Sunday, October 13, 2019

FAREWELL


The Mistress spent a few hours at the Outfest  today in Philadelphia but only a few hours for brunch and to explore the festival. I quite frankly was emotionally wiped out from Saturday night. Last night was the final night, after 45  years of my home away from home, The Raven Resort.  I can't think of another place that held a candle to this place. Over the years I spent much time their dinning, drinking, soaking up rays at the pool, performing in shows, and have met a lot of swell people. Over the years it has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community, their have been many colorful characters, campy moments, outrageous pool parties, late night dancing, slumber parties....friendships forged, many even met their life partners there, and we have this year lost some good friends and queens. It was a place where all of us in the community could come and get along, old and young, bears, twinks, queens, the trans community, gays, dikes...everybody. The local Grande dame, Pumpkin, twisted my arm to do a number for the final night, one of the numbers I did for lipstick Monday. I also felt it was time to finally hang up the Mistress, with the Raven's closing so it also served as my final performance.  It was Dolly Patron's Hard Candy Christmas, so it took lots of padding and hair and make up. Most of the clan came to see me.  The whole night was rather filled with fun and tears. The Mistress actually called it quits after the number. I went to the legendary Oak Room to listen to a few song tunes with the boys then left. I wanted to remember the place full and vibrant.


Some of the clan this summer
Miss Pumpkin
One never knew who you might see. Over the years, Betty Buckley, Linda Lavin, Sally Kellerman, and Sally Struthers, Nick Adams, Steve Grand, Hope Springs all stopped in when preforming at the playhouse, and no one will forget when Elaine Strich stopped by one night and sang with the guys in the Oak Room. This year saw Alan Cummings popping in one night.
Boy's of summer
Miss Samantha at one of the Trans events.
The wall of the Raven's past.
The beautiful vintage restaurant.
And yes, a portrait of Queen Victoria hangs in the oak room.
After my number I ventured into the Oak Room to listen to a few show tune numbers. The room was packed to the gills. It is also where I started to get torn up, watching all the happy and sad faces at once, all the comradery and sense of community. I wondered where all these older guys will now go and have their night out, as many look forward to this every week. One old gent leaned in to me, in his 80's and said to me, "It's sad isn't? I got choked up. We sat for some time talking, and he regaled his randy youth and time in New York, before retiring here. I have learned a lot from listening to the stories of these older queens...of Fire Island, Stonewall, and Studio 54, and what life was like for us then.  After three more numbers, I decided to retire to my room across the street, with a few close friends for drinks at the room, I don't generally like others seeing me getting upset. It's unusual the Mistress not close down a place!!!
 
On my way out, more hugs and  good show comments and don't hang it ups....as I went out through the dance floor where the last dancing was commencing.  
I could have hung out all night, but I wanted to remember the place still bumpin and jumpin and full of life and vibrancy. I was happy how I left, and with fond memories over the years. Today the stained glass doors are closed. 

Thanks old gal for such  good times over the years.

51 comments:

  1. When you came out, my JAW DROPPED.

    You couldn't have picked a better number, and there wasn't a dry eye in the joint.

    Thanks goodness the dancing commenced.

    It was a good evening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That song always gets to me and I never visited the Raven.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Darling, which one of all those cuties is you? I'm dying to know. What a fun post. Wish I could have been there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the red dress honey, performing.

      Delete
    2. Those are some friends from the clan Walter. The only place in this post I am is in the clip. My ass is covered up for a change!!!!!!

      Delete
    3. @Pearly Gates: That's what I figured. I wanted to make sure.

      @Maddie: Girl, you sure keep me waiting and wanting more. Tease!

      Delete
  4. This made me cry and I've never been anywhere near any place like this, except by reading your blog. You made a wonderful Dolly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's find a corner to cry together Deedles.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, you two. Im only surprised I was able to hold it together for the number.

      Delete
  5. So sad. But like you said, your last memories will be of the place jumping. And you looked fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never been there and even I'm getting teary eyed. What a place...and more so what a performance!!!!!!!!!! I can see why it brought the place down.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad the wig worked!!!!

    Now does anyone have a Kleenex?

    ReplyDelete
  8. A place that deserved such a eulogy, methinks. What are you going to do with all your wigs and frocks now? Is it going to be a repeat of the Dame Shirley Bassey dress auction of 2003? Jx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear. I may keep some wigs for Halloween or such, but you know the drag buzzards will be circling the joint to get some dibs. Auction, what a good idea! Your comment gave me a much needed chuckle after the closing last night. Cheers darling.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous10/13/2019

    I don't think anyone will forget the night Elaine Strich showed up. What a memory that was.

    ReplyDelete
  10. so sad; where is everyone going to gather now?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I sad day indeed. It's are a post on your blog gets to me. And your performance seems to be wisely chosen, but no doubt brought tears to a melancholy night. You look smashing and love the pictures from the place. William and I enjoyed many a dinner in the Raven. I only hope the place will have another life with the new owners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly was melancholy. I guess I was way over due for a good cry.

      Delete
  12. So bittersweet. Celebrating a closing.
    You looked stunning.

    XoXo

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a heart felt post, and that performance even got to me. And you look stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Damn you Mistress! Back you nailed that. Even the mannerisms.

    What a special place. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's sad to hear that one of our iconic places is gone, especially since there are so few. :(
    You did well with this post my Queen!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can only imagine the Raven this weekend. Even down here in Philly, I was hearing how packed it was!!!! And I give you props for doing that number, in those conditions. It looked smashing, but were all sad the Mistress retired.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You got to me. What a number to go out on...the Raven and the Mistress.

    ReplyDelete
  18. and you do big tits so well, who knew?

    tis rather sad though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The end of an era -- the Mistress's final performance on The Raven's final night of operation. No wonder the evening was extra-emotional for you. Hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know I could have been there. The post alone got me upset. The number was beautiful, what a way to go out. I hadn't been in years since I won my Miss Gay PA title, but always had fond memories of this feel good place. Such a PA legend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Im still balling. That was a rather festive, but touching night.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I wasn't even there and the clip got to me too, both of them. It's always sad when a place closes as special as this, and a queen, takes off the wig, loved by a community. Cheers darling!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This post made me tear up a bit. I know how important this place was for you and others in the area, and I hope there is another place for everyone to go to until hopefully The Raven returns in a few years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was. Felt drained today, but it was a good time to hang the drag up. Us two dames went out together.

      Delete
  24. one of my favorite poems reminds me it is the experience and not the object that holds the more worth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are true words Spo. That is true, no onw can take the memories.

      Delete
  25. Now this post got me started. Great Dolly. I also had a love hate relationship that that song. I only hope the Raven can come back again down the road. Be sad to think it done.

    ReplyDelete
  26. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘. That picture last got me.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank goodness there were some boys in here to pep me up, but tht number was truly nice. The place is magic, and those stained glass windows and doors are stunning. And the portrait of Queen Victoria ?!?! Truly was a campy place.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm an (almost) 60 year old, straight woman with a conventional lifestyle. I've never been or even heard of the Raven. But oh my, I feel so sad. Such a beautiful place. A place where people could be themselves, have fun, feel safe. A sad day indeed.

    Sorry to be so gushing but Mistress, you had me in floods of tears!!!!!
    How dignified you are.
    Sending all good wishes. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, I didnt mean to open a flood gate, but i thank you for the compliment Christiana.

      Delete
  29. 😫πŸ˜₯😫πŸ˜₯😭😭😭

    ReplyDelete
  30. Unfortunately, the Oak Room Farewell number got cut off just before the finale.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Tony Brubaker10/14/2019

    Just with regards to the picture at the top of the page: I want to bugger Ann Miller (as the bird was in 1941 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously, which is long since dead, unfortunately).

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your Dolly was great!
    A sad, sad day. I hope they keep all those photos from over the years and display them when the new place opens. As for the way you hung up the Mistress, classy! But, you will always be our Mistress.... Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow!!!!! You look great, you got Partons mannerisms down boy!!! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a place and story. And YOU are amazing. I wish I could have experienced The Raven over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you everyvody!!!!! Today was much better...upwards and onward........

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm so sorry that you've lost this place - it sounds like such a great place to go.
    I reckon you'll don a wig again, there will be a time, and another place. Hugs.
    Sx

    ReplyDelete
  37. Amazing performance, I would have sworn that was Dolly !!!!! Sad about the place though.....

    ReplyDelete
  38. As an introvert, even I didn't mind the place and everyone was so welcoming on my visit. It was a cool and campy place. Glad I got to see it and see your rather scandalous Boylesque show, but that number you did would have gotten to me. Sad.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!