thought this was the best one yet. I hope y’all agree.

     What else…
     TAT and I went and did our shopping for Toys for Tots. We each got some fun stuff. I found these great metal trucks for about $10.00. I got two of them. I think they’d be great for boys. I know I loved ‘em when I was a kid. I also got two Frozen Dolls for the girls. I make a point of doing Toys for Tots each year. I know that they stay local and kids deserve to have a decent Christmas, no matter their circumstances. I hope that everyone will participate in this great cause.
     A note here…
     As you know, I have adopted The Zebra Coalition as my local charity. I still try and keep up with Lost n Found in Atlanta, but I live here now, so I feel I should support a local charity. I have visited their facility and met with their Director and Volunteer Coordinator and I’m pleased to say that I think they are doing a great job. They have their fingers in just about every agency in the area that they can count on for support and to help young gay youth find their way.
     What I noticed while I was there was their pitiful little library. I’m trying to take care of that. With the help from Lynn Schmitz, I’ve begun a book drive for YA books to help them along. The director and I also talked about perhaps getting some gay history type books to put in there, but one step at a time. If you are an author who has a YA book, please contact me if you would like to donate. If you are a reader and have a favorite author, please ask them to send some of their work my way. I think that books that are a positive reinforcement to our gay youth are very important.
     The gift of giving…
     While you’re doing your online holiday shopping this year, why not take the time to sign up for the Amazon Smile program. You can choose from many worthy charities and they benefit from every eligible purchase you make. Every little bit helps ya know.
     And while I’m at it…
     If you want to help The Zebra Coalition, you can pick something from their wish list. If you’ve designated them as your prime charity, you may need to click on their name to get the list to come up. I think they may have put their list in the wrong spot, but you can still see what they have listed. There are things there for as little as $10.00 on up, but most under $20.00.
     One of the things that I really like about this program is that they give kids a place to gather and hang out after school. Almost every day of the week they open their doors and these gay youth gather to talk, watch TV, play video games and just basically be kids. It is a safe place for them, which is a major thing in my book. They really do like the snacks and drinks that they have on their wish list.
     Now I need to get my big butt in gear and see if I can’t get a little more writing done before I head out to play in the dirt. I’ve really been on a good writing jag lately and I’d like to keep that momentum going. But before I go… you know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? Yep. Go get you some of them good Karma Coins. Do something nice for someone else today. Sometimes it doesn’t cost a thing!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

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