People Wes knew who have died
from AIDS and other ways

Vernon in LUEY hat 2004

This is my friend Vernon in the hat, above. His San Francisco friend designed it for a Houston LUEY (Let Us Entertain You) party. LUEY is a post-Mardi gras celebration where Houston bars and clubs invite folks to come celebrate the end of Lent. Vernon was one of many of our friends from NLA:Houston. Vernon died from complications of heart attack, as with a growing number of long-time survivors who seem to be having medication-related cardiac events.

I am so fortunate to be alive. So many of my friends didn't make it. I tested positive in 1987 at the age of 24. I was just a kid, and scared $hitless. I did indeed progress to full-blown AIDS. I am one of the lucky few of my generation -- long-term survivors. I've been through a war of sorts; seen so many of my friends die so suddenly.

Around 1992 my friend david engman shared with me that "I've known 300 people who died of AIDS." I was stunned. Incredulous. I couldn't believe it. But he insisted it was true. I hardly knew any at that point. That quickly changed. At one point I was losing a friend about every 2 weeks. I started making a list, as I knew I wouldn't be able to remember everyone in this tidal wave. I lost over 120 friends to AIDS and another 50+ to other ways.

These are the friends I both knew had died and remembered -- there are many others. Each one is special in his/her own way. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share memories of them with me.




People who died of things other than AIDS

  • Jorge Raul Leon
  • April 31, 1980 - July 2022 (age 42)

    One of a gazillion smiling photos Jorge's friends took

    I knew Jorge for years in an anonymous fellowship. Nearly always smiling. Such a sweet, sweet soul.

    As another friend better wrote, "Jorge had a unique and rare light, he accepted everyone wholeheartedly and loved unconditionally. His contagious laughter, intelligence, and creativity never failed to impact the people he came across. He gave all of his heart to every person, and the very best, most encompassing and comforting hugs."

  • Joe Faulkner
  • January 26, 1944 - 2021 (77) Our friend Joe was the son of our next-door neighbor of about 10 years, Mrs. Faulkner. He came and visited her every day. Her last two years were often in a skilled nursing facility, and Daddy Barry and I would go over and visit about every week.
  • John McConnell aka "Roadkill"
  • March 18, 1950 - December 29, 2020 (age 70)

    Roadkill, longtime leatherman, friend, presenter, and gay rights activist, died of a suspected heart attack. This saddens me deeply.

    Here is the bio he wrote in February 2003 for the San Diego Master/slave Conference:

    Roadkill is a forgetful, aging leather demi-tyrant with idosyncratic oldguard/newguard values and an arthritic spine. He is also a licensed psychologist living in San Diego, Calfornia. Now retired, his private practice included many kinky clients and he remains professionally involved in the study of erotic identity and behavoir. 36 years ago, age 16, he placed a personal ad in a BDSM publication resulting in his first kinky scene. Most of his adult life has been spent with a significant other of one kind or another. He has been a kouros, a lover, a leather newbie, a daddy, a slave, and has now settled comfortably into being a Master. Active in the organized leather community for 15 years, he has presented workshops around the country on single tail skills, flogging, temporary piercing, edge play, fire play, SM 101, SM roles, relationships, switching, bottoming, old guard values, and "The Meanings and Uses of Pain." He is a founding member of Delta International, and a member of the 15 Association and Chicago Hellfire Club.

    I first met "RK" when he became lovers with my best friend, John Bertsch from 1993-2002. John met RK at The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation -- a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 1993. Organizers estimated that 1,000,000 attended the March. Separately, I was at The March as well with a contingent of ACT-UP friends from Houston.

    The two of them met when they were in a line to go into the Washington Monument and it wasn't moving. For a long time. Finally John said to this handsome guy behind him (RK), "Do you want to get out of here?" They went to RK's hotel. There, there was a bag labeled "Toyz". John asked "What's in there?" That was his introduction to this handsome guy as a leatherman.

    Later, RK travelled to Austin and I met him at a going away party for John, who was selling his home and moving to San Diego to be with him. I didn't like him at first, nor did he like me. I was a bit loud at that time, and RK was a bit shy. We both wondered what John saw in the other. But we both respected John's judgment. And time would prove him right. We became deep friends.

    (Prior to my meeting Roadkill he had been director of the San Diego Gay Center in the later '80s.)

    Roadkill and John moved in together circa 1996. Later that year I traveled from Houston to San Diego, where I had lived as a kid, to see them. The photo is from when Roadkill took me to Black's Beach, where we sat and enjoyed cigars and talked as the sun waned.

    Enjoying cigars at Black's Beach

    In the years to come RK would take on an exceptional live-in slave named pluG, and for a while a Master of his own named Buster in SFO. John would take on handsome and dear Graylin/Sigma. After about 10 years, RK and John wound down their live-in lover relationship but never stopped loving each other deeply.

    I returned to San Diego in 2003 when John Bertsch had moved into a home of his own. RK, who had been active with a leathermen's group called SandMen, began hosting men's parties at his home. Eventually the group became named "Superpigs." I was an inaugural member. It was at one of those parties in 2004 that I first met bobby, who became my slave a year later. I affectionately nicknamed him "dog". I am forever grateful for that connection. My leather family and I enjoyed working setup/teardown those months and years. A quiet time good for visiting. RK and I connected in part as leather Masters with leather slaves. My slave jeff and his slave pLUG were fast friends.

    After several years of hosting each and every month -- and pLUG's failing health -- RK wound down the parties.

    Roadkill also hosted a men's BDSM skills-learning group called "Pain Guild." In it, guys were given a binder filled with BDSM topics and sat, naked, learning and doing each week. I was charged with presenting on "Things That Pinch" July 6, 2005, and "Master/slave & Daddy/boy relationships" August 31, 2005. The following year, me and my slave jay received an excellence in presentation award from the Pain Guild for the Things That Pinch presentation the previous summer.

    Somewhere in here Roadkill became one of my three sponsors into perhaps the premier men's BDSM club in the world, the Chicago Hellfire Club, in which he was a member. Around this time he was also a founding member of Delta Brotherhood International, another large men's BDSM group, started in part when CHC would not yet allow transmen. (That CHC policy changed sometime before 2020.)

    In the years to come, RK would enjoy the company of Jeff Rosenberg, Jim Kinney (with his big beautiful dog), then Kevin Hewitt.

    He loved reading, travel, good food -- and, especially, good conversation.

    He had mostly retired October 31 from his counseling practice, and was looking forward to spending more time with Kevin.

    Here's a fun thing to share, a memory from my friend Mark O'Keefe:

    This is my most embarrassing story ever, but it seems right to tell it. So it happened in 1997 when I was Mr. San Diego Leather. I was invited to a party at Roadkill’s. I’m dripping in cow. Lid, gloves and two full bags of toys. I had an event to attend and it was going to be over after the door closed to his party. But Roadkill said come anyway and I’ll leave the door open for you. So at his house there is a driveway that is very steep, so I decided to take the stairs. It’s midnight, the glass front door is open. I walk in and the dog started barking at me. I’m trying to calm the dog down saying “It’s ok, I supposed to be here.” Then I start thinking, he doesn’t have a dog. I look up, there are four sets of middle aged eyes looking at me. They said “We think you want the house next door.” Pointing Roadkill’ house. I apologize profusely. Then I’m thinking now I have to tell Roadkill I have outed him to his neighbors. What were the chances the door would be the same door and open?! So I do take the steep driveway and finally reach my real destination. I tell Roadkill with much hesitation what has just transpired. He starts to laugh at me in that maniacal tone and says, “That’s the funniest thing I have heard in a long time!” But wait, there’s more. Roadkill host a party every year called the Pink Party, where he invites all kinds of neighbors and friends. So I’m hanging at the party and these people come over to me I don’t know. They say “Do you remember us, you came to our house one night at midnight.” I just want to crawl into a hole. Still not the end. Every time he runs into the neighbors from that point on, they tell Roadkill to say “Hello” to me. This is one of my favorite stories to tell. Sir, you will be missed.

    And, lastly, this beautiful eulogy, including passionate advocacy words written by John McConnell himself (I've bolded those, below) as he was retiring just two months before:

    Organized by Van Ethan Levy and T.R. Philomena (Tiki).

    No words do justice for the work, passion, advocacy, love and so much more John brought to this world. He dedicated his life to social justice and created space in his life, home, work and heart to assisting those whose identity(ies) were othered. A common thread we share is John’s support for each of us who combat stigma through a social justice lens; even, when he did not hold these identity(ies).

    His door was always open and he created beautiful spaces for people to gather and share food, thoughts, and so much more. Let us gather and share space in celebration of his life where we can virtually gather, support, celebrate, and grieve together. I leave you with some of the work he has done in his life, which is merely not even the tip of the iceberg of the lives he has touched with his mentorships, internships, friendships, love, and so much more. He expressed his life’s work, in this way.

    “After some thirty years of practice, I retired from private practice on October 31, 2020. At 70 years of age, it just felt like it was time to move on from clinical practice to an active retirement with the man I love. The practice of psychotherapy has given me the privilege of knowing many wonderful people at a depth which is rarely possible, even among friends. The work invited me into the lives of people diverse across cultures, incomes, religions, sexualities, vocations, intellect and outlook.

    When I started university studies in 1972, the entire Gender, Sexuality, and Relationship Diverse (GSRD) spectrum was diagnosed as perverse and pathological, including homosexuality. I have practiced in an era in which it has been radical to assert that – on the contrary – almost all of this diversity is a normal variation that when lived well is healthy and joyful. It has been radical to assert that for many souls these variations are not – as we were taught – pathological barriers to intimacy, but rather the essential path to and expression of joyful intimacy. I now refer to BDSM simply as Spicy. My assertion that spicy and GSRD is OK has been as radical and discomforting to some colleagues as was my assertion that homosexuality was OK, when I came out as gay in the 1960s. Often the discomfort has been felt on both sides.

    Most of us know that psychotherapy requires an ongoing discipline – or perhaps just a habitual awareness – of keeping a dual perspective of “the other” as both “an unknowable other” and as “the same human stuff as oneself.” This is a life-perspective, earned by practice, and a perspective I value greatly. Like many in this field, I did not choose it as much as I felt called to it. I am grateful to share this vocation with so many exceptionally warm, caring, kind and bright people. I am grateful for Interns who have kept my eyes fresh. I am grateful for the rich friendships I have found among colleagues. Most of all I am of course grateful to all the patients who entrusted their hidden selves with me. From each I have learned. In all, it has been a wonderful vocation.”

    Dear friend, today, we celebrate your life. We mourn your passing. Thank you for each day, conversation, and moment you generously shared with us. In the words of the great philosopher Marcus Aurelius “It is not death that a man should fear, but rather he should fear never beginning to live.” Thank you for the days you lived with us, for us, and among us. We were graced with your brilliance, beauty, and courage. How we will miss you good friend.

  • Tom Adkins
  • October 3, 1952 - August 30, 2020 Tom was a good and loving partner for nearly 17 years and though we had to part in 2008 I still love him to this day.

    Tom and Officer Wes photo shoot by Corwin
    Tom and Officer Wes photo shoot by Corwin, 2003.

  • Mrs. Faulkner
  • February 20, 1921 - September 3, 2019 (98) Mrs. Faulkner was my next-door neighbor for nearly 10 years. We each always made time for a hug. She died at about 98 years old. Her faithful son, Joe, helped keep her going so long.
  • Twyla Davis
  • July 20, 2019

    Twyla Davis

    Twyla's husband Wayne worked for me at Enron. I adored Wayne (in later job references I said Wayne was so good that if I could clone him I would have), and Twyla. She was brilliant, and incredibly sweet. Tall. TALL. She had Marfan Syndrome. I know little about it, other than Wayne had told me tall with a long neck is characteristic of it and that her life expectancy was lessened by it -- as in she could die at any moment; so she got many extra years in. Took on pro-bono work in her legal career because it was the right thing to do. Left law when one of her free clients filed a merit-less complaint. At Enron I brought Twyla in as an extra hand in network / software deployment a few times, as she was computer and network savvy and always a pleasure to be around. I have sent her a happy birthday note every year since I left. Wayne sent me an e-mail so that I'd know. The world is a lesser place without her.

    Here's Twyla's formal obit:
    Twyla was born in Houston on November 1, 1962 and graduated from Regan High School (1980), the University of Houston (1984) and Texas Tech School of Law (1987). A long time Houston Heights resident, Twyla started her early career working at Davis Hardware, the business owned by her family. Later, she founded her own law practice eventually transitioning into information technology, holding managerial positions in IT at Rice University and MD Anderson Cancer center. As an enthusiastic scrapbook maker, crafter, card maker and player of board games, Twyla was active in several groups around town and loved participating in events. She was a world traveler, visiting over 30 countries including Russia, China, Egypt and traveling above the Arctic Circle. But most of all, Twyla loved her family. And sitting in her little orange car in the driveway, windows down, while reading. In lieu of flowers, family request memorial donations to The Marfan Foundation, 22 Manhasset Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050.

  • Sir Paul
  • June 2019

    Sir Paul

    This photo captures a lot. What a sweet, sweet man. We connected back in 1999-2000 during the inaugural SAADE mentors program, and I liked the heck out of him. He was a deeply honorable man. He went quickly of a ruptured aneurysm.

  • Andrew Harwin
  • May 18, 2019 I was at Inferno and wanted to experience a whipping, by someone who would take their time. "Drew" was recommended to me. I mentioned this to someone else, and he pointed out Andrew walking by. So I went over and said "Hi my name is Officer Wes and we're supposed to meet." It turned out we were, but in a totally different way. Later he would be a helpful resource as I pulled together leather and spirituality resources for others.

    Here is Andrew (left) with Michael Horowitz (right), likely at an Inferno.

    Andrew Harwin and Michael Horowitz

  • Michael Horowitz
  • July 25, 2018 Dear dear Michael. What a generous spirit he had. We had already met earlier, but became friends when at an Inferno dinner function he offered the seat next to him as all the others were taken. I learned later that he had also served on the Board of GMSMA (Gay Male S/M Activists) in '98. At the time, MIchael was Treasurer, a position he'd served in many times, though he'd also been President ('88-'89) and Chairman ('92-'93). He's in the photo above with Andrew Harwin.
  • Argie Miller
  • March 2, 2018 My uncle Argie. Protector of cats. Died quickly of lung cancer when what seemed to be a relentless cold was re-diagnosed...
  • Holt Bullock
  • March 1, 2018 Holt was a sweet man from a support group I went to. He hosted a fireworks-watching gathering at his home near Mission Bay one year.
  • Dave Zetlmaier
  • October 25, 2017 Dave, on the left, was a very sweet bear of a leatherman. Doorman at The San Diego Eagle. He also seemed to die from cardiac problems, like Marty, below. He left behind very sweet partner Patrick, on the right.

    Dave Zetlmaier

  • Marty White
  • October 23, 2017 From Alaska. Quiet. Funny. Sweet. Such a shocker: Marty seemed to die from ongoing cardiac problems.
  • slave david stein
  • July 17, 1948 - October 11, 2017

    I loved slave david stein. he was instrumental in nurturing the relationship between me and my first leatherslave (more at How MASTER Wes & dave developed into MASTER & slave) And just a dear man. I shall miss him indeed.

    From his personal imprint bio page David Stein:

    slave david stein
    photo copyright Sir Roberto

    Born in Pittsburgh in 1948, david stein grew up in Western Pennsylvania, where he started tying himself up at age 5. He graduated high school three years early and went off to study philosophy at NYU in 1965 and later at Northwestern University, which awarded him a Master’s degree — little did they know! When the academic job market collapsed in the early 1970s, he fell into publishing and in 1977 landed back in New York City, where he got a job as a magazine editor and came out in the SM-leather scene. He’s lived in New York ever since except for a year in San Francisco to produce Ask the Man Who Owns Him and Boots, Bondage, and Beatings.

    In 1980 david co-founded Gay Male S/M Activists (GMSMA), once the world’s largest gay SM organization, and served it in many capacities, from president to newsletter editor and program chairman, for the next 11 years. It was for the GMSMA statement of purpose, back in 1983, that david coined “safe, sane, and consensual s/m,” now a ubiquitous catch phrase he has mixed feelings about. Retired from GMSMA, in 1999 he co-founded New York City’s gay chapter of Masters And slaves Together (MAsT), from which he is also now retired.

    For six years he wrote the “Bond+Aid” safety column for Bound & Gagged magazine, and in 1996 he guest-edited issue #14 of International Leatherman magazine, devoted entirely to real-world gay Masters and slaves. In 2002 his epic Master/slave novel, Carried Away: An S/M Romance was published by Daedalus. It is now out of print, but a second edition is in the works, along with authorized ebook versions, and will be announced on this site when available.

    Over the years, david’s BDSM fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Drummer, DungeonMaster, International Leatherman, Mach, Power Play, and other periodicals as well as the anthologies Leatherfolk edited by Mark Thompson (Alyson), SM Classics edited by Susan Wright (Masquerade), Horsemen: Leathersex Short Fiction edited by Joseph W. Bean (Leyland), Men on the Edge edited by Christopher Pierce (StarBooks), and the “novelology” The Academy: Tales of the Marketplace by Laura Antoniou (Mystic Rose). Some of his writing is available online at his website, as is a biographical essay that covers his earlier career in more detail than here.

    david has presented at numerous leather and SM events, including the groundbreaking International MAsT Weekend in Atlanta in 1999, several times at the Leather Leadership Conference, and most years at the Master/slave Conference in or near Washington, DC. In 2006 he was the keynote speaker at the South Plains Leatherfest in Dallas.

    In October 2013, slave david entered service to Sir Brian F., currently residing in Wellesley, MA, and hopes to remain Sir Brian’s slave for the rest of his life.

    And his personal site at continues:

    Since October 29, 2013, i have been in service to Sir Brian F., who then lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, with His non-M/s partner. In July 2014, however, they moved to Eastern Massachusetts near Boston. It's tough not being able to get together more than a few times a year, but Sir and i keep in touch via daily emails and weekly Skype sessions. He oversees my diet and exercise, and from time to time gives me service assignments that call on my skills as a writer, editor, and researcher. He also supports my continuing efforts to help educate gay men and others about ethical Mastery/slavery and safer, more responsible BDSM.

    Given my age (67 on July 17, 2015) and state of health, i expect that this will be my last M/s relationship, and i hope that i have finally learned enough from my prior — mostly much shorter — M/s bonds to not screw it up this time! Despite some big stumbles over the past couple of years, i seem now to be able to satisfy Sir Brian most of the time. And even though He is only a little more than half my age, He has earned my deep respect and complete trust. i am extremely grateful to be one of the first members of His leather family, which He calls the Order of the Seekers. Sir Brian is one of the very best Masters i have gotten to know, and it is a privilege, an honor, and a joy to serve Him in any way He requires. Sir, thank You, Sir!

    slave david stein

    The silver chain and turquoise disc in the photo above, which for a long time was the main photo on this page, were gifts from my Guardian at the time, Master Steve, founder of Butchmanns Inc.. It was Master Steve who helped me rediscover my “heart of slave” after a couple of painfully ended M/s relationships made me feel that i could no longer follow this path. His teaching was that “heart of slave” is innate, and though being collared and owned by a Master fulfills a slave’s nature, it does not create it. So even when i was not in service, i still saw myself as someone who exists in order to serve and whose greatest happiness comes from obedience — despite my ego’s tendency to mount occasional rebellions, LOL!

    Master Steve retired from the leather lifestyle in 2008 and is now a full-time Buddhist priest living relatively quietly. It was a great honor to belong to his extended family for ten years, and i will always be grateful both for his teaching and for his letting me be a part of his life.

    This website exists to be of service to Masters, slaves, bondage enthusiasts, and others who share some of my interests and enthusiasms. Except for a few photos of me and illustrations created for some of my writing, the pages consist of text and links only, and while the content frequently concerns the erotic, nothing here is obscene. Still, if homosexuality, bondage, consensual slavery, or SM practices offend you, i respectfully advise against following any of the links below.

    So that is my friend slave david stein. A good friend to slaves and Masters everywhere.

  • Harvey Stewart
  • May 7, 2017
    Christmas dinner 2016 at Harvey and Michael's

    The picture above was taken by Harvey's husband Michael Martinez December 2016 at their Christmas dinner. Harvey is at the head, Daddy Barry is at his right hand and I'm opposite.

    "Harley Ridin' Harv" was Daddy Barry's running buddy years ago. In 2003, in the line for The Bears' Meatloaf Dinner fundraiser, Harvey was the one who introduced his shy friend, Daddy Barry, to the guy in the tall boots with the cute buns -- me. As Daddy Barry relayed often, he'd turned to Harvey and said "I want *that*!" Harvey came up, asked if I rode, and when I said yes, wrote a note that said "Come ride!" A few months later, I did. That ride was really when Daddy Barry and I got to connect.

  • Marshal Kline
  • February 28, 2017
    Marshal Kline

    Marshal was a handsome, sweet man; and friend to both Daddy Barry and I. He died of a very aggressive cancer on his throat.
  • Parker Perry
  • May 2016 Sweet Parker with his handlebar moustache; lead ball dances at Inferno each year.
  • Timmy Arnold
  • November 15, 1973 - March 19, 2015 Timmy lived with my friend Tom M for three years and that's how we first met. Such a perky, upbeat guy with a gentle soul. Overdosed. 41. So sad.
  • Michael Blackburn
  • 10/2012 We shared cabins at one of my first Infernos. What an incredibly nice big-hearted man.
  • Ron Hardin
  • 2/8/1958-7/23/2012 boy to fellow Leatherman Mike Little. Liver failure.
  • Keith Roberts
  • 2/2012 A quiet, painfully shy man. Something tells me this was another suicide.
  • Ron Bachman
  • May 31 1966 - 2012 What a wonderful man. Spiritual with a deeply kinky side. Great sense of humor. Bone cancer. First instance into remission for 5ish years. Then it came back.
  • Jason "Cowboy" Huggins
  • July 6, 2011 Cowboy was a sweet, gentle guy. We would visit when Opa and I were on our walks. Tall, handsome; young. Homeless -- I never knew until after his death; he was always clean. Murdered by fellow homeless man Joshua James Larson with rock blows to the head.

    Acquaintance John Keasler writes "The real crime here is that young people in our country and our city are forced to live in tent hovels below our rich homes and businesses."

  • John R. Eckel, Jr.
  • October 22, 1951 – November 13, 2009 I dated John in 1984. He was a great, smiling man. We kept in touch through the many years.

  • Martin Delaney
  • December 9, 1945 – January 23, 2009 Founding Director, Project Inform. I got treatment information from Project Inform early on, and went to more than one Town Hall meeting where Martin Delaney would talk about current approaches and upcoming treatments. I really respected the guy.

  • Aunt Kathryn
  • February 12, 2008 My mother and her older sister had a difficult relationship, particularly when my grandparents died and the siblings each inherited an equal third of a piece of property on which use they did not agree. When we were younger, however, my sisters and I always had a good time with Aunt Kathryn, her fun husband, and their sweet kids who were all our age. A favorite memory? A summertime day of water skiing behind their boat. Great fun.

  • Scott Greene
  • April 9, 2007 Scott was a playful spirit! He was in the Brothers group. He and his partner David Janisch had the most amazing collection of Pez, Disney and Halloween items. Both of them were friends of the family. Scott had a rare illness called "Castleman's Disease," and was surrounded by his partner and family when he passed at home.

    Smilin' Scott

  • Jim Houts
  • July 28, 1953 -- February 4, 2007 (age 53) Jim Houts was a social friend who I'd see in the last year or so at a guys' gathering on the first Saturday of the month. He died when he and his partner Tom Taylor were motor biking on the beautiful back roads south of Alpine, Tom in the lead, when Jim’s bike was hit by an on-coming truck on a tight turn.

  • pluG
  • February 28, 1964 - January 1, 2007 (age 42) pluG was my friend Roadkill's leatherslave, and called my slave jeff "the brother he never had." What a sweet, gentle soul; smart, INCREDIBLY witty, helpful; very, very loved. For pluG's memorial his mother had the nurturing idea to welcome family and vanilla friends in the morning, and leatherfolk in the afternoon, with food together in the center to let people get to know the other group if they wanted to. Happy music played. Caterers kept food coming so that people could linger and visit. Pictures through the years were out for perusing, and his sisters were there to point out which cute soccer player was their brother. Then during the leather gathering folks gathered tightly in the large living room and adjoining areas to hear, remember and share more about pluG. It was the sweetest memorial I've been to. EVERYONE loved pluG.

    His death was from liver failure, a result of chronic hepatitis B which he contracted in his 20s.

    Roadkill & pluG

    A "plug" to potentially help others: Organ transplantations save lives, but only if you help. Each day about 70 people receive an organ transplant, but another 16 people on the waiting list die because not enough organs are available. All you need to do is say yes to organ and tissue donation on your driver's license. Talk to your family members about organ and tissue donation so they know your wishes. Even if you've signed something, your family may be asked to give consent before donation can occur.

  • My step-uncle, Carol
  • ? - December 27, 2006 I always thought it was cool that Uncle Carol built the house that he and his family lived in.
  • Wino Jack
  • ? - August 22, 2006 A friendly face at a recovery center, Wino Jack died at about 80 with some 30+ years of sobriety.
  • Tim Jones / Daddy Tim / boy tim -- he manifested great beauty as he moved along the path of his life
  • May 31, 1957 - August 16, 2006 (age 49)


    Officer Wes and rookie boy tim in uniform

    tim was my leatherslave July 1999 - December 2000. We first met when I was helping at a leatherboys' training camp. his uncommon good looks and respectful demeanor caught my attention. We began writing, in depth, about our respective hopes and dreams. he was a part of the reason Tom and I moved to Austin from Houston in spring 2000, after dating for nine months. (The other part was my mother was ill.) In short order, we learned that 24/7 was not his calling. he moved on to a peered relationship with Paul Bright, began Topping, and, in a couple more years, Tom and I moved on to San Diego when Texas proposed changing the way it managed Federal AIDS Drug Assistance Funds (ADAP) at the state level. The lessons from that relationship ultimately led to each of us thriving even more. (More about my personal pain and growth at Officer Wes' personal journey of leather heart & spirit.)

    Recently our filmmaker friend Alpha utilized Paul Bright's editing talents for a new film, DRIVE. It's gala premiere was at the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival August 16, 2006. Tim and Paul had a "conversation" that afternoon. Tim did not go to the premiere. When Paul returned home, Tim was dead.

    Tim's boy describes the death in ways that sound like a suicide to me. Suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem. It is a "solution" that leaves a broad swath of pain behind that lingers for years. Want ANY reason to live for just one day, despite whatever intense feelings are going on? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [that's 1-800-273-TALK].

    What was most helpful for me with my own suicidal feelings when I was in college? Hearing from my friend Cyndi how she would not feel sorry for me; no, indeed not. She made it extremely clear: "I'd be SO ANGRY at you I'd come to your grave, squat over it, and PISS ON IT!!!" That vivid imagery shocked me out of my self-centered obsession and awakened me, apparently forever, to the impact trying to take my own life would have on others. I remember it to this day, and that's been over twenty years ago.

    My leather mentor Dan Kalin committed suicide. My mother chose to end her own life. And it appears Tim also committed suicide. That's three people who had major roles in my life journey. There are at least two others specifically named on this page who also committed suicide. Apparently suicide is more pervasive than many talk about. So talk about it. Get it out. Talking about suicide here won't prevent it totally; but it may reduce it.

    Tim is the person responsible for Tim's suicide, but Paul is an easy target for the anger some survivors are currently unable to properly assign toward Tim. My thoughts go out to Paul, the surviving boy, and the family. All are obviously in considerable pain.

    A Mardi Gras-style celebration of Tim's life was held in Austin on August 27th. It was beautiful, in a lovely setting. And, from what was openly shared, I gather that crystal meth had been one component in the time before Tim's death.

    Tim is survived by, well, heck, everyone who's still around. But more specifically, by his partner, Paul, his boy, Thomas, his former boy, Jim, his former Daddy, Tom, and his former Master, Officer Wes.

    This picture really shows the gentle warmth that Tim could radiate.  Here we are at a New Year's Eve party December 31, 1999, in Festival Hill (boondocks, Texas, but fun) that is themed

    This picture really shows the gentle warmth that Tim could radiate. Here we are at a New Year's Eve party December 31, 1999, in Festival Hill (boondocks, Texas, but fun) that is themed "Come as your opposite." So I am wearing a leatherboy's collar, and Tim is wearing my Master's cover. My love to all who miss this uncommonly beautiful man.

  • Cesar David Dominguez
  • June 1957 - June 6, 2006 (age 49) Mr. Deaf San Diego Leather 2004. Wonderfully friendly with twinkly eyes and a bright smile. Laughed joyfully and gently corrected me when I was learning ASL and tried to sign "Good to meet you" but my hands moved toward each other horizontally instead of vertically -- which meant "Good to lay you." Originally met at a Deaf BBQ our interpreter friend carla was hosting. Died of pneumonia.
  • Larry Murray
  • March 28-29, 2006 Larry was a big, broad, uncommonly handsome man with a thick, bushy moustache. Daddy Barry and he used to be &uckbuddies years ago. Both stopped using after a night of sex and drugs that left them each shaken. When Daddy Barry and I flirted on a motorcycle run in 2003 I was deeply surprised when this sexy guy (Woof, Sir!) said it had been about five years since he'd been intimate with a man. Later I learned about that scary night.

    About a week ago Daddy Barry mentioned seeing Larry at breakfast -- with a beer. I was saddened. Around this same time, Larry had relationship problems that got physical.

    He was found dead by a neighbor friend amidst pills and booze, a suicide note left behind.

  • Lynn Johnson
  • June, 2005 I met Lynn when I was able to help at The Center for AIDS. He was a former CFA board secretary with a loving, quiet, gentle presence. He died of cancer.
  • Robert Davolt
  • May 16, 2005 I knew Robert Davolt from his postings through the years on the gl-asb (gay/ list hosted by QueerNet. He died of cancer.

    Through the years, Robert was a member of the Unicorns of Madison, an editor of Drummer Magazine, chairman of the San Francisco pride parade's leather contingent, an editor of Bound & Gagged, and served on the board of directors of the Leather Archives and Museum and as San Francisco Leather Daddy XIX.

  • Jeffrey Bays
  • March 7, 2005 I knew Jeffrey from my days in Houston, particularly when he asked me to give an electrical demonstration in 1998 after he won a leather title, Mr. Texas Drummer 1997-1998. I also knew him because he played with my friend Ray Davis.

    At an SDLOG gathering in 2003
    Jeffrey (right) at an SDLOG gathering in 2003

    From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "...Bays was driving a Kawasaki Vulcan 750 at 5:14 a.m. on Paradise Road near Flamingo Road when the driver of a Ford F150 pickup tried to make a U-turn, crossing into the motorcycle's path, Las Vegas police said. The motorcycle skidded a short distance, went down on its left side and slid into the truck, police said. Emergency medical personnel found Bays dead at the scene."

  • Mike Ruby
  • 1950 - 2004 (age 54ish) My cousin-in-law. Died of chronic alcoholism, at home. His wife, my dear cousin, knew he was going to die when he started turning yellow. If you think you have a drinking problem and want to do something about it, you might want to check out Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Martha
  • August 4, 2004 Tom's sister
  • Dick Tatelman
  • July 2004 Dick was a man I knew from an anonymous fellowship. I'd ride my Harley. He'd ride his Triumph motorcycle. He was about 60 when he died in his sleep while on vacation in Paris.
  • Doug Mulholland
  • September 17, 1963 - December 29, 2003 (age 40) Doug was a bright, likeable young man. He was my cousin. That also meant he was born into and raised in a family with a multigenerational history of alcoholism. I don't know if he were an alcoholic himself, but the odds are good.

    Doug's wife had always wanted to go to a Hard Rock Café. Monday December 29, 2003, he took her to one. Apparently he drank. When they got home there was some arguing. The wife called 911. When the police arrived, they heard two shots. Doug had shot her and then himself.

    The family is profoundly sad.

    If you want to stop drinking, there is a program of recovery from alcoholism available called Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • Dean Walradt
  • November 1, 1950 - December 15, 2003 (age 52) Master Dean Walradt was a thickly hung, beefy, nearly naked man in a Houston gym locker room when I first met him around 1989. He made quite the impression on me at 26. Woof! A few years later he would win the first Mr. Texas Drummer title in 1992.
    Dean on the NLA:Houston float in the 1993 Houston Gay Pride parade.  He's the third person from the left, under the marquee number 2.
    Dean on the NLA:Houston float in the 1993 Houston Gay Pride parade.
    He's the third person from the left, under the marquee number 2.

    One of many aspects of Dean that I respected was that when he saw a need, he'd do something about it. He helped start NLA:Houston in 1991 and led it for four years. He and Master Jim started what came to be known as boy's Training Camp in 1999. He also started Master's Retreat in 1999. I am thankful to have contributed or participated in each of those endeavors at some level.

    In 1993 Dean made a simple request that would have perhaps the longest-reaching leather ramifications for me personally: He asked if I'd do an electrical presentation for NLA:Houston as an official event during Houston Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Pride Week. I've been presenting on electrical and other topics ever since.

    I also learned about leather community bitch fights with Dean. One time was within NLA:Houston when his long leadership became a sore spot, yet nobody else was willing to step up to the plate. He handled that time with quiet dignity and the gentle challenge, "If you can do a better job, do it." A second time was within NLA:International when the Houston chapter was hosting Living in Leather VIII. All the challenges inherent in the National Leather Association's bifurcated structure of local and national memberships --and dues -- bubbled to a head yet again when the registration process was handled on redundant levels both by the treasurer in San Francisco and the registrar in Seattle. I raised my concern about the seeming wasted duplicated effort. Dean gently said "There's a reason" but he couldn't tell me at the time what it was. In a few months, the treasurer was caught with his hand in the money til. I learned a bit about dignity and trust through these difficult times together. We didn't always agree. And it didn't matter.

    These are some of the ways he influenced my personal path.

    On a broader level, what I saw in Dean through the years was a man who made a huge difference in helping create thriving leather communities in Houston and Dallas. In addition to the projects mentioned above he was particularly generous in his personal continuation of the leather tradition of mentoring. His work in NLA:International, the many retreats through the years, and his writings touched even more people.

    He left things better than when he came into the world.
    He loved people and people loved him.
    A life well lived.

    Officer Wes
    San Diego, California

    January 8, 2004

    Dean died of complications from a perforated small intestine.
  • Tom's mom, Ernestine
  • August 5, 1922 - October 13, 2003 (age 81) What can I say? Tom's mom and dad were both about 70 when he came out to them. And though they were from a church that didn't look kindly on homosexuality, they were warm and loving to their son. And they loved me as well.

    Dad and Mom camping at Belton around 1992
    Dad and Mom camping at Belton around 1992

  • E. Rusty "Caspian" McGraw
  • ~1951 - May 2003 caspian and I met when he was volunteered by his peers at an erotic electricity presentation January 18, 1998, to be the bottom for demonstrating an electric buttplug. Later he was the slaveboy to my friend Jim. He battled prostate cancer the last couple years of his life. After Jim's passing, he wondered how he could be of service: he turned his energy to being a Daddy and passing along what he knew. Woof!

    Caspian as photographed by an early Mistress
    Caspian as photographed by an early Mistress

  • Carolyn Larson Roberts
  • September 21, 1960 - May 10, 2002 (age 41) Carolyn was the person who, in 1992, got me to join NLA:Houston through the simple question "When are you going to join our little club?" She was a founding member of NLA:Houston and an executive officer of FIST (Females In Search of Trouble). She died of an apparent massive heart attack.
  • Michael Allen
  • died circa 2002 Michael was a joyful leatherman and dear friend. We first met at NLA:Houston and were two of the few SM folk in that leather group at that time. My leatherboy, marvin, and I introduced Michael and david engman, who became his leatherboy. Michael had a great dungeon, and we spent many good times together. He was also a member of the Fun Bunch, an intimate group of SMers who insisted on having a good time. Anyone caught being too serious was proclaimed temporary president, whose duty it was to bring cheese to the next gathering. His blunt counsel -- "Screw what anyone else thinks" -- also gave me the courage to be flogged in front of others at a private leather run in 1992. That flogging (thanks, Ian!) gave me a profoundly deeper insight into what leathersex could be, which changed my life -- and by extension, the lives of many others.

    Michael after fulfilling his leatherboy's lifelong fantasy to be branded by his Owner
    Michael after fulfilling david's lifelong fantasy to be branded by his Owner, Rosebud 1992

  • Curtis Baker
  • 2002 Curtis was a gentle soul I knew from a recovery program. He relapsed, and eventually died when his liver and kidneys gave out.

    profile head shot of Curtis Baker

  • Jim Babin
  • November 25, 2001 (age 83) Jim was a dear man who was also inspiring just by living an active life into his 80s. I first met Jim at a 3/28/92 HPEP party in the home of my friend Robert Dante. My friend david engman remembered Jim from when david was 16, some 20 years earlier. slave dave and I attended a bondage party circa 1998. I later discovered that our host, kim, was part of Jim's extended leather family. In 2000, Tom, boy tim and I hosted Jim when he and caspian were in town for NLA:Austin's Texas Leather Pride. Later that year Jim was my sponsor to Delta 2K.

    Jim outside Mr. S Leather during Folsom Street Fair in 1998
    Jim outside Mr. S Leather during Folsom Street Fair 1998

    Here's Jim's leather obituary:

    Longtime old-guard leatherman Jim Babin died November 25, 2001, at the age of 83. He was a charter member of Delta Brotherhood International, as well as a member of Chicago Hellfire Club, The 15 Association, Houston's Brotherhood of Pain and several other BDSM groups.

    He earned his Masters degree in Religious Education at the University of Southern California, with additional graduate work done at Berkeley Divinity School. He was involved in many musical endeavors including choir director for several churches and local opera in Port Arthur. He also founded the Port Cities Rescue Mission Ministries, which operates a homeless shelter.

    Jim is survived by his slaveboy caspian, his previous slave rick, rick's partner ken, and Jim's son Don. Jim was preceded in death by his gay son Larry in 1992.

    Through the equal treatment of employment benefits that comes with domestic partnership, Jim was cared for after suffering a massive stroke 8/27/01.
  • Tim and Sheri Gregory
  • August 27, 2001

    [From a leather community member:]

    This is truly one of the saddest e-mails I have ever had to write.

    We have lost two of our friends.

    Apparently at about 11:00pm last night, shots were heard by neighbors in the 800 block of Shade Tree Drive. It was determined that the shots occurred at the home of Tim and Ssheri. Tim and Ssheri were engaged in an argument that escalated to a dangerous degree. At a point in the exchange, Ssheri attacked Tim with her cane.

    Shortly thereafter, Tim called a friend and in tears, explained that he had "killed" Ssheri, and had injected himself with an overdose of insulin, in an effort to take his own life as well.

    According to KVUE-TV, Tim also called the police and reported that had shot Ssheri

    A call was placed by the friend to EMS, who said that the Austin Police SWAT team was already at the scene. The details are vague at this juncture, but Austin Police have reported that when they arrived, they heard a woman's voice, ordered Tim to leave, and at some point during the event, Tim was shot. The coroner has not determined the source of the bullet that killed Tim. Tim died shortly thereafter. Ssheri was had also suffered a gunshot wound, and was dead when the officers entered the home.

    We know that the children in the home are safe and at their Grandmother's.

    I must add that all the information I have written here is unconfirmed officially, and was provided by a friend at KVUE-TV, as well as the friend that Tim called during the incident. No one else was there, so none of us will probably ever know exactly what happened. The police are not releasing any more information than what I have reported above, at this time.

    What we do know is that we have lost two of our own...two people that gave tirelessly to all of us and to our community.

    As many of you know, Ssheri was GWNN's President from February of 2000 until October of that same year. Tim was President of NLA Austin. Both were architects of the last two TLP's, as well as TLP X, planned for this November.

    We will miss them both very much.


    From the Austin American-Statesman August 28, 2001:

    Police suspect murder-suicide in deaths of South Austin couple
    By Jonathan Osborne

    American-Statesman Staff

    Tuesday, August 28, 2001

    A husband and wife have died in their South Austin home in what police are calling a murder-suicide.

    Investigators believe 45-year-old Timothy Gregory shot his wife, 47-year-old Sheri Gregory, and then shot himself after a three-hour standoff with police.

    Responding to neighbors' reports of gunshots in the 800 block of Shade Tree Drive, at least a dozen officers surrounded the Gregorys' house at about 10:45 p.m.

    They spoke to Timothy Gregory before he killed himself, officials said.

    "He told officers that he had just killed his wife, that he was armed and he wanted to kill himself," police spokesman Paul Flaningan said. Police would not say whether Timothy Gregory gave a reason for the shooting.

    After hearing noises that sounded like a woman's voice, officers believed Sherri Gregory was still alive, police said.

    When Gregory walked in front of a window, officer Brendon Hanly fired his shotgun at Gregory but missed.

    "In general terms, the officer felt that he might be protecting her life," Sgt. Hector Reveles said.

    About 1:30 a.m. Monday, SWAT officers entered the house and found the couple dead in their bedroom. Police said the couple had several children but would not say how many, their ages or where they were at the time of the shooting.

    Reveles said he did not believe either victim had a job at the time of the killings.

  • Tammad Rimilia
  • 1958-2000 (age 42ish) The creator of a Submissive BDSM Play Partner Check List which was the source document for a version I use on my leather site.
  • Arlie Ward
  • November 25, 1932 - July 4, 2000 (age 67) Dear Arlie! He was one of the great loves of my life. We met around 1982 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I visited him periodically through the '80s, and we kept in contact afterward. What a dear, wonderful man. He died of cancer of the throat.
  • Patricia Ann
  • March 25, 193? - June 6th, 2000 (age playfully vague) My mother. Read more about her on her Patricia Ann page.

    To see Mother's protective side in action, read her letter in The Letter Wars (aka The Homophobe Hellhole)

  • Anthony
  • 2000 Anthony was another acquaintance from a recovery program. He was always smiling and just a joy to see. He was murdered during a robbery.
  • Mike Geinzer
  • January 12, 1998 To read more about Mike, see my journal entry from January 16, 1998. Mike's previous partner Rolando Maldonado died in 1995.
  • Ray Davis
  • Died circa 1997 I first met Ray in NLA:Houston. He was partnered with Jeff Hallauer. Ray died of auto-erotic asphyxiation. If you want to do breath control, do not do it alone.
  • Ken Fontenot
  • Died circa 1997 Ken was a master of the whip.
  • Dan Kalin
  • Committed suicide in 1997 Dan was my leather mentor. He was the first person who came up to me at a leather bar, the Ripcord in Houston, circa 1988, and said, in his incredibly deep voice, "I want to tie you up." My response was along the lines of "That's nice. Perhaps some other time." Dan seemed to intuitively know that I was afraid. He stayed and we talked. I started asking questions such as "Would you stop if I asked?" (His answer was the intriguing: "Yes, but I won't start again.") "Could there be a time limit?" He said "Maybe." I asked him what he meant. He said "It takes a while to tie someone up properly. If the time limit were too short, I'd have to untie shortly after finishing the tie. It wouldn't be worth my while." That made sense. We visited perhaps 10 minutes, and then I simply said "I'm ready."

    (When I became better versed in the leather community I realized that what we had done was negotiate a scene.)

    He went to the Leather by Boots store in the bar and asked the cashier for some keys. Turned out they were the clubhouse keys to the Brotherhood of Pain dungeon which was just a couple of blocks away.

    We arrived at a two-story place with a tall wooden fence in front. We went through the gate, up the walkway, and Dan unlocked the door. He brought me in. It was everything I'd ever fantasized about: Concrete floors, black walls, and BDSM equipment all around. There was a large "spider's web" of chain or rope for tying people to. There was a bench to bend someone over. There was a strong wooden cross to secure someone to. There were ropes, restraints, floggers and electrical gear. There was a sling. And more. It had everything. Sinister and hot as heck.

    Ah, the first time at anything: Those were some of the hottest four hours of my life.

    Dan Kalin in the Ripcord (leather bar) contingent in the 1990 Houston Gay Pride parade.
    Dan Kalin in the Ripcord (leather bar) contingent in the 1990 Houston Gay Pride parade

  • James Van Hess
  • August 1996 James was one of the "boxiest" people I'd ever met. It always intrigued me.
  • John Chien
  • Committed suicide in the fall of 1995 I knew John from a 12-step group.
  • Dale Schriner
  • January 25, 1916 - September 12, 1994 (age 78) Dale was the long-time partner of my piano teacher, Don Johnson. Previous to Dale's death, the only thing that separated them for 52 years was Don flying "The Hump" in World War II.
  • Larry Holloway
  • Suicide circa 1994 I also knew Larry from a 12-step group. He did sign language and lived with our friend Lee V. for a while.
  • Bob Howary
  • Died about February 1994 Known as "Bottom Bob" and "Dungeon Trash" to his leather peers. Bob's fantasy had been to have his sizeably pierced nipples nailed to a tree. He got that fantasy fulfilled by our friend Michael A.
  • Don Johnson
  • August 1, 1993 Piano teacher & friend! 52-year partner of Dale Schriner.

    Don in 1990
    Don in 1990

  • Uncle Raymond Finch
  • 19?? Uncle Raymond was a blast! Always joyful. Would take us out water skiing. A warm spirit.

    Uncle Raymond at Thanksgiving 1982
    Uncle Raymond at Thanksgiving 1982

  • Uncle Murdock
  • 1966 The first death I can remember, and perhaps the first time I contemplated death. I remember realizing, at home, that if Uncle Murdock could die, my mother could die, too -- and Mother trying to console her sobbing child that that would never happen.



    People who died of AIDS

    When they died Background information
  • Keath Ellis Butterworth
  • September 25, 1962 - October 26, 2005 (age 43) Died from complications from HIV. Partnered with Merlin Gross. The two were the first non-leather-club chairpeople of the Leather Tent at San Diego Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride. I was able to help out by presenting on erotic electricity there in 2003. But to really feel the impact of his life read this warm remembrance written by his Dyke sister Wendy Sue:

    9-25-1962 - 10-26-2005

    Written by Wendy Sue B.

    Keath was the definition of a Gentleman. A Gentle Man. He was honorable, caring, loyal, detail oriented, a perfectionist. He fought for the underdog, was not afraid to call out injustice and practiced selfless service in his everyday life. He dedicated himself 200% to anything he volunteered for. Keath was the perfect representative of a Leatherman for our community in his words, spiritual beliefs and in his actions. Keath inspired me.

    We met about 20 years ago, in the early 80’s, at the height of the Disco era. We were both young pups, he was in his early 20’s, I was about 25 when we became fast friends. Keath was one of my younger Gay brothers and I his Dyke sister. I don't remember exactly how we met. Maybe it was volunteering at The Gay Center, or for a Gay Pride March, at an AIDs Candlelight Vigil, maybe working at a fund raiser where Keath was interpreting for the deaf, it could have been at Showbiz or BJ’s when Keath and Clint Johnson were together. As young Gay folk, Clint was a mentor and inspiration for both of us and they made quite the cute couple.

    When Keath and I met, we in the LGBTQ community had taken on a lot of responsibility in the early years of the Gay Cancer..... GRIDS..... AIDS. Our friends were dying and we cared for PWAs (people with AIDs) before we knew of taking precautions, our friends were dying. No one else but our community was there to take care of our loved ones. Many men had been abandoned by their families when they came out. Gay Leathermen saw the tragic affects early on in the epidemic and were the first to create safer sex practices and educate about the AIDS crisis. As a young man, Keath was one of those Gay Men. The medical community was afraid, many doctors and nurses wouldn't even touch someone who was diagnosed. They wore full surgical gear and their patients never even saw their faces under the masks, some even refused to give treatment or care to PWAs. Keath as a young gay man cared and he did something.

    He formed C.C.A.P. (Concerned Citizens for AIDs Patients) with his Mom Carolyn, a few other parents and some of us volunteers from The Gay Center. C.C.A.P was the first group in San Diego to care for PWAs, going into their homes, cooking, cleaning, running errands, making hospital and hospice visits. We did anything and everything to help out back then. Keath was a hairdresser and knew that looking good and a perfect hair cut helped a person feel better, especially Gay Men. He volunteered to give free haircuts to PWAs, along with many other things C.C.A.P. did. Keath’s actions reflected the beautiful upbringing his parents instilled in him. I hold so much admiration and respect for Keath, his Mom and family for their compassion and devotion to the LGBTQ and AIDs impacted community. There were times in those early days when they paid the burial expenses of men who had no one else caring for them. Keath had a fantastic family support system, who give selflessly and share their love unconditionally.

    During one of our many heart to heart talks, I asked Keath why he was so dedicated to volunteering. Why put so much energy into C.C.A.P.? Why not be out there playing, dancing in the discos and living life like other young gay men his age? Keath replied that he hoped someone would be there for him and his family, if they ever had a need. How could he expect help, if he didn't give to others now, when he had the chance to do so. It tore his heart up to see PWAs, friends, men dying alone in a hospital bed with no one there for them except the nursing staff. Volunteering became a second career for Keath and he loved giving of himself completely.

    Keath perfected the art of service, to the men he loved and served in his relationships and in his service to Community. His actions spoke volumes and rarely can I remember Keath raising his voice in anger toward anyone. A few years ago, Keath and I were on a Club X workshop panel speaking on ‘Leather and Spirituality’. We all represented a wide spectrum of beliefs, Keath as a Christian from MCC and I as a Jewish, Dianic Witch. We both spoke of consciously bringing our personal spirituality to everyday life combining Mind, Body and Spirit in our sensual expressions. Keath was a deeply spiritual person, a true Christian who carried unconditional love for everyone in his heart. He lived his life ministering, threw his actions and by his convictions trying to create a more peaceful loving world. There is an empty space on our planet and it is my hope that each of us in Keath’s honor will shoulder a little bit more in the challenge of healing the Earth.

    I will cherish the last moment I saw Keath and Merlin together, right after the Commitment Ceremony at this years Pride Celebration, on that Sunday afternoon. He wanted more then anything to marry Merlin. Seeing that look of infinite joy, bliss and happiness radiating on Keath’s face and eyes was mesmerizing.

    I will hold this final memory of Keath and Merlin in my heart forever. Rosa Parks and Keath both fought for injustice throughout their lives. I see them now walking together hand in hand sharing Eternal Peace. Blessed Be Keath!!!

  • Wolfred "Wolf" Rolf Olof Grishaver
  • June 26, 1953 - June 14, 2005 (age 52) Wolf and I became cyber-buddies back when the Cool Site debuted in 1996. He lived in Amsterdam and almost went through the euthanasia program, but changed his mind. It was unexpected (and thoughtful) years later to get a card out of the blue -- looking like it were a wedding thank-you -- that turned out to be the announcement for his sudden passing and service.
  • Vernon White
  • March 1, 2005 That's Vernon in the hat up top! His San Francisco friend designed it for a Houston LUEY (Let Us Entertain You) party. LUEY is a post-Mardi gras celebration where Houston bars and clubs invite folks to come celebrate the end of Lent. Vernon was one of many of our friends from NLA:Houston.

    Vernon died from complications of heart attack, as with a growing number of long-time survivors who seem to be having medication-related cardiac events.

  • patrick chees
  • December 26, 2004 Sweet pup who was the leatherboy to fellow Houstonian Roy H. Organized the International Puppy Contest!
    patrick chees
  • Fletcher Catron
  • June 20, 2004 Fletcher! Soft-spoken, handsome, mischievous. Fletcher had lived in the Seattle leather community before coming to San Diego. I met him May 31, 2003 at a welcome-home-from-IML reception for titleholders Juan Zazueta & Sam Bacon. Deputy, Chris & I had just gotten Marine regulation high & tights in Oceanside earlier in the day. Fletcher had one also. He gave me a recommendation to his local barber, Julian, who has done my barbering on most occasions ever since.

    Starting before the turn of the year he told his HIV doctors that something was wrong, and they missed internal cancer lesions for months. He finally went to London for some experimental treatment, yet still wasted away. Julian, who had known Fletcher for years, was concerned. In one of his small yet great acts of kindness, he went over and mowed Fletcher's yard.

    Here are some pictures Fletcher's friend Alec shared:

    Fletcher Catron in the big city

    Fletcher Catron with waving doggy behind motorcycle
  • Peter Arning
  • May 8, 2004 I knew Peter from San Diego League of Gentlemen and another fellowship.
  • Cal Stockton
  • 2003 Cal was my neighbor across the street and two doors down when I first moved to Houston in 1984. Sweet man. We had sex about 1985. When we were done we saw that the condom had broken. We were horrified, but there was nothing we could do. Here are two tips that I didn't know back then:
    • When putting condoms on, pinch the air from the reservoir tip and roll onto the penis or toy. (A trapped air bubble can cause the condom to break.) Uncircumcised men should pull their foreskins back to help prevent the condom from slipping. A drop of lube inside the tip of the condom can enhance sensation for the wearer.
    • Add lubricant when using a condom during intercourse to reduce friction and the chance of breakage.
    I learned of Cal's death from a Center for AIDS in-memoriam contribution in his name.
  • Joel Martinez
  • November 12, 2003 Joel was quite the dynamo. In response to a lack of AIDS research being done in Houston, the 4th largest city in the nation, he, and Michael Peranteau, founded The Center for AIDS circa 1996 to promote research and provide treatment and research information to persons with HIV/AIDS, their caregivers and healthcare providers through publications such as RITA! (Research Initiative / Treatment Action!) and HIV Treatment Alerts.

    Joel was a very smart, gentle, sweetie who raised Basenji dogs. I knew him from volunteering at CFA, when I was able, when we lived in Houston.

  • bob harris
  • March 29, 2002
    Doug Harris, left, and bob harris, right
    Doug Harris, left, and bob harris, right

    bob harris was leatherboy to Doug Harris for 6 (?) years. bob died of double PCP. Good men. I loved being around them. I look forward to seeing Doug more, but I am so saddened for his loss. Below is part of his obituary.

    At 2:00PM, Friday, March 29, 2002 boy bob harris owned by Master Doug Harris of The Sanctuary of a Dark Angel in Atlanta, GA died. boy bob was Panther Prowl boy 1995, Mr. North Carolina Leather 1996, Mr. Southeast Drummer 1996 and received the Pantheon of Leather Reader's Choice Award 1999. As the first collared submissive to hold a title, boy bob championed the voice, presence and value of boys. his writing and generosity to all who knew him was apparent. he aided many boys in their journey and was always there to provide what was needed. he possessed the uncommon heart of a devoted slave. he will be greatly missed.

  • Richard Brazwell
  • May 1, 1966 - July 30, 2001 (age 35) Richard first dropped us a note on October 28, 1997, after coming across "Wes & Tom's Cool Site." I had no idea that we would become penpals and friends over the next three and a half years.

    I always enjoyed hearing from Richard! That first Christmas he had this wonderful "Beary Christmas" picture:

    Richard Braswell with Santa cap

    As time went on, we shared many things going on in his life -- a positive job change away from The Baltimore Gay Paper, a move away from city center, and the birth of his partner, Jack's, grandson to name a few.

    And Richard's correspondence asked gently probing questions that helped me to ponder what I was going through -- including major health things like that pesky neuropathy and my "slow brain" problems. The years 1998-2000 also had major relationship happenings in my life. I saw three relationships come & go & morph:

    Richard's bright, gentle insight was so welcome!

    I journaled some about my fears around Richard's physical decline. One fear was that I wouldn't have another person like Richard enter my life, and would lose the insight he offered.  Another fear was that the changes I saw in his face a year ago -- the thinning -- I was beginning to see in my own. (Tom and I later realized that my LASIK eye surgery in October 2000, which removed my need for glasses, was part of the different look to my face. But we also made some nutritional and other changes to halt further thinning.)

    Richard appreciated two particularly wonderful experiences during his health travails, which were many (a collapsed lung one time, CMV in his gut, failing eyesight): One was the unqualified love and support from Jack, who was his ardent advocate. The second was the love and support from his former co-workers. They threw a surprise gathering for him to tell him how much they loved him. And the company bought Richard software to magnify the computer screen and read him his mail.

    Richard was an articulate, upbeat man and a wonderful friend. I appreciated our time together.

    (See also my remembrance of my friend Burt Picone.)

  • joe holz
  • May 6, 1963 - February 2000 (age 36) joe was partnered as the leatherboy for one of my very best friends ever, Burt Picone, when we first met around 1991. They were both dear men.

    joe (sitting) for Christmas 1992 photo
    joe (sitting) for Christmas 1992 photo

  • Clifford Eugene "Butch" Eultschey
  • December 8, 1959 - February 18, 2000 (age 40)
    Clifford Eultschey

    Clifford was a best friend of one of my best friends, John Bertsch. Following are two obituaries that ran in the Austin American-Statesman. Neither mentions my favorite memory, of Clifford as one of the Rubber Fairies, a group of guys who promoted safe sex.

    [February 19] The world is a little less fabulous today.

    Clifford Eugene "Butch" Ueltschey passed from this life on February 18, 2000.

    Clifford will be remembered for his brilliance, laughter and joie de vivre. He taught us the art of living and dying with grace and spunk. Even while HIV was ravaging his body, he was building a world class physique. Clifford captured a silver medal in bodybuilding at the 1998 International Gay Games in Amsterdam.

    Clifford had an appreciation of art, music, theatre, beauty, wicked comedy and wonderful food. He steadfastly refused to allow illness or other inconveniences to interfere with these passions.

    Clifford made contributions to the fight against AIDS as a volunteer and staff member of AIDS Services of Austin, then co-chair of the HIV Planning Council. His greatest contribution might have been the lives he touched by simply being himself.

    Clifford was born in California on December 9,1959.

    Clifford is survived by his partner and rock of Gibraltar, Dan Rawlins; mother, Barbara; father, Charlie; sister Theresa and husband, Matthew; sister, Jennifer and husband, Dennis; brother, Martin; nieces and nephew, Brandy, Sharma, Miranda and Joshua. Friends, Sue Campion, Tana Christie, Dara Gray, Michelle Martin, Mark Rawlins and Shannon Richey also survive him. He will also be missed by devoted canine companion, Poindexter.

    Memorial service will be held at 100 Canyon Circle East at the 2900 block of Stratford Drive on February 20, 2000, at 3:33 p.m.

    Memorial gifts can be sent to AIDS Services of Austin.

    Heaven must already be more efficient since Clifford and his "to do" list arrived.

    [February 21] AIDS activist lived life fully, sister says
    By ERIK RODRIGUEZ American-Statesman Staff


    With his affection for life and indefatigable, spirit, Clifford Ueltschey made his mark in Austin by educating the public about AIDS. He also made a name for himself worldwide, earning a bodybuilding medal at the 1998 International Gay Games in Amsterdam.

    Ueltschey, 40, died Friday of complications of AIDS. Services were Sunday.

    "One of the amazing things about him is that people just thought he was invincible," said Ueltschey's sister, Teresa Ueltschey of Austin. "AIDS did not beat him. He lived his life the way he wanted to live it right to the very end."

    Ueltschey was a longtime staff member of AIDS Services of Austin and co-chairman of the HIV Planning Council, where he worked to raise awareness of the disease.

    Since being diagnosed as HIV positive 15 years ago, he used a healthy diet and exercise to combat the disease. That routine allowed him to compete at the Gay Games in 1994 and again in 1998, where he won a silver medal. At the 1998 competition, his health had deteriorated to the point where he shouldn't have been able to compete, his sister said. Instead, he placed second out of an international pool of healthier competitors.

    Ueltschey was born in California in 1959, where he developed a taste for fine food at a young age. "He always loved to cook, even as a little boy," Teresa Ueltschey said.

    Ueltschey's affinity for cuisine was complemented with an appreciation of art, drama and music said Tana Christie, who served on the board of AIDS Services of Austin in 1987.

    Ueltschey also threw theme parties, known as "Cafe Clifford," in which he cooked to help raise money for his bodybuilding trips, Christie said.

    Along with the parties, Ueltschey and his friends created a Web site to chronicle his efforts leading to his Gay Games competition two years ago.

    "I want to demonstrate to others with HIV that there are many things a person can do to stay healthy beyond the realm of medicine,” a message on his Web site read.

    In addition to his sister Teresa, Ueltschey is survived by his partner, Dan Rawlins; his mother, Barbara Ueltschey, of Grand Prairie; his father, Charlie, of Fort Worth; a brother, Martin, of Granbury; and a sister, Jennifer McClatchy, of Fort Worth. Memorial contributions may be made to AIDS Services of Austin.

  • Carl Denton
  • June 21, 1958 - January 1, 2000 (age 41) I'll always remember when I first met Carl. Tom and I were returning a very large dildo to a friend from whom we'd borrowed it. We drove up. My friend was outside his apartment, along with his partner and some friends. One of them was Carl, sitting there on his bicycle, showing a VERY ample box. We rolled down the windows and chatted, then handed my friend this monster dildo as if there were nothing unusual about it.
  • Shirley Goulet
  • December 18, 1999 Shirley was a long-time friend of ours. She worked at Leather By Boots in Houston, where she made much of our leather gear. I always enjoyed a Shirley hug!
  • Bob Fisher
  • November 22, 1999 Bob was one of the original, persistent volunteers at The Center for AIDS.
  • John O'Donnell
  • September 14, 1999
    John O'Donnell

    I first met John at the gym several years ago. He was particularly handsome and caught my eye. We became acquaintances. A year or two later, his daughter, Arden, began working at The Center for AIDS, where I volunteer. Here is the beautiful obituary that ran in the paper:

    JOHN HOWARD O'DONNELL M.D., 49, died on September 14, 1999 from AIDS related complications. He is survived by his daughter Arden O'Donnell, best friends Jaymes Alexander, Bill Bridges, Troy Plummer, parents John O'Donnell and Bessie Love (Jones) O'Donnell and sisters Laurie Brink and Linda Peacock. Best described as an old, gentle soul, John will be remembered as a man who truly celebrated life with an immeasurable Capacity to love. His favorite movie, Auntie Mame, was symbolic of his belief to ", live, live..." and he committed his entire life helping others do the same. John's greatest accomplishment is as a father to Arden - his treasure. His unconditional love, shared wisdom, ease of trust and ability to let her fly allowed her to become a woman of great integrity, compassion and love with a commitment to family and community. His legacy will live on through her presence. John was a prominent psychiatrist in Houston with a private practice for over 15 years at Memorial City Medical Center while working at Spring Shadows Glen. His specialty was alcohol and drug abuse counseling. A member of the American Psychiatric Association HIV/AIDS Commission and an executive member of Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, John's dedication to healing others and the field of psychiatry as a profession was reflective of his personal values of giving and compassion. As a consummate leader and activist, John was dedicated to Houston's community. Pioneering the movement to address issues facing HIV/AIDS patients, he was a founding member of the Montrose Counseling Center and Body Positive. John also served on various committees and boards including the Ryan White Planning Council, Bering Community Service Foundation, Bering Support Network Human, Human Rights Campaign, AIDS Foundation Houston and many others. Diagnosed with HIV in the late eighty's, he faced a terminal disease with strength, perseverance, grit and integrity. His handsome looks and charm captured the people around him, but it was his welcoming smile and hearty hugs that expressed his kindness to others. He was teacher to all his friends, family, co-workers and peers that life was a gift. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. A special thanks to friends and members of the Bering Support Network who served as his family and support. A memorial service will be held Saturday September 18, 1999 at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Bering Memorial United Methodist Church or Bering Support Network at 1440 Harold, Houston, TX 77006.

  • Frank White
  • March 31 1956 - March 16, 1999 (age 42) I met Frank in early 1988. We particularly bonded when later that September, George Bush came to town campaigning for the 1988-1992 presidency. We were part of a group of ACT-UP protesters outside on the 22nd when Reagan held a fundraiser for Bush. We continued on the 25th at the local Bush campaign headquarters during the Bush-Dukakis debate, and on the 30th outside Young Professionals for Bush.

    Reagan had spent his eight years in office -- the entire beginning of the AIDS epidemic -- without directing government resources toward the problem. 100,000 people had already died. Our goal was to keep embarrassing candidate Bush so that he would have to address the issue.

    In 1992, when Tom and I were dating, we went street skating with Frank. Downtown Houston was a great place to skate -- pretty buildings, good sidewalks, and, if you scheduled things right, little traffic.

    Later in '92, with the AIDS death toll now over 200,000, I was again protesting with Frank and ACT-UP when George Bush returned to Houston for the 1992-1996 Republican convention with him as its candidate. That was the horrid convention where Pat Robertson got up and made his famously rabid homophobic speech, the one credited with showcasing the Republican Party as being dominated by right-wing fundamentalist fanatics -- which spooked the vast population of middle-of-the-road folk and perhaps caused Bush to lose the election. The anti-abortion wing of the party was also out in full force, particularly in the guise of Operation Rescue, which was trying to close down our local clinics. Frank was among those who defended the clinics.

    He was a good guy.

    Frank at the 1993 March on Washington
    Frank, second from left, at the 1993 March on Washington for Gay / Lesbian / Transgendered rights.
    Check out the great ACT-UP posters.

  • Tom Zito
  • February 2, 1962 - December 27, 1998 (age 36)
    I knew Tom for six or seven years. When we first met, I called him and his lover Doug "the two NLA cowboys" because they lived on a ranch south of town, wore Wranglers and drove a pickup. They were both former military, police, biker guys -- handsome and masculine. (On the bulletin boards before the Internet got popular, Tom's handle was "USCG" and Doug's was "MILITARY.") They were also fun. They held "barn parties" for Tom's February 2nd birthday / Groundhog Day. Tom and Doug were together at least 11 years, as I remember going to their 10th anniversary party over a year ago. I always enjoyed seeing Tom, who managed to be very "present" whenever we were talking. I will miss this very wonderful man. Tom Zito with his usual grin
  • Gene Howard
  • December 20, 1998 Gene was the handsome husband of my bud Tony Gardner from the People Living With AIDS Ring when it was around.
  • Stephen J. Smith
  • November 16, 1998 (age 34) I met Stephen in January 1994 when a gay civil rights activist I admired, Michael Petrelis, called a gathering to form an umbrella group for activists nationwide to work on gay issues at the local level. (We ultimately named the group "Gay & Lesbian Americans.") Stephen was a handsome young man with mischief in his eyes! He founded the "Cannabis Buyers' Club" to get medicinal marijuana to those who needed it. He was also founder of the Washington, D.C. chapter of ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, a group that was formed to agitate for more research and resources for AIDS at a time when AIDS was ignored as a critical national issue).

    Stephen with those mischievous eyes!

  • Daniel Hartt
  • May 31, 1998 Daniel was a leathery young man who tried valiently to stay clean & sober. His sober birthday was 6/1/97, so he had exactly one full year when he died. He was also instrumental in bringing AZT and other then-experimental drugs to Houston, lobbying in Washington.
  • Donald-David Fehrenbach
  • June 3, 1949 - April 10, 1998 (age 49) "DD Dearest" was the hero of our bud Kristina, so we got to know him by proxy.
  • M. Javier Abrego
  • October 1997 Javier was the long-term partner (about 10 years) of my friend Stoney.
  • Robert Pagach
  • August 3, 1997 Robert was the long-term partner (17 years?) of my friend Dennis. About six months before he died, he got a wild hair and started dating someone he'd met through the doctor's office. This was devastating to Dennis, of course.
  • Larry Garrett
  • December 28, 1962 - July 10, 1997 (age 34) Larry was a former Mr. TGRA (Texas Gay Rodeo Association). We went out on a date once years ago. Nice guy; we just weren't date material for each other. He did good things for the AIDS community with the Larry Garrett Foundation.

    Larry on the TGRA float in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade
    Larry on the TGRA float in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade

  • Doug Lake
  • July 6, 1997 I knew Doug as one of my club brothers in NLA:Houston. In our talks he would say he was one of the last people he knew still alive who had "earned his leather."

    Doug waves to me from the NLA:Houston contingent in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade
    Doug waves to me from the NLA:Houston contingent in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade

    Here's the official bio:

    "Born August 25, 1955, in Wichita, KS. Graduated from Goddard High School, Goddard, Kansas, on May 25, 1973. Attended Wichita State University and Alvin Community College. He has been a resident of Texas since 1975. He was a member of the College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas, and the Metropolitan Community Church of the Resurrection in Houston. He was a past member of the Lone Star Symphonic Band; a member of the National Leather Association; and the Heart of Texas Bears. He is survived by his father, mother, and sister, all of Manvel, TX. He was employed as a courier for Idexx Veterinary Services, Inc."

  • Oscar Hernandez, M.D.
  • Late April 1997
    Oscar Hernandez Oscar was a kind, gentle man I knew from an HIV support group.
  • Oran "Tim" O'Reilly
  • March 14, 1997 We met at breakfast at a coffee shop one day. Tim was the founder of Houston's "Community Endowment Foundation," an organization aimed at meeting the housing needs of people living with AIDS.
  • Tom Stoddard
  • February 12, 1997 I didn't know Tom in the I've-met-you-and-know-you sense, but I've known of him and admired him for years. I like to think of myself as a contributor at some level in the movement for gay rights, and really appreciate those like Tom who really do so much. Here's an excerpt from his obituary in The Advocate: "From 1986 to 1992 Stoddard served as executive director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. During that time, the organization became increasingly involved in landmark litigation over gay and AIDS issues and saw its budget grow more than 400%. He also taught one of the first courses in the nation on legal issues pertaining to gay and lesbian civil rights as an adjunct professor at New York University's law school, starting in 1981. After his resignation from Lambda, Stoddard announced in the pages of The Advocate that he was HIV positive and cited the stress of the job as contributing to his declining health. Nonetheless, in 1993 Stoddard assumed leadership of the Campaign for Military Service, the umbrella organization that unsuccessfully led the effort to overturn the Pentagon's ban on gay military personnel. He served on the board of AMFAR."
  • Joel Langanke
  • February 1997
    I met Joel January 14, 1995 at a leather/dance bar called Pacific Street. He was a handsome, short, furry cub of a man who used to be a stripper. We had a heck of a dance!

    Joel was a charter member of Q Patrol. Q Patrol was a volunteer group of people who patrolled around the bar area to prevent gay bashings. It started in 1991 or so when Paul Broussard was brutally murdered by 10 high school kids wielding two-by-fours with nails in them after he left a local gay bar. It went defunct years later after volunteer participation dropped.

    Joel was also a former Muscles in Action dancer, a former model, and a TWT cover man.

    Poor baby had just gotten certified as an EMT when he died of heart failure due to complications from meningitis and AIDS.

    Joel Langanke
  • David Magennis
  • Early 1997 David was a nice young leather boy whom we met in San Francisco in September of 1992. It was the week of the International Mr. Drummer / Mr. Drummer Boy contests. David and his leather Daddy, Steve Miller, threw a party for the Drummer boys. They were a very sweet and handsome couple. I got to see David again at The Leather Journal's Pantheon of Leather in Houston in 1994. He really wanted a sweet flogging, with permission. At the time I demurred, uncertain what a flogging would do to the K.S. lesions on his back.

    David Magennis
    A handsome friend, Daddy Steve Miller, his boy David, and my boy Tom
  • Jay Chancey
  • December 13, 1996 Jay was a handsome man that both of us knew. One of his standout moments was when he had started dropping weight, but wanted to look good for a trip to Amsterdam earlier in '96: He went and had cheek injections done -- at a cost of $5,000 -- so that his face wouldn't have a hollow look! So of course he looked great and had a good time.
  • Mark Nicholson
  • August 7, 1996 Mark NicholsonMark was a handsome, sweet man. (It doesn't come through in this tiny compressed picture, but he has a happy twinkle in his eye.)

    I knew Mark primarily because he brought my former sponsee, Ray, to Ray's first meeting.

  • Mark Siegworth
  • June 1996 Mark was a founding board member of Body Positive-Houston and the sole editor of Body Positive's Newsletter Positively. He had a column about living in "AIDS time." In one edition, he published a few of Wes' tips on household hints for living with HIV.
  • Frank Gilpin
  • May 27, 1996 Frank was an angry young man who, over the years, gained a better insight into himself. It showed.
  • Chris Hankins
  • May 15, 1996 Chris was a handsome fellow whom everyone lusted after. Close-cropped hair, goatee, around 35. He started whithering about two years ago. He and I talked about his decline -- what's it like when your physical appearance begins to go? Luckily, he said that with the decline came a lack of a sex drive, so the physical thing wasn't as important to him as it had been.
  • David Bayliss
  • May 14, 1996 Years back (we're talking 1985) David was my aerobics instructor (that's when I could do aerobics). My roomie at the time, Brad, and I had him over for pizza at our loft apartment. Quite a muscular, handsome fellow.
  • Tim Scott
  • April 30, 1996 Tim was a running buddy of mine a few years back, before he got in a relationship. I last spoke to him around his birthday, which was just April 18.

    Around Sedona, Arizona
    Tim (right) with partner Paul around Sedona, Arizona

  • Bil Turner
  • April 19, 1996 Bil was a tiny, proportionately-built junior-size "daddy" type and a very sweet man. Click here for a remembrance.
  • Richard Thoen
  • February 5, 1996 Richard was a hot and friendly man, and a member of NLA:Houston. He liked handball.
  • John Longbotham
  • February 1996 A Fitness Exchange (gym) friend, John was a fixture at the pre-work 6 a.m. crowd.
  • David Kranz
  • January 28, 1996 David was the former lover of Wes' friend Gary. Wes liked David because he brought little toys for Gary, who was just a big kid!
  • Frank Davis
  • January 4, 1996 Wes met Frank at Lambda in 1993. Frank joined the growing rank of friends who've died of PGL (Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy), a type of brain degeneration.
  • Nicki Virgilio
  • January 3, 1996 Nicki was the adopted daughter of two of our lesbian friends, Lee and Amy, who loved her very much. She got her HIV from her blood mother, an HIV-positive crack addict.
  • Robert Ruesink
  • January 1996 A Lambda friend, Robert was one of the most introspective and insightful people Wes knew. When the CMV was destroying his vision, Robert commented that he was at least trying to enjoy the prisms it created.
  • Roger Kinzer
  • November 30, 1995 A friend of Wes and Tom from NLA:Houston.
  • Brian Bradley
  • November 5, 1995 Brian was a wonderful firebrand! He sued MD Anderson (a local hospital) over an HIV-related job transfer. He was also a local Queer Nation activist. He ran for city council to raise gay visibility. He also confronted homophobes to their face, getting national media attention for his outbursts at a David Duke rally and an Anita Bryant booksigning. Click here for Brian's page.

    Queer Nation protest
    Here we are at a Queer Nation protest in Houston City Hall demanding better
    police protection after the city's second gay-bashing death of the year.
    Brian is in the "Queers Bash Back" T-shirt and I'm holding the "Silence = Death" sign.
    Photo by John Everett for the front page of the Houston Chronicle, November 9, 1991.
  • Karl Kabus
  • November 1995 Karl was the former partner of Frank Tritico. Frank and I dated in 1989-1990. (One of Frank and I's favorite memories: The TGRA Boots and Bonnets dance in Austin, circa the Fall of 1989. I was 26 and Frank was 23. There was something magical about this dance out in the country, with men in cowboy hats, starched shirts and jeans dancing with other men. Frank didn't really country dance, so I just held him close.) Frank next dated Karl. Karl was very handsome and had a big...nose.
  • Michael Coll
  • October 20, 1995 Wes met Michael at the Unity support group. Michael was active in the holistic community and owner of The Crystal Dolphin. A sweet, gentle soul.
  • Albert Kraus
  • October 12, 1995 Albert was the male co-chair of the National Leather Association:International.
  • david engman
  • October 12, 1995 When Wes met david he was living out of his Cadillac and just getting clean after going through a quarter million dollar inheritance due to cocaine addiction. he became a very good friend, and started serving Michael Allen as his joyfully boisterous leatherboy. We all had some great times together.

    david was a dear person when clean -- look at him in the picture below! -- but when he relapsed his cocaine habit pushed his health over the edge and he essentially killed himself with an overdose shortly before he would have died from AIDS.

    david at Rosebud 1992
    david at Rosebud 1992

  • Barry Benson
  • October 2, 1995 Barry was a friend of both Wes and Tom. He also used to work with Tom's friend Tommy at American Airlines.
  • Jim Bernard
  • September 23, 1995 A member of NLA:Houston.
  • Dwayne Alexander
  • September 1995 From the Bering Men's Group.
  • Jeff Hallauer
  • September 7, 1995 Jeff was a member of NLA:Houston and very active in the local AIDS community, serving on many AIDS-related committees. His partner Ray Davis died in 1997.
  • Tad Nelson
  • September 1995 Tad was publisher of The Voice, a Houston community newspaper.
  • Rolando Maldonado
  • August 16, 1995 The "boy" of our leather friend, Mike Geinzer.
  • Rob Eichberg
  • August 11, 1995 Rob was co-founder of The Experience (originally called The Advocate Experience), which Wes went through in May 1988 to help him cope with testing positive in 1987.
  • David Givens
  • June 22, 1995 Wes met David and his lover at The Phoenix in New Orleans on February 20, 1993, during Mardi Gras.
  • Johnny Mooney
  • June 4, 1995 Johnny was a good friend of Wes,' but his death was a big shock: Johnny had dropped out of sight and never let Wes know that he'd taken ill.
  • Rick Bradley Van Deventer
  • May 29, 1995 Wes knew Rick from the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Michael Stoner
  • May 1995 Long-time partner of one of Wes' college roommates, Harvey. He had quite the sense of style. One night Harvey, Michael, their best friend Marjorie and I went out dancing at the FABULUOUS Palladium in New York City. We were all dressed to the nines. Michael's "hair" (a wig, actually) was this great cross between David Bowie and Tina Turner: long, upswept with dramatic highlights. We were waved in to the entrance past the waiting line.

    Larry Cindy Mark David Michael Wes Harvey gather in 1988
    Larry, Cindy, Mark, David, Michael, Wes & Harvey gather in 1988

  • Johnny Nichols
  • April 1995 A former roommate of Wes' first lover, Rodney.
  • Jim Bob Smith
  • April 1995 Jim Bob was a rich queen who sold several life insurance policies and lived well. He also used his money -- and knowledge -- to buy the best cutting-edge and experimental treatments. He lived YEARS longer than anyone else thought possible.
  • Tim Roberson
  • March 1, 1995 Wes knew Tim for years at Lambda.
  • Joe Nasso
  • February 1995 A big-hearted (and big-boned) Cajun with a wonderful warmth to him.
  • Mo Jones
  • February 1995 Mo was active in the AIDS community, serving on the board of the Greater Houston AIDS Alliance.
  • Joe
  • January 11, 1995 A tiny young man who enjoyed handball with his partner, Mark.
  • John E. Boswell
  • December 26, 1994 Wes only knew him through his writings, which included "Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality."
  • Armand Primeaux
  • December 6, 1994
    Armand was a computer whiz at Houston-based Compaq. Around 1992, he started beefing up and entering leather competitions. He fell in love with A.J. Steigenberger (who also uses the name Haberstock), a beefy and slick-talking German who is allegedly a major rip-off artist. Armand's family reports that A.J. got deported and left Armand with major business debts, forcing him to sell his home and move in with his mother before his death, and that after the deportation A.J. called Armand's mom several times from Germany and threatened to kill or have her killed. That's their version. I also recall that the Pulitzer-prize winning Houston newspaper carried a story about A.J. making a high-profile bid for a local real estate monument, the Rice Hotel, and then disavowing knowledge of it.

    Armand was a sweet man with a good heart.

    This photo is from Houston artist Frank Parsley's "Refrigerator Art" collection.

    handsome torso picture of Armand Primeaux
  • David Breedon
  • December 1, 1994 A handsome young man.
  • Gene Oliver
  • October 24, 1994 Gene worked out at Fitness Exchange, even when the KS lesions covered his legs. He used to buy large quantities of marijuana in Austin for his friends in California who needed it in order to have an appetite, or to control medication-related nausea. (It was twice as expensive in California.)
  • Fred Tannehill
  • mid October, 1994 Fred worked at the energy company when Wes did.
  • Rock (Robert Allen) Alexander
  • August 22, 1994 Rock was a hunky and friendly man who won the Mr. Gulf Coast Drummer title about two years before his death.

    Rock waves from the Mr. Dallas Ripcord / Mr Gulf Goast Drummer entry in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade
    Rock waves from the Mr. Dallas Ripcord / Mr Gulf Goast Drummer
    entry in the 1992 Houston Gay Pride parade.
    Tom and I met at the Dallas Ripcord in 1991.
    It is now the Dallas Eagle.

  • Steven Bradley
  • August 21, 1994 Wes met Steven at the Unity HIV Support Group. Steven had danced with the Geoffrey Ballet, and was instrumental in starting the local AIDS Mastery. When he was dying, Steven asked a friend to come hold him. The friend told Steven he was afraid. Steven said "So am I. That's why I want you to hold me."
  • Burt Picone
  • November 8, 1963 - August 6, 1994 (age 30) [For seven years all I could bring myself to write was "Burt was one of the most wonderful people Wes ever had the priviledge of being friends with. They were very close and Wes misses him deeply." It hurt too much, and I felt I couldn't adequately express our relationship. Then, on August 7, 2001, after my friend Richard Brazwell had died and I was putting his memorial right above Burt's partner, joe, I started writing.]

    burt_picone.jpg 13.61 K

    Burt was one of the most wonderful people I ever had the privilege of being friends with. Burt was one of those people who chose me as a friend. He worked at Leather by Boots -- Houston (now closed) and decided he wanted to get to know me better. Burt told his co-worker Shirley. Shirley and I were pretty close, as I'd been going into the shop for years. She mentioned to me that Burt was interested in getting to know me better. So, I dropped by the Leather by Boots -- Houston store inside The Ripcord when he was working the quiet, weekday evening shift. I immediately took a liking to Burt. He had a calm, quiet demeanor.

    We started hanging out together. I met his leatherboy/slave partner, joe. I had been properly introduced to leather by Dan Kalin, who gently let it be known that he wanted a leather boy. It wasn't meant to be at that time. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by Burt and joe's relationship.

    Around this time I met Tom in 1991 and we had our big date. Tom and I started off as a leather Daddy/boy couple, and I looked to Burt and joe -- among others -- for guidance.

    After the landlord of my duplex, Brent, died -- and after an interim renter had lived in his side -- Burt and joe moved in next door. We had an enchanted time! When Burt would get off work he'd come over and tell me about his day. Sometimes he'd play Pipedream on the computer and unwind. Many times I'd go over and join him and joe for dinner. There was a garage apartment in back and a former leather boy moved in. Ivy grew on my side of the house, and started creeping through the kitchen windows -- which I encouraged! I stapled it to the roof as it got bigger, and the kitchen became a beautiful living organism. A baby squirrel peeked in my window while I was eating breakfast. Times were great.

    In 1993, Tom and I bought a house in Houston and Tom moved from Dallas to Houston. Around this same time, Paul, the partner of my friend David D., died. Burt, encouraged by joe, began a relationship with David and the two (three?) moved in together.

    Burt and I did the nesting thing in our respective relationships in that last year before he died.

  • James Taylor
  • July 23, 1994 Wes and Tom met James and his lover at "The 15 Association" play party in September 1992.
  • Steven Brown
  • July 7, 1994 Steven typed in all CAPS in the AIDS echo on Fidonet because his eyes were failing.
  • Emerson Briney
  • April 26, 1994 Emerson was the first openly HIV-positive Mr. Drummer. Wes and Tom met him before the Mr. Drummer contest in September 1992.

    Emerson Briney and David Vargo Mr. Drummer & Mr. Drummer boy 1992
    David "Trooper" Vargo, Mr. Florida Drummer 1992
    Emerson Briney, International Mr. Drummer 1992
    John Hare, International Mr. Drummer boy 1992

  • Bob Howary
  • February 1994 A man dedicated to living out his fantasies, "Bottom Bob" was once nailed to a tree at a leather run. (He had BIG nipple-ring holes, through which the nails were guided.)
  • Michael Woolbright
  • February 1994 Michael was a tough cookie from Lambda. He was the first person Wes knew who mentioned that ddC made him angry as hell at about 4 weeks. (Wes wound up having the same experience.)
  • Rob Falletti
  • January 19, 1994 Rob helped form the AIDS Equity League, a local group to advocate for decent AIDS treatment at a time when the county's AIDS program was being mismanged.
  • Leonard
  • November 1993 Leonard was from the Bering Men's Group. He was an artsy type who did videos and had a very kitschy apartment.
  • Michael Daugherty
  • October 3, 1993 Michael was tall and thin. When Wes had a friend who said he wanted to be positive, Wes dragged the friend to visit Michael in Park Plaza Hospital.
  • Paul Durham
  • September 20, 1993 The ex of one of Wes' close friends & former co-workers, David. Paul lingered for about TWO YEARS. Ugh.
  • Stuart Johnson ("Stubear")
  • August 21, 1993 One of Wes' first fairly close friends to die. Stubear had had many bouts of near-death experiences. Toward the end, he got very demented. It was quite a shock when he didn't snap out of that one like all the other times.
  • Tim Miller
  • August 8, 1993 Tim was a set designer for shows. He also did magnificent hand-carved furniture. Table pieces, for example, would have legs with exotic hooves carved at their base. Really cool.
  • Carlos Gonzales
  • August 1993 An acquaintance from the Unity HIV Support Group, Carlos was one of the best friends of Bill, who worked with Wes.
  • Tommy Salinas
  • May 1993 Tommy was best friends with Wes' college study buddy, Richard. Tommy and Richard fixed Wes' hair (which was platinum and spiked) to be normal (brown, short) before interviews started in Wes' senior year.
  • Barry Bass
  • May 9, 1993 Barry was a handsome, beefy man and a photographer for a local gay newspaper called "The New Voice" (now called "The Voice").
  • Carlos Gonzales (a different one)
  • March 31, 1993 Carlos was another acquaintance, and a good friend of Wes' good friend Louis. Even when he was sick, he'd mow lawns to support himself.
  • Ron Davis
  • March 1, 1993 Ron was a member of National Leather Association:Houston. He started a holistic healing group at a building he owned which he called "Center for a Positive Lifestyle."
  • Randy Fields
  • March 1993 Randy was a born protester, and was active in ACT-UP.
  • Dick Kidd
  • February 24, 1993 Another former Tenneco employee like Wes. Dick was a lawyer there.
  • Carlos Guillory
  • January 30, 1993 A friend of Wes' from Lambda. A handsome, young cajun.
  • Vernon Kahanek
  • January 16, 1993 Vernon was part of a group of Wes' friends from when he first moved to Houston in 1984. Vernon was affectionately taunted about "Wally," Vernon's reputedly sizeable wonder worm.
  • Michael Wilson
  • circa 1993 Michael was a twinkly-eyed 30ish bear of a man who had a heart of gold. You could just feel love radiating from him! He worked at Moveable Feast, a Houston health food store. I remember he helped organize holistic healing events over at a local dance club, Rich's, that lent their floor for the evening. I remember lying on the wooden floor, along with 50 or so other people, as we relaxed to guided meditations. It may not have *cured* our disease, but I sure *felt* better afterward!
  • Scott Sullivan
  • December 29, 1992 Wes knew Scott from the bulletin boards (Great Scot). Scott asked Wes for advice on going on disability from the Arthur Andersen account at Tenneco.
  • Steve Rambo
  • June 14, 1992 Steve was a handsome man who worked at Lobo, a local gay and lesbian bookstore. Wes remembers visiting Steve in the hospital: About 10 lines were piggy-backed into Steve's IV. (Steve said the drugs made his pee red.) A nurse came in to check something. On her way out, she tripped over the tangle of tubes, creating quite a mess. She was mortified, but it gave Wes and Steve something to laugh about. (It had not pulled the line at his arm, thankfully.) Steve also created his own memorial program, which was really cool.
  • Tim Luke
  • June 1992 Wes knew Tim from an HIV support group at Unity Church. He remembers Tim bringing his M1 synthesizer with him to the hospital when he got demented. But Tim still played great!
  • Dan Mattuttat
  • June 1992 A big bear of a man, Dan owned a skate shop and was a member of the Urban Animals, a colorful group of people who skate downtown late at night.
  • Joey Welton
  • May 1992 Joey was Wes' sister Susan's young love. Then they both figured out he was gay.
  • Raymond Vallado
  • May 1992 Ray was an Enron co-worker who became an EDS employee when the computer department was outsourced. He was "loaned" to a massive Arthur Andersen project that -- not by his doing -- flopped big time. From what I recall, Enron paid about a quarter of a billion dollars to get an integrated system for all of their diverse pipeline units that had been purchased. When the system went live, response time was so slow that users would not use it.

    Raymond Vallado
    Shirley, Raymond, Louis and I at the 1989 March on Austin for GLBT rights
  • Jim Hopkins
  • January 1992 Jim was a friend from Wes' gym, Fitness Exchange. Jim gave Wes lots of practical advice on dealing with AIDS. He killed himself when he started to decline yet again. (He'd spent a year nursing himself back to health and wasn't up to doing it again.)
  • Jim Dressel
  • 1991-1992 Jim was a Michigan state representative (Republican) whom Wes met in Key West.
  • Abraham
  • 1991 Another Lambda friend. Abraham would dress up in leather to shock people.
  • Ramiro "Ram" Rocha
  • August 13, 1991 Ram owned Downbeat Records, a popular spot for DJs to get their records. (Wes has 1600 records and likes to mix.)
  • Scooter Bearden
  • August 1991 Scooter was a great DJ who worked at a local club called "Heaven." He also remixed videos, including ones for the Pet Shop Boys and Madonna.
  • Mike Kern
  • Spring/Summer 91 Mike was an acquaintance who almost bought Wes' 1985 Celica.
  • Rob Boyd
  • June 1991 Rob was vice president for international trading at the energy company from which Wes went on disability.
  • Frank Kay
  • May 31, 1991 Frank was a great dancer from a local gay C&W bar.
  • Brent Fennel
  • January 1991 Brent was Wes' next-door neighbor and landlord.
  • Brinton Jones
  • April 1990 Brint was another friend from the Downtown Y. He was the first person Wes knew who was fired from his job because he had AIDS. He was also the first person to get demented that Wes saw.
  • Unnamed
  • 1989 A neighbor from when Wes lived at 5220 Caroline, a historic apartment building.
  • Sylvester James
  • 1948 - 1988 "Sylvester" was the voice of the seventies and eighties in dance music. I was very sorry to learn of his death, as I was a big fan. (Particularly of his collaboration work with synthesizer whiz Patrick Cowley.)
  • Tony
  • 1988 Tony was a wonderful man whom Wes affectionately called "Dad." Tony and his lover worked out with Wes at the Downtown Y.
  • Jim
  • 1987 (suicide) Jim was one of the best friends of the man Wes dated in '85-'86. He killed himself when he started to decline.
  • Jerry Smith
  • 1985 A former Redskins player, he owned The Boathouse (a gay dance bar) in Austin, where Wes went to college. A major woofer of a man.
  • Wayne Souther
  • 1985 Wayne was a friend Wes met in college.
  • Patrick Cowley
  • November 12, 1982 My dream had been to make music like Patrick Cowley, Jean-Michel Jarre and Giorgio Moroder. Cowley was the synthesizer man behind an exquisite dance record, Menergy. He also did the synth work on the Sylvester hits "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and "Dance (Disco Heat); and Paul Parker's 1982 number-one dance hit, "Right on Target". Artists including the Pet Shop Boys and New Order consider Cowley to be a major musical influence on their work.

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