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Ambush Mag presented 40th Anniversary Upstairs Lounge Fire Memorial Weekend
Thursday-Monday, June 20-24, 2013

Presented by Ambush Mag, NOLAPride.ORG, and Capital City Trolleys; sponsors included: PLATINUM: Crescent City Tour Booking Agency, King Cake Queen Royalty Club, Charlie Case & Val St. Cloud, P.G. Killgore in Honor of Johnny T. Townsend, Stewart P. Butler, Wayne Self & Cody Braswell/UPSTAIRS Musical, Barry Rutherford, David Berni; GOLD: In Memory of Marcy Marcell; SILVER: In Memory of Donnie Jay, Rhonda Roget & David Forth, Buddy Mullino & Joel Harris; and BRONZE: Rev. Robert A. Raymo & Lance Sauvageau, Frankie Fierce & Dusty Debris, P.G.Killgore in Memory of Toni Pizanie.

ULF LGBT Commemoration Ceremonies Raise $2,532 for Historic New Orleans Collection/2013
by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain,  Ambush Mag, Issue 14, July 9-22, 2013

40th Anniversary Upstairs Lounge Fire Memorial Certificate

The 40th Anniversary UpStairs Lounge Fire Memorial weekend boasted sold out performances of the dramatic new musical UPSTAIRS by Wayne Self, plus packed bars, clubs and businesses. Due to the massive marketing efforts of Ambush Mag and www.NOLAPride.ORG some four months out, this was the best June weekend in over 15 years in New Orleans. Ambush Mag press releases were sent to all major media for months sparking coverage and interest on the UpStairs Lounge tragedy.

The 40th anniversary UpStairs Lounge Fire LGBT Commemoration Ceremonies was a huge success in paying tribute to the 32 victims of the horrific fire. It was the goal from the beginning to give these 32 souls the send off they did not receive at the time of their deaths on June 24, 1973.

The marvelous, and informative lecture at the Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection kicked off the afternoon with over 200 in attendance. Ambush Mag publisher Rip Naquin presented a check in the amount of $2,532 to The Historic New Orleans Collection executive director Priscilla Lawrence in memory of the 32 victims. Proceeds minus expenses to put on the ceremonies benefited The Collection.

As it ended, the group moved outside to join the crowd already assembled for the Jazz Procession to the site of the fire at Iberville near Chartres Street, which was led by the Memorial Jazz Band and antique white horse drawn glass hearse with a huge funeral spray inside with 32 beautiful white roses representing the victims.

40th Anniversary Funeral Spray with 32 White Roses representing the victims

Once at the site of the fire, St. Anna's Episcopal Church Rev. Bill Terry comforted the crowd with a beautiful oration celebrating the lives of the 32 victims. And who could forget the emotional reading of the names by Lesbian of the Year Misti Ates. The names remembered included: Partners Joe William Bailey & Clarence Josephy McCloskey, Jr.; Duane George "Mitch" Mitchell, assistance pastor at MCC, died trying to save his partner, Louis Horace Broussard; Mrs. Willie Inez Warren died with her sons Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren; Pastor of MCC Rev. William R. Larson; Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist; Douglas Maxwell Williams; Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida; George Steven Matyi; Larry Stratton; Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member & partner of entertainer Regina Adams; James Walls Hambrick; Horace "Skip" Getchell, MCC member; Joseph Henry Adams; Herbert Dean Cooley, UpStairs Lounge bartender and MCC member; professional pianist, David Stuart Gary; Guy D. Anderson; Luther Boggs; Donald Walter Dunbar; John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor’s Advisory Group; professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by Douglas "Buddy" Rasmussen, who led a group to safety; Gerald Hoyt Gordon; Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal government employee; Glenn Richard "Dick" Green, Navy veteran; Robert "Bob" Lumpkin; Ferris LeBlanc; Unknown White Male; Unknown White Male; and Unknown White Male.

The 2nd Line Parade followed down Bourbon Street and was a site to behold as it ended at the oldest gay bar in North America, Cafe Lafitte in Exile. Participants quickly filled The Balcony bar upstairs for the grand Celebration of Life Cocktail Party.

The events were organized under the direction of Commemoration Ceremonies Chairman Frank Perez, co-author of In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar, and Ambush magazine columist covering Moments In Gay New Orleans History.

Presented by Ambush Mag, NOLAPride.ORG, and Capital City Trolleys; sponsors included: PLATINUM: Crescent City Tour Booking Agency, King Cake Queen Royalty Club, Charlie Case & Val St. Cloud, P.G. Killgore in Honor of Johnny T. Townsend, Stewart P. Butler, Wayne Self & Cody Braswell/UPSTAIRS Musical, Barry Rutherford, David Berni; GOLD: In Memory of Marcy Marcell; SILVER: In Memory of Donnie Jay, Rhonda Roget & David Forth, Buddy Mullino & Joel Harris; and BRONZE: Rev. Robert A. Raymo & Lance Sauvageau, Frankie Fierce & Dusty Debris, P.G.Killgore in Memory of Toni Pizanie.

Funds raised included 2,672.00 from the ULF Headliner Spectacular and sponsorships, 1,023.00 from ULF Down The Bayou BBQ and sponsorships, 1,025.00 from other sponsorships, 315.00 from Corner Pocket Sugar Daddy Contest, and 6.65 donation for a total of 5,041.65.

ULF expenses included: 750.00 Memorial Brass Band, 900.00 horse drawn antique glass hearse, 110.00 trolley, 174.40 flowers, 50.25 parade permit, 525.00 police detail, for a total of 2509.65.

Funds raised minus expense, 2,532.00, was donated to The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Letters
in  Ambush Mag, Issue 14, July 9-22, 2013

Historic New Orleans Collection Thanks

Dear Rip & Marsha,

On behalf of The Historic New Orleans Collection, please accept our sincerest thanks for the gift of $2,532 in memory of the 32 victims who perished in the UpStairs Lounge fire on June 24, 1973. We believe that the significance of this tragedy in the history of New Orleans is great and should never be forgotten.

Please know that it is through thoughtful generosity such as yours that The Collection is able to continue acquiring and preserving materials, documenting the history and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana.

We are truly grateful and pledge to do our best.

Again, we thank you.

--Sincerely, Priscilla Lawrence, Executive Director; and Jack Pruit, Esq., Director of Development & External Affairs
 


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