Tuesday, July 08, 2008

People of Dupont Circle: Wadey, aka 'Marilyn Monroe'

Born in Costa Rica in November 1933, 75 year old Wadey, also known as Marilyn Monroe was a fixture at Mr. P's which opened in 1975 or 76 as the first gay bar in the Dupont Circle area at 2147 P Street in NW WDC.

In fact, Wadey would inform me during our brief conversation in Dupont Circle on Wednesday evening, 2 July 2008, that he began working for George Dotson and Gene Newsome ... the first owners and operators of Mr. P's ... on the first night of its opening in the coat check.

At the time, working full-time at Helman's Company in the accounting department it was not until after his retirement at 62 that, on a dare, he began to perform in drag at Mr. P's as the infamous Marilyn Monroe. Who, along with James Dean and Elvis Presley, he has always had a fascination with.

Regarding himself as a very patriotic American, Wadey says "Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean" personifies the true America. The America that he fell in love in 1956 when he, his mother and father would visit Washington DC for the wedding of his sister.

Born of wealth to a Lebanese mother and an Italian father who sent him and his sister to private schools in Costa Rica as children, he was much closer to his mother than his father.

It was while she was attending a private University in Washington DC that his sister met her future husband.

While his parents returned to Costa Rica after his sister's wedding in 1956, Wadey did not. Since then he has lived in Washington DC and until recent years would revisit Costa Rica at least once a year.

In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, now 75, Wadey recently suffered a stroke. Which he as all but recovered from.

When I asked why he chose Marilyn Monroe as his drag persona he replied that it started on a dare shortly after his retirement when a drag party was to be held at Mr. P's. Having had a fascination with Marilyn for many years who he and his mother actually met at a train station when they were traveling in the late 50's or early 60's ... his friends who thought that he had a resemblance to Marilyn suggested that he should go in drag as Marilyn.

And, so he did.

Reminicsing about the good ole days, Wadey spoke highly of George Dotson and Gene Newsome who he said 'took care of and respected people'. While he did not speak badly of John Mako, he expressed that the last owners 'were just into it for the money'. And did not care about the people nor respect him the way Dotson, Newsome and folks of his day did.

When Mr. P's closed its doors in January 2006 or 2007, many of his dresses and other valuables were left in the apartment that he rented above Mr. P's with the understanding that when he recovered from his stroke and other ailments he could pick-up his things. But, unfortunately, in the process of renovation his things were misplaced or disgarded by the contractors.

Which saddens and has angered Wadey!

1 comment:

Sedona Secrets said...

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