Miss Bettie: Ms. SouthEast LeatherFest 2008
Miss Bettie's Schedule
Oct. 18th - The Hickory Playground in NC presenting my Role Play presentation
Nov. 1 - Atlanta Regional Munch teaching Role Play
Jan. 17th - KEY Greenville, SC
Feb. 7 - The Mark Nashville, TN
Feb 21 - Hickory Playground in Hickory, NC
Feb 27 - Mar 1, 2009 - South Plains LeatherFest, Dallas, TX
April 9 - 12, Frolicon, Atlanta, GA
May 2nd - TMG in Raleigh, NC Formal Dining Service Demo
June 12 - 14, SouthEast LeatherFest
Febuary 11, 2009
Is it already February? Wow, time really does fly when you’re having fun. And fun I’m definitely having. Hello everyone! I’ve been super busy traveling and meeting new people but I’ll try to sum it all up in a couple of paragraphs. I know you want the hot and juicy details, not all the boring bits. So, here goes!
In January, I visited with KEY in South Carolina. KEY, Keeping Everyone Yearning for those who want to know, is a really WONDERFUL group of people. Being from a relatively small, homey group myself, I identify very well with that dynamic. I was welcomed with open arms into a group that didn’t know me from Adam. But, even though I’d never met any of them before that night, I very quickly felt like a long-standing member of the group. KEY is fantastic at welcoming new people into their group.
I listened to a wonderful presentation by one of KEY’s own on BDSM Etiquette and Manners. It was amazing to sit and hear all the stories as we recalled times in our lives where we had run into situations where the common courtesy had gone astray in the face of “protocol” and “tradition”. But the dialogue quickly turned to the positive, coming up with practical ideas to counteract this trend. We ended the conversation hopeful of a better, more respectful future for our community.
Girl Commando/Andy: SouthEast Bootblack 2008
February 27, 2018
Almost 5 years ago I wrote my last column for my last title year. I spoke of family drama, of times being tough but looking towards the future. I also spoke of title holding and what it meant to me. The years I held my titles were some of the best of my life. I learned more than I ever thought possible and grew in ways I couldn't imagine when I first started on this road.
The first time I stood on a stage was almost a decade ago. I was scared out of my mind. I can still remember standing behind the curtain waiting for the emcee to call my name for the first time. I had only been in the community for about a year. I was taking my first steps down a long and winding road. I had no idea where I would end up. Hell, I barely knew who I was. But, I knew at that moment, when I stepped out on that stage and looked over that crowd of people all watching me, that I wanted to be a person they could be proud of.
10 years later, I believe that I have become that person. I was reading over my speech from 2008 the other day. I spoke of being young leather and what it meant to me. I had a drive and a desire to stay focused and learn from my elders. I desired nothing more than to sit at the knee of every person I could. I have done that, and I will continue to do it for as long as people will tell me their stories. Only now, from time to time, I come across someone who asks to sit at my knee and hear my stories. Talk about mind blowing. My first reaction is always to want to send them to someone more experienced, to tell them that I have nothing to share. But, this isn't true. Yes, I have my stories to share. But, I also have the wisdom and insight that I have learned from my elders to pass on to other generations as well.
As a bootblack, I am one of the physical historians of a leather persons journey. I have hundreds upon hundreds of stories of boots, pants, chaps, and various pieces of leather that I have cared for. I tell those stories often in classes, one on one lessons, and in my chair. I tell the stories of the amazing leather people I have been fortunate enough to have in my chair over the last decade.
I share the stories I have been told about the Sanctuary and the many other bars and clubs that are no longer around. I share stories from and about leather folk we have lost over the years, some I was blessed to hear first hand and some that have been passed down to me through others. I also share my stories about the things I have done and the things I have seen. Being a title holder gives one a unique perspective on the community. We see the best this country and others have to offer. We also sometimes see the worst. We travel to many events and meet many people. We have an opportunity to impact so many lives and journeys. Often more than we realize. Our days of title holding seldom end when we give that step down speech and patch or sash the next person in. There have been many SELF bootblacks and boys both before and after me, but I am the only SELF Bootblack 2008 and SELF Boy 2012. I will always be a part of the amazing family of SELF titleholders.
So, where am I today, 10 years after the first title and 5 years after the second? I am living in Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband and our girl. I'm in service to an amazing leather woman in Atlanta. I still teach when and where I can. I bootblack at events and bar nights in NC and the surrounding areas. I mentor as much as I can. I enjoy traveling whenever possible. I'm still learning every day. I'm still listening more than I speak. I hope I will always be that way.
The thing I will never stop doing is encouraging people to run for titles. It changed my life. It may not be for everyone, but if you think it might be for you, you should reach out to me or anyone of our titleholders. Come on out and join us. You won't regret it!
Thank you so much for reading. Love one another and stay strong.
SELF Bootblack 2008
SELF Boy 2012
Updated with the speech from ICBB in April 2015
Speech given for competition at ICBB
When I need to feel more focused-
I go to the boots.
Hitting my knees working the leather became my classroom. People’s histories and their stories were offered to me and gave me more than I could have imagined 3.5 years ago. Who knew you could mix the raw appeal of leather, sex and learning? The more I learned the less clothes I wore.
Wisdom sat in my chair wearing Corcoran Jump Boots and said the words “earned leather” to me. I took off my vest and my boots that night. In the two years it took to earn those pieces back, I became “young leather.” I’m young by circumstance but I’m leather by my willingness to earn it every day.
Henry Lloyd: Mr. SouthEast LeatherFest 2008
Held title for two years 2007 - 2008
October 17, 2007
Well, it is October, and I have been very remiss in not getting a column started and posted. My only defense is that it has been a very busy three plus months since we had our wonderful contest and event. In that time, I have continued to grow and develop and make new friends. I do want to give special recognition to Sir Bill (William Pickeral of Atlanta) and boy brandon (Brandon Burns of Knoxville), who at one of the lowest times in my life were there for me – no questions asked. They are unsung heroes in many people’s lives. Thanks guys.