Tuesday, April 28, 2009

David's Will

Once I got moved into "The Alamo" Mary XTC moved in down the hall (back from Wichita Falls again), Brooke H across the hall, Frank next door, David at the end of the hall, Paul Haggard (Mary's producer from OK) also moved in. So we all lived up there and watched out for one another. It was a party ongoing. David had a new roommate by this time named Patty. He met her at Toni & Guy. That is where he got a job once he realized he was well enough to work. As the months passed though, David's health deteriorated significantly. He was getting really thin and had a cancer growth in his mouth the size of a walnut. He was real short of breath and had a hard time getting up stairs. I went to the hospital with him a couple of times and met a couple of his doctors. They were really nice and seemed to like him a lot which came as no surprise since everyone loved David. One day on the way home from somewhere David asked if he could talk to me for a minute. So I pulled his car into the back parking lot of our apartment complex and turned off the ignition. He said he didn't want to hurt me but he had something he wanted to tell me. I said, "What is it?" He then told me he didn't know how long he could continue hanging on with his health declining. He said that feeling the way he did was not "living" anyway and that he'd decided that he was going to take his own life. I started crying and thought about trying to talk him out of it. Then I remembered how strong willed he was and just told him I didn't want him to do it. Then he asked if I would go to the Resource Center and sign his Will so that I would get all of his belongings whenever this happened. We went a few days later and he brought it out to the car and I signed it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1989 David Hayes

One day I came home from working at Hasting's to find David on the floor cleaning with a toothbrush. I was so naive that I thought nothing of it. We were living on Routh St in this really nice but small efficiency. I remember it being $450 a month. It was gated on the ground level with a landscaped garden. The floor was white tile throughout. The all black appliances were brand new and the interior was lighted with recessed lighting and was mirrored from floor to ceiling with sliding door closet space behind most of the mirrors. The entry was entirely glass with a sliding door. It also had a murphy bed, the kind that folds up into the wall when not in use. Very cool place. One hot September afternoon, when walking home from the Gay Pride Parade, David brought up the fact that we should be using condoms. I asked why, once again my naivety glaring. He was like, "Well you just never know." I started to get upset because I thought he was saying that I could be a risk for him. Looking back I feel so stupid knowing now that we were taking a risk any way you look at it. Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, right? Over the next few autumn and winter months David became more withdrawn socially and started sleeping a lot. One cold morning on my way to work David and I got into a disagreement and out of anger he put his hand through our bathroom window. He then confessed to being addicted to meth and if that wasn't enough, was shooting it with a needle. I was surprised but not near as concerned as I would be today. (especially knowing the severity of the needle and seeing what it has done to so many people.) At the time though I didn't think it was that big of a thing to overcome. Although his use had become minimal, I'm not sure David was ever able to completely kick it. One summer afternoon I had returned to the dark, lonely apartment that we had to move into because of David's inability to work. It was on McKinney Ave. One bedroom with a crazy land lady. I walked into the bedroom to find David crying in the dark. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he had been to the doctor. I kept asking him what the doctor said but he just kept crying. Finally I said, "Is it HIV?" He cried harder. Then I started crying and left the apartment for a walk down the street. I called my parents from a pay phone, not to tell them but just to talk to someone that could make me feel normal for a minute. When they answered the phone they said things weren't so good there. One of my childhood dogs, Foxy, was dead of old age. Not too long after that I remember my other childhood dog, Fancy, had passed as well. I felt like my whole world was falling apart and it was. I had no money, hated my job at Hasting's in Valley View Mall, had no car, my dog died and my boyfriend has AIDS. Knowing that I was probably HIV positive as well was so overwhelming to me and more frightening than anything that had ever happened to me. I thought, "Great, thanks GOD, I knew you were never there anyway." I wanted to be mad at David as well but somehow, even then, I knew it wasn't his fault. He no more wanted this for himself than I did and I knew his guilt was eating at him because of things he would do and say like on Gay Pride day on our walk home. I loved him still and wanted to be there for him but the whole thing was getting over my head emotionally. I didn't know how to cope with it all so after about a month we agreed to move apart. I moved in with Frank at his parents house in NE Dallas for a few weeks. This was when we started going out every night to escape the depression of what I had been through and avoid the reality of what could lie ahead. Eventually I moved into a small efficiency on Douglas which everybody called The Alamo because it looked so similar. It used to be a living quarters for women studying to be nurses at Parkland. It had 2 floors with 10 efficiencies on each. I lived on the second floor with Frank, who wasn't my roommate anymore but may have well been as much as he stayed there. I quit Hasting's and started working at RAPS 5 days a week. I still worked at Oak Lawn Records a couple of days a week as well. Craig Bell and I started going to the gym 4 times a week and hanging out a lot as well. He introduced me to a lot of people and that helped keep my mind off of my deepest fears. Was this it for me? Moving to Dallas to meet someone as awesome as David only to find out he is dying? Am I gonna get sick and die this way too? I need to get tested but I'm AFRAID!

Monday, April 20, 2009

1988

After leaving Penny's and the sales world I was so much happier. I got my old job back at Big Daddy's by calling up Ric Herrington, the manager/head dj/bartender, of Daddy's. I told him what happened and he was nice enough to let me come back. Shortly thereafter Jammie and I broke up because he was seeing someone else. A guy named Jeff T. I moved out of the Holly Hill apartment and reluctantly back in with Kurt.
I had been talking to Mary Kehoe (aka Mary XTC pictured left) on the phone one night and she was talking about moving to Dallas. She was living in Las Vegas and hating it. I talked to Kurt and Craig about her and her writing and performing music and they were so cool. They were like, "Get her down here." "She can live here for a while until ya'll can get your own apartment." So she did. While at Kurt's one night we were listening to Mary play her keyboards and all her ideas for songs. This one song she was playing around with sounded so much like Divine's Native Love. She had a lot of the words down but Kurt started adding lyrics, as did Mary and I. Before we knew it we had a song written. Mary and I were going out A LOT and getting connections through the clubs. She started getting gigs to perform almost immediately. She performed (with Frank Meador and Russ Brouse as dancers) under the name Mary and the Acid Queens or MXTC. They performed at Adam Hats, Below Xero, The Wave, Institute, Industry and others I can't recall. (pictured: a flier with Mary as featured live act and Frank Meador with Mary in the background performing at Below Xero circa 1988.) Then Oak Lawn Records called Mary to record her first single. We went in the studio for two days and got a great performance out of Mary. Unfortunately as music and the music business was getting more and more unpredictable the song ended up never seeing the light of day. This, I think, jaded Mary quite a bit and basically ended her recording career before it actually got started. Today she is a manager of a major hotel chain's event production staff. She has been there for years and does very well. Mary continues to DJ on occasion and something tells me we'll be hearing from her musically again soon.
Mary and I had moved out of Kurt's and in together around this time. We lived at the Tecali apts on Cedar Springs. We were clubbers in every sense of the word. At one point Frank and I had a schedule and I still remember it.
Mondays - The Wave (Amateur Talent Night w/ Sweet Savage and Valerie Lohr) This is one of the places we would go see Obsession perform and appaud as loud as possible for her to win. She was one of the best performers I've ever seen still to this date. Her mixes were self made pause button extravaganzas with on point timing and hard to find acapellas. Always a treat to see and hear Obsession.
Tuesdays - Village Station (Amateur Talent w/ Donna Day) Another place we went to support Obsession. Alternatively Crews Inn was always a big Tuesday crowd.
Wednesdays - The Wave (Club Night I actually started with new music and a predominately Deep Ellum art crowd.) After I got this one started and it became really successful I was moved over to RAPS (The sister club with black gay crowd) RAPS ended up being one of my favorite gigs where I met some awesome people like Latina McIntire, Danielle Winters, Camille Lamour, Demorris, Betty Neal, Nicki Foster, Iroc, Racine Scott, Stephanie Mills, Anita & Sweet Pussy Pauline.
Thursdays - Fish Dance with DJ Rob Vaughan
Fridays - Primitive at Clearview (hosted by David and Brookes with DJ GoGo Mike.)
Saturdays - Prizm, Institute, One, Industry or wherever else was happening.
Sundays - RAPS (Sunday Show where I played for a year and a half. Black gay crowd was awesome and like a close knit family. One night Frank and I got so drunk we ended up passing out at Camilles. She and "the girls" took care of us and even invited us to stay for their cookout. We stayed and ate and had a great time.
(Pic: Me and Bob the sound and light pro at the Wave Summer 1988.)

After about 6 months of living with Mary she was having financial problems and had to move home for a while. I moved into the back part of the Tecali into a smaller apt by myself. I started working at Hastings as an assistant manager. This was actually the time between Big Daddy's and DJing for the Wave/RAPS. One night in the Summer of 1988 I went out to the yearly party Razzle Dazzle Dallas. It was being held at Fair Park and I think I had a free ticket. Seems like I was roaming around looking at boys with Craig and getting pretty drunk. As I remember I locked eyes with this extremely hot guy with sky blue eyes. We walked passed each other and both of us stopped and turned and walked back and spoke and introduced ourselves. His name was David Hayes. He and I instantly hit it off and, although I didn't know it yet, David would teach me more about life than anyone had taught me since my parents. The next few years were the hardest to endure but made me a better person in the long run. The excitement of being with David was intoxicating. He was so sexy and fun and all about me. I was having the time of my life but life's lessons were lurking around the bend. David Hayes was about to change the course of my life in ways that I could have never imagined. (Pic: me and David Patrick Hayes at Kurt's place. He and Craig were having a party. Maybe 4th of July or someone's going away party. Not sure which. Summer 1988)

Friday, April 10, 2009

1985-87 First Heartbreak, Graduation and the move to Dallas


During the summer of my Sophomore year Jamey broke up with me. I was completely surprised and hurt by his announcement. I went home heartbroken and cried to Momma and she told me it would pass. It did. Later I heard from a few people that Jamey never saw anyone longer than 6 months. We saw each other about 6 months. Ironically the day we broke up was the same day I realized how difficult mixing music was going to be. I had purchased a mixer a couple of days prior from radio shack and until I got it home and started "trying" to use it, I actually thought that the mixer "mixed" the music for you. After all it was called a mixer wasn't it? Boy was I disappointed. When I realized I was going to have to listen to two songs at the same time AND figure out which one was going faster or slower AND make that + or - adjustment AND keep the record from skipping (ALL AT THE SAME TIME) I was so upset. It was Jamey that taught me so much about dance music and told me I should look into being a DJ. He gave me a lot of records out of his collection that I really loved. I have kept them all these years. My first Lime record was from Jamey, Your Love. He also gave me a 12" single of Loverboy by Billy Ocean that has his handwritten message on the inside sleeve that read, "For my Loverboy..."
By my Junior year in high school I was starting to have some fun.  Dad gave me his light beige 1977 Cutlass Supreme. It was kept in top condition (of course it was, belonging to my Dad) He always kept our cars (and yard) looking awesome. He has restored old cars since I can remember and has a mountain of trophies to prove it. I also noticed a few years back in my parents hallway, a plaque for the best kept yard in their neighborhood. I started going out downtown to the Rose. The Rose was a dive gay bar in Wichita Falls (the only kind they had back then) that usually played a jukebox. I met these two kids Mary (later to become Mary XTC) and Robert Taylor. We used to bug the owner of the Rose to let us DJ there. One weekend we dropped in and there was a DJ spinning. It was on a Saturday night and it was noticeably more crowded. The DJ was Wes Brown. I knew of him because he had also gone to Rider High and had graduated a couple of years previous. He played "I Know I'm Losing You" by Uptown and a couple of Dead Or Alive remixes which we loved. We met all these people we had never seen before. We were so impressed with the Rose bar after that and I think all three of us played there, as well as The Pub, before we left Wichita Falls. (by 1985 there actually were two gay bars in lil ol WFT pop. 100,000)
Now having wheels I started making trips to Dallas to Oak Lawn Records to buy records and to go out to the clubs (If we could get in). One weekend Mary XTC, Robert Taylor, new BF Jammie Palmer and I went to Dallas. We somehow got into Baby's and were awestruck by a huge video screen playing Dead or Alive's My Heart Goes Bang.

We were a foursome that often went on weekend trips to Dallas or Oklahoma City. Both being almost equal distance from Wichita Falls and had fun places to go out. Once while in Oklahoma City there had been a hate crime so the clubs were on alert and you had to either get inside a club or leave. There was no hanging outside. Helicopters circled above the area. We decided to go to the Wreck Room but Mary XTC couldn't get in for some reason so we were pissed. Mary got into the car and started undressing. She was laughing and ripping her clothes off and yelling,"Pull up in front of the club." "I am gonna let them have it!" So we pull up right in front of the Wreck Room. Mary gets out in a full length black coat and is yelling, "Hey!" "Haaaayyyeee!" "Over here." Everyone waiting to get into the club and the security guard look over at her and she says,"Can I come in like this?" At that time she drops the coat and exposes her naked body. We were yelling at her to get into the car but she just stood there for what seemed like forever. Finally she gets in giggling and we squealed the tires on that rental car getting out of there. We laughed all the way back to Wichita Falls.
I also made frequent trips to Comanche, OK to see Jammie. He was cute and my age and drove a blue 1980 Toronado. He knew everything about that car and could fix anything that went wrong with it. We were BF's from my senior year in high school until about 3 months after moving to Dallas in 1987.
Although I don't remember much of it I graduated at the end of May 1986. That weekend Jammie and I moved into a rent house about 2 miles from my parents house. Moving the last load with my Dad we both cried about me leaving home. Monday it was back to work at Texcolor Inc. where I had worked since I was 16. Jammie got a job at Gibsons and a job at the Girls Club where he taught and was a babysitter of sorts. By the end of Summer 1986 we were getting bored with Wichita Falls and each other.
Near the end of 1986 I had become friends with Oak Lawn Records employee, Craig Bell. Our friendship developed over the phone during my frequent calls to the store while ordering records. We went down to Dallas to meet Craig and his partner Kurt Specht. From the first day we met them Craig was sure we belonged in Dallas. After weeks of phone calls and a few visits we accepted an invitation to move to Dallas and live in Kurt's home until we got on our feet. Kurt was really cool about it and assured us it wouldn't be a problem. Jammie and I leased out the house we had just bought together and quit our jobs. We drove down with both cars packed full of records and clothes. My brown 1980 280zx was practically dragging tailpipe. We got there on a hot night late in August 1987. We unpacked our cars into one of the extra rooms of Kurt's 3 bedroom house. It was an awesome house with a pool and granite floors. We got up the next morning and started job hunting. Jammie ended up at Neimans at the Mermaid Bar and I ended up (with the help of Oak Lawn Records and Craig) with a DJ job at Big Daddy's and (eventually) a day job at Oak Lawn Records. Big Daddy's was a new video bar on Cedar Springs next to the Village Station. Most nights while I worked until 2am Jammie would go out to Village and flirt and meet guys. After being at Big Daddy's for a few months Jammie and I got into an argument and he gave me a choice of working at Big Daddy's as a DJ or being with him. Being the naive 19 year old I chose Jammie and ultimately ended up at JC Penny's in the housewares dept. Fierce!
By this time Jammie and I had moved out of Kurt's and into an apartment around Park Lane and Greenville on Holly Hill. One night while driving home I got pulled over on Park Lane. It turned out I had a warrant out for my arrest for a speeding ticket I had received a few months prior. I ended up in the Dallas County Jail for about 6 hours. At about 2am I was released. Sherry Seipel, the door girl at Empire, and Jammie got me out. I guess Jammie called Sherry and she called the attorney that represented Empire and he bonded me out. That short experience in jail was enough to keep me from ever going back and I don't intend on ever returning!
The longer I worked at Penny's, the more out of my element I felt, the rules, dress code and most of the people there were getting under my skin. The manager of the linens department, which is where I was put after the rush of Christmas was over, was a grade A bitch. She looked like a monkey and walked heavy on her heels. One evening she chewed me out for wearing a sweater instead of a jacket. Later as she came stomping by I happened to be on the phone. She stopped, stared and then went about her business. On her way back through my department she told me to stay off the phone. She didn't even ask who I was talking to. She had no idea whether it was a customer or a personal call. She had the rudest tone for someone I had only spoken to like 3 or 4 times the entire 3 months I had been working there. It pissed me off so I told her to go f*** herself.  I was followed out of the store by 0099dana which is security at JC Penny's. I did end up missing this one lady there that I often had lunch with though. Her name was Dottie Fairfield. She was a very well dressed red headed lady probably in her late 50's. I wonder what happened to Dottie?