Maybe it’s obsessive. For years now I always like to write to-do lists and keep a detailed calendar noting the things I did each day and my future plans. I do these lists in ink. Also I like to plan what the next Leather Line will be about. I have been cranking out this column every other week for over 13 years now and I haven’t missed an issue yet. There’s never a shortage of leather events to write about or leather folks to interview. Unfortunately this year is off to a strange start. I’ve had several planned interviews with leather titleholders cancelled at the last minute due to this year’s widespread flu season. I’ve also seen previously announced events end up being canceled. (Mid-Atlantic Drummer North America scheduled for March in Asbury Park has been canceled due to conflicts between producers. This drama recently played out on Facebook and I’m going to leave it there.) So maybe it is time I stop writing appointments and events on my calendar in ink. Here are some coming events that you will want to pencil in.

Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman 2018 Foxxy Phillips, Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack 2018 Bumper Bootblack, and International Community Bootblack 2017 John Urso will be hosting a fundraiser for the Leather Heart Foundation and their travel fund called My Kinky Valentine on Saturday, February 3rd at the Baltimore Eagle. Doors open a 4 pm. From 4 to 6 pm enjoy drinks, food, and social time with 10% of food sales going to the fundraiser. From 6 to 9 pm the real fun begins with “try it out stations” that include spanking, paddling, bondage, flogging, and more. There will also be a kissing booth, a silent auction, and a show emceed by Ms. Woods Leather 2017 Alyssa Durnien with performances by the Imperial Court of Washington, DC; Ms. New Jersey Leather 2017 Velvet, King of Baltimore Pride Chris Jay, Dr. Ginger Snapz, and more. Cover charge will be $10.

Ever wish that you could be a bootblack but don’t really know how to start? On Sunday, February 4th from 9 am to 3 pm the Jersey Kollege of Kink is hosting their 2018 Bootblack Institute at Project Real (805 4th Avenue, Asbury Park, New Jersey). This full-day interactive workshop will teach you how to build a bootblack kit, basic bootblacking 101, and more. Breakfast and lunch is being provided by the New Jersey leather family.

Last year I had a fantastic time in Philadelphia during Philadelphia Leather Weekend. I can’t believe a year has gone by already. The fun starts on Friday, February 9th with Union Suit / Bear Happy Hour, 5 to 9 pm at Tabu Lounge (200 South 12th Street). On February 10th the Philadelphians MC present the Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2018 Contest at the Bike Stop starting at 7 pm. This year’s emcees are International Ms. Leather 2016 / Ms. Philadelphia Leather 2015 Lascivious Jane and Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2016 Rudy Flesher. Make sure you bring your phone because at this contest the audience gets to vote online! Afterwards the popular “Gear Up Dance” will be held. There is no cost for the contest. A $5 donation is suggested for the dance. Details and contest applications can be found at Phillyleathercontest.org. The 47th annual Scarlet’s Bake Sale, a live auction of sexy cakes and other sweets, will be held on Sunday, February 11th from 3 to 6 pm at the DC Eagle. It is worth the trip just to see some of the cakes that are created by area leather clubs and leather titleholders. This year’s Scarlet’s Bake Sale will benefit LGBT Fallen Heroes and the Scarlet’s Foundation.

On Saturday, February 17th starting a 9 pm Maryland’s first leather club, the ShipMates Club of Baltimore, will start their new year with a bar night at Leon’s. (It was originally scheduled for the 24th but got changed due to a scheduling conflict at the bar. Should have penciled it in!) On Saturday, March 10th at 9 pm the ShipMates will continue the party with a bar night at the Baltimore Eagle. The ShipMates have been around since 1974, but on March 17th starting at 9 pm the Spartan MC from Washington, DC, will toast 50 years of brotherhood with their bar night at the DC Eagle. That should really be a historic night.

Mark your calendars and make your reservations ASAP for the big events: International Ms. Leather / International Ms. Bootblack 2018 is April 19th – 22th in San Jose, California (Imslbb.org for details) and International Mr. Leather 2018 is May 24th to 28th in Chicago, Illinois (Imrl.com for details) There are great deals on airline tickets if you book now. Speaking of booking now, folks are still unpacking and recovering from Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2018 and I’m already hearing that MAL 2019 scheduled for January 18th to 20th, 2019 in Washington, DC at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill has the hotel half sold-out. Guess I better hurry and pencil that one in!

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Rodney Burger
Rodney Burger
Rodney is originally from Hagerstown, Maryland and for many years has lived in Baltimore. In April 2017, Rodney was sworn in for his 10th year as the President of the ShipMates Club of Baltimore. He has been involved in the leather community for many years, but often denies that he sold Jell-O shots at The Last Supper. He has been writing THE LEATHER LINE for the BALTIMORE OUTLOUD newspaper (Baltimoreoutloud.com.) for over fourteen years. He has produced the Mr. & Ms. Baltimore Eagle Contest and the Maryland LeatherSIR/Leatherboy Contest. In 2001 he was proud to serve as Maryland Mr. Drummer 2001. Rodney also does stand-up comedy and in 2013 was thrilled to perform at Philadelphia Leather Pride Night. He has been nominated multiple times for a Pantheon of Leather Award, was selected Leather Man of the Year in 2013 by COMMAND M.C. and by the Baltimore Leather Association of the Deaf in 2006. The 11th annual 12 Days of Christmas benefit show was dedicated to Rodney and his partner Sir Steve. He has been twice selected as ShipMate of the Year. He has judged Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather 2015, Atlantic States LeatherSIR / Leatherboy and recently judged Mr. Eagle NYC 2018. He is delighted to be able to bring news of his beloved leather community to his readers every issue.
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