Keeping ’em straight

August 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm (On the road again...)

One of the fun things about working downtown is seeing local celebrities. People from LA or New York might be used to it, but I still get a thrill when I see someone from TV.

Rush hour was the typical mayhem. As I was boarding the bus, off stepped Sister Paula.

The lady behind me asked the driver, “Was that a man or a woman?”

“I think that was Darcelle!” He was as excited as I was. But incorrect.

I’m not one to speak up on the bus, especially when it’s standing room only. But I told the woman, “That was Sister Paula. She’s a local TV evangelist.”

“Oh really?” I explained that she’d been a part of the community since the early ’80s, (that I know of) and has a cable TV ministry. “What’s she into?”

I shrugged. I wasn’t that well-informed.

An inebriated older guy muttered, “To each his own…” and gave me a dirty look. I looked back, more amused than offended.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” the woman asked him. He squirmed, and they began discussing transgenderism. He started hitting on her, and I tuned them out.

At the end of the ride, I spoke briefly with the driver. “We had dinner at the table next to Darcelle a while back. An easy way to tell if it’s him? He’s got a big glittery bracelet that says ‘Darcelle’ on it. Other than that, he doesn’t look much like his character.”

I’m sure both Darcelle and Sister Paula have endured more insults, hatred and prejudice than any of us will ever have to deal with. But let’s get their identities correct, shall we?

It’s the least we can do for two of Portland’s grandest old dames…


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