Friday, January 28, 2000

Winter Hibernation? No Way

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #122, January 28, 2000)

PHOTO: The new Leather Archives & Museum home

PHOTO CREDIT: The Leather Archives & Museum

PHOTO: Two guys in uniform


PHOTO CAPTION for both photos: Uniform aficionados will gather in Portland, Oregon Feb. 11-13; The Leather Archives & Museum will celebrate the grand opening of their new home February 17-20.

Up here in the northland, even a mild winter gets tedious. You don’t have to just sleep through it, though. You could travel to Portland, Oregon for Uniform Weekend 2000; Chicago for the grand opening of the Leather Archives & Museum’s new home and the Leatherfest Weekend; New Orleans for Pantheon of Leather and the Olympus Leather Contest; or stay right here for the Black Guard’s Black Frost 23 run. Why hibernate when you could be doing something much more interesting?

Portland Uniform Weekend 2000

Roll Call! Portland, Oregon will be full of cops, soldiers, firefighters and other men and women in uniform during Portland Uniform Weekend VIII, Feb. 11-13. That’s Valentine’s Day weekend, the perfect time for making some romantic connections in Portland, the City of Roses.

Friday starts with a meet & greet followed by a men-only “Clippers” haircutting, shaving and play party. Spend Saturday uniform shopping (various uniform stores will be offering discounts to attendees) before attending the Officer’s Dress Mess Uniform Dinner and the Uniform Party Saturday evening. Sunday, after the Uniform Buffet Brunch, take a tour of the U.S.S. Blueback, the Navy submarine used in the movie The Hunt For Red October. The weekend’s finale is an “At Ease” Dinner Sunday evening.

All this fun could be surprisingly affordable. There is no “run fee” for Portland Uniform Weekend VIII; all events will have a set price, payable at the doors, but the organizers are requesting an RSVP so dinner counts can be arranged. Host hotel is the Cypress Inn in downtown Portland, with rooms for 1-4 people for only $39 a night plus tax. Official travel agent is Darryl Ballini (A Ticket To Travel). For a full schedule and registration information visit the websites of the two producers of this event, IN UNIFORM The Magazine ( and The American Uniform Association ( or send an e-mail to Note that the International Bear Rendezvous takes place in San Francisco the weekend after Portland Uniform Weekend VIII (these bears aren’t hibernating for the winter); since you’re already on the West Coast, why not do both?

Leather Archives & Museum Grand Opening (and Chicago Leatherfest)

The Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M), dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the leather community, started life in Chicago in a 2,400-square-foot storefront, which it quickly outgrew. They are now moved into their new home, a beautiful building of 12,500 square feet that has all the space needed for collections and exhibits for years to come and even includes a small theater/meeting space. Thursday evening, Feb. 17, is the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and opening, followed by a building tour and a reception provided by The Chicago Eagle. The festivities continue all weekend in conjunction with the Cell Block’s Leatherfest Weekend and the leather-star-studded Mr. Cell Block contest (there will be shuttle-bus service between the the LA&M and the Cell Block). Sunday afternoon, from 2 to 4 PM the LA&M will host the Centurion Awards Program, honoring those who “defined, developed, created and cared for” the leather community and leathersex in the twentieth century, as well as highlighting up-and-coming community members and organizations of the 21st century.

This is leather history in the making, folks, and you can be there and be part of it. All these grand-opening events at the LA&M are FREE, but seats for the Sunday-afternoon program must be reserved, are limited and are going fast. For more information write to the Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N. Greenview Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626; call (773) 761-9200; or e-mail And visit the Cell Block’s website at, where you’ll find their splashy bi-monthly newsletter with details on both the LA&M opening events and the Leatherfest Weekend and Mr. Cell Block contest.

Twin Cities: Black Frost 23

If you’d rather stay in the Twin Cities the weekend of Feb. 18-20, you still have time to register for The Black Guard’s Black Frost 23. Here’s a new twist: This run’s show will be a production of an actual show, Howard Crabtree’s “When Pigs Fly” (direct from off-Broadway). I saw it in New York and loved it—I bet you will, too. There will also be great food, games, cocktail parties, bar runs, and an indoor pool and hot tub. Registration deadline is Feb. 7, so hurry. All the details are on the registration form; get one by writing to Run Registration, The Black Guard of Minneapolis, Minneapolis MN.

New Orleans: Pantheon of Leather/Olympus Leather Contest

This weekend features both a men’s and women’s leather contest and what has become known as the “Academy Awards®” of leather, and it all takes place in New Orleans, where the weather is warm and sunny and Mardi Gras is just gettin’ goin’. There will be more about this event next issue, but it’s not too early to make your reservations. For more information visit

Upcoming Leather Events (for Calendar section)

Sunday, January 30

Atons Super Bowl XXXIV Party
5-10 PM, TheTank @ The Saloon
In honor of all those athletes on the playing field, enter the Jock Strap Contest and win $50. Free food, 75-cent tap beer, bootblack on duty, games and door prizes. The heat will be turned way up so be sure to dress down . . . way down. $5 at the door. For more info, call the Atons HotLine.

Saturday, February 12

Atons Leather/Levi Night and Officer Installation
7 PM, Backstage@Bravo, 900 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Drinks and 28th Annual Club Officers’ Installation at 7 PM in the Blue Room (upstairs). Dinner following installation, about 7:45 PM, on the first floor. Please call the Atons HotLine to make reservations.

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