I had so much fun at Cigars and Boots at Bourbon Street on Saturday. There was a nice crowd of folks enjoying drinks and lighting up cigars and pipes. (The place smelled amazing and I was in smoky heaven!) Wish Linda was there raise money for Leather Cares Help Fund. She brought along a whole crew of volunteers and bootblacks that donated their time (and their tips) to raise money for this worthy cause that helps those in our community who are in need.
It's an amazing thing to be a part of The Leather/Fetish Community in San Diego! I love to spend time with my brothers from FMSD, but am also thrilled to have had such a fantastic time socializing with members from the other groups that exist in our broader community.
I got some excellent care on my boots from someone who was bootblacking publicly for the first time. She kept me entertained and did a great job prepping my boots for SD Pride. I also got to see the bootblacks chocolate cake ritual which was really hot and so fun to watch! Thanks to everyone's generosity, $324 was raised.
Great folks, refreshing beverages, chocolate cake, and lots of tobacco smoke wafting through the air. I left a very happy boy!
From the link on the FMSD Calendar: Cigars & Boots: First Saturday of every month, 4-7PM: CIGARS & BOOTS. Bourbon Street, at 4612 Park Blvd is our new host bar. Once the kitchen is open, the full menu is available as well as a half price menu of selected items.
The Cigars & Boots social last Saturday, 6 July 2013, was much more than I had expected based on my previous attendance and experience. I assumed the attendance would be about like it was the last time I went ... a dozen or so. Happily, my expectations were far surpassed.
When I arrived there were at least 20 people there. Many I know and recognize from the FMSD Men's Discussions and previous Cigars & Boots events. There were also several people from Club X. There were people double and tripple lining the bar, facing out into the courtyard, and facing in to chat with whom they were near. People would move from sitting at the tables to standing and talking and others would go sit at the tables and chat.
I was also happy to see at least half of the people enjoying a cigar. Laughter punctuated the din of conversation. Conversation with others was disarmingly easy. I was approached several times and when I approached a coule or a group I felt, and was, comfortably welcomed in to listen and chat.
Others arrived and the attendance grew to at least 30 people. Five bootblacks were on-duty and busy the entire duration of the event. I positioned myself so I could see the transformation of the boots and was thoroughly impressed each time. The process is not quick and it is captivating, and calming, to watch. I kept thinking "OK, that's about as good as it's going to get and he, or she, will move on to the other boot" and I'd be wrong each time. Skill, talent, knowledge and experience blend to produce results that are better than showroom fresh.
Cobi and Robb
I would like to thank Gary Jacobs for introducing me to Cobi. My boots look GREAT now because of the bootblacking service Cobi provided! That was my first experience with a bootblack and I now have a tantalizing glimmer of what the attraction is for the person wearing the boots. Not only is it great to entrust the care of the boot to someone with far more experience that I have, it is also great to be on the receiving end of focused attention that feels good in several places, several times, and the end result is better than I know how to achieve.
A raffle was held to benefit the Leather Foundation Help Fund. I lost track of how many prizes were handed out after Wish Linda gave out the fifth one. The gift certificates for goods or services all sounded great to me.
Then Wish Linda introduced all of the bootblacks and the spoke about how bootblacks are recognized and rewarded with a food item. Unfortunately, no utensils were available other than the spatula that was used to cut and serve the cake. Because their skilled hands have soap, conditioner and polish all over them, it would not be wise to let them eat with their hands. We were treated to see how the giving and serving nature of skilled bootblacks is shared between and among themselves. Cake was enjoyed by all -- hands free.
If you are considering "checking it out" please know you do not have to smoke a cigar or any other tobacco item. A few people smoke cigarettes and I saw two gentle-leathermen enjoying pipes. Many did not smoke anything and there is sufficient breeze to carry away the expelled smoke. Gear is encouraged and welcomed and you'll not be shunned if you don't wear any.
That's what I have to say about my experience at this Cigars & Boots event in addition to I am looking forward to next time.