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Delta Diary 1996 (Day Five: Rubber Santa /Three Stories about Jack McGeorge)
Reposted with the author's permission.
I’m jolted awake, Tuesday morning, by the awareness that I have done nothing on Richard’s drawing and that we leave in less than five hours. I jump out of bed (it’s not as cold as it’s been), fetch the stack of rubber fetish magazines I’ve been ignoring, and start flipping through them to see how polished rubber reflects light. After fifteen minutes or so I go to work. I draw Santa wearing a shiny black rubber suit with a peaked biker cap (which is also somehow a Santa hat). I give Santa my own face drawn from the bathroom mirror and aged from my current mid thirties to whatever age Chris Kringle is supposed to be. I plop a reindeer next to him and then affix the rubber gasmask I bought on Saturday over the reindeer’s face. I place a Christmas toy bag at Santa’s feet overflowing with SM toys including my new three-foot single tail, an enema bag, a paddle bearing the word “NOEL”, and the latest issue of Men of Rubber Pipeline. It looks okay but it needs something. So I take down the gumby from the shelf he’s been occupying throughout the run, push him into a kneel, and draw him next to Santa, in a collar, with a ball gag, wearing nipple clamps (and Gumby doesn’t even HAVE nipples) and as a finishing touch - a Men of Rubber codpiece.
Outside the cabin, a light rain has already started. Jack is bleary eyed and appears irritable, but as we walk to the cafeteria, we see Peter bounding rhythmically up the road alongside us, Jack smiles and calls out in a braying drawl. “Left. . . Left. . . LeftRightLeft. . .” his cadence matching Peter’s stride.
The breakfast hall is almost empty. Packing I suggest? “I’m afraid to think what they’re packing where” says Jack. We learn, from a couple sitting at the next table, that the storm has been downgraded. I notice Richard and his partner, seated at a nearby table and walk over to unveil my drawing. I place it on the table in front of Richard who just stares and says anything. Suddenly it hits me that I might have made a dumb mistake. He knows I’m not gay and that I'm not a rubber guy. What if he thinks I am making fun of him. Making an ugly joke? Fuck! The table is silent until his companion speaks up
“Oh look! Gumby is wearing a Men of Rubber codpiece.”
Richard’s impassive face breaks into a grin. Then he laughs outright and says. “This is great, Chris, Thanks.”
We exchange hugs and he gets my address so he can send me a copy of the finished published product.
Back at the cabin we are doing our final pack. “Next year,” says Jack “We institute the role of house mouse. White name tag means house mouse. And his place in the hierarchy will not be at the top.” Ken and Frazier carry the last of their bags out to the car. Frazier has a hot date tomorrow night with a girl he met at the Edge and asks to borrow my brown bullwhip. Frazier says “it’s gonna be nice to see women again!”
Harold comes by to say farewell. “Ah do want that article” he says and asks me for my number. He eyes me carefully as I write it down. Again, that look. Or did I imagine it? I actually avert my eyes, afraid of his hard stare, but when I look up to say goodbye, he has a big toothy open smile. “Come up and see me some Tahhm. I gotta cell with your name on it.”
Driving home, I comment on the absence of Amish carriages on the road. “Probably inside making little Amish” muses Jack as we accelerate onto the onramp headed home. “I’m going to tell you three stories that made me what I am” he begins and proceeds to recite a trio of crazily improbable tales about his life, stories that have both of us howling the whole way home. The first is about an incident on a military shooting range that escalated crazily and ended up getting a full colonel reprimanded - an incident which looking back on it, may have shortened Jack’s career as a Marine. The second story hinged around an elaborate prank Jack played on a fellow contractor in the lab where they both worked. It involved a bet Jack made about being able to make a smoke bomb out of items purchased at the local seven eleven. May the Goddess forgive me, but I remember nothing whatsoever of the third tale. Jack stops only once when the car phone rings to talk with Lisa who asks where we are and when he’ll be home. He’s just finishing the last story as we pull up to the curb in front my townhouse in Arlington VA.
According to the scale, I’ve gained three pounds: up to 196. But I will work that off in the next few weeks. I start my to do list. Read Trever Jaques’ “On The Safe Edge” cover to cover, make a few phone calls and enroll in a class in CPR. I will edit my huge mass of notes into a trim two page summary of my Delta Diary will submit it to the Black Rose Newsletter and to Harold to run (I believe) in the Delta Newsletter. The run has been terrific, and we all have sponsors for potential membership. It dawns on me that Dole debated Clinton on Sunday night, and I’m surprised to realize I don’t even care. I already miss how peaceful and accepting everyone has been, and being able to leave bags of irreplaceable gear behind unlocked doors.
But Frazier was right: it will be nice to see women again!
In 2021, I was trying to clear out my archive of leather related stuff and found an unused pile of notes taken over the Delta weekend in 1996. I had already written a three page article for the Black Rose newsletter and the newsletter of the Delta Brotherhood shortly after the run, but most of the notes had gone unused. But later I got busy with other things and pretty much forget about the notes I had taken at Delta. After finding them on November 18, 2921, I worked for three months, on and off, to turn them into prose completing the work towards the end of January 2022.
Neither Ken or I returned to Delta after the 1996 run, although in hindsight I wish I had. Frazier applied for membership, was voted in, and, in a few short years, became the dungeon master for the club – the head guy in charge of equipment and dungeon configuration. Jack soon graduated to safety director, the head dungeon monitor of the club.
Rereading this story today it’s easy to see why Jack McGeorge was such a consequential figure in the history of the Black Rose and indeed the entire East Coast scene. The fact that he was attending gay men’s events at all when he was (according to his own bio) a “het male top” was notable on its own. But he reveled in the role of ambassador to new communities and doing unconventional things like dragging his het male buddies off to gay leather weekends, or throwing mixed parties with leatherdykes, gay leathermen, and kinky hets when those populations rarely mixed. And his efforts changed leather history. The coincidence of meeting Gil Kesler in the food line and learning of his “School for Novice Tops” led to me personally becoming the first het to ever enroll in, and complete, his eleven-week course. I made a lot of friends in that class, including future GMSMA president Andrew Harwin. And when word spread of my having completed Gil’s course, Rick Umbaugh, of TES in New York City, stepped forward to become the second het to earn the “Tau pin”. This experience armed us at Black Rose with the raw material to launch our “Weekend Workshop” hands on courses, although we never did implement the whole fixed curriculum. Oh, and I did got my “Rubber Santa” published in Men of Rubber Pipeline, either in the holiday issue, or a separate Christmas card, or both.
At the next Delta run in 1997, Jack brought three more Black Rose leadership alums as white badged guests, this time Montague, Jonathan K, and Greg L future owner of the Dark Odyssey festivals. Greg was so impressed that that he proposed that Black Rose stage their own, heterosexual version of the Delta Run, and spearheaded the event he called Leather Retreat one year later in 1998. Same campground and same charter: multiple dungeons, educational classes and sleepaway camp experience. There was a series of annual Leather Retreats organized jointly by Frazier and Greg before they split into the competing Camp Crucible and Dark Odyssey events. But both have their templates in Delta.
Finding these notes, all this time later and finishing this story has been a bittersweet experience. On one hand its like finding an old film real showing friends back when we were all young and better looking than we are today. On the other hand, it’s a reminder of all that’s been lost to the sands of time. Harold, Michael H, Jack, and Frazier have all departed to the great leather run in the sky, even Jack’s Boy Lisa, who was even younger than I was. Ken and Sparky have both reviewed this story and offered comments and suggestions. And me? I have started asking around to see if anyone else remembers the three stories Jack told me on a Tuesday afternoon car ride, twenty six years ago. So far, no one really does.
But I’ll keep digging.
Links for Chris M
Additional Articles by Chris M
- The Black Rose DM Guide
- "Safe Sane and Consensual" a Proposed Definition
- Eight Techniques for Maintaning Communication and Trust During a Scene
- The Rap on Wrapping: A discussion of Impact Play
- Mastering the Dynamics of Thud and Sting
- American Leather Goes Mainstream: Anger, Arnett and Life Magazine
- A Brief History of the Black Rose of Washington DC
- Part One: The First Fifteen Years (The Nancy Miler Years)
- Part Two: Pending
- Delta Diary 1996
- Black Roses and Pink Flamingoes: The BR10 Anniversary Event and how it changed our Club by Chris M.
- Gifts of the Circle: A Chronicle of the Hook Pull performed by Fakir Musafar and Cleo Duboise at Black Rose 2002
- A Brief History of Leatherbars (Featuring the DC Eagle)