Aura Salon fills long-vacant space on Cedar Springs; open house Saturday

Salon

Aura Salon has filled one of the longest-vacant spaces on the Cedar Springs strip.

Owner Darel McCurdy said the salon is open with four operators and he has space for 10 more. Before moving to Oak Lawn, he said he worked at a salon in Frisco for 15 years.

“I’ve wanted to come back down to the community for a long time now,” he said.

He said he is looking forward to greeting people at his open house that will be held on Saturday at the salon.

The space has been vacant for two-and-a-half years. The previous tenant was Zen Clips.

Buli, the cafe next door, had plans to expand with an option to lease the space for more than a year. Those expansion plans to turn the coffeehouse into a piano bar were halted by the city because of lack of parking for a bar or restaurant, which require more parking than retail tenants. That deal fell through and Buli remains a coffee and sandwich shop.

Currently, the only vacancy in the heart of the strip is the space formerly occupied by Drama Room. Another long-vacant space that was formerly An Occasional Piece is now the S4L spin studio.

Open house: 3910 Cedar Springs Road, Feb. 16 at 6–9 p.m. Wine, cocktails and appetizers served.

—  David Taffet

New gay-interest salon series launches

The salon is back — at least it will be if Dawn Meifert has anything to say about it.

Meifert, who has lately been making regular vlogs about politics she posts on YouTube called Here’s The Deal, has a passion for exchanging ideas, especially those that relate to the gay community. And in Ketel One, she has found a partner who feels just as strongly about it. The result is Cocktails and Conversations, a new drinks-and-discussion series launching this week in Dallas.

It started when Meifert, who has long worked in marketing, began discussions with the luxury vodka brand about getting involved in the gay community. “We wanted involvement deeper than happy hours and a few big sponsorships,” she says. “One idea was about creating an event where a guest speaker will come in — they might be gay or might not — but where there’s an evening that’s fun and relaxing but spurs members of the community into donating money or volunteering,” or otherwise getting involved. Not just in politics, Meifert notes, but also nonprofits and other community good works. “It sometimes seems the gay and lesbian involvement has become a little lackluster.”

The salons will be very informal, and held at the homes of locals in the communities who volunteer them. The first one, set for tomorrow evening in Oak Cliff’s Kessler Park area, will launch the series, which has the go-ahead for regular salons through May 2013 — in Dallas, but also Houston, New Orleans and possibly Austin.

Although the events are invitation-only to control the number of people who show up to a private house, anyone interested in getting involved or on the invite list can email KetelOneDallas@gmail.com, and ask to be but on the salon invite list for the next Dallas event.

Oh, and you can check out Meifert’s vlog on her YouTube channel, or just watch one of them below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Larry Flynt offers $1 million for evidence of ‘gay or straight sexual encounter’ with Rick Perry

The full-page ad shown above appeared in this week’s Austin Chronicle, the capital city’s alt-weekly, according to Salon.com. The ad follows a similar one taken out last month by Ron Paul supporter Robert Morrow, although Morrow didn’t promise any cash. Any bets on whether Flynt’s ad will work?

—  John Wright

DEATHS: James ‘Kissey’ Olson, James Edward ‘Beaux’ Geer, Ray ‘Alpha Pup’ Witt

James “Kissey” Olson, 62, died at his home in Dallas on March 30 after recently being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Olson was native of Iron River, Mich. After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for six years. He went to work for AT&T, living in Phoeniz, Little Rock and finally Dallas, where he retired.

He had lived in the Dallas area for more than 24 years.

His home here was party central and was always open to his many friends who will miss his and his hospitality.

Olson is survived by his mother, Minnie, and sisters, Ruth and Doris, of Iron River; his brother, Ron, of Milwaukee; his ex-wife, Jo, of Yuma, Az.; his two children, Scott and Amy of Phoenix, and six grandchildren; and his beloved Chihuahua, Moose.

Olson was cremated and his ashes were buried at Iron River. A celebration of his life will be held on the patio at The Hidden Door, 5025 Bowser St., on Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m.

 

James Edward “Beaux” Geer, 46, died April 13.

Geer worked as a hairdresser with Salon D for 23 years. He was also an artist who founded “Healing Texas through the Arts” to showcase new artists and make their works available to the public.

Geer was truly loved by friends and family, and he had an innocent sweetness of spirit and extraordinary talent that turned everything he touched into a thing of beauty. His paintings provided a view into his soul. He will be profoundly missed by those who knew him and will keep him forever in their hearts.

Geer is survived by his mother and stepfather, Bill and Millie Ritter of Plano; his father, Thomas Geer, Lafayette, La.; his brother Greg “Blackie” Geer, wife Kayce, daughter Typhane and grandson Thor, all of Austin; his best friend and brother-of-the heart, Dale Hall; and a host of other family and friends. Plans are pending for a celebration of life memorial gathering.

 

Ray “Alpha Pup” Witt, 59, died March 30 from an apparent stroke. Witt, loving boy and partner to Daddy Ron Hertz of Dallas and a member of the Dallas leather community, was a former member of Discipline Corps and NLA-Dallas. He held the first International Puppy title presented in 2001, thus becoming the “Alpha Pup.” His gift for storytelling and his warm heart endeared him to many in the community and his presence will be missed.Witt is survived by his partner of 9 ½ years, Ron Hertz of Dallas; his mother, Duluth Witt of Lexington, Ky.; and his canine friend “Mugsy.” A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

 

—  John Wright

People Magazine tried for buzz on Chely Wright's coming out — but TMZ happened

That buzz in your ear is probably that of country singer Chely Wright’s coming out. Although you weren’t supposed to hear that until Friday from the newsstands. People Magazine was trying to create buzz about this week’s issue in order to create a big reveal. The only thing is, TMZ got a hold of it and now, it’s out. Or rather, Wright is.

The Advocate, Salon plus every celeb site and blog are already all over it. The thing is, we got the impression that People had wraps on someone who’s a little more, um, superstar-ish. We have no doubt that Chely Wright is a big deal — in country music — but admittedly, there were a couple of us in today’s editorial meeting asking, “Who?” Speculation on the web was figuring the likes of Queen Latifah, Kevin Spacey or Anderson Cooper, all who have been under the scrutinizing eye of gaydar. People’s handling of this seemed a little over the top. Had they said nothing at all, they probably would have gotten the result they wanted.

—  Rich Lopez

Newest episode of 'Ask a Gay Family' posted earlier this week

I came across this link while perusing over Salon today. The blog, Gay Family Values, is a pretty good read. It’s posted by the Depfox family of Northern California as a response to Prop 8. Episode 6 of their Web series was posted earlier this week. These vids have become an apparent hit. “The reason these videos are so popular is that people don’t get to see what it means to be a gay couple in a long term relationship raising children,” their front page says.

I think their blog name’s subhead sums it up  – Showing the Face of Gay Families in America. And today, Daddy Jay reads the children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, about two gay penguins raising an egg together. It might sound schmaltzy but the entire post is really about the controversy surrounding the book and what it means to him as a parent.

Check it.

—  Rich Lopez

Former Dallas writer Andrea Grimes ponders her lack of (or so she thought) 'fag-haggery'

Andrea Grimes, a former colleague of mine, wrote today on Heartless Doll what it feels like for a girl to be tapped by the label “fag hag.” Her post is more a response to Thomas Rogers over at Salon who admits, “Ladies: I’m not your gay boyfriend.” Both fun and good reads but Rogers takes on the topic like a college dissertation.

It sounds like Grimes never got to fully appreciate the girl + gay = BFF social study in her college days despite going to NYU where the odds were apparently with her. Instead she stood as an observer of other women and their pseudo-boyfriends. Grimes had her own motives.

I’m not sure why I never became one of them, apart from the fact that it’s hard for a serial monogamist to, again, have much time for someone she’s not screwing.

Hopefully Grimes didn’t forget all our special times together. Discussing Sex and the City at length, comparing man/boy crushes, enjoying haunted hay rides and lots of drinking. With all that effort, I figured I filled the void of Will to her Grace. Or was it really, vice versa?

But like she and Rogers figure at the end – ultimately, let’s just be friends. And for once, that’s meant in a good way.

—  Rich Lopez