It could have been a little cooler on Saturday at Edgewater days; luckily the Gerber/Hart Library was there for a break from the sun. I wasn't there for long, so I didn't get to see 1/2 Mad Poet, Scott Free and some of the other entertainment. I heard Crash Test Dummies were playing too.
However, a friend told me the main event of the day was in the petting zoo when a goat gave birth to two babies. Apparently, the babies were taken away from her, but, as my friend put it, "She wasn't having it." Mom wanted her babies back and kicked up a big fuss until she was reunited. You go girl!!
The thing I noticed about Edgewater Days was how gay it was. We keep hearing about the gay community moving north and here was the proof of it. The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce really are our "friendly neighbors to the North."
Different Strokes ( above ) and Different Folks ( right, at Gerber/Hart's Edgewater booth ) .
Sitting in the VIP box in Man's Country and looking down onto the stage, I thought about all the visitors who had sat there before me. I suppose most people go to Man's Country to use the facilities, but I'm fascinated by the history of the place.
This was my third visit; twice to photograph the dancers and once when I was given a tour of the building by Chuck Renslow.
This trip was for taking photos, but most of the dancers were either too shy, or under contract with somebody or other. So I only photographed one in the end. However, the eastern European guy with the accent was very cute. No, I'm not going to mention his name. No picture, no name in the paper, sweetheart.
I was standing at the back of the hall and some screaming little queen with tattoos was flapping around me, "Sukie, Sukie," and then she accidentally dropped her towel ... Oh my! Some guys have all the luck.
When I was leaving Man's Country I bumped into Chuck who took me into his office to show me something. I know that 99.9999 percent of you don't give two shits about this, but I was ecstatic. A lot of the guys and gals who read Chicago Whispers remember a gay bar in the early '70s called Ruthie's. "They were famous for their blue neon sign in the window," said Chuck, then he pointed to the wall. He's got the original sign from Ruthie's. When they were pulling the building down, Chuck bought it for $5.
I was the biggest Lolita's fan and was mighty pissed when that bar closed down earlier this year. Then I saw Viviana, one of the stars there, at this year's Pride Parade. She told me about a new bar called the Banana Tunnel Club at 741 S. Western.
So Israel Wright, Simplesse Del Rio and I headed south last week. 1st Shock: Tons of street parking. 2nd Shock: Nice quiet safe neighborhood. 3rd Shock: You will not believe this place. It's cavernous and stunning. Just beautiful. It looks like they gutted the building and rebuilt the interior.
Of course, Ms. Del Rio and I walked into the bar and fell deeply in lust with just about every man there. Two sad old queens muttering at the table ... "Oh my god, look at that one over there" ... "Oh no, look at that one over there. I'm leaking, I swear I'm leaking ... "
I don't care what you say, there is nothing more beautiful in this world than watching two Latino men dancing together. There were two guys on the dancefloor and I thought ... "That's what being gay is all about. That's it, right there. It's not about same-sex marriage, it's not about Pride Parades, it's not about civil rights ... it's not about the bullshit we have to go through every day to squeeze some basic human decency out of politicians and church leaders ...
... Being gay is about two Latino men dancing at the Banana Tunnel Bar."
Of course, it almost goes without saying, the show was fabulous; what else would it be with Miss Ketty at the helm.
My Spanish is non-existent, so Ms. Del Rio...who took Spanish lessons on her knees ...had to help me out by explaining what was going on. At one point Miss Ketty was having a dance contest between the Mexicans in the bar and the Puerto Ricans. I think the Mexicans won that night.
And Viviana is just gorgeous.
Wacky Web of the Week is from Jason ... again! I have no idea what's going on with this one. Go visit www.threebrain.com/weeeeee.html
And here's one about the history of toilets from Mookie.
Upcoming events: I'm hosting a huge porn sale at Touche's for the Gerber/Hart Library. Starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10. Bring along your old porn and donate it for re-sale. Let's party on Aug. 10.
Tickets to see Patti Lupone at Ravinia are still available from Chicago Gay Tours at $25. Phone 773-416-4673 for more details.