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INVASION 06                                                         by Jeannie Lieberman

 It was the worst possible weather forecast for Drag Queens: hot and muggy, chance of thunderstorms. But the "girls" so loved their dresses and heels they were impervious to the heat.

 I polished my toenails with unaccustomed gold glitter, donned a flirty little miniskirt seen mostly on teenagers and a sexy black top, my new sandals painted silver (what a waste) - my attempt to at least make an effort to compliment the Drag Queens who at 9AM were probably one hour into their 4 hour ritual - an umbrella in my silver jewel encrusted should bag along with camera notepads bandaids for possible foot blisters, and I was off to Everland.

 At 11:30 the Grove was strangely quiet, streets deserted except for an occasional queen teetering along the walks to visit neighbors for make-up, wardrobe adjustments. But a little after noon downtown erupted into a colorful melange of sequins and feathers as "stars" and amateurs alike pranced around fighting for recognition on their day of days.

 The Purple Passioned Panzi (hair to toes) led the parade she started 30 years ago when she and a quartet of bored Grove queens taxi-ed to the Pines only to be denied entrance to John Whyte's establishment for violating the (no) dress code. A good businessman, he could no longer deny them as each year the intruders increased to the current 150 plus, on their own special ferry tooting (I do that) as the Ferry Capt maneuvers into the yacht adorned Pines harbor as the drag queens are hanging over the edge waving and singing "God Bless America" to an adoring 6 deep SRO crowd of  Pines welcomers, cheering madly.

First to board, breaking tradition, was beautiful Homecoming Queen Coco Love carried aloft as Botticelli's Venus Rising "nude" except for strategically placed seashells  by her extravagant star studded entourage of Grove All Stars: Charity, Urban Sprawl, China, Donna Piranha, Joan Van Ness, Lois & Meryle, Joanne, Bobbi &Doreen, and the "boys", Dan Daly (hurray!),Bobbi Ferri, Roger, Brandon, Joey, and Master Tom, all to strains of "I'm Your Venus".

 On board I was seated next to my friend Toni Bondi in all over yellow & orange, even to his sensible MaryJane pumps and in front of  Crystal Meth Carrington & Roxanne De Bris (who learned "satin is not a summer fabric") . A mysterious Nacho Libre & Bandito Ellen greeted me (it was my dear Martha just returned to the Grove). The usually elegant John DeMarco encouraged by Dr Jerry, sacrificed his dignity as the  KFC Colonel Sanders with two  odd looking chickens and an MD certifying they had no bird flu. Sybil Dreydle, murmured "Oy Vais Mir" as she doled out Chanukah Gelt (Guilt?). Panzi and the girls flirted shamelessly with passing boaters during the sea voyage, exhorting them to take off their clothes (they did!).

 The ever efficient Drag Repair team worked away with their glue and hairspray and occasional jewels. Matt B & Norman, disguised in babydoll ruffles, escorted everyone n and off the boat and provided Panzi with their names, Denise & Sherri provided Security.

Bishop Harold Seeley, blessed the proceedings for his 25th time.

 Porsche  & Robyn Byrd greeted the boat. Panzi introduced the amazing array of disembarking passrngers,  among them: Ariel Sinclair, an ill mannered pregnant mother who kept dropping her baby (another Britney actually threw hers into the water), blond curled Joyce Rogers  in green satin and feathers who couldn't decide who she was "A blonde Scarlet O'Hara?". Three Oscar winners: Katherine Zeta Jones, Hilary Swank and Julia Roberts showed off their trophies. Star Jones was there with a sign "I support my gay husband...Barbara Betrayed Me". Nan Tucket and Beth Paige were there. Vanessa Diamond, beautiful as usual, sexpots Viva Sexx & Nikki Star, the "Lets Make A Deal" Girls in identical basic black, Miss Understood, Auntie Mame, the Hoofin' Hoffas, Ivana Cocktail & Aneeda Greencard, Vulva & Vaseline, Crytal Meth Carrinton & Roxanne DeBrisCraven Moorhead, Miss Titania, Retro Grade, Stella Doro (we love her cookies), Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie, Penus Colada, Mistress Sharon, Pea Cock (extravagant feathers), Male Diatribe, Norma Desmond.

 Saving the best for last, Jacqueline Jonee with two nubiles, was resplendent in white feathers, Imperial Court Emperor Fantasia &Empress Gefil Tufish were a matched pair in Spanish gold & red, Anne Tique was the Mona Lisa for the third time - always good - Carmen Mirnduck (vriation on a theme by Darryl) brought her own shower curtain, Tina Turnstile & Loca Expresso wore their metro cards The most extravagant and impressive, as always was Orangeena:

Orange Goes Green
"This year Orangeena is a Windfarm. Like a town crier I screech from my heart, "SAVE FIRE ISLAND!  Don't let us be swallowed by the sea. DON'T SWALLOW! Vote for CLEAN ENERGY! Help make a change. The answer is blowin' in the wind." There's a dead elephant in the middle of the room. Doesn't anyone smell it?

 Even though I'm standing on my left and right political platform shoes this year,

I'm trying not to push my personal beliefs down anyone's throat (wink, wink). I'm making a statement to provoke thought, because...I've been thinking again. What's gonna happen if global warming is not just a myth, Miss? Fire Island could end up like Atlantis, an underwater ruin. I've had nightmare visions of holiday divers in the future pulling buried gay treasures from the bottom sands. A martini glass, a power drill, and that ratty lacquer frozen wig which once belonged to Bella. Our artifacts cast to the bottoms, lost, frozen.
Let us pass down this seaside townlette to the next generation by turning our thoughts towards actions of conservation, and promoting a clean environment. "Save Fire Island, go green!"

 At  the Island Club, where Pines & Grove queens mingled, I was so intrigued in conversation with a genuine (read plain) looking "girl", who had a sex change in Canada, who wanted to be a Drag Queen, who was a lesbian (you can't make this up)....that I missed the ferry back!