by Donnie L. Masters -
Donnie was involved with AIDS is a Drag as a fundraiser; Life Walk as a fundraiser for OLCS; Stonewall Professional and Business Association where he was president for one year; on the board of Razzle Dazzle Dallas for five years, three as Vice-President; and most importantly to him, he's friends with Jack Evans and George Harris - or as he likes to call them "Mom and Dad".
In the summer of 1979, I moved to Dallas for the summer to do an internship with the Dallas Parks & Recreation Department as part of a project for my senior year at Texas A&M University.
On a very hot Saturday evening in June, my best friend Kyle was visiting. We put on our white tennis shoes and went to dance at “Magnolias”. The club was almost empty - very surprising as I had become a Saturday regular that summer (until of course, the Village Station opened). One of the bartenders told us there was a big dance party at Fair Park - just follow the search lights.
So we did - what did we have to lose, certainly not our virginity (although we were young and just a little naive). Following the search lights was like following the yellow brick road - little did we know we really were about to enter the gates of the Beautiful Land of Oz.
Hundreds (even thousands) of beautiful men dancing and celebrating the night. We were in Heaven! The beer kegs overflowed, no one cared - we were having the time of our life.
My heart almost skipped a beat as a voice announced over the sound system, “Announcing the arrival of Eartha Kitt and her dancers” - Ms. Kitt was performing at the Dallas Summer Musicals in Timbuktu.
The memory of that night, the feeling of belonging, and the simple beauty of feeling free to just be will always be a bright and shining moment in time for this Gay Man.
WE HAD JUST EXPERIENCED THE 1ST RAZZLE DAZZLE DALLAS !!!
I continued to attend each year until, at the urging of my friend Rick Aishman, I was elected to the Board of Directors of Razzle Dazzle Dallas in the fall of 1988. I served - and enjoyed every single moment - for five years, three years as Vice President.
By the way, I mention the tennis shoes for a reason. One Sunday afternoon, the same summer, at Magnolias T-Dance, I met a gentleman by the name of Reed Hunsdorfer. Anyone who knew Reed will appreciate this story. Reed dances up to me on the dance floor, as i was dancing with a friend of his, and asks “Does your father own a shoe store”. Puzzled, i answer “No, why?”. Reed answers, “That is only reason someone would wear a new pair of white tennis shoes to T-Dance” and dances away.
Reed became a good friend years later as the legendary leader of Razzle Dazzle Dallas. Reed was also the one who introduced me to Jack Evans and George Harris.
Great memories of all things Dallas - Including coming out at the Old Plantation in downtown Dallas - Nirvana to a 20 year-old from Mexia, Texas and an undergrad at Texas A&M University.