Leather folks from all over the world flocked to Chicago over the Memorial Day Weekend for the 35th annual International Mr. Leather Contest. Mr. San Francisco Leather 2013 Andy Cross was selected over fifty other contestants for the title of International Mr. Leather 2013. Joining him on stage as 1st Runner-Up to IML 2013 was another charming man from the Bay Area – Mr. Santa Clara County Leather 2012 Thib Guicherd-Callin. Proving that over 50 can still be fabulous was Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2013 Robert Miller, who was selected as 2nd Runner-Up. Our own Mr. Maryland Leather 2013 did a fantastic job representing our local leather community. The crowd of 1,500 plus packed into the Harris Theatre clapped approvingly as Mr. Maryland Leather 2013 Bob Rose was announced as a top-twenty finalist. Also making it into the top twenty was Mr. D.C. Eagle 2013 Nigel Williams.The title of International Mr. Bootblack was awarded to “Sammy” from Portland, Oregon who was selected over two other contestants including “Fuzzy Buns” from Palm Springs who was competing for his ninth year!
It was a wonderful opportunity to take a look back at the history of the leather community over the weekend of May 10-12 when the Johnson / Carter Leather Library came to Baltimore. On Friday, May 10 I met up with several of my fellow ShipMates at Leon’s for happy hour and we walked over to the GLCCB to tour the exhibit. I was so happy that our ShipMate pledge “Skippy” was able to join us.
The other day Sir Steve and I were sitting on the back porch talking about the great time that we had when we went to the Tradesmen Club’s event in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had just purchased a new vehicle and we drove down. The trip put over 1,000 miles on my new car. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but it has been almost ten years. As this newspaper looks back over the past ten years, I find myself looking back also. I have a lot of wonderful memories, and I now have a lot more miles on me too!
I write a lot about leather contest, leather clubs’ anniversary dinners, leather weekends, and leather titleholders, but there is another part of the leather community that is important to me too. It is what first got me involved in the leather community. I always knew that I had more kinks than a cheap garden hose. One of the funny things about clichés is that they are often based on truth. I first realized how much I enjoyed bondage during those playground games of cowboys and Indians! When I was growing up I never realized that there was a big kinky community out there. I only knew that I really liked rope!
Another summer will soon be here. In fact, with the recent hot spell it feels as if it has already arrived. As the days turn warmer, I am once again reminded of a Memorial Day weekend in the early 1980s. Back when the Gallery Bar on Maryland Avenue in Baltimore was a serious dress-code leather bar, two leather men showed up in full white leather outfits. They created quite a stir in the days when leather men only wore black leather. When asked what the hell they were wearing, they had a very simple reply. It was their “summer leather.” The crowd roared. It was quite an expensive joke, but I still remember that moment from that summer long ago. As the summer of 2013 approaches it is time to unpack that “summer leather” and once again welcome another season in the sun.
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