At one point my friend Barbara (far right, above) introduced me to promoter Joe Fiore who, for many years, produced the bi-weekly Center Dance- a late night dance party throughout the year (except for summer.. more or less). Along the way I came to meet Studio 54 legend, Rollerena. And along the way we got to be friends. And then further along the way, she agreed to throw her birthday party at Bingo as part of a fundraiser for the LGBT Center.
So I did what any self respecting gay man would do when they have a roller skating legend in their midst - I went out and rented roller skates. Back in high school, I used to be able to skate for hours and hours. Sure, it'd been 30 years since I skated, so what's the problem? I went to the store, got the skates, put them on and then thought I'd just skate home, pick up bingo stuff and skate 50 blocks to the 9th Ave. Bistro.
I should have my head examined!
I literally could not get out of the door without the shop owner becoming alarmed - I could see that he was rethinking renting to me. So I tried again and again. Before I broke an arm, a leg or a hip, I went peacefully to a chair to take them off. However, I was determined to at least wear them to the show. Take THAT, 16 year old me!
Over the years, Rollerena's visits to Bingo each year have been a highlight and I've been genuinely honored to have known her, danced with her at the Center, Sea Tea, etc. I am constantly impressed and inspired by the history of her life - and the passion she has over LGBT rights. Sitting next to her at my show has truly been a highlight. :)