From the President
Last month, a girlfriend of mine called me on a Saturday night, her husband was late coming home and she felt she needed to get out of the house for a while. I was fighting off a headache and needed to get out also, so I agreed. She suggested we go to this country-western karaoke bar on the South side of Columbus where she knew the owner. When I hesitated, she quickly told me that it's OK, the place is kind of a hole-in-the wall but they don't have any fights or anything like that.
Ooooo Kaaaaaay... hmmmm, no fights, huh? Sounds good to me. She also said it's a good night to go because a lot of people will be there to see Clyde, as he is one of the top C/W karaoke DJ's and he has a following. Well, that clinched it or me... heck yea, lets go girl. I'm not into country-western but it sounded like a lot of fun.
We arrived early, about 8:30, and sat at the bar. There was Clyde, sitting at the end of the bar talking to the owner, a nice looking man with a white-gray beard dressed in black, including his Stetson hat. My girlfriend introduced us and before I knew it, the bartender asked us what we were drinking and that they were compliments of Clyde.
Kewl, I like this place already. About 10 pm the place started to fill up and the karaoke began. I don't think we sat there re than 10 minutes and were asked to dance.
I noticed a man sitting alone at a table. He was dressed in bib-overalls, train engineers hat and was drinking a beer. He looked like he just drove up in his tractor and came in for a drink. All of a sudden he got up, went to the dance area, took the microphone and started belting out "It's a Wonderful World" by Louie Armstrong. He even had a handkerchief to blot his face, and he was really good! So good that I had to get up and clap for him, he sounded just like Louie Armstrong. What reallycracked me up was that when he was done, he just went and sat down again, alone with his beer, like nothing had happened. You never know what can come out of people.
I think my girlfriend told Clyde that I was divorced because he kept coming over to get me and we would slow dance while he was singing. There were about five or six guys that kept us dancing all night. I had so much fun that it was 2:30 am before we knew it and as I looked at my girlfriend I said, "Do you realize that we've been here since 8:30, danced all night and didn't have to buy a drink?" Her response, "Yea, ain't it great?" Yes, it was, I guess we will have to do it again.
by Jannie Abeille
For the February meeting, we had 25 people in attendance: Stephanie, Judy, Carey, Mary Ann, Diana Brit, LuAnn, Pam, Trisha, Julie & Cheri, Dianna Mills, Dawn, Tina, Holly, Rikki, Latoya, Jannie, Anne, Cynthia, Teresa, Victoria, Jenny, Cindy, Kristen and Shaun.
A lunchmeat tray was provided by Latoya.
During the meeting, we elected the officers for the coming year. The office holders which will stay the same are: Stephanie as President, Dianna Mills as Treasurer, Kelly as primary Newsletter Editor, Mary Ann as Web Mistress, and Latoya as Meeting Coordinator. The changes in office holders are: Kelly replaces Carey as Vice President, Diana Brit replaces Jannie as Secretary, and Trisha and Judy will share the job as Screening Officers. Additionally, Trisha has volunteered as another sistant Newsletter Editor, and Jannie and Anne have volunteered as assistant Web Mistresses. It was mentioned that the duties of a Greeter, someone to welcome newcomers at the regular meetings, have not been fulfilled for much of the past year. We decided that this role would best be filled by the Screening Officer/s.
Many members expressed appreciation for Stephanies laid-back leadership style, and gratitude that she consented to continue as president for another year.
Diana Brit announced that we will be having a guest speaker for the March meeting. Diana provided the following information about our guest:
Our speaker at the March 27 meeting will be Virginia native Dr. Keith Oliver, a psychologist who counsels several members of the Crystal Club. Dr. Oliver received his Ph.D. and M.A. from The Ohio State University and his B.S. from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the owner of Accretion Psychological Services in Columbus, and has worked in the psychological field for 15 years. He is committed to individual difference, promoting acceptance, and affirming diversity.
Mary Ann mentioned the upcoming Equity Begins at Home activities, to be held at the end of March. Mary Ann provided an article discussing these activities. The article is included in this newsletter.
Finally, the members discussed the AnniversaryParty for the April meeting. Many details were ironed out, and this will really be an exciting PARTY! There will be a catered dinner, live entertainment, and speeches by past and current officers. I urge anyone previously or presently associated with the Crystal Club to attend. The attire will be formal, and members may bring a guest. Just be sure to RSVP before April 9th! See the attached flyer for additional details.
Equality Begins at Home
By Mary Ann Horton
For the first time in history, Ohio's GLBT community (including us!) will come together at the statewide level this March! We are part of a statewide event called Equality Begins at Home. Similar events will be going on in all 50 states at the same time. We're part of history!
Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 21. We'll have a huge gathering of people on the statehouse lawn. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, allies, media, all united for the cause of GLBT rights. The rally will start around 1 PM.
We will have Action tables or sections where Rally participants can register to vote, obtain information on how to contact their state representatives and senators, sign postcards to their senators and reps regarding a topic agreed on by the EBaH committee (e.g., nondiscrimination or hate crimes), register for lobby training in their home or a neighboring city and obtain talking points for discussing issues with state reps and senators.
The rally will definitely unite us behind a common purpose and energize us, but without turning all this positive energy into action, we'll have achieved nothing. We hope that everyone there will make gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender equal rights their own personal mission and will advocate for our entire community whenever and wherever possible.
However, right after the rally, we'll be signing up people to join us two days later (Tuesday, March 23) to lobby Senators and Representatives at the Statehouse, and that is how we hope to have the greatest impact on the legal system. There'll be bills we want -- and need -- to get passed, and our knocking on office doors is the only way we can make it happen. It's the only way we'll ever have any rights in this state.
We're still struggling to obtain the rights that were promised us over 222 years ago by our founding fathers -- the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- rights that are due us for no other reason than that we are human beings.
We want the right to live our lives free from harassment, attack, and undue interference from the government.
We want the right to be served in all the same restaurants as straight people.
We want the right to use all public accommodations.
We want the right to live where we wish.
We want the right to compete for jobs on the basis of our merit and to be treated fairly in the workplace.
We want for the brutal crimes committed against us because of who we are to be prosecuted not only as crimes against the individuals, but crimes of hatred and intimidation -- of terrorism -- against an entire people.
We want nothing more than reasonable safety from personal attack, freedom to live our lives the way we must, and the opportunity to share in the American Dream... or in Thomas Jefferson's words, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Don't you need experience to lobby? Not at all! Most lobby day participants have never lobbied before. We'll train you beforehand, and we'll give you speaking points and material to use. If you're an overly nervous sort, you can even tag along with someone else and just observe.
Something that many of us don't realize is that our elected officials are there to represent us. It's their job to listen to our concerns, and they'd far rather chat with a constituent than meet with a slick, professional lobbyist.
Do you have to come out of the closet? No, you don't even have to be LGBT to advocate. You can make a huge difference by just being an ally in the name of human rights. Parents, friends, clergy, and children can be wonderful advocates, too. If you're closeted, you can still participate. Just pretend you're a straight ally.
One of the reasons for EBaH is to give the concept of equality more visibility across the state.
There are a lot of people in Ohio who think there are no gays in their county! (Show the EBaH logo on camera.) We hope to make the EBaH logo very visible in Columbus and across the state. We will use the logo to show that we are united in this effort across the state.
We need to educate people that there are plenty of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people everywhere, including their home towns. Even in Cincinnati! We are a large part of the community, and we deserve the same rights and the same respect as everybody else.
We want people to be aware of EBaH. We're going to have buttons about Equality Begins at Home. We're going to have T- hirts. Wouldn't it be great to have bumper stickers on 10% of the cars in the state, so when you're stuck in rush hour traffic, you see an Equality Begins at Home bumper sticker on the car in front of you?
One of the reasons for EBaH is to give the concept of equality more visibility across the state. We are looking for corporate sponsors and other sponsors. Please contact us for more visibility for your organization in sponsoring this key human rights event. We would also welcome individual contributions.
One of the most exciting parts of the event will be the raffle. We plan to be raffling off an incredible, weeklong stay in a fabulous city somewhere in the United States. You can buy raffle tickets at the rally, and at many community groups around the state.
Equality. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people should have the same rights as straight people.
Awareness. Help make people realize there are LGBT people right there in their own community!
Education. You can blow away those awful stereotypes about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people by educating people. You can make a difference! Come to the Rally on the 21st!
Educate your state senators and representatives on the Lobby Days!
EBaH Volunteers Needed!
Equality Begins at Home needs volunteers to help organize the event. YOU can make a difference! What do we need? Here are some of the needs:
Person to coordinate food for lobby day. Someone to decide what food we need, order it, make sure it's available. Tuesday 3/23 plus advance planning. People to lobby on 3/23. You don't have to be experienced. If you live in Ohio and care about gay rights, you're perfectly qualified! Set up / clean up. (Need 15 people.) Security / crowd patrol. Need many people. First aid. Need trained volunteers! Housing/hotels. Someone to gather a list of places for people who need to stay over Saturday night, put it on the web. Signage. People to design/make signs to direct traffic in, and signs to put in restaurants/bars promoting EBaH.
Please, help bring this about! Contact Mary Ann via the club or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stonewall Columbus Modifies Mission Statement
Columbus, OH February 9, 1999
At their monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 9, the Stonewall Columbus Board approved a new mission statement for the non-profit organization, which was formed in 1981. The mission statement proposed was a result of five months of strategic planning and review by the Board and staff. The new mission statement takes effect immediately and now reads:
Stonewall Columbus is a human rights organization serving Central Ohio through advocacy, community building, and education. We do this in pursuit of equality, fairness and safety for the entire Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community.
This was the first time Stonewall has changed its mission statement since 1993, when Bisexual individuals were included. The new mission statement reflects the organizations commitment to Central Ohio through continued efforts of advocacy, education and community building. It also emphasizes equality, fairness, and safety as goals.
In May of 1998, Stonewall was asked to add transgender to the mission statement. The Board decided at that time to gain more education and awareness of T issues. This learning process led to the addition of transgender to the mission statement, as the needs and issues of the transgender community are closely linked to those of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.
Stonewall has had many programs in the last year in the areas of advocacy, education, and community building, many of them overlapping. Stonewall Columbus is seeking individuals of all levels of experience to assist them on the development of committees for each of the three areas. Each committee will be charged with reviewing current programs in that area, developing a set of strategies, action plans, and benchmarks for success relative to their respective goals.
Individuals who wish to learn more about Stonewall Columbus or who wish to participate on any of the projects or the three new committees should contact Jeff Redfield at 614-299-7764 or email him at email@example.com.
Jeff Redfield, Executive Director, Stonewall
Redeemer Lutheran Church is now Pink Listed
by Mary Ann Horton
I'm happy to announce that another church will welcome transgendered people to its worship services! The church council of the Redeemer Lutheran Church met last month, and voted to officially welcome us!
Redeemer is a mainstream ELCA Lutheran church. The congregation is a mix of mostly straight people and families, with several gay and lesbian members. I've been attending occasionally for the past year, and been welcomed with open arms. Redeemer passed a similar resolution a few years ago to be a "Welcoming Congregation," which means they will accept any worshipper regardless of their sexual orientation. Now they have made an equivalent decision for the transgendered.
The pastor, Al Debelak, is a really warm and accepting fellow. He's also a pleasure to listen to - one of the most witty and fun people I know. He uses humor and voices during his services to help get the message across. With his long ponytail and Birkenstock sandals, he reminds me of a very clean George Carlin.
Redeemer Lutheran Church is located on the East Side of Columbus at 1555 S James Rd, at the intersection of James and Scottwood. This is just a few blocks north of the James Rd exit of I-70. Services are held every Sunday at 8:30 (for the early birds) and 11:00 (for the rest of us.) A Sunday School class is usually offered at around 9:45.
LOCAL TG GETS SURPRISING RESULTS WITH HORMONES
About three and a half years ago, I started thinking I needed to get onto hormones. Oh, yes, I had thought about them ever since I was a teenage girl in drab. But I was scared skirtless to ever march into a doctor's office and ask for the pills, the tickets to my destiny, so I could dress female all the time, get a sex change and live happily ever after as a female. So, when herbal hormones became available, I did it. With a combination of Evanese and something else I can't now recall, I went for about 18 months growing a little tender in the nipples and a little softer all over. Then I asked my therapist to OK the real thing. To my surprise, she did. And that was not my last surprise....
That was two years ago. I have been on Ogen (an estrogen that is not extracted from tortured, pregnant mares) for two years. I started at only .625 mg and every three months the doctor doubled the amount until I was at 5.0 mg per day. Half way down the trail, we started on Aldactone (spironolactone, an anti-androgen) at 100 mg per day. Now we are at 200 mg per day. For me, the 5.0 plus 200 is plenty. I've always been very sensitive to some medications, plus I already take meds for my seizures and I don't want any interactions. The estrogen alone started to put weight on me in the nice places like boobs and hips and fanny, but I also started to get a bit of a tummy. When the spironolactone started, and to this day, I started to really hurt in the boob department, but my tummy became a little more controllable.
Then we started Proscar (same as Propecia) at the max 50 mg per day to regrow some of my hair and aid in the reduction of a tumor I had on my prostate for a few years. It was benign, but I was worried anyway. Now I have full A breasts, going on B size, much softer skin all over, virtually no body hair, more easily electrolysized facial and neck hair, larger hips and fanny, and nearly all my natural hair. And my prostate is tumor-free and about half normal size.
Now for the real surprise: I am a chick with a working appendage. It takes longer to get it to attention, but sex lasts 30 minutes instead of five and both I and my wife can climax at the very same moment with greater intensity. My wife uses my nipples as a very erogenous zone and I love it and I show it too. And it is fantastic.
And if that were not enough: I no longer have the full-time obsession with dressing. I think about being feminine, but getting out en femme is not the constant distraction it used to be. I work at my job better. I work at home better. I feel better about doing "male" things now. I even go out with the boys once a week and play pool, drink a beer or two, tell raunchy jokes, have a steak and make a lot of noise. I seem to have more of a balance in my life. I'm even thinking about cutting back a little, so that my boobs don't continue to grow into grapefruits, when oranges are plenty.
I was just down Columbus way en drab today with my wife and we bought some very femmy things for both of us. She has known for some 18 years and is comfortable with it most of the time. She had apprehension when I told her I was on the prescription hormones, but she admits that the results have been very good for me and the both of us.
So, there is often a silver, if not golden lining to some of the darkest of clouds. I went into this hormone thing with the idea that I was going to probably transition at some point and I might as well be ready for the opportunity, if it were to arise. Now, I really don't think I am looking for the opportunity any more, even though I am more feminine. Go figure.
................from Too Tall Laura in Holy Toledo, Home of the Jeep & Jamie Farr
WEBSITE MEMORIALIZES TRANS DEAD
reported from GAIN
"Remembering the Dead" takes a reverent look at those killed by hate, prejudice.
SAN FRANCISCO -- February 8, 1999
All Rita Hester wanted to do was live her life just like any other woman.
When Hester, a transgendered woman who lived in Boston, was found murdered by multiple stab wounds in her own apartment late last November, this was more than Gwen Smith, another woman living across the country, could bear. Ms. Smith, a professional Web designer living in the San Francisco Bay Area, did not want to do a project relating to violence and prejudice against transgendered individuals. She had to.
Ms. Smith's desire for justice led to her creation of the "Remembering Our Dead" website, a memorial to individuals killed for the simple "crime" of trying to be oneself. For example, 9-year-old Steven Wilson, taunted for playing with "girl's toys," who was raped and drowned by a neighbor child. Or Tyra Hunter, taunted with racial and transphobic slurs and neglected by emergency personnel, who died from inadequate medical care. Or Debra Forte, who suffered multiple six-inch stab wounds to the chest, any one of which would have been sufficient to kill her. As Ms. Smith notes, "When one looks at how many transpeople are murdered, and considers how much complacency there is towards these murders, one realizes that something needs to be done."
Currently, the stories on the website date back as early as 1969, and as recent as February 6th, 1999. With a reported 60% of transgender individuals having been the victim of a violent assault, it is doubtful that this site will stop growing anytime soon. Hopefully, through public education and awareness, this issue will receive the attention it deserves, along with more well- ublicized accounts such as the murder of Matthew Shepard.
The "Remembering Our Dead" Website can be found at http://www.gender.org/remember/ . Gwen Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High-profile sex change could signal social change underway in China
reported from GAIN
A December 27, 1998 story with the above title by Benjamin Kang Lim in the Japan Times opens by introducing readers to Jin Xing, a former colonel in a People's Liberation Army dance troupe, and who underwent sex reassignment surgery three years ago. According to the article, Jin "makes no secret of her past, but admits that dating can be a problem."
According to the article, Jin has found acceptance in Beijing "in a way unthinkable just a few years ago." According to the article, the Chinese have used the new wealth and expanded personal freedoms that come with the cultural and political reforms to discard the "decades of socialist morality."
The story discusses at length many of the social and sexual attitude changes taking place in Chinese society, and asserts that "Jin's story is testament to the change," adding that such a procedure would have been "unthinkable" during the reign of Mao Zedong.
"I could have been punished and put in jail," said Jin, who was born in Shenyang, a city in northeast China. The story reports that since she was six years old she was aware of her transsexual status.
"Before, Jin said, "people had no choice. Now they have many choices."
Police Get it Right
Reported in GAIN
You may remember me as I was the TG whose house was the subject of an arson attack. I now have another incident which I would like you to publish if you could. This time it is in praise of our police and hospital staff as well as two local people.
Last Saturday I was returning to Manchester from Altrincham after my monthly Laser treatment. I boarded the 14:15 Metro to Manchester and suddenly realized that Man Utd were at home and the train was full of football supporters.
Everything went well for a while but eventually I was "read" by a small group (5) who proceeded to announce to everyone "We've got a trannie on board". At this point two people spoke up and said "leave her alone, she is probably just going to the Village." This seemed to calm them down.
However as they were leaving the tram at Old Trafford three of them decided to give me a leaving present, a punch to the stomach and as I folded up a kick to the head (badly bruised jaw) and several kicks and punches to the rest of my lower body. As I was lying there the two people who had spoken out for me walked straight up to the police officers on the station and pointed out the lads telling them what had gone on.
The police immediately arrested the group and helped me from the tram. Then came an even nicer surprise, they took me to the hospital where the staff treated me with total respect ( I was Miss Walker throughout and was there anything they could do over and above what was being done already).
The Manchester police officers were no less courteous, again I was treated with respect. Indeed the lads who had attacked me were immediately charged so I was told and after the hospital released me I was driven to the station to make a statement. I expected at the least a chilly reception at the police station to say the least. What a surprise I was in for.
Every officer I met was polite and treated me with respect. Nothing it seemed was too much trouble for Miss Walker :-) Now, some people may say that they were being political, but I was there and the atmosphere was more one of concern than one of "I'll pretend," if you see what I mean.
Not only that but they phoned Melanie for me (I couldn't speak) and arranged for Mel to be taken to Birmingham New Street station to meet me off the train. Then they arranged transport to Manchester Piccadilly station for me so that I could catch the next train.
The two people who stood up for me and helped the police were both Man Utd fans too and because of their intervention missed the game. I am currently writing to Man Utd to see if I can arrange something special for them from the club, as without them the yobs would have got away with everything. I will let you know the outcome of both the court case and the Man Utd letter just as soon as I have any info.
So if you can publish this letter I would be very grateful as I would like to say a VERY big thank you to the true Man Utd fans, Manchester Constabulary, and Manchester's hospital staff. They made a hurt and frightened girl feel safe and welcome in what seemed at the time an unfriendly world.
Terri Anne Walker.
I, my sister - Part II.
by Kelly Davidson
This story is based on the story called, "I, my sister" and was written by Diana Christy (07/97). This story takes place before Diana's does, however. It is recommended that you read her story first to make sense out of this story. Her story can be found on Michelles Home page at www.dragscape.com.
Chapter 4 Questions and Answers
Al was locked in a small room located inside the very lab he was supposed to have broken into. He was bruised and bleeding as he laid on the bare cot. The big ape punches felt like you were being hit by a sledgehammer and the bodyguard seem to taken pleasure in distributing them even when it was clear Al was no longer a threat.
Now he stared at the large mirror located on the wall that the lab office shared. Al had been too groggy to notice when he was brought in, but guessed it was really a two way mirror. The physical pain was bad but it was his pride that hurt the most. All his planning, what had gone wrong?
Gerald had questioned him roughly for over an hour about how he had gotten over the wall undetected and what he was doing here. Well, at least Al knew the screw-up didn't occur there. But that had been over an hour and a half ago, the police should have been here by now. If only he could see what was happening on the other side of the mirror.
On the other side, Sarah stared at the intruder lying on the cot.
"How did he get in?" she demanded to know.
"I'm not sure." Gerald replied slowly. "As you can tell, I questioned him extensively. He told me that he pole vaulted over the front gate. I guess that's possible, he's in pretty good shape for a transit, but I didn't find a pole anywhere near the gate. He said he needed some money for a place to stay. Here are all the things he had on him."
Sarah looked at all the items he had taken, some of them having a very high sentimental value to her. She really did need to get a safe, didn't she. Cash could be replaced, but not sentimental items. There was also a wallet containing an ID with the name of "Joe Smith" and his picture. Odd, he was wearing the same clothes in the picture that he had on now and yet the ID was several years old. It had to be a fake.
"I was getting ready to call the police, but..."
"Yes." Sarah finished for him. "That is the last thing we need right now." There was really more at stake here. If the agency found out about this break-in they would force her to move out of her home and into someplace they felt was more secure. If she refused, well, they may not cut her funding but she really couldn't take that chance now, could she. Sarah was so close to her goal.
But what could she do? Gerald could take care of the man and not have it bother him, but her? No, she could not be a part to murder. She would turn him over to the police first. So was there another way? Gerald read her mind and prepared to spring a plan he had been thinking about before Sarah had shown up.
"There is another way we can handle the situation, where the police don't have to be called in and no one gets hurt." he told her in his most charming voice. "It also fixes another problem you mentioned before you left on your trip. Remember how you were telling me we needed a maid and I told you about the security risk. The problem is finding someone we can trust...or control."
Sarah didn't even look up at Gerald. She just stared at this dirty, most likely smelly, thing that had invaded her home and tried to steal her memories. Why not? The police would only turn him lose in a few days to steal from someone else. This bum was never going to find a job and here she could offer him real security and he would serve a purpose. Outside, he was just another leech on society.
"We will have to make sure he has no family or friends before we do anything to him." she finally said. "It wouldn't do to have someone come looking for him later on. Let me in so I can question him."
"Hold your nose." said Gerald as he unlocked the door. "He stinks pretty badly."
Al didn't rise as the bodyguard, what was his name, Gerald, and Dr. Jensen strolled into the room. Damn it, how was he going to get out of this without being arrested? If he was arrested then he had to make sure no one found out who he really was or else his career as a private investigator would take a sharp downturn. The lady spoke first.
"So, I understand you went through my things looking for stuff to steal from me. What do you have to say for yourself?" Sarah asked sternly. Gerald wasn't kidding, he did stink.
"Hey, I'm sorry lady. It's cold outside and I didn't want to spend Christmas in the snow. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone, honest. Im very sorry, please let me go, please." Not a bad act, Al thought to himself.
"What about your family? Don't you want to spend time with them?"
"Don't have no family, my parents were killed in a car crash by a drunk driver when I was two years ld. I lived in an orphanage until I was 13, then I ran away." He didn't mention he had been caught a few days later and sent back.
"So, no family, no one to miss you?" Sarah asked.
"No, no one. I'm all alone with no one who cares for me. I take care of myself. I have for a long time." Al looked down on the ground trying to create sympathy for himself. Being so close to Christmas, people tended to be more generous to the less fortunate. It was a dirty trick but Al needed to use every one in the book if he planned to get out of this mess. He couldn't have realize he was writing his own death warrant.
"How come you're in such good shape for a transient?" asked Gerald.
"Hey man, it's a hard life with no health policy, if I get sick, you know what I mean? I spend hours in railroad boxcars with nothing to do so I might as well keep in shape, right? Besides, it protects me from some of the other people who ride the rails." He's perfect Sarah thought to herself. No family or friends who would miss him. He's kept himself in good shape which was needed for what she had in mind. Yes, he would do very nicely.
"I'll give you a choice, Joe. We can either call the police and have them pick you up or you can help me with my research. I will need a sample of your blood and skin, it won't hurt at all, and you will need to spend the next 48 hours here. The sample is for some genetic research I am working on. I'll even let you keep the cash you took from my sock drawer. So, what do you want me to do?"
Gerald knew she had made up her mind to use him when she mentioned the words "genetic research." It was a big breech of security to mention what they were doing here and Dr. Jensen knew it. There was no way this Joe Smith, or whoever he really was, was going to walk out of here alive, if he decided wrongly.
Al, on the other hand considered himself very lucky. Not only could he avoid going to jail, he may even earn some money out of this. At least he wouldn't be going home empty handed. He would have loved to teach this big ape a lesson, but if that was the cost of not spending Christmas in jail, along with a small sample of his skin and blood, it was worth it. Al started to roll up his shirt sleeve.
The Doll Tea
Not another yardsale, I pleaded. Pleasing the female was usually a joy, but after a point, the Saturday yardsales all seemed the same dull vista of cast-off futility.
Be patient, Doll, we have to get ready for The Doll Tea. You said it is real special, so we have to find that special doll and outfit.
With that, we turned into the drive of a very unkempt home, waited until the yapping dogs were all hushed, and greeted the unremarkable proprietors. Do you have any dolls?
I have some, a youngster with stringy hair and fresh lipstick announced. She led us over the lawn to a box of jumbled dolls, doll outfits and a miniature tea set.
I gently reached into the box to examine the contents when I felt a bonding emotion come from within me to one doll in particular. The doll seemed to grasp my hand like a baby.
Comfort me, I need to be dressed and loved, the doll said.
I gently picked it up and gathered some of the rumpled clothes and a dirty blanket for swaddling consolation.
This baby needs loving. I told the lipstick flaunting youth, how can you part with it?
Thats just baby stuff, she pouted, I dont want it anymore. Forty cents, please.
Not even the tea set?
Dont be silly. Boys dont care about tea parties.
At home, the poor doll is tenderly given a warm bath and shampoo. The little dress, slip and panties are hand-washed, dried and pressed. Stockings and accessories soon have her adorable.
Thank you for loving me, she says, I will always love you... forever.
I lift her to my heart. Memories come with warm emotion. Sister and I played dolls so often long ago. Careful bathing and dressing, nursing and caressing and... The Doll Tea. In time, she, too, cast them away for the allure of social expectations. Indeed, she had a large family of her own and with her spouse, has tea with them.
But not I. Dolly dearest was never forsaken. She was always there in my heart to be dressed just so with coordinated colors in cheerful fashion. First love is forever. Especially for The Doll Tea.
Carefully, I put on my nicest outfit for tea time. The azure blue pinafore apron with starched white lace was always my favorite. That just made it special. I joyfully dress each of my little guests. They are beaming with beauty.
I set the table with the miniature china cups and saucers, sugar and cream. The water is set to boil. My fresh baked sweets have filled the kitchen with fragrance. The pink china teapot seems to smile at all of us. Chamomile for todays pleasure. Calming gladness. Sunshine in the heart.
Thank you, Doll, a sweet voice sounds, as if out of the azure, If we are to love one another forever, The Doll Tea is the sweetest way to do it.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. Isaiah 54:7
Mavis, the author, lives in Marietta, Ohio, and invites you, in your own way, to The Doll Tea.
The Crystal Chronicle is the official newsletter of the Crystal Club. The Chronicle is published and mailed a week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. Complementary copies of the Chronicle may be obtained by contacting a club officer or any club member. News items for the Chronicle should be mailed to Kelly Davidson before the end of each month. Her E-mail address is: HZ150@cleveland.freenet.edu. Please specify in the subject field that this is an article for the newsletter.
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