Drew and Mickey Meet:
a little more history
by Michael Pfleger, aka “Mickey Ray”
Submitted August 29, 2015
On my birthday, February 10, 1968 (it was a leap year, that year and February had 29 days), I came in to a small trust fund from an accident that happened to me when at thirteen. I had been hit by a car while I was getting off a school bus.
I moved up to Utica, NY and hung around a place called The Hub, a mixed and fairly risky bar. It didn’t take long before I blew my money spending it on shit clothes and radios, cameras…just crap.
One warm night in May, I was standing outside my apartment building when this car with three young guys yelled out to me. They seemed to be lost and wanted directions. They were very friendly, and I had no idea I was being set up. They recognized me as one of the gay guys that hung out at The Hub. We rode around town for a while and when they gained my trust, I invited them up for beers. Pretty quickly they had me down, stripped and forcing me to blow one of them, while the others cleaned out my apartment. They took off, without physically hurting me, but I was crushed and furious. I figured where and how they must have known me and grabbed a pair of pants and a shirt and shoes and went down to The Hub. I saw their car and went in the bar and spotted one of them. I started to shout out that this was one of the guys who just robbed me, and instead of getting any help, the bar threw me out.
I saw an empty beer bottle on the ground, busted it down to the neck, and shoved the broken glass into three of the four tires on their car. I took off, running like hell, got home and packed what few things I had left and headed for the Greyhound Bus Station. I sat there until it was around 9 o’clock. I put my gear into a locker, went to my bank and withdraw what little I had left, came back and bought a ticket to Chicago. I’d left everything in my apartment for my family to clean up. Not cool, but fear doesn’t help with rational thinking.
I got to Chicago, I believe, on a Monday, around the 24th, and lived there until the middle of August. I had a crappy job working in a small counter restaurant, and wasn’t all that happy. There was a rumor that there were going to be really shit kicking bad action and riots when the Democratic National Convention came to town at the end of August. I decided I wanted no part of it and left.
(I had been thinking of going to California, but some Chicago friends had told me that I should stop in KC on the way as it was pretty rocking.) I didn’t have enough to get to California in any case, so I got on the bus to Kansas City.
When I first arrived in Kansas City, around August 21–23, I got a small room in some dump close to downtown and got a job as a waiter in the Kansas City Club, upstairs in what was called The Owl Club, one of several private clubs for wealthy men. It was a plush, easy job and good money.
Naturally, I wanted to find where the Gay bars were, but had no idea where to begin. I walked up to Broadway downtown, then a good deal toward midtown, to a Methodist church that had a sign inviting people to some meeting about homosexuality later that evening. I hung around until it was time for the meeting…hey where else can you meet a nice boy, but at church! Right?
I met Donna and Dale Martin and some old woman, whom I had no interest in talking to at that moment. After the meeting, Dale invited me to his place and surprised me that he was a Top. He wasn’t fem in his behavior, but more “nerdy” like, so I was a bit stunned to see that he not only liked to Top, but was pretty well endowed. I hated being fucked, but being new, I didn’t want to make waves with the first gay guy I met in this city. So, I relented and left it at that. I went home the next morning but before then, he told me about this “Phoenix House” on Linwood and Paseo that was going to throwing a big Labor Day party/picnic out in the country on Sunday…
Sunday, September 1, during the day, I didn’t know where Linwood and Paseo was, so I walked up and down Linwood looking for a house with a sign PHOENIX on it. I’m sure you remember that no such sign existed, but finally when I saw a whole lot of people mulling around I walked over and spotted Dale. He told me about the organization and the guy who owned the house and took me on a tour. He took me up to the third floor and showed me around. I was impressed but confused as to why this guy, who could afford the great house, would allow people to come and go in his apartment? I kept thinking any minute he was going to come in and throw us out.
I don’t remember with whom I rode with to the picnic—it may have been a bus they hired, but I’m not sure. I do remember when we arrived at this country field, seeing this tall, thin, shirtless man in shorts mowing away at the top of a hill. It was a momentary glance, but I knew I would check him out again later.
I have to admit, I got a bit paranoid when this rock band they had out there literally dragged in a whole marijuana bush! But it was a fun party and I wandered about meeting all kinds of people. I was again surprised when I spotted the old lady I met at the church sitting on a blanket by herself, and went over to talk with her. She was pretty tipsy, but was happy to meet me and tell me all about her wonderful son who was the head of the organization and was throwing the party. During our talk, that skinny guy I’d seen earlier came over. I introduced myself and he did likewise. It was Drew. I remember he had such an infectious grin and deep voice, a good speaker’s voice. We hit it off and, of course, I was determined to know him better. Everyone left the picnic, or at least I assumed they did, fairly early before nightfall.
After the picnic on September 1st, I went with Drew back to his apartment. He suggested that the guy currently living on the second floor would be moving soon, (Ron B.?) and if I wanted to, for $50 a month I could live there…or he said, with his cute little grin, for $40 a month, I could have the other bedroom, across from his own on the third floor. I knew then he was interested in me, and I certainly wanted to know him better.
I went out that evening with Dale and Donna to a silent movie film festival and came home around 11 PM. Drew was up and we sat in the living room listening to music and, of course, let nature do its duty. Afterwards, wound up sleeping in each other’s arms on the floor. We woke up a couple of hours later and went to his big bed, and that’s where I wound up for years after.
©2016 by Michael Pfleger. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Also read: “A tribute to Drew Robert Shafer,” by Mickey Ray