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Monday, March 9, 2009

My Olivia Experience-Part !

IGuana be your friend!

When I was a young lesbian in the early 70's, I walked into Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore-just closed last week due to the economy-then owned by founder Craig Rodwell. In those days he didn't have many books to sell, so I knew most of his stock, but I visited often because I liked him and I was always hopeful that there would be something new. That day there was a record album. It was by Meg Christian. Who's this? I bought it and took it home and it was a lesbian singing songs about lesbians, mostly folk songs and one very funny song about being in love with her gym teacher. This was the first record that the Olivia Collective put out. They made a lot of records after that. Chris Williamson's "The Changer and the Change," was my personal favorite. I can't remember them all. Later on someone mentioned to Judy Dlugacz, a member of the collective that was dissolving by that time, that it would be nice to be able to take a vacation with just women. With that suggestion, Olivia Cruises was born.

We just returned from our second cruise. Judy charters Holland America ships, resorts, or river barges and markets to the lesbian community, though we had mothers and daughters and sisters and several straight couples on our trip. The entertainment, Arianna Huffington, Kate Clinton, Vicki Shaw, Renee Hicks etc is always fabulous, the parties are well done. What's different is that everyone is friendly. We traveled as a couple, but always had people to dine with, to talk to. We met people from all corners of America, Israel, Canada, Great Britain. We heard the most amazing stories, great and hair raising. One couple from Missouri told us about being in a Barnes and Noble-they were not 'obvious' in any way. They were confronted by a group of girls who told them to just stop being lesbians. It was not Gods way!  They were not wanted around here. Shocking stories!

Out of 1800 women I ran into one woman I knew in the early 70's in New York. She moved to Canada to be an architect and is now retired in Florida. I also ran into someone I used to work with at a volunteer counseling center in the early 90's. We'll stay in touch. We made some great new friends, too.

All in all it was a wonderful vacation. I'm sorry to be back. I want to go again!

4 comments:

mompriest said...

Sounds fabulous and just as a vacation should be!

Barbara B. said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time!

karlajean said...

sounds fantastic.
the stories of people...
sigh. Unbelievable sometimes, in good and horrible ways.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!