After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


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Parting Glances: Three days and . . .

By |2007-10-04T09:00:00-04:00October 4th, 2007|Opinions|

FRIDAY JOURNAL ENTRY: I think of Mart Crowley’s campy line from “Boys in the Band”: “It takes a fairy to make something pretty.”

Yes, yes: a bevy of fellowshiping aerials . . . The MCC-Detroit Chapel basement is all “glitter and be gay” (another borrowed line, this time from Leonard Bernstein’s musical, “Candide”). Tinsel and Hollywood bunting. Colored lights.

Classical guitar. 70s music. A tasteful potluck — no jello with diced fruit, no tuna/potato-chip casseroles, no KFC finger lickin’ good — but a marvelous feast — enjoyed by 90.

Guest of honor: Rev. Troy Perry, LGBT activist; founder, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. Sitting next to him, a Man of Mystery. “Trevor”. Thirty-something. 5′ 8″. Handsome. Butch. Pleasant. Observant. Keeps authoritatively to himself. Attentive to Perry. Ferndale Councilman Craig Covey, convivially on hand for votes — and presumably a decent Julia Child meal — blessed with requisite Grace by pastor Mark Bidwell — knows “Trevor”. (It figures.) I leave five pounds heavier.

SATURDAY: Another MCC-D St. Mary-Go-Round. This time: Dearborn Park Place for a formal 35th Anniversary celebration. 150 present, including Mayor Bob Porter, whom it’s my pleasure to sit next to and “talk” about something I know next to nothing about: 9 Mile politics. (He’s stepping down as Ferndale mayor. Covey — highly qualified — wants the job.)

Porter shares that as a 20 year-old he had a close call with total lights out. Encountering teenage thugs on a tree-shaded fringe of the Palmer Park golf course, he was robbed, whacked on the head with a baseball bat. He lay in a coma for a week. It took him months to learn to read again; and occasionally he rereads some items two or three times to get their “sense”. (He does Ferndale’s Proclamation Honoring MCC-D without hesitation.)

Perry, at Table 1 to our Table 2, is with muscular “Trevor”, who appears impressed by the charismatic 67-year-old evangelist. They confab intimately. Laugh alot. After dinner Perry speaks briefly, and everybody gets up to line dance, fox trot, samba, rumba, twist, tango, gavotte, shake their booty — except Perry, “Trevor”, and me. (Good food, two extra desserts, a 10:30 watch check means it’s time to hustle my shy Arthur Murray bod on to bed.)

SUNDAY: 11 A.M.: Service packed. Choir back from summer break. In top form. Five clergy celebrate, all dressed in white robes, highlighted with blue Fellowship logo. Perry welcomes “Trevor” as bona fide, off-duty Deputy Sheriff, and — mystery solved — gay bodyguard throughout Detroit weekend. Perry preaches dynamic sermon with touches of humor, Pentecostal spunk, nanosecond timing.

Hints of Southern drawl. Memorable line: “While there’s no cure for AIDS, there’s healing from AIDS.” (I recall church friends lost: Larry Gaynor, Jim Hohman, Jim Proffit, Tom Bartley, Robert Cunningham; deacons Craig Carver, Darren Weinmueller.)

SUNDAY — 3:00 P.M.: At Orchestra Hall to hear DSO perform Serge Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto (Louis Notre, in shirt and slacks, is soloist); Francis Poulenc’s “Aubade,” and the Detroit premiere of John Corigliano’s 1st Symphony. (Two gay composers; the third, with a gay sounding first name. Sir-gay. Not, Francis.)

The attentive audience — a three-quarter house — is mostly 40 and older. (I wave to BTL columnist John Corvino — he’s 30 — and his younger partner, lawyer Mark.) It’s years since I’ve heard the Corigliano work, now conducted by Thomas Wilkes. He gives a flawless reading. By turns this highly textured AIDS piece shrieks, sighs, blares, wails, weeps, pleads, laments, and touchingly — so softly — mourns those Corigliano knew who died during the — still-ongoing — AIDS crisis.

MONDAY JOURNAL ENTRY: A blank. (“Trevor”. “Trevor” who?)

About the Author:

Charles Alexander