Merry Christmas (and Getting Re- Organized)

By Will Seagers
 
Will plaing the organ in festive birthday attire

Don we now our gay apparel

 

Well, Season's Greetings to one and all! This will be my first sequel blog. Back in November, I wrote about my love and fascination with the "musical" organ as well as the biologically attached one that got me into Bijou in the first place! Lol.

Because music has been such a large part of my life, whether it be DJing, selling Hi-Fi or playing and selling organs and pianos, my first blog on the organ left a lot out of a rather large story.

I remember leaving off the first blog at my arrival in Santa Fe. Until the purchase of the Lowery spinet, I had been without an organ for 5+ years... which seemed like a lifetime! I wound up purchasing a couple more organs in Santa Fe, which got me back to another Conn 651! It was not in the best of shape, electronically speaking. It seemed like my organ tech was always coming over to jump start this one.

 

Open organ with maintenance man at work

Say 'Aaaah' – my trusty organ doctor at work

 

With all of the abovementioned technical issues, I started pondering another brand... Allen. It was a wise move - musically and technically. My first was an ADC-3600, a beautiful two manual theater model. That didn't last long. Once you have had three manuals, two is a little limiting! That led to the ADC-3600's big brother, the ADC-4600 - the three manual and very well equipped version for its time.

 

Allen Organs Headquarters sign

 

It was at this time that I started to take organ lessons again. This was at the suggestion of my Allen technician. Little did I know that the man he was referring was a legend in the theater organ world who lived right here in my home town. I have decided as a courtesy to keep the anonymity of my teacher and tech. My "lessons" were really coaching sessions as my "coach" thought pretty highly of my playing and overall knowledge. I let him know that I was gay right from the start. He "let the cat out of the bag" during our first lesson, as well. He was my senior by 20 years. Besides the wonderful music, we had hilarious times with him recalling his various gay escapades during the '50s and '60s. Belly-laughing was always part of our curriculum!

Through him, I was introduced to his house-mate and his partner and we became a very large family that got together on all of the major holidays. All of this was wonderful except that in only a year and a half of knowing my teacher, his health failed and he passed in 2012. I was not only saddened but lost. I thought I had finally gotten a musical liaison back in my life! Oh well. I am quite thankful for that period of time that I had with him and the rekindling of musical energy that he gave me.

 

Open close-up with framed picture of organ teacher sitting on it

I didn't say his name, but here's his picture (framed, sitting on the organ)

 

A year and a half later my step-father passed. He left me a nice sum that I used to get the organ that I own today... an Allen MDS TH 17. I still have to pinch myself when I look at it! It is massive and gorgeous! Oh, how I could have used my teacher to learn all of this organ's features. Playing music and playing an organ like this are two different things. Learning to maneuver through a song and change registrations with the thumb pistons and toe pistons was something that I was never taught. And, now in my 70s, it is something that I am determined to learn on my own.

All of these instruments have one thing in common - they have brought great pleasure. From the very first time I heard a theater organ as a child, I knew I wanted to play one. I have been moved to tears on many occasions. It has proven to be the gateway to my soul.

 

Will's current theater organ

 

 

Bio of Will Seagers:

Will Seagers (also credited as Matt Harper), within his multifaceted career and participation in numerous gay communities across the country in the '70s and '80s and beyond, worked as a print model and film performer. He made iconic appearances in releases from Falcon, Hand in Hand, Joe Gage, Target (Bullet), J. Brian, Steve Scott, and more, including in lead roles in major classics like Gage's L.A. Tool & Die (1979) and Scott's Wanted (1980). He brought strong screen presence and exceptional acting to his roles and was scene partners with many fellow legends of classic porn.

 

Will Seagers, present day image

 


You can read Will Seagers' previous blogs for Bijou here:
Welcome Matt/Will
What's For Dessert?
On and Off the Set of L.A. Tool & Die
Wanted, Weekend Lockup and Weekends in Hermosa Beach
Honeymoon in the Palms
Birds of a Feather
The Stereo Maven of Castro Street
The Pass Around Boy
The Ecstasy and the Agony
Fitness and Fantasy: The Early Gyms
Chasing the Boys and Chasing the Sun: My Story of Sun Worship and Where It Got Me
Becoming Invisible
The Reverse Story of Dorian Gray
Pin Money
One Organ Leads to Another! Part 1
The Wheels of Steel
Feast and Famine: The 1970s to the 1980s
An Alphabet Soup of Powders and Pills

 

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Pot Luck or Unluck?

Dumpy office potluck

In 1592 Scotland, not exactly the jolly tearoom in a time of turmoil, someone used that word potluck to refer to a meal served to a guest the host did not specifically prepare for. In other words, I didn't expect you, so it's luck of the draw what I've got in the pot. And given economic conditions in Scotland at that time, you would be lucky if you got a bit of boiled oatmeal.

Fast forward centuries later, and the word now refers to an event where everyone brings a different (one hopes!) dish. Thus, supposedly, one can enjoy a choice, but at the same time, unless the host or hostess decides to notify in advance who is bringing what (often the etiquette these days), it's the luck of the draw what is in all those pots (really, tupperware, chafing dishes, foil trays et al). Or, in the case of some office potlucks, what's in the 2-liter bottle of soda and bag of chips someone (usually a male) picked up at the downstairs convenience store at the last minute.

I was reading on an admittedly snarky LGBTQ board about an event called the lesbian potluck, and apparently such an event was and is so popular it has become a stereotype. Apparently gay men, in contrast to lesbians, tend to eat out or cook at home specific menus, or if their culinary skills are less than stellar, hire a caterer. Perhaps this set up allows more time for extra-food events such as sex upstairs (or in the slings in the basement) between most of the guests. Or more time to finesse with the crudites and the specific décor.
 

Fancy crudites

Lesbians, however, for a variety of social and cultural reasons, prefer to view these meals as community bonding rituals (I've heard winter or summer solstice ones are popular). They will eat in, but the food comes from other lesbians, lovers, and sometimes, to add drama to those events, an ex-lover or two. I must admit I've never been to one, but I've heard stories, alas. Let's just say perhaps reverting to Prohibition might be a good idea at some of these events.

Yet potlucks were often, in the days of the closet, a way for both gay men and lesbians to meet each other in a private setting free from the threat of the police. I remember visiting Kentucky as late as the early nineties, and the main events for LGBTQ persons were potlucks. They took those Southern Bible Belt church potlucks, it seems, and made them their own way of forming community. (I do hope perhaps that they offered more than baked beans and casseroles with a cream of mushroom base!)

And in the case of lesbians, the potluck often became a way for lesbians and/or early feminists to say, we are cooking for each other, not for men aka husbands and children, and not just in a kitchen in a house owned or supported by a man. And at the same time, these early lesbian potlucks were able to embrace environmentally friendly and nutritious diets, especially, macrobiotic, vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options. Oy veh. Lentil salad, anyone? More lentil salad, anyone?
 

Lesbian potluck

To be honest, my potluck experiences have been less enjoyable than most. I remember the dictatorial hostess of one I attended criticizing my pumpkin tart (she claimed it was undercooked). Another friend went to the same event and brought a plain lettuce and cherry tomato salad, which the hostess insulted as well (that friend admitted she did not have time to do much and frankly did not want to). Still, the hostess committed a major etiquette faux-pas. (She, a straight woman, much later married a gay man. No comment.)

And then, at the Bijou office a few holiday seasons ago, there was the year of the cookie exchange that accompanied a potluck. I made a vegetable lasagna that year as well that but I should have used regular cheese (the fat free cheese does not melt), and I cut down on the spices. It was bland, but one person just sprinkled a bunch of oregano and garlic powder on it. (At least he did not insult it!)

But I digress. That infernal cookie exchange. So many rules. Let's just say participants had to bake not just say, one batch of cookies as for a potluck, but several batches because one would ultimately exchange your batch with the respective batches of the others. Thus, you would come home with several different types of cookies. But only after you baked Lord knows how many batches of your cookie. In a panic, I called my mother and a friend. They said do drop cookies. I tried a drop cookie cake mix recipe. I burnt two batches. Never again.
 

Burnt cookies

Maybe pot lucks are like life in general. Maybe one should be lucky one can fill a pot, or even own a set of pots, and not just one to piss in (and no, the watersports party is not an event with food).

So, here's to a holiday season and a coming year full of pots, luck, food, sex, and love. Not necessarily in that order.

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