Diet Orange Crush – You can use almost any flavor though, lemon lime soda works great as well.
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Lite frozen whipped topping
DirectionsButter your cake pan while oven pre-heats. NOTE: slave is using a dark pan so instead of 350, the oven is set to 325!
Dump cake mix into a large bowl.
Add the vanilla.
Set your timer (slave just uses the timer on the microwave) to 40 sec.
Pour 12oz of diet soda into the cake mix
As soon as the timer hits 30 seconds, start to whisk.
Whisk for 30 seconds
Pour into a pan – Bake according to the box (you can do this in a muffin pan if you like)
Test with a toothpick inserted in the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done!
Let cool! Then top with the whipped topping. And sprinkle the colors over the top for a prideful cake.
Remember: in Australia they call these sprinkles: “Hundreds and Thousands” slave just thinks that's the neatest term!
This cake freezes well, then by the time you are ready for desert it will be thawed out!
Even at first, the media and police response to the fire were not sympathetic.
Some family members who knew, refused to claim the remains (little more than ashes). That would be admitting someone in their family was “queer”. Radio commentators joked the remains could always be buried in FRUIT jars. The press ran quotes like: "I hope the fire burned their dresses off,"
The States-Item described the scene this way: "workers stood knee deep in bodies. The heat had been so intense, many were cooked together."
Detective Major Henry Morris, of the New Orleans Police Department said, "Some thieves hung out there, and you know this was a queer bar."
The news coverage was mean. At best, the police response could be described as “uncaring”. However the reaction from religious organizations of New Orleans was a disgrace! One after another of the churches and cathedrals refused to hold memorial services.
Finally, Father Bill Richardson of St. George’s Episcopal Church, believed the dead should have a service and graciously allowed, the use of St. George’s sanctuary. A prayer service was held on that Monday night attended by about 80 people. For this action, He was officially chastised by his bishop!
On the first of July a full service was held at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Reverend Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, officiated along with Methodist Bishop Finis Crutchfield, who passed away just 14 years latter from complications of the HIV virus.
It was reported that after the service, Reverend Perry announced a side entrance for those who wanted to avoid any TV cameras that waited outside. Of the estimated 250 people there, not one took advantage of that offer.
According to the official story and popular histories: a troubled hustler who was thrown out of the bar earlier was quickly blamed. He was never charged, nothing as ever proved. The man: Rogder Dale Nunez, had been diagnosed with “conversion hysteria” in 1970 and had visited numerous psychiatric clinics. He had been in psychiatric custody for awhile, but had gotten out long before the incident. Nunez was known to drink and get in trouble. People latter reported that in a drunken stupor he claimed to have started the fire, but never officially.
Was it guilt? He is said to have committed suicide the following year.
Pardon me: but slave has to ask, wasn't he just too convenient a scapegoat for the authorities? So the faggots burned, they did it to themselves!
Today, many people have learned about a term used in the 1991 movie Backdraft. It was a fantastic movie by Ron Howard. Back in 1973 this was NOT general knowledge.
Let slave explain: “Backdraft” refers to the explosion which occurs when a fire has depleted the oxygen in its particular area, then a door or window is opened, allowing fresh oxygen into the extreme heat.
In the case of the Upstairs Lounge: the fire was set with an accelerant in the enclosed stairwell. It was then allowed to burn up the oxygen. Whoever did it waited. At THAT point, the buzzer was hit, knowing that the upstairs door would be opened and fresh oxygen rush into the space.
Would this fact be known to a street hustler, a drunk trouble maker with a history of mental problems? Was it just a fluke? A coincidence that even today the press can pontificate how wrong we were by blaming this unfortunate incident on homophobia?
One of the problems of writing any kind of history is projecting conventional wisdom of today on to people in the past. slave has the safety of 41 years distance to reflect. Yet toady we know so much more about things such as “backdraft” and “survivor guilt”. Certain elements of this story just stick out to slave, who is not an expert.
Who are the heroes? Certainly all of the 30 souls we know the names of and the two remaining “unknowns”. Also the LGBT leaders who rushed to New Orleans raising money and to provide consoling and support to the community there.
slave copies their names from http://www.gayworld.net/memorial/
Mrs. Willie Inez Warren died with her sons, Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren.
Pastor of the MCC, Rev. William R. Larson, formerly a Methodist lay minister.
Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Several victims were his patients and were identified by his x-rays.
Douglas Maxwell Williams
Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida.
George Steven Matyi
Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member, formerly a Jesuit Scholastic. Partner of entertainer Regina Adams.
James Walls Hambrick
Horace "Skip" Getchell, MCC member.
Joseph Henry Adams
Herbert Dean Cooley, Upstairs Lounge bartender and MCC member.
Professional pianist, David Stuart Gary.
Guy D. Anderson
Donald Walter Dunbar
John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor's Advisory Group.
Professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by Douglas "Buddy" Rasmussen, who led a group to safety.
Gerald Hoyt Gordon
Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal Government employee.
Glenn Richard "Dick" Green, Navy veteran.
Robert "Bob" Lumpkin
Four men were buried in Potter's Field, Ferris LeBlanc, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, the City refused to release these bodies to the MCC for burial.
(A few anonymous individuals stepped forward and paid for the three unknown men's burials, and they were buried with another victim identified as Ferris LeBlanc in a mass grave at Holt Cemetery.)
A sidewalk memorial plaque rests outside the building, dedicated on the fire's 30th anniversary in 2003.
A new movie about the Upstairs Lounge Firebombing is about to be released. Will it shed new light, confirm the gossip, or support the official story? Whatever conclusions it draws, it will be an important reminder of the tragedy and history of our LGBT heritage.
Slave should acknowledge that finally, last year, on the 40th anniversary of the event, the Roman catholic Archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Michael Aymond, issued a statement of regret that the local church leadership and former Archbishop Philip Hannan had ignored the arson attack at the time. He stated “The church does not condone violence and hatred. If we did not extend our care and condolences, I deeply apologize.”
As we approach the last weekend in this years Pride, let us pause for a minute to remember not only the victims of the Upstairs Lounge, the causalities of AIDS, the Matthew Shepards, and countless others who succumb to violence even today. Then let us continue to joyously celebrate who we are and what we have accomplished together!
Slave will be out there with you: