LOUISVILLE – So, I finally have time to talk about my very very busy weekend.
We have been preparing for our party for a month, at least. It’s actually probably more work than one might think. We don’t just decide to throw a party and then in a sort of 1930 Hollywood movie, the production number all comes together.
Can’t you see it?
The starlet rips off her square-shouldered pinafore and clunky-heeled shoes to reveal a patent bra top, super short skirt and thigh-high boots.
The hero’s bow tie morphs into a collar, and his clipboard into a paddle.
Their best friends – you know, the chubby, funny ones, the ones who would be played by Melissa McCarthy and Jack Black, would start wheeling out furniture, while singing something about Sweet Dreams or something. I’m seeing Melissa in a latex nun costume and Jack in a leather hood and body suit.
The montage lasts about three minutes, and at the end, the dank barn is transformed into a techno play space, the cast is transformed into a crowd of well-dressed and well-behaved partiers, there is music and laughter and the movie ends with a kiss and a swat and a fade to black…
No, alas, it doesn’t work that way.
We have to plan it. We have to have a location. Musty barns don’t work.
We’ve been lucky to find a contact with a guy who owns a warehouse space he rents out to alternative groups, like swingers and rave groups, etc. The first party we did there was a little more structured, and now that he’s used to us, that he knows how we work and that we do know what we’re doing, and he’s been really generous.
So, we have to find a location, and negotiate the date and the details.
Then we also have to find the furniture. At this point we don’t have our own furniture, though we’ll probably start building some pieces.
I’m lucky to have a good relationship with a former leader of a group that has since disbanded and he’s been very generous in loaning us equipment.
But that also means we have to transport it, there and back. I have to make arrangements with him, and the owner of the space, for time to set it up and break it down.
Then we have to figure out where things go, and put items together.
There’s also supplies – equipment cleaning supplies, waivers, soda and ice and paper goods and table covers and decorations and signage and silent auction sheets. We use pens and tape and staples and scissors and the other kinds of office supplies you might need.
There’s a program to be written, particularly this time, because I was giving earned Leather, which I will also be talking back, if not tonight, then in the next day or two.
There were vendors to contact and confirm. There was the setting up of the vendor area, seeing who is going to vend and where we will put them and do we have enough tables and chairs and the other things they’ll need.
There’s publicity – announcing events, talking them up, designing and creating flyers.
Then there’s the volunteers. We have to have people to set up and take down the dungeon, people to man the door with waivers, checking ID.
There are people to monitor the dungeon, to clean up the space during and after, to man the t-shirt and raffle items, and then there’s the bake sale. We do a bake sale at the event and that means getting people who donated baked goods.
So, there are weeks of planning before the actual event.
We started the setup on Thursday, and it went much better than the first time, mostly because we knew where things would go better this time. We were even able to get the vendor areas set up and arranged, so that was helpful.
It took us about two hours all told. I stopped on the way home to get some of the things we’d talked about needing. I had already started a long list of things to take and remember and do and grab.
On Friday, I got my stuff together and headed out. We spent a couple hours getting set up finalized, getting vendors set up and in place, and making sure everything was in place.
Then we opened doors and waited for the folks.
We had a great time. We had about 115 people, and while more is always better,, we were very happy with the turnout and with the event in general.
We’d planned to start the program at 8:15 or so, but it got pushed back considerably. People had trouble finding the location, which is pleasantly hidden away. We had people from Cincinnati, from Indianapolis, vendors from as far away as Texas.
We were delighted to have a corset vendor, Steel Bones, who flew in from Texas with 700 pounds of inventory. I know she flew home with considerably less, and a lot of people got corsets and other pieces.
We had Leather Thorn, who makes the more gorgeous tooled leather paddles. Many of them are that lovely shade of caramel that you associate with saddle leather. His work is genuinely some of the most beautiful I’ve seen.
We had Michwitch, who make wooden paddles, chain mail, and had a lot of ornaments, too. I actually meant to get back and look at the ornaments, but I never quite made it.
We had Abraided, who makes drumsticks, floggers, whips and restraints. He’s a local vendor, and my basement dweller.
We had Mr Malaprop, who came down from Columbus and makes lovely wooden paddles and some other interesting things, like Scrabble magnets that spell out the kind of things you might expect they would spell out.
We had Sir Markos Photography, who always does a wonderful job. He took pictures with our own Santa, Josh, and company, Elf Devon and Panty Claus. I got pictures taken with slave drew for Christmas and also some very funny ones with Elf Devon. I’ll add them at the end.
Then there was a Leather presentation, which I think I’ll talk about tomorrow. This is already long, and I’m only half way through Friday night. There’s still the other half and the Louisville Munch and the Naughty or Nice event at the local men’s bar, Boots.
More to come. The photos below are me and slave drew, and me and an unidentified but clearly naughty elf!
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