The Turret Womyn

The lesbian population at the Turret is a subject that has eluded my keyboard tapping up until this point. There are so many that have been friendly or friends to me that I lost count. Some at one point or another thought that I actually disliked women/womyn; but it was never a dislike. Its just that sometimes you are so caught up in your own little sphere and sometimes things are done or not done just out of NOT THINKING. One day a lesbian woman (I cannot remember who) came over to me exclaiming "I always thought you hated women and I am sorry!". This was over "Women's Nite" at Rumours a few years later;I voted for it although I never liked the thought of segregated events at The Club (I just wanted us all to get along together as a group). After some time I came to realize that they (the women) just wanted some space to be themselves without the majority (the men) crowding them out.

picCa 1981 Reg Giles Singing "I Wouldn't Give You Up"

Sharon Gezner and Hazel Blair were always two people that stand out in my mind whenever I think back; they could party with the best of us. Sharon was always my cheerleader when I sang in the shows. Right up front and singing along with me. Sharon is a big lady with a bigger laugh and a heart of gold. Hazel! Hazel was a mind bender; a good looking and shy person but if you screw with any of her friends she'll tie you in a knot and go back to her beer without even breathing hard. Sharon and Hazel will always be in my heart and my thoughts.

Belinda Tucker and another woman used to be my co-workers at The Turret.We had a book that JohnMarr thought would be good idea for each shift to pass messages of things to do for a day (The Pass ON Book).One day I wrote a message to Belinda using an old style "T" (you know the one that looks like an "F" at a fast glance". The next day when I went in and read the book the reply message read "My name is TUCKER not FUCKER!". On another occasion the other woman whom I cannot remember her name for the life of me wrote"guess what folks? I have finally decided that I am a LESBIAN!"; she was having moments of afterthought about her sexuallity. Me, not being one to let an oppurtunity like this to pass wrote back "It just goes to prove; you are what you eat.". I think it was about this point that JohnMarr decided that the "Pass On Book" was not such a good idea after all.

Renovations started again at The Turret and JohnMarr and I decided that a second bar was needed in the lower area of The Turret.It was decided also that this bar was to go in the place known as "Dykes Corner". The bar was built during the early part of the week and was in functionality by the weekend. This is where NOT THINKING came into play. A couple of the women made quite rant over the fact that their corner had been taken away. I still hear that line in my head till this day "AND THEN YOU TOOK OUR CORNER AWAY!". After a while it all calmed down and life went on. I always felt a little bad about that because I know what its like to have a little piece of your world ripped out from under you. I can only imagine that for some lesbian women it was hard being in a room that is mostly gaymen having the same but different struggles. I hope that I am remembered as someone who had some compassion for both men and women's struggle trying to live together when I worked at The Turret.

The Inspector

Lets call him DICK....He was HEAD man in charge of The Turret Club liquour inspections. Liquour Inspectors, I guess are a necessary evil when it comes to the proper operation of a drinking establishment. And as long as one owns a suit and a car and can flash a tin badge as fast as "Magnum"; you can be one too.

One night as I am working as usual on the "Sign In" and coatcheck (signing in and paying a fee was required by law for a private club for non members); Mr.DICK arrived at the door and flashed his shiny tin as usual and HEADed str8 upstairs (he aslo had a woman freind with him on this night). A little while later when I was doing my rounds upstairs, I noticed Mr.Dick and his girl sitting up on the upper section at the HEAD table and they seemed to be pointing and laughing at people in the crowd. Being annoyed at what I thought was going on I informed the manager and we decided to ask him if he was on duty. I retreived the Guest Book from the podium on the second level and walked back up to Mr.DICK 's table and asked him if he was HEAD (on duty)tonite; he told me that he was not. I asked Mr.DICK and his girl to sign in the book under the HEADer of guest in the Sign In Book and politely said:" That will be $2 each,please!". I never had that problem again with Mr.DICK and

I guess he learned not to screw with the HEAD of SECURITY.

We had other Liquour Inspectors at The Turret who were professional and courteous, like a local politicians wife who was nothing but fair and honest.

Join The Club

I never really fit in with one group or the other at The Turret. I guess I was either not interested in being part of one or the other or just did not fit in. Drag was not an interest to me other than it was a form of entertainment and worrying about my hands having a broken nail was not a major concern to me. Hanging with the so called " preppy " crowd never gave me a thrill either, I was not preppy and some were too busy " Keeping Up Appearances " to have a maintenance guy hanging around. Even those that would be friendly ( I felt ) kept me at a distance because their other friends who would not accept me as being of that calibre to which was acceptable. Never being a nelly fag( I had a Kamp of my own ) and maybe not the butchest ( but I stood my ground ); I disliked slushy drunks but I tolerated them.

At staff parties, I would find myself slowly backing up to my own corner. Even tho I loved the staff dearly; relating to where most of the conversation was going was of no interest at most times. I dreaded going to the parties and only went because of trying to at least fit in a little. One such party was held at CafeQuelqueChose " owned and operated by John Hurlbert at the time "; Trent was by my side on this occasion and I had a headache because I knew I was in for a nite of the same drunken rambling that went on in previous years. The food was its usual excellence but my mood was down and I found myself in that corner that I usually find myself in until one of the staff made a comment about someone and I retorted with a quip that made the whole room do a belly roll. I felt a lot better from that moment on and the headache abated a bit but I just wanted to go home. There were moments at the parties that were memorable and funny but maybe I was just a little too serious for my own good; deep in my own thoughts and ways.

There may have been those that wished me to join their circle of friends but I always found myself on the edge of it looking in. It was never easy being a part of the crowd; even during the sewing circles in the dark of nite, standing on the perimeter was where I found the most comfort.

More To Come On This Chapter

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