Folsom Street in San Francisco was an incredible time. I flew in on Thursday. When I got to the Dallas Airport, I was text messaging with Master John, who was flying into San Francisco through Dallas from Ft. Lauderdale. Turns out, his connection flight in Dallas was my flight, so we worked the ticket agent and were able to get three seats together for the trip AND free drinks! The three of us had the best time flying into SFO, and I don’t ever remember a shorter flight (time flies when you’re having a great time!!) Once in San Francisco, I ran for a bite to eat with Master John down on the wharf.
As always, I enjoyed spending some one-on-one time with Master John and getting to know even more about his history. Incredible man, to say the least. Afterwards, we took a cab ride from hell (I was getting seasick the cab driver was driving so fast up and down those hills) to Mr. S Leather. We did a little shopping and then we parted so I could go have dinner with Bob. Bob and I had a great time at dinner and it was wonderful getting to know him and learn about his journey. Sincere young man with a heart of gold. Truly an honor to have met him and had dinner. I then met up with Master John and Alan for drinks at Chaps and then the Powerhouse. Met up with Matt at Chaps and it was great to see him and spend some time with him. He looks great and he was promoting the release of his new video. That reminds me, I need to contact him as he has a copy for me! Had a great time, but I knew I needed to make it an early evening, as my time to rest during the weekend would be limited.
Friday began with brunch at Sears (not the retail store) with Master John and Alan. Incredible food!!! I was full to say the least! It is here that Master John presented me a t-shirt that had a photo of the Golden Girls (from the sitcom) on it with the words, “Stay Golden”. Hilarious! (Most of you know I am a huge Golden Girl fan!) The t-shirt however, had multiple meanings, I’m sure. . . We then took a cab to Mr. S Leather, Stompers, and Off-Ramp Leathers, as well as many other leather shops. The cab ride was actually nice; I did not get seasick this time. Master John bought plenty of new custom leather!! I can’t wait to see it all on him at ILSb!! We decided to go with yellow piping . . .
I then headed back to the hotel to wait on Randy’s arrival from Los Angeles. His flight was delayed (hey, it happens to other people, too!). Eventually, he did get into town and to the hotel. Very nice to finally be able to see him. It’s been since ABW in New Orleans that I had seen him. Once he got in, he cleaned up and we headed to the SF Eagle. Once there, we were able to catch up with everyone else that was in town. I cannot even begin to start listing everyone I saw. It was great though. There was only one thing that would have made it perfect – my husband, David, being there. Unfortunately, he could not make it.
Master John did buy some gauntlets for me from Off Ramp Leather that evening. There are incredible!! Absolutely love them! Thank you Master John!!
Friday night ended with two hotdogs from a vendor on the street. I don’t know about y’all, but there is nothing better than a hotdog from a street vendor at 2 in the morning! Okay, maybe there are better things on the street at 2 a.m. in SF, but when you are hungry, there isn’t!
Saturday started with brunch at Dim Sum’s, or Ding Sim, or Ding Dong, or something like that (I truly cannot remember) with Brian and Rick, Dr. Larry and William, Randy, Brandon, and Dave Rhodes. The food was very good and the company was great. We then headed to the Castro. We piled into the Edge and had a few drinks. That is where we ran into George Hester, George Wong, Frank and Lenny, Alex and Loren, and many others. (Photo’s of all of these events can be found at http://www.flickr.com/iml2009.) We then went back to the hotel and got ready for the evening. Then it was off to Joe Gallagher’s shop for a reception. It’s always good to see Joe and, again, was nice to speak with everyone, meet new friends and catch up with old ones. We then headed to the SF Eagle. Had a great time, as always. Gary works there and he is an incredible man. Make sure when you go to the SF Eagle to ask for Gary and have him serve you. He will treat you very well!
Sunday was the day of Folsom Fair. Funny story. As we were standing on the curb waiting for Lenny and Frank to pick us up, this intoxicated man came up to speak with Randy and I. Randy introduced me to him as International Mr. Leather. The guy says, “Wow! Mr. Intellect. I’m honored.” I just let it be.
The day started with a brunch at Donna Satchet's home. Frank and Lenny picked Randy and I up and brought us to the brunch. It was an incredible event and thank you, Donna, for welcoming us into your home, yet again. There was one notable difference this year and it was knowing that Mr. Marcus was not there to join us; however, we raised our glasses to you Mr. Marcus, so get better and get back out there!! We miss you terribly!
Then it was off to the fair. Holy crap! I was hot, as in temperature hot. I was in CHP gear and I was sweating my freakin’ balls off! However, we were doing the titleholder presentations on stage and I wanted to be in full leather for the presentation. Lamalani was there, and I so miss my sash-wife. But she had just as full a schedule as I did for Folsom, so our paths did not cross too often. However, we did the titleholder announcements together. We announced the titleholders from across America and had a great representation from all everywhere. Thank you to everyone present. Your continued support and the giving of your time and energy is appreciated by each of us within the community. And a bigger thank you to the partners of any of the titleholders. We could never do what we do unless we had your undivided support!
Then it was off to the hotel room to get out of all that leather and put on something more reasonable – as in a jock and chaps! Much cooler! Randy stayed with me the entire day, and made sure that I was hydrated and taken care of. Thank you, Randy!! We then had to get back to the International Mr. Leather booth at the fair. It was like swimming upstream, as the crowd was heavy. And, of course, it’s like being a kid in the candy store – and there was lots of candy – everywhere. Eventually, we did make it to the booth. Lots of photos were taken. Thank you RJ for working so hard to have the logistics of the booth run smoothly. It was awesome seeing you, too!!
After the fair, we walked down to the SF Eagle. We got there just in time, for we walked in and the crowd hadn’t made it down to the bar yet. It was here that I was able to spend a lot of time with Terry, International Mr. Deaf Leather 2009. What an amazing man! He was so incredible. He spent so much time teaching me various signs, and speaking to me about the deaf culture. I now know how to sign “mental bitch”. Hey! I have to learn the important signs first! That and “Where is the restroom”. I am now able to pee and talk about someone. Life is good. Thank you, Terry!!
We then left SF Eagle and headed to the party that Rick and Brian were having above Chaps. Unfortunately, Dr. Larry, William, Terry, Randy and I walked into the wrong home and thus the wrong party. We just walked in and looked for alcohol, before realizing it was the wrong party. Oh well, they should have had someone working the door. . . Eventually, we found the correct party. We stayed there for a while. Then Dr. Larry, William, Randy and I cleaned up and went to dinner. Thank you Dr. Larry and William for the great dinner and conversation. Then it was back to the SF Eagle. It was pretty calm at this point; as the night was winding down. So it was the perfect ending to a very busy day.
Monday started with breakfast with Loren and Alex. I so enjoy my time with them. They are both amazing and believe it or not, they each have a current title. I know it’s hard enough with one titleholder in the family, so my hat off to them for being able to swing two titles simultaneously.
Then Alex, Loren, Rick, Brian, Randy and I went to visit with Mr. Marcus. I’ll blog about the visit at a later time; however, one of the most hilarious things about the visit was when Randy told Mr. Marcus about calling me “I-Hop” and how the nickname came about. When we were leaving, Mr. Marcus and I hugged goodbye and he said, “Good to see you, I- (comedic pause) Yatollah.” I about peed my pants! He said it knowing good and well what he was saying and he was making sure that everyone in that room knew that he would not be outdone in nicknaming me. I now have the nicknames, “IML, I-HOP, Mr. Intellect, I-Boo, I-Poop (don’t ask), and now, I-Yatollah”. Anyone else want to add one to the pile?
That evening, Randy and I went to dinner with Bob. We had Afghan food. Randy loves it; however, I am not the biggest fan of it. I had never eaten it before, and I’m not sure when I’ll line up to eat it again. It’s just not my favorite. But the conversation was great and it was so good to send some additional time with Bob. Afterwards, Randy headed to the airport and headed home to L.A.
That evening, I stayed in and watched Steele Magnolias. I feel asleep and returned home on Tuesday.
In summary: A great time!! This was the second year in a row that I had been to Folsom Fair. Last year I went as a "jock and boot wearing non-titleholder". This year I went as a "jock and boot wearing titleholder". The more things change – the more they stay the same! Next year: I’m thinking I’ll wear a jock and boots. Hey, it works for me!
Next up: Provincetown for Mates Leather Weekend.
Your Leather Brother,