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the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence … and Linda

April 1, 2011

I hope you’re having a fine first day of April and enjoying whatever pranks you are

witnessing, perpetrating or being victimized by.  I would not be so obvious as to do

any such thing to you.  Instead, I want to share my favorite April Fool’s Day.

It was around the turn of the millenium — ’99, ’00, ’01 or so — and I was living in a

cabin in a redwood grove in Sonoma County, California.  My son Chris was living

with me.  Jude was just about to change my life.  I didn’t know that yet, however.

I was methodically thinning out vestigal brain cells with Splendid Dissipation.

Sonoma County, with its Mediterranean climate, vibrant culture and spectacular

scenery, is perfect for the task.

So it was a no-brainer when my friend Linda called to ask if Chris and I would like

to go to a noon showing of “Rocky Horror” for her birthday.  She, hubby Michael

and some other friends were trundling over to Monte Rio for an LGBT community


Linda, Michael and I were roommates in Santa Rosa briefly.  I moved back into my

van to make room for Michael’s daughters.  Then they moved to the Guerneville

area, high enough above the Russian River to avoid its occasional flooding.  I was

Michael’s best man at their wedding.  I’ve spent more days than I can recall (thanks

to the Dissipation) on their back deck, sometimes literally on my back on the deck.

L & M are superb hosts.  Their annual New Year’s Eve cioppino feed is a can’t-miss

event. I miss it. And Michael can barbecue ribs better than any other honky I know.

Monte Rio is just downriver from Guerneville.  It’s a fascinating place.  According to

the 2000 census, 16% of the 1104 residents were below the poverty line.  Yet every

summer, some of the richest and most powerful men on the globe spend two weeks

there at Bohemian Grove.

“Rocky” was showing at the Rio Theater, also fascinating.  It’s a quonset hut by the

banks of the Russian.  One year, when the river had a particularly hearty flood, it

reached the Rio.  The theatre owners closed it for awhile, but not before putting

“A River Runs Through It” on the marquee.

It was dry that day, though.  The weather was fabulous.  It was a sellout crowd and

we were blessed by the presence of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  The Sisters

are a movement of gay men who use drag, high camp and Catholic icons to lampoon

sexual hypocrisy, and to raise money for various charities.  Tim Curry and Susan

Sarandon couldn’t have sparked more buzz.

The audience was a rowdy mix of “Rocky” veterans and virgins.  The $10 admission

included a sack with rice, a section of newspaper, a water gun and related parapher-

nalia.  The gun was so accurate I could hit my son in the back of his head three

seats away.

After the show, we walked across the bridge to the storied Pink Elephant.  The Pink

was a legendary dive, a DMZ for bikers, hippies, yuppies and strays from Bohemian

Grove.  It closed in late 2009, but Mark of the nearby Village Inn told me yesterday

that plans are afoot to reopen it.

It didn’t matter that April 1st as we drank refreshing beverages, ate appys and shot

some pool.  It was a perfect day.

Happy birthday, Lindabeth.

  1. Charlotte Wales permalink
    April 1, 2011 9:00 am

    It does indeed sound like a perfect day! Ah, the memories of truly wonderful days never fade, thankfully!

  2. April 1, 2011 12:50 pm

    The best April Fool’s joke I ever got away with was convincing the kids that the school had called, and since they’d had a snow day recently, that they had to go to school on Saturday to make up for it. They believed me, and I had a great laugh over it! But that was the last time they had any trust in what I had to say on April 1st.

    • April 2, 2011 2:23 am

      You’re an evil woman, Beanie. Stay in touch.

  3. ALEGLE1001 permalink
    April 1, 2011 1:00 pm


    • April 2, 2011 2:22 am

      Albert, my man. Nice of you to stop by. May I suggest you go to the “Newest Posts” page just under the title of the blog and click on “the night I ate a poem in boot camp”? That’s the start of ten posts I did about my time in the
      Marines and my readjustment. I think, as another VietVet, you might appreciate them.

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