Posts Tagged ‘WDC’

A friend posted on Facebook today that she was returning to the Piano. Her quote was wonderful. “THE PIANO – When you truly play, you and the piano become one. And until you play again, it is indeed a temptation and difficult to resist.”

From the time I was a kid I wanted to learn to play the piano. I had a couple of lessons in 7th grade from Sr. St. George but could not get access to a piano to practice and it fell by the wayside. The very first record album I ever bought was Horowitz playing Moonlight Sonata. It was a RCA recording from 1956. I still have that album. I used to lay across my bed and listen to it over and over. While other friends were learning the chords to Smoke on the Water I was listening to every nuance and variation in the music. VLADIMIR HOROWITZ was sent from the gods. His hands touched the keys and the angles would weep in shame. I so wanted to become one with an instrument in such a way that the sounds coming forth would make the world stop and take notice. I just never had a piano or the discipline to follow that path.

In my 20’s I had the opportunity to sit on a piano bench with Horowitz at the Ritz Carlton off DuPont Circle in Washington DC. Horowitz had just returned from a trip back to Moscow for his now famous concert and the Reagan people wanted to capitalize on it as some kind of US vs. USSR battle won by the good guys. In 1986, Horowitz announced that he would return to the Soviet Union for the first time since 1925 to give recitals in Moscow and Leningrad. In the new atmosphere of communication and understanding between the USSR and the USA, these concerts were seen as events of political, as well as musical, significance.

I mentioned the story about Horowitz being the first album I ever purchased and apparently she mentioned it to Vladimir. When he came out to warm up the piano and check its’ tuning he invited me to sit with him. He didn’t have to ask twice. I sat with him while he warmed up the most beautiful piano I had ever touched. As I watched his hands fly across the keyboard I realized I would never have that skill and all but gave up any dream of ever learning to play.

Vladimir Horowitz and David Schauer

Vladimir Horowitz and Me

After the dinner there was a receiving line that included Horowitz, Senator Paul Laxalt, Justices Warren Berger and Renquest, and Secretary George Schultz to name a few. As the guests were winding through the line and after-dinner drinks were being served, Horowitz bolted from the line asking “where’s that kid?” He came back into the dining room and found me. The confusion on the host face and the elite of Washington who had just been abandoned was priceless. Horowitz had tracked me down to ask if I had all his CD’s (A new fade in those days). I responded that I did not that I could not afford them all. He asked if I went to New York often to which I answered in the affirmative. He told me that next time I was in the city to call him and he would give the rest. He asked if I knew where he lived. I said you’re so famous like that John Lennon guy everyone in the city would know. And I’d ask when I got there. He retorted “Smart-ass” and then printed out his address and phone number.

On my next trip to NY I stopped by but he was napping. I had tea with his wife Wanda who gave me several CD’s. She told me that he was so excited to find someone at one of those parties who actually appreciated his work and not his fame that he actually talked about meeting me for several days. I couldn’t stop telling my friends who responded with a collective Vladimir who? By the time I made a trip to the City after that he has passed away.

Several years ago I purchased a baby grand with hopes of taking lessons and rekindling that love affair but every time I sat down to learn I psyched myself out by comparing myself to Horowitz.

Once again I have decided to try to learn. First step is to have it tuned. Then focus. The piano still calls to me and intimidates me at the same time.

July 2012, Washington DC is hosting the International Conference on AIDS. The Names Project Foundation, which takes care of all the Quilt Panels is trying to ‘blanket DC’ with all the Quilt Panels. The Quilt has been to DC in 1987, 88, 89, 92 and 1996. Some of the Quilt were included in President Clinton’s Inauguration Parade. The Quilt was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. It is the single largest community project in the World to this day.

The Quilt continues to grow as HIV/AIDS takes more lives. The Quilt now has over 47,000+ panels, weighs over 54 tons and has over 92,000+ names listed. Some famous names include: Arthur Ashe, Eazy E (rapper), Perry Ellis, Rock Hudson, Richard Hunt (muppeteer), Liberace, Freddie Mercury, Tim Richmond (Nascar), Robert Reed (Brady Bunch), Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Max Robinson (ABC News anchor), Jerry Smith (Redskin Football player), Ricky Wilson (B-52 band), Ryan White, Rudolf Nureyev, just to name a few…

According to POZ magazine, the  AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed in its entirety for the first time since 1996 in multiple key locations on and around Capitol Hill and throughout metropolitan Washington, DC. from July 21-24.

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt is a 1989 documentary film that tells the story of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman with a musical score written and performed by Bobby McFerrin, the film focuses on several people who are represented by panels in the Quilt, combining personal reminiscences with archive footage of the subjects, along with footage of various politicians, health professionals and other people with AIDS.  One of those focused in the film was an ex of mine Tracy Torrey. Part of me want to go to DC to see the quilt, but after all this time and all those deaths and all those funerals, not sure I could handle it.  One of those focused in the film was an ex of mine Tracy Torrey. Part of me want to go to DC to see the quilt, but after all this time and all those deaths and all those funerals, not sure I could handle it.

Ritchie Coliseum

This weekend in Annapolis is one of my favorite events. University of Maryland vs. Navy Wrestling. When I was an undergraduate I attended the University of Maryland. My Fraternity House, Sigma Alpha Mu was directly next to Ritchie Coliseum. Ritchie was a smaller gym on campus and housed a Gym and the dorm rooms of the Wrestling team. After an incredibly bad snow storm on year the snow drifts between our hours and Ritchie were about 20 feet deep. This inspired the Wrestlers to dive out their windows into the drifts,

Ritchie Coliseum and 2 Fraternity Row

Unfortunately one of them landed in dumpster hitting his head and passing out. It took almost an hour for crews to dig him out. They were pretty but not very smart. Anyway this weekend is the annual match up between the Naval Academy boys and the Maryland Terps. God I love to go to that match. The men’s room that day was more active than a bath house in San Francisco in the ‘70’s. I hope to dig up a few pictures after this weekend but here are some of this years’ Navy Men and Terps.

It was always tough for me to decide who to root for. The boys next door or the boys in blue.

 

 

 

 

I the the face after penetration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week I posted what I thought would be a cute innocuous blurb about Christmas. It simply said that “December 25: That awkward day when God is reminded that He slept with His own mother to conceive Himself!”

I thought it was cute but by reading some of the responses, you would think that I attacked the Holy Mother Church during the height of the Inquisition. People were responding about the bible saying this and that and others were urging me to stop my attacks on Christians especially at this time of year. I finally responded back by saying that these people had no room to speak of attacks. I feel that it needs a bit more explanation of my spiritual journey.

I was raised Catholic. Elementary school, middle school, graduate school and law school. During my time at the University of Maryland, I got sucked into Campus Crusade for Christ and the now infamous “Family” of “C-Street” fame who tried to “Pray the Gay Away”. From early on I questioned Dogma and theology. I asked the nuns in school how god could die on a cross and if he was really dead who raised him, or the salvation of the Indians in America while Jesus was alive in the Middle East, and other scenarios. After years and years of dogma dumped into my head, and developing a self loathing trying to resolve the “gay-issue” I looked to the evangelical movement. During this time I was never able to stop acting on my gayness. I only knew that one had to win over the other.

While I was living in the “Cornerstone House”, a home managed by “The Family” of  Jim Hiskey, Chuck Colson and The Coe’s (Father and sons), I was involved with Campus Crusade for Crist. After talking to the director, Dan Mosley, his wife told me point blank that she was; ”going to pray that the lord take me before I had a chance to sin again.” Yes she was going to pray for my death. This caused me even more confusion and anxiety since I was having sex with several of the other men at the house involved at Cornerstone and with “The Family”. I knew that something was very wrong with this situation. The Christians I met were either hateful or hypocrites. Often both. After trying several different types of counseling and often having sex with these counselors I made a clean break.

Once outside this environment I realize more and more how it was like a cult. So many people try to rationalize how to square biblical interpretations and religious doctrine with the reality of their life. I went a different rout. I question the bases of the foundation or their arguments. I looked at the validity of the “New Testament” as the word of god. I saw that the story of god coming to earth, having a son with a mortal woman who was to save the world, has played out time and again. It is the story of Zeus and Hercules. It is the story of Isis and Ra. It could also be the story of Odin and Thor. It is a story that repeats through history. The names change but the themes remain the same. It is in a writing that is done decades or even centuries after events in a time with no hard records. In short, it is a belief system base ancient myths that are reworded and refitted for a different time and period. These are nothing more than stories parents used to frighten their children and that the rich embrace to enslave the poor and keep them under control. Even the bible itself says men are but sheep being lead to the slaughter.

One of my favorite lines recently is that if the US got rid of all atheists, it would lose 93% of the National Academy of Sciences but less than 1% of the prison population. I could live with that. I would like to live someplace sane! As we get more into the Christmas season the evangelicals complain about this fictions war on Christmas is destroying the holiday. That somehow stopping government from sapling nativity sets on public land is a slap at Christmas. Or using Happy Holidays is destroying the institution. I would simply say that before they worry about keeping Christ in Xmas, they should try putting him in their religion first.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

That was never more evident that during the beginning of the AIDS crisis. Instead of helping the sick and dying, the Christians were advocating a roundup and death camps for people with AIDS. Instead of caring for the sick, the Catholic Church in Washington DC ordered an AIDS support group in their parish to cease and desist using the church basement for meeting. Jerry Farwell declared AIDS “God’s wrath on homosexuals. Christians used AIDS to justify hatred and fear of gays instead of caring for the sick and dying. Indeed and thought and action, the Christians were very un-christ like. It was not until the early 1990’s, some 45,000 deaths later, that the mainstream churches began actually helping instead of demonizing. That is unforgivable.

I have no need for a life based on mythos and I have no room in my heart for forgiveness. That is my position on Christians.

One of the guilty pleasure’s of living on Capitol Hill in Washington DC was the endless supply of new meat. I had a good camera with a nice telephoto lens and was always taking pictures on the Mall of tourist and locals at work and play.

I was caught once by a marine taking pictures and so I explained I was working on a portfolio so I could apply for a job with the Washington Post or a magazine. Well instead of being upset, he asked if I would be interested in taking pictures of him and his motorcycle. Over the next few months I shot roll after roll of him and his buddies. As I find them, if there is interest, I will post them. Until then…..

Regular blogging will return Monday. Family in town and cooking dinner here.

NOTE: IF SEX MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE

When I was 16, I made my way to DC on a night away from my parents house out in Southern Maryland. My parents moved out of DC after the riots in what has often been referred to as “white flight”. In 1977, there was no “gay” heading in the yellow pages. I had no clear idea where I was heading. Only that I wanted to explore sex places. I had found the “peep show” sex shops about month prior. Remembering one across the street from the Greyhound Bus station on New York Avenue. My prior trips had been in daylight or Sundays when I had told my parents I need the car to go to High Mass at the Shrine and then kick around the Smithsonian. I had to throw in the church part to make sure no one would (my brother) want to tag along for a trip to the Mall. This gave me an opportunity to explore the sex shops. At that time they all (that I found) were centered on the New Your Avenue and 14th street area near the bus-stations.

This was a Saturday night. I landed back at the sex shop but it was different now. There were men in there dressed in leather jackets and blue jeans. Not the business suited men of the day trips. These looked the gay guys on TV that were protesting in San Francisco. I think I had spotted a real gay!

After walking though the shop I went back to my car to ponder my options. While sitting there coming up with my options, I noticed the leather jacketed men were walking around the corner. I got out of the car and walked in that direction but had lost them. I waited a little longer and noticed some other men head to a door in what I thought was a bank. These men were wearing leather pants with the front cut out. Kinda like a cowboys but tight and all black. Most important, I did not see any women go in. I think I hit pay-dirt!

Now at that time I was a freshman in college going on 17. It was early fall and I still had my summer tan. Tall, 6”2” blond hair and bright blue eyes. I usually wore blue jeans and a flannel shirt and blue jeans jacket. These guys were dressed like that too. Comfort level 1 reached!

The doorman, big, burly and bearded, asked me for $5 admission. I reached in my pocket, not only to get my wallet, but, to wipe the sweat off my hands. The doorman grabbed my hand to return the change. He then ran his finger along the nails, said “nice” and buzzed me in. I made it !

It was a smallish, dark room with a bar in the middle. I moved over toward the side wall to watch. I wanted to see how they ordered beers just to make sure I did it right. The drinking age in DC at the time was 18 for beer and wine, but I still worried that someone might catch me for being too young. Did I mention the bar was dark. Well the area along the wall was even darker. I did not realize that there was a person right next to me until I felt a hand on my thigh. I froze!

I then felt the hand slide up and down my leg until it then stopped at its goal. A destination with a mind of its’ own that was working despite the overwhelming fear. Freed from confinement it soon felt warm and wet. After a short period of time, I started breathing hard, saw stars, then he walked away. I had scored even before my first drink!. I think I’m going to like this gay bar stuff. The bar eventually moved to a new location on 5thavenue.

This was the second location of the EXILE.

Now abandoned, this was the second location for the Exile. An old poultry processing warehouse.

My stories from this bar are reading for hand job books. I will say for my first year out in bars, I did not know gays dated. I figured we just went to the bar, had sex, and went home. They asked me to leave the first time I went to the Lost and Found. But that’s another story.