Friday, September 1, 1995

Two Contests and a Funeral

(Published in Lavender Lifestyles Magazine, Issue #7, September 1, 1995)

James Jackson
May 20, 1950-August 8, 1995

James Jackson was born in New Orleans, LA. He moved to Minnesota in 1956, where he resided the rest of his life. He is survived by his partner of 12-1/2 years, Dudley; his mother; four sisters; one brother; grandmothers, grandaunts, and many other loving family members. He was interred in a private ceremony on Friday, August 11, with a memorial service on Saturday, August 12. James was an active member of the community, including the Black Guard of Minneapolis, Goodtime Bowling Association, and CDA. He will be missed by all.

“We can face it together,
The way old friends do!”

On the morning of Saturday, August 12, a memorial service was held for Jim Jackson, who died unexpectedly of complications due to AIDS. Members of the leather community joined with members of Jim’s family and many other friends to pay their respects and share memories.

It was a very nice and a very fitting celebration of Jim’s life. The funeral home was filled to capacity. Thom Johnson, who succeeded Jim as president of the Black Guard, was the moderator. Speakers included representatives from Jim’s family, the Goodtime Bowling Association, and the Black Guard. Dudley, Jim’s partner of 12-1/2 years, read the 23rd Psalm. The music was by artists such as Yanni, Garth Brooks, Anita Baker, and Rod Stewart.

The most moving part of the service occurred near the end, when everyone assembled joined with ABBA in singing “Old Friends.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Both at the service and at the reception afterward, it was interesting and heartening to watch the mingling of the various groups in attendance. Family, friends, fellow bowlers, members of the Black Guard and the Atons, and GDI’s all merged into one big group of people who had come together for Jim. I’m sure, somewhere, Jim was very pleased at the goings-on.

Dale Willman wins Minnesota’s Mr. Fantasy

A sweet, gooey, sticky, messy good time was on hand for attendees of Minnesota’s Mr. Fantasy contest, presented by W.I.L.L.O.W. Productions and held at the Gay 90’s on Sunday, August 13. The two contestants, Dale Willman and Master Zoran, went through a revealing private interview with the panel of judges (headed by Corliss Resor) before the start of the event. Things got underway with the Fantasywear and Question-and-Answer events, followed by each contestant performing their fantasy. Interspersed with the judged events were an audience-participation chug-a-lug event and a food fight demonstration by Zoran and two female members of his entourage. The final judged event was the Mystery category, in which the contestants were stripped naked, outfitted in loudly-patterned boxer shorts, and brought onstage along with such culinary-erotic delights as marshmallows, pies, and whipped cream. Both Dale and Zoran proceeded to delight the crowd by doing remarkable things with Twinkies that are not featured in the Hostess advertisements. (As contestant coordinator for the event, I had the pleasure of helping them clean up after it was all over. No, in spite of my legendary sweet tooth, I did not use my tongue.)

While Master Zoran certainly knows how to entertain a crowd (he’s a dancer and performer at Bondage A Go Go—catch his act Thursday nights), the judges awarded Dale Willman the title of Minnesota’s Mr. Fantasy, and the honor of representing Minnesota at . . .

The First-Ever International Mr. Fantasy Contest

Dale was one of ten contestants who traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to try for the title of International Mr. Fantasy. The weekend started on Friday, August 18, with a welcome party at which the contestants and judges were introduced. During the day on Saturday, August 19, the judges interviewed the contestants; there were also workshops, a vendor fair, and a brunch. The show on Saturday evening was a bit long but quite entertaining.

The new International Mr. Fantasy is JD Buchert of Austin, Texas. His fantasy featured the evening’s most impressive prop, a gigantic spider’s web made of rope on a rotating aluminum frame. An interesting fact about both the first runner-up (Bob Michaels of Las Vegas, Nevada) and the second runner-up (Paul Jaques of Oklahoma City): I competed with both of them in last year’s International Mr. Drummer contest in San Francisco.

The next two weeks look uncharacteristically sedate—my calendar shows no scheduled local leather events. So I guess we’ll all have to make our own amusements. Even if you’re not playing nice, remember to play safe.

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