IML Diary: March 2004

March 3rd to 7th - "Tulsa Mr Leather", Tulsa, OK

View of Tulsa from the 51st floor

Wednesday March 3rd - Flew to Tulsa. I've been looking forward to returning to the Midwest ever since my trip to Kansas City last September.

Thursday March 4th - Managed to get to a gym during the day. In the evening attended a meet & greet at Club Maverick, where one of the owners was paddled in honour of his birthday.

Friday March 5th - Taken up to the 51st floor of downtown office block to see the view of Tulsa (above).

A Kansas City Leather University workshop
Photo credit: Richie Johnson

Friday March 5th @ 6pm - Attended a welcome dinner for Tammie Nelson (IMsL 2003), who had arrived on crutches and the airline had lost her luggage! Later in the evening we went to the Bamboo Lounge for another meet & greet where I met many friends from Kansas City.

Saturday March 6th - Woken up very early to start my judging duties for the Tulsa Mr Leather contest. Contestant interviews lasted from 9:30am to 12 noon. I think it was at this point I decided I'd rather be an emcee at future contests so that I don't have to get up so early! Saturday afternoon was spent at the Tool Box where members of Kansas City Leather University led four classes in different aspects of SM (above).

The Sooner State Cloggers perform during the Tulsa Mr Leather Contest
Photo credit: Richie Johnson

Saturday March 6th @ 10pm - Returned to the Tool Box for the Tulsa Mr Leather contest. The contest was emceed by Chuck "fatboy" Brackett and entertainment included a couple of routines from the Sooner State Cloggers (see above) - who were a big hit with the crowd.

Sunday March 7th @ 11am - 55 leatherfolk took over the Metro Diner for goodbye brunch and photos. In the afternoon I joined the Tulsa Leather Uniform Seekers Association (T.U.L.S.A.) for a club meeting, which included members of the Wichita Organization of Leather Fetishes (W.O.O.L.F.) and the Mid-American boys of Fetish. I had a say my goodbyes and leave early though, to catch my flights home. But I'm sure I'll be back.

March 10th to 14th - "Bavarian Mr Leather", Munich, Germany

Stefan Mueller (IML 2001) and me in SpeXter leather store

Wednesday March 10th - Flew to Munich at the invitation of MLC München to attend Starkbierfest (strong beer festival) and the Bavarian Mr Leather contest.

The first night we gathered at SpeXter leather store for a welcome party, where I chatted to Stefan Mueller (IML 2001) (above). The shop was packed with men from Germany, Switzerland and America. After the party we went on for more drinks at the Ochsen Garten, Munich's oldest leather bar.

A German comedy group provided entertainment during the contest
Photo credit: SpeXter Munich

Thursday March 11th - During the day I discovered that most of the escalators in Munich are stationary with little traffic lights at either end. When you approach them they start moving in the direction you want to go, and the traffic lights change to stop people from entering at the other end. It's very high-tech. In the evening we went to a restaurant for the Bavarian Mr Leather contest. A German improv comedy group provided entertainment for two half hour slots during the contest (above). The German speaking crowd found them extremely funny.
The contest winners pose with visiting titleholders
Photo credit: SpeXter Munich

Thursday March 11th (continued) - Three contestants took part and were judged on leather image, fantasy and speech rounds. Everyone present took part in the voting, by deciding on group scores at each table. Strong beer was served throughout, and as I'm allergic to beer I drank rather a lot of wine. Which is why I can't tell you who won. But he's in the above photo along with the visiting titleholders and some other people!
The exterior of the Munich Opera House

Friday March 12th - Those of us who weren't too hungover were given a guided tour around the National Theatre/ Opera House in the afternoon (above). Very impressive.

In the evening I attempted to go to a leather uniform party at the Eagle, but once we were inside they shut all the doors and windows and turned the heating on! I stayed as long as I could but once my boots had filled with sweat I made my excuses and left. Changed into less leather and returned to the Ochsen Garten, which was a more comfortable temperature.

Alex, my host for the week, in a German beer hall

Saturday March 13th - Spent the day walking around Munich with Alex, my host for the week. Of course, we had to stop in a beer hall for some refreshments mid-afternoon (above). In the evening we went to the Underground club for a leather and fetish party.
Five guys from Chicago waving in a German beer hall - 35mm print

Sunday March 14th - Packed my things, said goodbye to Alex and checked my luggage into a locker at the train station. Then I went to Augustiner Beer Hall, where several hundred leathermen were drinking jugs of strong beer and singing along to a tradition German band. My final act was to teach an essential part of British sign language to visiting Americans in a Munich beer hall (above). My work here is complete.

March 26th to 28th - "ECMC Weekend", Liège, Belgium

Groups of leathermen in yellow hard hats waiting to go down the coal mine
Photo credit: Dave Harris

Friday March 26th - Dave and I took the train to Liège where MSC Belgium leather club were hosting an Italian weekend. Although that sounds odd, in 1945 there was an agreement between the two countries under which Italy supplied men to work in the Belgian coal mines and Belgium supplied coal to Italy. That's why this weekend included a visit to Blegny-Trembleur Mine & Museum. The mine tour proved to be very popular with the leathermen, although that's possibly because we had to dress up in protective clothes and yellow hard hats! (above)
Representatives from each of the visiting leather clubs holding their puppet presents
Photo credit: Dave Harris

Saturday March 27th - After the mine trip we were treated to coffee and cake and a sightseeing tour of the local area. We then had an hour to change into formal leathers back at the hotel, because the evening included a three course dinner at an excellent restaurant. At the start of the meal a representative of each of the visiting leather clubs was called forward to receive a gift of a Belgian puppet (above). After stuffing ourselves with food we waddled off to a party at The Chap's leather bar, which was full of people.
John holding up one of the raffle prizes at Sunday brunch
Photo credit: Dave Harris

Sunday March 28th - We returned to The Chap's for a farewell brunch and fundraiser raffle. (I'm holding up one of the prizes.)

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