A LGBT Pride Month Story: And A Couple of T-Shirts That Were Saved from the Dumpster

This T-shirt from 1979 came from one of the dances put on by Gay Services of Kansas, at the University of Kansas.

Another hot Sunday is already upon us, and later on, when the driveway gets a bit shaded, I’ll tend to one of the planned weekend chores–washing the car.

The last time I was ready to do the same task, I pulled out a basket of car-cleaning supplies, which I had dumped under the work shelves in the garage when I was moving into my house, a year and a half ago.  In the basket, I discovered three old T-shirts, which I had saved for many

T-shirt from The Hide & Seek Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado--a souvenir from New Year's Eve 1979.

years for sentimental reasons in the bottom of a chest of drawers.  But like many items whose value changes when a person is making a move, these once nostalgia-filled keepsakes were turned into rags.

The funny thing is that afternoon, I did wash the car with them, even the grimy wheels.  But as I finished my task, and the car was looking all slick again, I decided that these shirts still meant something to me; I wasn’t ready to toss them all wet into the trash dumpster.

One of them–a bright red one–is a souvenir from a trip in 2000 to Chile.  It’s from the Capel Pisco Distillery in the Elquí Valley.  You haven’t lived if you’ve never had a Pisco Sour!

The other two–one black, the other, now a dingy white–are much older.  Unfortunately, the sleeves are cut off and long slits run down the sides, which was part of the look in the early 80s to go with the two pairs of parachute pants that I had.  With a red pair and a black pair teamed up with the slitted shirts, I had four different options to choose from to go out clubbing!

Actually, I had gotten the T-shirts when I still lived in Kansas, so it was probably about three years before I dismembered the sleeves here in Houston.

I got both of the shirts when I was a grad student at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Read more about that here.)  One of them is from one of the dances that the KU gay group used to have in the Student Union.  A bunch of us from K-State would pack ourselves into cars and make the 90-minute drive (more if there were pit stops) from Manhattan to Lawrence.  Though there was a lot of KU-K-State rivalry on the football field and basketball court, the boys and girls didn’t have any time for that on the dance floor!  This shirt came from the 1st Annual Summer Fling, put on by the KU group, Gay Services of Kansas, in 1979.  The KU-Lawrence LGBT community has done a good job of chronicling its history, part of which can be found here, where I verified that my shirt was from 1979.

The other T-shirt is a memento from a road trip I took with a K-State friend to Colorado Springs over the holidays of that same year.  We spent New Year’s Eve at a place called The Hide & Seek Complex, which was the biggest club I had been to up to then.  I don’t remember so much about the physical features of the disco, but I do remember the fantastic pyrotechnic show that shimmered down from the top of Pikes Peak, which we viewed from the patio of the club.  (The Hide & Seek Complex lasted for many years.  From what I can see, it must have closed about eight years ago.)

I also remember meeting many military guys from Fort Carson and a couple from the Air Force Academy itself that New Year’s Eve at that club in Colorado Springs.  Even though it was just a few short years since I had been in the Air Force myself,  I remember thinking, “Oh, if I only knew then, what I know now.” 

Actually, I had a much better situation for coming out, surrounded by college friends, who were basically doing the same thing.  We could, for the most part, enjoy the process with a lot of support from each other, not a situation I could have had in the military.

I guess that’s why I can’t use these T-shirts for car washing; the significance that they have is just too much.  And rather than shove them back in a drawer, I have a room with a lot of my keepsakes on the walls.  Put in frames, they’d go perfect there.

Use Fresh Summer Peaches To Make This Easy and Delicious Pie


Peach Crumb Pie--a delicious, homemade dessert that even a beginner can make!


It goes without saying that summer is the time for fresh fruit.  Even in the supermarkets at this time of year, there’s a much better chance of getting some local produce, instead of something shipped in from halfway around the world.  I had been looking through my recipe box just to check out pickle recipes–yes, the okra are still coming–when I ran across a pie recipe that my mom made and is one of my favorites.

I used to avoid baking in my apartment because I didn’t like making the AC have to work against the heat that filled up the kitchen.  However, here in my house, the venting from the oven works well and my kitchen stays cool.  Therefore, yesterday when I saw some nice looking peaches at the store, I knew exactly what I would do with them.

This is an easy recipe and much tastier than anything from the frozen foods department.  (If making the pie crust is not your thing, you can use a store-bought pie shell.  Normally, I like making the pie crust, but today I used Mrs. Calendar‘s, and it was OK.  My usual homemade pie crust recipe is here.)

Peach Crumb Pie

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

4 C. fresh peaches, about 6-7 peaches

2 1/2 Tbsps. dry tapioca (not the pearl type)

3/4 C. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice

Peel and slice the peaches.  Mix together with the other ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside for 5 minutes or the time it takes to make the topping.


1/3 C. packed brown sugar

1/4 C. flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/2 Tbsps. soft butter

Use a fork and cut the dry ingredients into the butter until it all becomes soft little balls about the size of a pea.  Then put the peach mixture into an unbaked pie crust.  Even out the peaches in the crust so that there are no gaps.  Sprinkle the topping over the peaches.  Bake at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

This is a very forgiving recipe.  Even if you have never made a pie before, you can make this one and have a dessert that looks elegant, tastes delicious, and is homemade!

Last Christmas Cactus Bloom of the Year, For the Sultry Days of Summer Are upon Us

How do you like my new banner photo? It’s not so easy to take (or find) long, horizontal photos to fit. I’m sure some of you will recognize the jogging trail that goes for three miles around Memorial Park, with the golf course just visible inside. The bluebonnets from the previous banner are already gone but there are still some Indian Paintbrushes and other red posies filling some of the open spaces. They’ll soon be gone too with the heat coming. It was near 90 degrees today, but I’m sure it made it there or higher in some places north and west of town.

My Christmas cactuses have just wanted to keep putting out blooms. I posted earlier about some coming way after Christmas. Then just this past Saturday I noticed that the red one and the yellow each had a single bud. With the heat, they opened quickly. The red one has already dropped off and the yellow one is going fast. This evening it’s already starting to fold up. It looks white but is a shade of pale yellow.

Pale Yellow Christmas Cactus, May 7, 2009

Pale Yellow Christmas Cactus, May 7, 2009

I have a tiny little fuschia plant that I was given more than a month ago with a few flowers already in bloom, but they didn’t last. These plants usually don’t take the heat here, but this little plant is staying strong with sprinkles of water every day, and now is just full of buds. I hope they open soon, and if so, I’ll share a photo here.