small brush shouldn't fuck with big timber

Death's Door, the view from the Spanish announcers table

Sunday, February 1

I happened to drive past the Old Chelsea Theater in the River Market last week. I have some really fond memories of that place. Did you know that the Old Chelsea used to be a glove making factory in the early 1900’s? Back in the day when the Chelsea was happening a cat could pay five bucks and watch three strippers and two movies. These weren’t your everyday hit the pole kind of strippers. Nooooo, these chicks had style, they were the last of the real deal burlesque Queens. I once watched a show where this older women came out. She must’a been in her mid forties and you could tell even in the dark that she’d been rolled up wet too often. But when the colored lights came up and the brights went down she started swaying to some old Johnny Otis big band music and I swear she dropped twenty years. With just a negligee and a huge feather boa she had me and the crowd glued to her every move. She put girls half her age to shame and did it with class. She didn’t strip, she showed us art. She gave us a glimpse of old Vegas or what Kansas City’s old 12 St. Strip must’a been like. She was the reason why back in the day Kennedy or the Rat Pack would frequent Burlesque house’s sipping dry Martinis and knocking back fine scotches. “Two fingers straight up and a pack of Lucky’s”. When she finished her show you could’a heard a match drop. Then the place went apeshit. We applauded and cheered her and she just stood there bowing and takin it all in. She did it old school and we showed our appreciation. God bless her.


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