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Oral History Brett Young and John Gibbons


Brett Young and John Gibbons talk about owning a club and living and working in the Oklahoma City LGBT community.



Special thanks to the Gayly for assistance with this interview.


Interviewer: Sheldon Beach (SB)

Interviewees: Brett Young (BY) and John Gibbons (JG)


SB: I’m Sheldon Beach with the Metropolitan Library System. Today I am here to interview as part of our Oklahoma Voices Brett Young and John Gibbons. And we’re going to talk about the LGBT community in Oklahoma City and your role with the club that you own. Let me see. First, are you both from Oklahoma City?

BY: I’m, originally, I was raised in Alva, Oklahoma, up until I was in the 9th grade and then we moved to Guthrie. But I did go to school at OCU, so.

SB: Okay.

JG: And I’m from Oklahoma City, yeah.

SB: Okay. Sorry, I’m going to get my questions here. So, what brought you into this area?

BY: This world?

SB: Yes, what brought you into this world?

BY: When I went to college at OCU, I started coming out to the clubs back in, around 1984, and I was a musical theater major at OCU and so I got to know a lot of the female impersonators at that time, Amy Duchee, Sasha Lauren, Ginger Lamar, Michael Evans, Brooke Harrington, and I started choreographing for them, and that was kind of my start.

JG: And I, when Brett and I met, we got into, we bought a little business that was a gay bar over off of May, that had been a bar for, like, 30-some years, so we bought it, and over the years it grew, and the clientele grew, and so we knew we could do this space, we could buy this ground, tear the buildings down and put this up.

BY: We didn’t actually buy the bar there, the property. We didn’t own the property.

JG: We didn’t own the property.

BY: We owned the bar. So we bought this property.

JG: Yep.

SB: So how did you—

JG: And that’s how we ended up on 39th.

SB: How long ago did you start The Boom?

BY: 2004. So, almost 15 years? 15 years.

JG: Um,

BY: 16 years. 16 years.

SB: So, what was your, when you started it, what was the goal that you thought would really set it apart from everywhere else?

BY: Well, we wanted to do something different as far as entertainment goes. So, even in the old club, I’ll call it the old club, which was on 36th Street, it’s where, it was on 36th Street, that’s something I thought would be interesting to talk about actually, the club, before we owned it, was called Levi’s. And it was owned by a man named Andrew. And a doctor, I don’t remember, a silent partner. That club has been owned by several people over the years. It was at one time the Bunkhouse, and at one point it was called, was it called The Nail when Lee Burrus owned it?

JG: Oh, the Rusty Nail, something like that?

BY: The Rusty Nail, it was called the Rusty Nail when Lee Burrus owned it, who now owns Ingrid’s right around the corner from us now, which is over on 36th street and Youngs. And he owned, Lee Burrus, who’s in ill health right now unfortunately, but he owned many clubs in the city. He owned The Park at one point, which is here on the strip, he owned—

JG: He ran, he owned and ran the clubs and the Habana, so, yeah, multiple different establishments.

BY: Yeah, he owned a lot of different establishments. But we wanted to do something different as far as entertainment. So, we started doing shows that were a little avant-garde. We did a version of Oklahoma! called Oklahomo, we did a version of South Pacific which was called South Pathetic, we did a version of Hello Dolly which was called Hello Wally and when we did it, actually they were doing Hello Dolly at the Civic Center with Sally Struthers and she came and saw it and she was in our club, she was really nice, from All in the Family. All in the Family?

JG: All in the Family.

BY: All in the Family. And she signed autographs for all of our patrons and she was really sweet. But anyway, we just wanted to do something unique as far as entertainment goes. Which is kind of, you know, merged into what we do now, which is we produce five shows a year here that run for six weeks each, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00, we’ve done everything from the Rocky Horror Picture Show to Hedwig to Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, we’ve done Debbie Does Dallas the Musical, we’ve done, gosh, what all have we done? We’ve done so many shows it’s hard to name them all. Crawford Christmas, gosh, Patsy Cline, Always Patsy Cline, Nun-sense A-Men!, we’ve done a lot of shows.

SB: What kind of performers do you have come in to do the shows? Is it just a lot of different local actors, or—

BY: A lot of different local actors, quite a few actually, some of our local talent that has been back quite a bit is Brett Young, a different Brett Young, he has worked at Carpenter’s Square, Jewel Box, the Pollard Theater, Lyric Theater, he’s been in several shows, Rodney Brazil, Erin Heatly, I want to name these names so that they get on the record but so people are, can you think of some of the others that—Brenda Williams, Ellen Webster,

JG: Scotty Taylor

BY: Scotty Taylor, Todd Clark, Rebecca McCauley, Courtney Hahne, Corey King, lots of local actors that just work in different theaters. And one of our goals was to pay actors. There weren’t a lot of theaters in Oklahoma that paid actors to be there. And we also have, we do, we do usually 2 to 3 musicals every year so we hire a band as well.

SB: And how long have you been in the building where you’re currently in?

JG: Coming up 11 years. Yeah.

SB: I’m curious, going back to when you started 16 years ago, what was the community like then? What was the, were there a lot of other places like this, or? I mean obviously not like this, but you know what I mean.

JG: There were other clubs, yeah, and the number of clubs really hasn’t changed much over the years. When we took over the Levi’s, everything that’s on this street today was already here. And when we left Levi’s the women’s, to move over to this location, the women’s club next door to us called Partners took our space so it wasn’t like anyone closed.

BY: They named it Partners 2.

JG: Partners 2, yeah. And then, so we were the first construction on this street in 40 years. The initial construction, the last new construction on this street was Angles, which was built in the early 80s--

BY: 1982. 82, 83.

JG: And then, 40 years later we are this construction that came after that, and of course we were built as a gay bar as well.

SB: What was it like, like just the scene around the bars then? Just, compared to now, how has it changed?

BY: Well, one of the things that I think has changed is the way gay people are accepted. When I first started coming out, most of the clubs were boarded up. You didn’t see any windows. You know, you couldn’t see in the clubs, like people were afraid of, I don’t know, maybe getting shot, because there’d been some shootings down here even, on the strip, so. There was an incident at a club over on, over on Classen which was called the Free Spirit, where a man, a gay man named Mark Babb had been run over and drug by some gay haters and, but I think now when you come down to the strip, most of the clubs have windows like The Park, you can, you know, we have windows, it’s a much more accepting.

JG: Another major difference is the crowd is way more diverse. Used to be 10, 15 years ago you came down to 39th street and the clubs would be full of gay and lesbian people. That’s not necessarily the case anymore, lots of straight folks come out and party in the clubs, and are welcome. So, they’re a lot more diverse than it used to be.

BY: And we also, you know, I think the establishment—is that a good word for it in Oklahoma City?—is much more accepting. We had a run-in in our old club where the police kept coming into our club and it was kind of like the Gestapo. I mean, they would come in and line up across the back of the club with their hands behind their backs and--

JG: It was pretty scary.

BY: It was kind of scary. And they would come into the dressing room, which we were told that they weren’t supposed to be doing, and go through our bags as entertainers, so as female illusionists I should say, or drag queens, a lot of people like to call us drag queens, but I always like to use the words female illusion, but yeah, they would come in and they were, that doesn’t, when the police come in here now they’re extremely friendly, but, and we’ve never had an issue in the last five, six years. But, back then, when we first started, yeah, they’d line up across the back.

JG: You didn’t call the Oklahoma City police unless you had no other choice. That’s the way it was. 10 years ago.

BY: Yeah, they patted John on the back one time. You should tell that story.

JG: [laughs] As they were leaving the building, they patted me on the shoulder, basically, and waved his hands, waved to the crowd and said, night ladies!

BY: Yeah, it wasn’t, that wasn’t to the female impersonators, that was to the men sitting around the bar, said goodnight, ladies.

JG: Intentionally, you know, very provocative, trying to get a reaction and those things. But times have changed, the world is a whole lot more tolerant and accepting and educated than it was even, even 10 years ago. It’s a difference, it’s a different world today. For the most part.

SB: One of the things you mentioned earlier was that the crowds have gotten a lot more diverse, and one of the things I wanted to talk about was, I know I’ve been to brunch here before and there’s a very diverse crowd at every brunch. You all have one of the more popular, at least, definitely the most entertaining brunch in Oklahoma City.

BY: Well, thank you.

SB: Whose idea was that? How did that get started?

JG: [Laughs] Go.

BY: Well, it wasn’t my idea.

JG: I wanted a brunch, and we had a really, we had two really great chefs that worked for us at that time, and I kept pushing them to do it, and I kept telling the lead, I’m like, get it done, get it done, get it done. And so, the chef, lead chef went to Brett and said, John is demanding that we put together this brunch,

BY: And Norma Jean Goldenstein had seen a brunch in New York

JG: Yeah

BY: That she thought was original, it wasn’t what we do, but it was more like a Christian singalong. It was like, hymns that they got the entire crowd to sing. So,

JG: So, but the chef said to Brett, I’m afraid I’m going to order all this food, going to put all this together, and who’s going to come to 39th Street for brunch to a club? And he said, leave that part to me, just get the brunch stuff done. So, we opened that show, people loved it immediately, and it wasn’t a month later we were adding the second show and then 10 years later, all this time later, we, we’re now doing two shows and they sell out most every Sunday

BY: We do one at noon and one at 1:30

JG: And that crowd is probably 90% straight? You know, which is one of our concerns, is can we get people to come down to 39th? Will straight folks come and see our dinner theater shows, and see our, are they willing to come down here? And overwhelmingly the answer to that is yes. Of course, now.

SB: Has the show changed over the years?

BY: Yes. It has. When we first started doing it, we did, we had special guests and we had, we did do a singalong where we passed out, we called them Ditto copies because it’s funny because it’s just old school, but we’d pass out sheets of paper with the lyrics to hymns on it and we would have the entire audience sing hymns. Very much like they did in New York, but we’d have special guests, and we would just, Norma Jean Goldenstein and Kitty Bob Aimes would just talk to the crowd, basically, and we’d all sing, and we’d have a special guest, usually a singer, that came out and sing a hymn. Now, it has over the years it’s changed in that, now we open with a, we open with a medley that we do together and then we--which changes, we have lots of different medleys--then we do the Sunday Gospel News, which we usually do three stories, something that is currently in the news, but usually something that is really stupid. Like, recently the Planter’s peanut died, went over a cliff or something, and so we did a whole story on the Planter’s peanut. But that’s kind of the type of news that we do. And then, then we do a Sunday, we do birthdays. We get everyone that has a birthday up and we do a communion shot with them and then we do a Sunday singalong with three people from the audience where we use props and things to kind of, not make fun of religion, but to have fun with it. And we always say that we try not to offend anyone, we try to offend everyone, but we do that and then we do the Heavenly Thoughts which are just our thoughts for the day, just like a little sermon. We used to do, we started doing the Heavenly Thoughts a couple years ago, but before that we did a children’s sermon with puppets. And we had a lot of puppets. I always had the same puppet as Kitty Bob Aimes, I always had a puppet named Little Sally who was always the person or the child that was asking questions about some Biblical story like, like Adam and Eve, whereas Norma would always have the puppets that got hurt or killed or something happened to them, like Gertie the lesbian donkey who took Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and you’d know that she was a lesbian because she was carrying Melissa Etheridge tickets and wearing a flannel shirt. But it was just, it’s all kind of stupidity that was just fun for the crowd. Anyway, that, so, things have changed over the years, and then we always end with a medley or usually a song that’s called Looking for a City. Which was made very popular back in the 80s by Tony Sinclair when she used to do it at a club called the HiLo and everyone in the audience would wave hankies in the air and so we take a roll of toilet paper around the audience and we give you, everybody a piece of it so that they can wave it in the air while we do this number by Estelle Goodman called Looking for a City.

SB: How much preparation each week goes into that?

BY: Oh, there used to be a lot more, because when I’d write the, when I would write the children’s sermons and the news, usually about 11 hours a week of writing. Now that we have the Heavenly Thoughts and we kind of pull them off the internet, just memes and things like that, it only takes about I would say probably five hours to write the news each week.

SB: Does it ever surprise you that it’s still so popular, it’s just consistently been selling out?

JG: We hear about it constantly, everywhere, you know everywhere we go in town, if people find out that we own the place, we hear people say things to us like we really love Sunday Brunch and we brought a whole bunch of our coworkers who had never been there, and so it’s a little shocking we’ve been doing it for 10 years and it’s still rocking, like crazy, but I don’t think, there’s no signs that it’s going to slow down. I mean, you know, we had a lot of repeat customers, people who will come two or three times a year, it’s kind of like you get all your friends together, Sunday fun day, you come eat and drink, and they drink, but there’s no signs it’s slowing down. So, we’re going to ride it on as long as we can for sure.

BY: And John works in the kitchen, so he sees how much food goes out and we do everything from biscuits and gravy to steak and eggs benedict, we have a pretty I would say elaborate menu, I mean as far as brunches go. It’s, we have chicken fried steak and--

JG: Breakfast burgers, omelets, you know, so, there’s something for everyone on that menu.

SB: So, are Kitty Bob and Norma Jean still enjoying doing it after all these years?

BY: Yes. I always enjoy it. I’ve never enjoyed, I’ll be honest, I’m one of those performers that I’ve never enjoyed the preparation. When I was young, I used to tour in Europe. I toured in Europe for five years and I did different shows. I went over to Europe to do Oklahoma! and then did a year of the show Cabaret and then did a show called Elvis the Legend for three years. And while I was over there there would always be new cast coming on and they were doing Cats in Hamburg they had built a theater for Cats and I knew the choreography so I would always teach the people the choreography and people would say why don’t you audition for Cats? I said because I don’t want to sit in that makeup chair for 2 hours every night and now, I have to do all this preparation every week to get into the face and paint that they, put on the hip pads and all that. But that part of it I don’t enjoy that much, but the moment I hit the stage and I think I can speak for Norma as well; we have a great time out there, we love working together.

SB: So, you’ve been a performer for quite a while, then.

BY: Yes, I, we have several performers that have been with us for quite a while. Roxie Hart, Armando, Maria Isabel, Norma Jean Goldenstein, Ginger Lamar, some of these performers have worked with us from day 1 when we opened the club back on 36th Street.

SB: What kind of shows do you have here regularly here? Like, in a normal week, what would you have?

BY: Well, we have karaoke on Tuesdays up in the front bar, we designed this bar, in case it’s gone by the time people hear about this there are two different parts, well three different parts to this club. There’s a front bar that is a smoking section and it’s a smaller bar, then there’s the showroom in the back. And then there’s a large patio to the side. But it has a full-scale kitchen, but we have karaoke in the front bar on Tuesdays, and then on Wednesday we have trivia in the back bar, and then Thursday John manages a night called Trashy Thursdays, now we call it Thirsty Thursdays so we’ve changed it a little, but it’s a night where entertainers that are just starting out can come and sign up and we pay them to be on the stage sometimes we have as many as

JG: 20

BY: 20 or so.

JG: They’re amateur drag performers. Yeah. And then, Friday nights we usually, most of the time, we’ll have an early dinner theater show then a late night drag show, same is true for Saturday, early dinner show, late night drag show, and then Saturday, or Sunday we have the two brunches. So that’s our whole lineup for the week.

BY: And the third Sunday of every month we have Bingo in the back for the Rodeo Association and for Other Options, a charity organization here in the city, it helps people that can’t fend for themselves as far as like mowing their yards or having enough food, they have a food pantry. So, we do that as well. But our Friday and Saturday shows are the early show, the dinner show, which is usually a musical or a play, are at 8:00 and then the late-night shows are at 11.

SB: How have you seen the community change since you’ve been in the club business here in Oklahoma City?

JG: Well, I think the passage, or the legalization of marriage equality has kind of changed things, it’s pretty noticeable that it’s changed, it doesn’t seem to be, the struggle for equality and social justice is going to be ongoing for many, many years but the marriage equality piece of that really kind of, it set a new tone. You know, gay people are still discriminated against, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s not like, that we’re that, community of complete outcasts, and that really started with marriage equality, once that happened. Now the gay rights movement is moving towards, you know, protecting those parts of our community that need most attention, you know, the transgender community, people of color, those kinds of things, and where it used to be kind of defined as a gay man’s right, you know the gay rights movement which happened to be focused around most men, the emphasis has changed to those more underserved communities, people of color, transgender rights, those kinds of things, and that’s where the focus is now. And it’s, I think there’s still as much intensity as there used to be, it’s just a little battle on a little different right, I mean a little different front right now. Last week in Oklahoma, now they only passed it out of a committee, but conversion therapy ban was passed out of committee, it’s going to the full floor of the state house. It may not pass, but I promise you five years ago you wouldn’t have even gotten that out of the committee. So that’s, that’s kind of representative of the change that’s coming. People think of Oklahoma as the reddest of red states, but on a one-on-one daily basis, there’s been some pretty remarkable changes over the last 10 years.

BY: John’s also the president of the 39th Street Association, so he’s been very instrumental in putting together our Pride celebration each year. Also, we’re getting ready to undergo a huge streetscape that is going to cost, that is--

JG: It’s millions of dollars. It’s a completely funded project by the City, but it’s kind of like, the Paseo and the Plaza, you know they have decorative sidewalks, green belt areas, all of that stuff, and the 39th Street Association is an association of business owners and property owners in this city and we formed together about 8 years ago and we’ve been pursuing this streetscape, the City basically started to focus in on us as a project that needed to be done partly because we host, 39th Street hosts, the single largest privately held event in the city each year, which is Pride. So, the project I don’t know the final number but it’s well into the millions of dollars for this street, will begin in July and it’s all new decorative sidewalks and green belt areas and decorative light posts, really changing the way this whole street looks. That’s because there’s going to be, once a year there’s a hundred thousand people here. And the city recognizes the importance of investing in that and being seen as a city that supports diversity, supports arts, supports education, those things, those are critical parts of municipality infrastructure, and 39th Street is, I mean we’re high on their radar. That would have never happened. In fact, when we were building this building, some of the straight-owned businesses passed a petition and took it before the city council and they didn’t want us here. And our republican mayor, Mick Cornett, who was dynamite with us, said to the people that were passing the petition, he said you ought to consider yourself lucky anybody wants to build anything on that street. Because it had been so badly ignored for so many years.

BY: Yeah, there was an old barn and an old house here when we bought the property. We had torn down a whole barn and a house. And, well, I think it’s, if it weren’t for John and Kim Cooper-Hart--

JG: Well, that’s not true. A lot of people participated. But Kim Cooper-Hart’s the city planner that’s kind of led the push, kept pushing us, kept pushing us, and some other great people on the board of directors for 39th just wouldn’t quit. Jon Priebe from Priebe’s Automotive, and Craig Poos from The Phoenix, they just would not give up on the project. Ginger McGovern from Herland Sister Resources, these are all people that just volunteered their time and just hung in there for eight years before we actually got anything done. So, it’s been an interesting ride.

SB: I know that’s one of the things I’ve talked to city councilman James Cooper a bit, and he had talked about trying to make this more of a district like the Paseo or like the Plaza. Do you see that, becoming like the next Plaza area in Oklahoma City?

JG: Absolutely. You know, and James of course is newly elected and was not really in the game as this project was coming along and we had another city councilman before him named Ed Shadid who was a really great guy who helped us a lot, he was very much an ally to the LGBT community, without him we wouldn’t have got where we were, when the Plaza District, when they finished their project they hosted a luncheon for the 39th Street board. And we went down and we walked all through the Plaza and they pointed out a bunch of things that took city ordinances to make happen, like a live/work ordinance which allowed somebody to open a shop in one of those commercial spaces but then live in the back, that had never been done before. So the council really worked hard to make their project successful. And that was, we were really on the early stages of this, I said to the guy that was running the Plaza project, I said you know the thing that worries me the most is you have buildings. They may be boarded up and they may need to be completely renovated, but you have buildings. And I said, we don’t have those kinds of buildings so we’re going to need a lot more development. And he looks at me and he says, let me tell you and he said you have something we didn’t have. He said, you’re already a place where people gather. He said, you already have a community that loves the area. He said, if you remember the Plaza, right, he said ten years ago we had one stop sign and most everybody ran it instead of stopping at that little light that was by that little convenience store, you remember where that is? He said most everybody ran it. He said, so we had to build our crowd, build our community. He said you guys already have that done, and that’s absolutely true. And I think the council recognizes it and we certainly know the planning commission recognizes it, and they have, they’ve been committed to this project since they figured out it was possible, that we could all work together and that we were a community and that it was actually a project that could get done.

BY: And I think you know, when you were talking about asking us about entertainment and how we wanted to change things, I have to say that I put together the shows that we do here, the musicals and the plays and I do a lot of the sets and the costumes and sometimes I’ll sub that out, sometimes I’ll have other directors direct the shows, or I’ll have some other costumers costume it, but John as well over the years has had his own phase of, or his own input into the entertainment aspect of what happened down on 39th Street in association with Pride. He was very instrumental in bringing The Pointer Sisters down here for our concert, the Village People, gosh I can’t even remember all of them,

JG: Taylor Dayne, Martha Wash, Evelyn “Champagne” King,

BY: Blu Cantrell

JG: Blu Cantrell, I’m sure I’m missing a whole bunch

BY: So, he’s raised all the money over the years to do that as well, so that we would have a concert that was free to the public and sometimes this street during those concerts it would be packed all the way you couldn’t see a piece of the street that wasn’t covered by a person, I mean there were thousands of people down here. I don’t know what they estimated the crowds at at some point, but in the largest one some of those large concerts, but it looked like eight thousand people

JG: Oh, eight to ten, easy. The very first year this bar was here, I was associated with Pride Board, they held our festival, we held the festival in a park down off of Classen. The total revenue associated with the Pride event that year was 52,000 dollars. So that was 10 years ago, today the total revenue of Pride is well into the millions. Again, it’s the single largest event, private event in this city. The day of the parade there’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood of 65, 70,000 people on the street from, all the way from Classen to all through here, it’s quite an event. I mean and it takes, God, it takes a lot of people with a lot of knowledge and stuff to pull that off.

SB: What all does go into making an event that size?

JG: Well, so it’s a 3-day event, so it starts with the opening of the festival on a Friday and a block party that night, festival all day Saturday, you’ve got bands and music and everything going all day long,

BY: Multiple volunteers

JG: Yeah, hundreds of volunteers. And then you’ve got, the festival continues most of the day on Sunday and stops around 4 then all those tents and everything on the streets got to go away as you get ready for--

BY: Porta Potties, there’s a lot to think about--

JG: A parade--


JG: But step one is the management piece. You’ve got to bring a group of people together with a really diverse background, management background that can make all of those things happen safely. And one of the things to consider is you have 75,000 people, that means how many security guards do you need, where are the EMSA triage positions or places going to go, how many Porta Potties, how many golf carts, I mean all of--it’s a massive undertaking to have all those people in one congested area in a safe manner. It’s a job.

BY: And there can be over 200 entries in the parade as well, you know, I mean like that have to be managed and organized and--

JG: So we have teams. We have a festival team that handles all the particulars with that and then they’ve got a whole group of volunteers that work for them. And then we have a parade piece, then we have a traffic and logistics like the gentleman that joined us this year, he’s worked with us before, he’s the deputy, former deputy chief of police of Edmond. His law enforcement background, traffic control, all of that stuff, has just the perfect set of skills that we need to make that piece happen. So that’s what you do. You go recruit people that bring a skill set to the table that you really need. You need a great lawyer, you need a great accountant, and you need an incredible media relations person that knows how to handle media that’s very positive to us and then media that’s really negative towards us and so, it’s a task.

BY: What is his name?

JG: This year it’s Brandon Beard.

BY: But Steve--

JG: Steve Thompson.

BY: Steve Thompson.

JG: Former chief of police of Edmond.

BY: Yes.

JG: Sorry--

BY: He just wrote a book.

JG: Deputy chief of police of Edmond.

BY: He just published a book. About being a closeted, closeted man in the police force.

JG: In Edmond.

SB: Another thing I’m curious about with all of that, from a business owner standpoint, how does that affect, is it pretty crazy here?

JG: Oh, it’s nuts, wall to wall. It’s also, it’s our single largest sales weekend of the year, but it’s also our most expensive. Because you have to stock a ton more product and you have to hire way more people instead of having one bar back for a night you need four, but so, by the time you work all through that, did you make a whole lot more money? I’m not so sure.

BY: Well, and the clubs donate,

JG: We have a good time.

BY: We all donate money to it, the event as well.

JG: All the clubs on this street will write a check that provides Pride with the seed money it takes to get the entire event rolling. And they have for the better part of 32 years that’s happened. So--

BY: And a few other people. Like Craig’s Emporium. They’ve been very good to help.

SB: Alright, well that’s about all I had to ask really, aside from, do you all have any interesting stories from over the years that you’d like to share?

JG: [Laughing] No, I don’t. I’ve got to run. I’ve got people next door that are shooting--

BY: A video

JG: Yes, and I’ve got to get back here to work in 30 minutes because the bartender’s not coming.

[Everyone says goodbyes]

BY: He’s getting ready to go shoot a video for Pride, it’s actually a lot of the people in our community are doing videos to put up on social media just inviting people to Pride this year and giving them all the information on when they can, when the deadline is for the registration and everything like that. So, that’s what he’s doing. I don’t know, I have so many stories, you know, I can’t even begin to think of one in particular. There are some, there are some real, I will say this—some of the challenges about being a club owner and an entertainer are that you watch a lot of people come and go and you’re always still there. But you know, over the years I’ve seen a few people pass away, which is, cause some of our clientele are older and they tend to be single men and women that their partners have passed away and they’re older and so they come out and they socialize with other people who are in the same situation or I guess are in some ways lonely, and that’s one of the things a bar owner is faced with is losing a lot of people. Which can be very sad, but there are tons of happy times too, I have to say I feel like this, this group that we’ve worked with over the years, there are some people who have been here for multiple years like Ginger Lamar, and Roxie Hart and Maria Isabel and Norma Jean Goldenstein, they become your family. And some bartenders, bartenders seem to come and go more quickly, but it’s easy to get burnt out as a bartender. But they’re still family. We have some staff members that have been with us seven or eight years and it’s, it’s your family that you choose, which is, it’s really nice, it’s really nice to have that group to always lean on and we are a big family so that’s nice.

SB: And all of the performers you said also stick around and perform for quite a while, right?

BY: Yeah, most of my, most of the entertainers here have been, I can’t think of an entertainer that’s been with me less than 7 years that is a regular entertainer.

SB: And you’ve got some pretty high-level performers too, right? You were telling me before we started the interview about some of the pageant winners and things like that.

BY: Yes. Roxie Hart’s been a Miss USA and she’s, well, she’s been a Miss Classic, she’s been a national entertainer of the year, she was a Miss Gay Oklahoma America, I was Miss Gay Oklahoma America, and a first runner-up to Miss America, and Carmen Deveraux was a Miss Oklahoma America, gosh, Foxxi Chanell Paige is a Miss Gay Oklahoma U S of A, Alizay Zane Paige is a Miss Oklahoma U S of A, so yeah, I have a lot of entertainers that have done very well. And they’re very diverse, I mean as far as what kind of, I like entertainers that are, can do a little bit of everything, a little country, a little pop, a little comedy, a little, you know, I like that, so.

SB: So, if anybody listens to this and wants to find you, where can they find you all?

BY: In what way? [Laughs]

SB: Where are you located, do you have a web presence?

BY: Oh yes, the Boom OKC, the Boom OKC, we have a Facebook page, we have a Twitter and a Instagram and a website, so if you go to our website it tells you just about everything that you would want to know about coming to The Boom.

SB: Alright. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I really appreciate it.

BY: Thank you. It’s been a treat, Sheldon.

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