Golden Boot 1990

GB 1990 KarlSteffany.jpg

Golden Boot 1990 - Karl Jaeckel

presentation at Northstar Promenade by Freeman "Steffany" Stamper

I don’t want to take up a lot of your time and bore you with tedious details. However, there are a few thoughts I would like to share as the Golden Boot Award is about to be passed to another recipient.

First of all, I want to remind you that I am the information freak. Some of your clubs graciously responded to my request for a copy of your newsletters. For you who do not send me a copy, I would like to publicly say, “I know who you are.” So get with it if you want to be in the 1991 Travel Guide. And this is no idle threat.

I’ve always been a worker. I can’t say exactly why, but I know I have been and probably always will be.

I started doing drag in Washington, DC, in 1971 and was very active in the organized drag community. Yes, as active there as I am now in square dancing. The drag community is richly bestowed with awards and titles. I never aspired to any of them; I just wanted to do my “thing” because it made me happy. I got my share of recognition though, not because I asked for it, but, I believe, because those “in power” felt it was deserved.

One day it just dawned on me that I was on a pedestal with others reaching towards me and I didn’t even know how I got there. My final conclusion was that, unbeknownst to me, the drag leaders were saying to my peers, “Do it like Steffany.” (I know, “as” is the proper grammatical construction, but those drag queens probably did say “like.”)

After Scott Carey received the Golden Boot Award, he and I talked about what to do with it. I strongly encouraged him to stop the process by not passing on the award and then the square dance community would not have to deal with its perpetuation. He didn’t follow my advice, and now the Award is in my hands where that decision could have been made again. However, the situation is now a personal one.

I have spent many, many hours since Peel The Apple in New York City trying to understand the overwhelming sense of accomplishment I felt after hearing my name called as the recipient of the Golden Boot Award. It has taken me a long time to overcome the fear that I just possibly succeeded at something without knowing it. Deep within my soul I feel that Ken Pollack loved square dancing so much that he made his final statement from the grave. “Do it as Steffany.”

So, tonight I pass on the Golden Boot Award with the same conviction with which I believe I received it. If I had one final statement to make to the members of the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, what would I say?

I’m not your ordinary woman, so I decided not to do something in an ordinary way. Instead of a plaque, the Golden Boot Award is being memorialized with this golden boot watch (which I hope still works since I bought it in Hooterville from The Bradley Family). On the back it has been inscribed:

1990 Golden Boot Award


thoughts on the Boot by Karl

What was your reaction to being named a Golden Boot Award recipient?

What can I say, but that I was caught off guard -I was totally surprised. At the moment Freeman read my name and all eyes turned to me, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Sure, I had been around since the early days; I had done what I could to promote the growth of the IAGSDC; I had handled my share of responsibility, but my focus had not been on my accomplishments. It had been on sharing my enjoyment of an activity that I loved; it had been on feeling good about my involvement with the gay and lesbian community; and ultimately it had been on feeling good about myself ... Recognition of effort was the furthest thing from my mind.