Friday, December 19, 1997

Holiday Potpourri

(Published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #67, December 19, 1997)

In the style of Charles Dickens' ghosts, this column concerns itself with Leather Past, Leather Present, and Leather Future.

Leather Past: Black Guard and Atons host successful events

The Twin Cities leather/SM community has been treated to some exceptional events lately. The Black Guard's recently presented their twenty-first annual Chili Feed, and they showed that after doing it that many times they know how to do it right. This event marked the inauguration of the Tropix back room as a leather space, and it seemed to work very well on most counts. (Parts of their upcoming Black Frost run will be held in the same space; let's hope that by then there's a better sound system available.) Sizzling fantasy entertainment was provided by some very talented leathermen including current Mr. Minnesota Leather Roger Gregg; current Mr. Minnesota Leather Runner-Up Steve Eue; and J. Martin Ellis, current Mr. Southeast Drummer (who has recently relocated to the Twin Cities from Atlanta).

Two weeks later, the Atons held their annual Holiday Fundraiser at the Saloon, and both attendance and food donations were greater than last year's event. Holiday spirit was in abundance as partygoers posed for photos with International Mr. Santa Kevin Cwayna. A raffle collected food and cash benefitting the Aliveness Project, and the door proceeds of approximately $850 were donated to Every Penny Counts.

Leather Present: Greetings of the Season

Two years ago in this column I wrote: "Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or none of the above . . . it doesn't matter what other people think about how you celebrate the holiday. What matters is that it be uplifting and meaningful for you . . . whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate it." That's still my holiday wish for all my readers.

Peter Semotink, 1955-1997

PHOTO: Peter Semotink (self-portrait)

Peter Semotink, a prominent member of the local leather/SM community, died on December 4, 1997. Funeral services, held December 9, were attended by members of the leather/SM community as well as a large number of relatives, friends, and the community at large. Semotink had been struggling with AIDS for several years; his death followed a stroke-induced coma. He was preceded in death by his partner of approximately five years, Tim Newman, who died of complications due to AIDS on December 7, 1994.

Semotink was an active member of the Atons for 10 years; he served two terms as club Treasurer and one term as club President (1993-94). Together with club members, he shepherded the Atons through three successful runs: the Egyptian, the Roman and the Renaissance. He was instrumental in launching the annual Leather Pride celebration as an adjunct to the Twin Cities Festival of Pride. He and Newman were active associate members of the Chicago Hellfire Club.

Born July 8, 1955 in St. Paul, Semotink at an early age discovered an interest in computers and technology; he turned this aptitude into a successful career working for many of the area's largest companies, culminating in a management position with supercomputer-manufacturer Cray Research. He was also an accomplished photographer whose work was seen in, among other places, Drummer Tough Customers #10.

In the words of fellow Aton Sam Carlisle, "Peter was a person who, no matter how difficult his situation was, would find a way to help someone who needed it."

Leather Future: Mark Your Calendar . . .

Jan. 23-24, 1998: Mr. and Ms. Olympus Leather Contest at the Metro Underground. The Olympus Leather Contest showcases a positive image of leather life and represents the entire diverse range of our community, from motorcycle and leather/levi clubs to heavy SM players and everyone in between. Call for contestant, hotel and ticket information. Produced by Back in Black Leather Productions. (Winners represent Minnesota in the Mr./Ms. Olympus Leather Contest in New Orleans February 13-16, 1998.)

February 13-15, 1998: The Black Guard present Black Frost ’98, their 21st annual run, at the Midway Days Inn. All run registrations and requests for information are being handled by phone through The Travel Company. (Ask for the "Black Frost Desk.") VISA and MasterCard accepted! So pick up the phone and register now, and encourage your far-flung friends to do likewise—airfare discounts are 5% until January 10. Rates for the run package itself go up after February 1.

May 29-31, 1998: The Knights of Leather present Knights Tournament 10. The site, a private camp within a 16,000-acre wooded state park, includes cabins with military bunks. Weekend events include workshops, demonstrations, fantasies and a tenth-anniversary Birthday Party! Dungeon space is available all weekend. Bring a new participant and receive a 10% discount on your application fee. Or get early sign-up prices if you register before March 23, 1998. For more information or an application form call or write Knights of Leather, Minneapolis, MN.

No comments:

Post a Comment