8 MONTROSE VOICE/APRIL 10, 1987
A Cruise to Remember
"Doing America with Bob
Damron" by Dan Delbex
And it certainly was. When I was first
approached with the idea of taking an
all gay cruise it did not entirely thrill
me. The thought of being in a somewhat
confined area with 750 gay men and
women I equated with being at a gay
freedom day parade and not being able
to leave, but I was soon proved wrong.
It all began in New Orleans, the port
of embarkation, where days before one
could observe the steady trickle of
potential passengers, for it was written
in their eyes. Even the bars were beginning to resemble a bit of Mardi Gras
three weeks past-
Arriving at the pier on Saturday
morning I was taken aback by the line
of passengers waiting to check in. You
could certainly tell these people didn't
want to miss one moment. My surprise
with the throngs of people was only
overwhelmed by the number of bags
that were being checked. It is only a one
week cruise but everybody's a Duchess.
The cruise line, the S.S. Bermuda
Star, reports three times the normal
amount of luggage checked in. Once the
gear was stowed, we proceeded down
the Mississippi for what would turn out
to be a true vacation experience.
The passengers constituted a broad
group of ages and personalities and
were not lacking for pretty faces and
bodies. Yet steroids aside, the interaction and ambience relating between fellow passengers was a wonderful sight.
As one individual said, "The adventure
begins when attitudes are left behind"
and after the second day we all became
much more relaxed with one another.
The entertainment was far superior to
any other cruise I have been on before.
Rita Moreno, the headliner, cancelled
due to a family emergency but there was
no lack for entertainers at all. Wayland
and Madame were in rare and wonderfully trite form, while Celeste, the
cabaret singer from New York served as
the perfect cruise hostess.
Gotham, a comedy/ singing trio also
from New York were always on their
toes and giving a great performance.
Tom Ammiano, a very timely comedian
from San Francisco, kept me rolling on
the floors during and out of his shows.
For those in for a more serious mode of
entertainment, authors Armistead
Maupin and Quentin Crisp gave excellent full circle readings and conversations.
The ship certainly did not lack for parties and excitement. The disco and
piano bar were always going until the
wee hours of the morning. But perhaps
the most outrageous event was the costume party.
Mike Miesch died Wednesday, April 1,1987
at Jefferson Davis Hospital of complications due to AIDS.
He served for several years as co-
producer of KPFT's Wilde 'n' Stein radio
Mike is survived by his sister, Toni Perkins, his mother, two brothers and several
A memorial gathering will be held Satur
day, April 11, at KPFT, 419 Lovett. Call them
at 526-4000 for the time of the gathering.
The Mississippi River from aboard the SS Bermuda Star
Now I know why there are three times
the normal amount of luggage, a single
steamer was needed just for some ofthe
headdresses. It could have been dubbed
"Mardi Gras on the high seas" I personally enjoyed watching the shipboard
romances that ensued and changed,
practically on a daily basis. I would love
to get into stories of those certain revolving doors but I best save that for a
The ports of call, with the exception of
Key West, were not too exciting. But I
feel that when one takes a cruise the real
enjoyment can be found at sea. The welcome we received at Key West was truly
befitting a royal visit. Many of the
town's citizens had either come to the
dock to greet us or had opened up their
places of business for special tours and
The other two ports, both in Mexico,
were Cozumel and Playa del Carmen del
Maranda. They were good for ninety
cent margueritas and Aca Joe clothes,
but that was about it.
After speaking with well over 100 people and gathering their views on the
cruise, I would estimate that 80 percent
of the passengers would take another
gay cruise and of those at least 50 percent booked again for next year.
One person who came on alone said,
"taking this cruise as a single was the
best thing I could have ever done."
I was also curious as to the interpretation of the women on board. Said one
lady from California, "I did not feel
intimidated at all by the lack of women
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on the ship. I enjoyed the total group
and hope that other gay women will see
their way to join in on this event."
Now if I were asked my thoughts on a
repeat voyage (for those of you who
care), I would say judging on the cruise
line itself, I would not go again. But for
what the Bermuda Star lacked, the
R.S.V.P. staff surely made up for; and
for that reason, I would not hestitate to
I cannot pass on this article without
mentioning the great group of people we
had at our table nightly. A sort of
instant family for the week, and new
friends for some time to come. Sylvester
and his lover Rick really helped to make
it a great table.
A cruise is not generally a cheap vacation. In fact, you should plan on spending anywhere from $1,000 on up
(depending on your spending habits in
ports of call). Taking into consideration
that this includes your food and gratuities it is quite a reasonable holiday.
The food, although not being four
star, is a definite two trying to push
three. I found that the food improved as
the cruise rolled on; however, the midnight buffets always seem to lack quality.
If you enjoy having fun, meeting new
people, making new friends, rekindling
old friendships or old loves, this is a
vacation for you. I must hand it to
R.S.V.P., for what they have done is no
small undertaking and the detail to
which it has all been completed has definitely made this a cruise to remember
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Bob Carey, 46, died Friday, April 3, 1987 at
his home in Houston.
Bob graduated from South Padre Island
High School in Beaumont, Texas in 1955.
For the next 10 years he lived his dream
singing and dancing in theater in New York
City. He returned to Texas to fulfill his next
dream which was training and raising tho-
roughbread horses at his Virdessa Farms in
He lived in Houston for approximately the
last 10 years, continuing his acting career
by owning and operating "Action Packed
Grams Inc.," a novelty telegram service.
Bob was preceded in death by his lover of
27 years, Bob, who died unexpectedly of a
year attack a year-and-a-half ago.
His ashes will be buried at sea. Bob had a
full life which included many friends. A
memorial service will be held on Sunday,
April 12 at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church,
8915 Timberside (off S. Braeswood,
between Stella Link and Buffalo Speedway}
at 4:00 p.m.
January 27, 1942—March 6, 1987
Chuck passed way on March 6, 1987 at the
Institute for Immunological Disorders. He is
survived by his parents, Ruby and Guss
Hammons of Monroe, La., and lifemate,
Robert Badlato of Houston.
Chuck has been a Montrose resident for
the past 15 years and is dearly loved and
remembered by all his friends and loved
At Chuck's request, no memorial service
will be held. The kindness and concern from
so many has been heartwarming and
greatly appreciated by his loved ones.
Our love always, Robert, Jim, Bill, Helen,
Susan, Corey and Jay,
OUR POLICY: The Montrose Voic
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