Friday, December 28, 2001


(Item for “Whatever!” column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #172, December 28, 2001)

How much have things changed since Sept. 11? Enough that this year’s Ballet of the Dolls Nutcracker (Not So) Suite, while still outrageous and campy, included two red-white-and-blue patriotic segments. A rousing march/ballet choreographed to “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was followed by a second ballet number accompanied by Whitney Houston singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The Dolls were completely and appropriately respectful, which seemed to take many members of the audience by surprise—the night we were there, choreographer Myron Johnson had to gently remind the audience to stand for the playing of the national anthem.

Atons Holiday Fundraiser

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #172, December 28, 2001)

On December 9 there was holiday spirit in abundance as The Saloon hosted the Atons’ third annual Holiday Fundraiser and Silent Auction. Over 50 items were auctioned off including leatherwear, rubberwear, toys, original art, books, collectibles, and gift certificates to local businesses.

Leather barber Vince spent the evening cutting hair and two bootblacks spent the evening shining boots. Once the hair was cut and the boots were shined, one could have one’s picture taken with Leather Santa (Saloon manager Walter McLean) by Portfolio Studios. Videographer Chrys Zaglifa documented it all with on-camera help from Lavender editor Timothy Lee.

Over 700 lbs. of food were collected for the Aliveness Project’s Holiday Basket program, while donations at the door and auction proceeds raised over $3,750, again for the benefit of the Aliveness Project.

PHOTO ATFX-01, ATFX-02: Lavender editor Timothy Lee, left, was the roving on-camera reporter helping Chrys Zaglifa, right, videotape the event.

PHOTO ATFX-03: Atons member Paul Rozendaal gives Atons president Sam Carlisle a big bear hug.

PHOTO ATFX-04: Some of the silent-auction merchandise.

PHOTO ATFX-05, ATFX-06: Left to right: Toby Trevis, Mark Hall and Frank Bohlander.

PHOTO ATFX-07: Left to right: Atons members B.D. Chambers, Brian Spence, Tom Burger and president Sam Carlisle. Spence’s shirt reads “Be Naughty—Save Santa the Trip.”

PHOTO ATFX-08: Bootblack David Page polishes Sherman Ford’s boots.

PHOTO ATFX-09, ATFX-10: Paul Honigs, right, gets a trim from leather barber Vince, left.

PHOTO ATFX-13: Joy and Michelle—some of their best friends are leathermen and leatherwomen.

PHOTO ATFX-16: Left to right: Mike Welton and Atons members Jim Courtney and Mark Ludwig.

PHOTO ATFX-17: Some of the food collected for the Aliveness Project.

PHOTO ATFX-21: Members of the Black Guard of Minneapolis. Left to right: (unidentified), Tom Weiland, Black Guard president Ric Stokes, Mike Delorme, Bruce Gohr, Pat Duffy.

PHOTO ATFX-22: Russ Helbig, right, gets a bootshine from bootblack Brian Preston, left.

SANTA WALTER.TIF: This year’s Leather Santa was Saloon manager Walter McLean.

Friday, December 14, 2001

Leather Carols

(Leather Life column published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #171, December 14, 2001)

As the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” What would the holidays be without Christmas carols? And what would they be without Christmas carol parodies circling the globe, riding on an e-mail sleigh and delivering mirth and joy to millions of good little girls and boys?

But although I’ve seen versions of Christmas carols (and rewrites of “The Night Before Christmas,” too) that could be termed bawdy and/or lewd, I’ve never seen any leather Christmas carols. So, in the spirit of the season, I have written some and present them here for your holiday entertainment.

Master Claus is Coming to Town

Get ready to groan, get ready to sigh
Get ready to moan, I’m telling you why
Master Claus is coming to town.

With little tin cuffs, little toy clips,
Flogger-tog-togs and whippie-tip-tips,
Master Claus is coming to town.

He knows what you’ve been craving
And how much you can take.
He knows sometimes what’s bad is good,
And he’s good—for goodness sake!

So, you’re gonna be black, gonna be blue
Gonna be flying when Santa is through,
Master Claus is coming to town!

I Saw Mommy Topping Santa Claus

I saw Mommy topping Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night
She took off his red suit
And said, “Gee, you sure look cute!”
And then she got him warmed up
With a flogger made of jute.
Then I saw Mommy paddle Santa Claus,
Swatting at his butt so snowy white.
Oh what a shame Dad didn’t see
(He would have watched with glee)
Mommy topping Santa Claus last night!

Santa Daddy

Santa Daddy
Slip some leather under the tree
For me
Like a jacket and chaps, Santa Daddy,
And hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa Daddy
Something that will show off my chest—
A vest!
I’d just think you’re the best! Santa Daddy,
And hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun we’ve had
Think of just how good I’ve been when I’ve been bad
Haven’t I earned a nice return
For all that dungeon fun-time, Dad?

(Of course I have!) Santa Daddy
Forgot to mention one little thing—
A ring!
—I don’t mean for my hand! Santa Daddy,
And hurry down the chimney tonight.

Jingle Bells

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sling!

If you enjoyed these, try creating some of your own—it’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Consider that one of the main symbols of the holiday is your basic Bear-type guy who wears big black leather boots and never goes anywhere without his toybag—and a riding crop to use on Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer. (What exactly do you suppose those “reindeer games” were, anyway?)

Happy Holidays, God Bless Us Every One, and To All A Good Night.

Two Holiday Gift Guide items

for Lavender Magazine Holiday Gift Guide issue

So you want to give a gift of leather to someone, but a) you’re not sure of their size or b) their leather wardrobe is complete and their toybag is bursting at the seams already. Local artist/fashion designer/leathercrafter Sean Doyle ( has the answer: a pair of black leather goblets. The foot and stem feature a gothic-fantasy thorn motif, and the goblet’s leather bowl surrounds a glass insert that holds the libation of your choice. Price: $125 for the pair. For more information visit the website.

Here’s a gift he’ll appreciate all year long: The 2002 South of Market Bare Chest Calendar. Every year, San Francisco’s hottest leathermen compete in a series of contests, with the winners of each contest becoming calendar men for the following year. The calendar is put together by SMMILE, the same folks who present the Folsom Street Fair, and all proceeds benefit San Francisco’s AIDS Emergency Fund and Positive Resource Center. To purchase a calendar (and see a preview of this year’s calendar men) visit or send a check for $20 ($17 plus $3 shipping) to SMMILE, San Francisco CA.