a well-lite Disco Ball

Call us back home where it all began…

So I often wonder these days, am I really that old? Why am we alone at the bar waiting for the crowd to show. Did we mix up our dates?

Seeing the words RETRO NIGHT listed in the, “what’s hot in the gay world”, entertainment guide I get very excited. Finally a night of music and dancing is something I always look forward to. So I ask the bartender and he kindly reminds me, “That was Thursday night Daddy.” Surprised and disappointed, “What, not Saturday night?”

Coming of age in the early 80’s, one understood Disco Ruled the nights at the Club. One of the best things in life when you are young is the endless energy you seem to have when you can stay out and party all night long… and then wake up on time for work the next morning – remember? There were days “way back then” that I could easily meet friends at Happy Hour about 5 to 8pm, walk over to our favorite restaurant for a late dinner with a few more drinks say 8 to 10pm, then maybe go for another drink somewhere else or smoke a joint along the way to about 11:00 pm, and then finally head over to the club.  Think back – The Freaks come out night, the Freaks come out at night.

Once inside you had to make your way around the club spending the next hour saying hello to all your friends, chatting, prancing, strutting around, catching up on the gossip of who was with whom now, oh and flirt a bit with the newbies. All that was required before midnight, and then you might at last hit the dance floor.

Now today mind you, without a good Disco Nap from 7pm to about 10pm I would have been falling asleep around about 11:00pm on the sofa watching a good RedBox rental. So what happened? The answer is clear – age and isolation. But there is another component to it. We, like all of my generation, have been left behind by the young ones. Why do we love the youth and beautiful so much knowing one day we will all be old? Well that is the subject of another unanswered question I will not even attempt to answer here.

But why can’t we mix and mingle a little? Yes I know fat old grey haired men freak you out when you’re under 40, after all you just earned your Big Daddy title. I get that. So the reverse is true too. You Silver Daddies thinking every young twink wants you is just sad and silly at the same time stop flirting with them unless they say hello – after all they are fun to watch. Get over that idea! There might be one in a hundred that curious or who wants to explore that Daddy syndrome. There is not much more shocking and downright pitiful than an Old Queen trying to work some Daisy Dukes in the club. Does this simple scenario mean I am now restricted to only gardening, movies, lunch out with my friends and in before dark, antiquing, or day trips. No… it just calls for better time-management and maybe good collaboration with local clubs and the community.

Now I get it Mr/Miss Club owner, they young ones are there every weekend spending and spending. I am sure I spent thousands at Badlands over the years but I now have thousands I am willing to spend now for a good time today. Am I limited only to Gay Cruises or expensive dinners and craft drinks, maybe but I like to think not. By the way, I suspect this same problem exist for the Ladies too.

I have a suggestion however. For the good of your business and our community as a whole, why night host a RETRO night here and there – and I’m not talking about a Wednesday or Thursday evening from 7 to 9pm, despite our decrepit age, many of us still work and have very productive lives. I mean really when’s a girl supposed to catch up on Ru Paul’s Drag Race or This is Us or the Antiques Road Show?

It seems a Friday or Saturday night at 9:00 pm to about midnight is the normal hour for this type of event but why not rotate it… once a month let’s mix it up with the Hour of Youth. How about maybe host your Retro Night from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am while mixing and setting up the music for the younglings to finish the night off – start out with the 60’s and 70’s for an hour, 80’s another hour, 90’s and House for an hour and then into today. A great DJ can always keep a dance floor full.

Today there are more Baby Boomers than any other group alive. As we continue on in this journey we continue to age and enjoy life. So guess what, many of us still love to dance, have a drink or two or three and even enjoy Karaoke or Trivia Night now and then; do this for us and we will do that for you.  Mix some special drinks above the average $2.00 beer and most of us over 50 would gladly pay so much more…

Keep this in mind business and club owners. With all the love the Gay Community gets today, all the Gay Friendly venues hosting us, don’t you want the business; I would bet one day there might not be such a thing as Gay Clubs. Didn’t a big one just close on the Boulevard recently?

With a little effort and strategic advertising, you might find you have a full house at your next RETRO night. Reach out; make a big-to-do on your first try. Go online and spread the word, use FB, push some proper advertising with Donna Summers and Gloria Estefan, and while you’re at it… throw in a few pics of hot grey haired Daddies. Ask the local Community groups to help out; invite the Primers to assist or volunteer. Throw in a few classic Drag ladies still in their prime or a few older go-go boys… transitioning up to today.

I know I can still DANCE the night away and want to now and then. Just two weekends ago living La Vida Loca, we were out until 2:00 am. We spent almost $300 that night on hubby and I between drinks and tips, dinner before and buzzed food after – hey there’s an idea, call and reserve a local food trunk to stop by or maybe cater a spread. We have the money to spend, and given a good reason and a well-lite Disco Ball, most of us will spend.

Call us back home where it all began…

Yours truly,

Frankie James

Now Enjoying Life in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Frank Impressions