Good Evening Everyone,
This past weekend I handed the title of Mr. Dallas Eagle over to another young man, Jack Duke. It was my first stepdown (1 of 3) and it was rather surreal, if I can be frank with you. I will get into that in a moment, but first let me cover the weekends events.
The weekend began with Friday's Meet & Greet at the Dallas Eagle. It was great because not only was I in my hometown bar with my hometown friends, but I was there with my husband and my boy! There were two very qualified contestants that entered the contest, Jack and Sam. Both of them did very well at the Meet & Greet and it was a great chance to spend some time with each of them and get to know a little bit about them and their journey. It was also a great time to catch up with all my friends and see what has been going on in their lives (since I seem to be MIA since last Memorial Day! LOL)
Saturday afternoon we held the interviews and both of the men did a fine job during the interviews. Very articulate and poised and honorable. It was a great afternoon.
Saturday evening, David and adam and I went to dinner with Master John, boy keith, Mater Talon and slave george. Master John, boy keith and slave george had all come in from Ft. Lauderdale to support me in my first stepdown. I felt very honored that they made the trip for me and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the gesture. (And they will all be back for Mr. Texas Leather in January!!)
The contest was then held that evening. During the contest, they called me to the stage, which I thought was a bit odd because it was not time for my stepdown speech yet. I was met on stage by Solitaire and Fred, members of NLA-Dallas. They gave to me, on behalf of NLA-Dallas, a check for $500 to benefit the Hearing from the Heart Program.
And I started crying. It completely caught me off-guard. It touched my heart and once again proved to me that this community, the Dallas community and every community I have visited (and I've been to quite a few), has been the most supportive group of individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They asked me to speak about the fund, which I did. And I cried some more. This program means so much to me and when everyone reaches out and supports it in the manner they do, well, what can I say . . . I cry.
Then after the formal leather and speech category, they called me back up to the stage to give my stepdown. Vince, the emcee, (God, I love that man) told me to keep it upbeat and not make everyone cry again. Well, I did not succeed in fulfilling his wish. As most of you know, I never go to the stage with a script, or to a speaking engagement with a prepared speech. I always just speak from the heart. And for that evening, my heart was telling me that this is the just the beginning for me. And by that, I do not mean the beginning of my stepdowns, but the beginning of a whole new journey. I do not view the handing over of a title as the 'end of the road'; because for me, my time to make a significant difference in the community last well beyond a title year. Remember, the man makes the title and not the other way around. I'm still a leatherman. I still care very much for our community and the direction it goes in. I still want to make a difference. At least that is my goal. Granted, I have no idea where this journey will take me, and quite honestly, I am still trying to work out (personally) how I will make this journey without the gift of hearing. But I know I will make it successfully. Why? Because I have my husband, my boy and all of you, my family.
So I gave my stepdown speech and then announced the new Mr. Dallas Eagle (Jack Duke). He did a fine job and I am very proud of him. He will represent the community very well. Then I went to sell my calendars in the bar and share drinks with friends and family.
One great point to mention: The Dallas Community raised $1,750.00 for the Hearing from the Heart Program in two nights! This included the NLA-Dallas contribution, a $250 contribution from the DFW Leatherboys, calendar sales and individual donations. That is freakin' awesome!!! Thank you so much Dallas! You, alone, will help purchase at least one hearing aid, if not two, for someone in our great community!!!
Next up: Los Angeles. I leave Thursday. Woo-Hoo!
Your Leather Brother,