June / July 1999
OUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR
I can't help but mention that spring has sprung, at least on the West Coast of the USA, and I hope in your area too! How wonderful to walk around in a summer long dress and show off, once again, my corset waist cincher! I admit it: I love the looks and comments...and of course, I carry my business cards under the corset for ready reference...
The event that seems to start this most wonderful season is the Coronation of the Emperor and Empress (covered in the last newsletter), and the wild, wacky and wonderful trip to the Colma cemetary to visit the Emperor Norton's graveside with his Empress, Jose.
Jose with the new Empress & Emperor
The Happy "Virgins"
Robbie and Ann at the grave
|I know. It's San Francisco. Need I say more? My dad until his dying day thought we all had gone 'round the bend out here. Perhaps we have.
But each spring I look forward to going with a contingent of faithful, some 200 strong, to the beautiful cemetary for a lavish brunch spread. Then we gather with the Gay Marching Band, a leather boys honor guard replete with rifles for a 21-gun salute, entertainers, Royal Court candidates and winners, members of TGSF by whom I have been adopted for this occasion, old drag queens, young drag boys, heterosexual well wishers and celebrants, and you name it.
We march to joyful music up the hill and gather around the Emperor's gravesite. Yes, Norton was a real California historical...or hysterical, character. He made his fortune in the gold rush and lost it thereafter, becoming increasingly odd in behavior. He declared himself emperor of California and Mexico, and was entertained in some of the best homes in Pacific Heights. Upon his death, 10,000 San Franciscans followed his casket down our main Market Street, to honor him.
So how does the Court system relate to California history? Jose, one of San Francisco's first outfront drag queens, the person who started the system some 30 years ago, needed an Emperor, and decided that Norton was it.
So every year after the Coronation, we troup up to his grave where the Widow Norton delivers a eulogy, admonishes the new Emperor and Empress, and entertains the crowd with pithy exortations to be compassionate, accepting, and joyous in our adulthood, in caring for others, in raising money for charity, and in our daily responsibilities.
I wear all white as is the tradition of the Vestal Virgins, and dance on the grave along with my TGSF friends.
Ok. Ok. I've gone 'round the bend.
But if you haven't joined this wonderful, high spirited and loving celebration, then plan to come out to San Francisco next February to check it out yourself.
Robbie, my good girlfriend from Newport Beach, did. You'll see us here, Robbie in her cute white Simple Pleasures waist cincher, and me, framing the Emperor's tomb.
Quite frankly, I find this the most inspirational thing I do all year, to rejuvenate my spirits and my commitment to being a loving, accepting human being, the best that I can be. The feelings of love are palpible. Join us next year and you'll see!
Meanwhile, happy butterflies and robins and daisies and love to you all!
--Ann (and Wanda and Christine and Robbie and Gwen, of course!)
W E G E T C O M M E N T S --AND KUDOS!
|"WOW! I have long admired corsets, yet I have never been able to find one in my area. I am so happy that I thought to search the net for where and how to buy one. I discussed it with my husband and I think he was as excited as I am!"
|"I am so pleased to find your ROMANTASY site as I am a male interested in exploring the exciting world of corsetry for men...You have a lovely website and you looked sensational on the (Maury) Povich (television) show."
|"Just surfed on in from London UK and am very impressed by your great site--keep up the good work! If any other gay males (non tv) want to get in touch I would be delighted to hear. Many thanks."
|"I spoke to Wanda (in the boutique) recently and she was very sweet and very helpful. Thanks."
--Victoria April, 1999
|"I love your website and I must say it's been a thrill to watch the talents of Sue Nice develop. she is quite a talented youg lady and artist and I'm one of her biggest fans! Go Girl!"
|"Ann, I can't WAIT for my corset to be finished! Wonderful meeting you at the convention. You're absolutely awesome! :) "
|Hi Ann....Just wanted to say hello and let you know I am still enjoying the two corsets I bought from you in 1997. My husband loves them and they make me feel so sexy. As you know, I am a tall, full blonde and it is so satisfying to put on something that fits great and looks great!!! We will enjoy them for many many years. Say hello to Sheri for us.
--DZ, Sacramento 2/25/99
W E G E T L E T T E R S
MEN WEARING CORSETS
Our reader Charles has sent us a fascinating letter which relates his discovery of men's non-crossdressing corsetry and waist training. Please take a look at his amazing series of photos showing his waist reduction while wearing a corset under clothing.
Hi I'm Jasmine and I did not get an opportunity at the event to properly thank you for the little things you did for me, beyond answering all of my corset questions. Ann, you seemed to genuinely care, helping me (us) become better at being ladies, so thank you very much, Ann. --- Jasmine
"Dear Ann, I read your (web) newsletter, it was great! I think I could write an article about corsetry and the anticipation of waiting! I also am planning on an article (in a T web publication) about you and D, my new friends who are not T that I have made. I know that you are interested in making a living (and also spreading corsetry, that shows!) however, the effort that you make for the T community is wonderful and needs to be recognized." -- D (after our ROMANTASY corset lecture at Cal Dreamin' 99, Los Angeles) 4/99
"Ann, I want to say how much I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in your Salon and afternoon of shopping while in San Francisco. The makeover, training, recommendations, guidance and total experience is one I'll never forget. I feel that everybody was a great assistance in feminizing my total representation and helped make me feel more comfortable and confident. You were especially helpful by offering assistance and support while we were shopping. Additionally I appreciate you helping me select an appropriate hair color and clothing colors and styles. I definitely plan to practice and I hope to return for another Salon in the furuture. Hugs, -- Harmony 5/99
Our kind customer Danielle sent a delightful account of her first corset experience at ROMANTASY...
W E G E T Q U E S T I O N S
C U S T O M V S. R E A D Y M A D E
"Dear Ann...thanks for forwarding the flyer on Isbella Costumiere and her new to ROMANTASY line of custom corsets...Based on the prices quoted, I find them to be rather pricey. ...I can do as well on "ready-made" corsets as I can where the maker has to depend on mailed-in measurements." DK, NY 4/2/99
My dear long-time correspondent and co-aficionado of corsets, a fetish or crossdress customer, raises two separate issues in his recent letter. First, what constitutes "pricey" corsets? Second, can the wearer do as well on ready made corsets? This question requires a rather in-depth response ...?
Let us hear from you with comments and questions! Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we cover the visit of MP Garrod, attended by 50 customers and 13 models!!
--Ann, Wanda, Christine and Elizabeth
View previous editions of the newsletter.