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A (Cross-dressing) Nightmare on Railroad Street

In the 20 or so years that I've been working in newspapers, there are a few assignments that stick out in my mind.

Take, for example, seeing too much of Mike Carrington in a dress.

Mike joined several other local guys for a womanless beauty pageant last week at the Depot to benefit the annual Relay for Life effort.

And there are several images that will be seared into my mind:

- Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry as a character kind of right out of Driving Miss Daisy.• Rikki Taylor - once he removed his wig - as a character out of The (Cross-dressing) Wrestler.

- Jarvis McNair - who owns Poppa's Finest Barbecue and used the nom de plume Momma's Finest - as a character out of Madea Goes to Supper.

But what can I say about Mike Carrington? In his evening gown, complete with sequined garter, he looked like a character out of Planet of the (Cross-dressing) Apes, complete with the hairy ape body suit.

Only it wasn't a body suit.

The worst part was it wasn't the first time I've seen too much of Mike.

My mind stumbled back to a few years ago when Mike joined a group of local guys as "models" in a fashion show at the annual Administrative Professionals Day. For the event, I donned sporty tennis duds as Jasmine Smith. Mike, hairy back and all, was the lingerie model.

You know those "spooky burps" (named so by comedian Jake Johannsen) you get every now and then, the ones that bring up a little "ugh" in the back of your throat? Then you've seen Mike's lingerie show; even if you weren't at the event.

Meanwhile, I'm finally starting to recover from Masters week. I've spent the latter part of tournament week for the last few years working with the exceptionally talented Augusta Chronicle photographers. While the scenery is beautiful and it's great to see newspaper friends I don't get to see but once or twice a year, I don't get to see a lot of the actual tournament.

But since I'm in the company of other journalists and photojournalists, it's always fun to speculate about who may or may not win. Or, more accurately, who we hope will win. One of the side effects of a career in newspapers is the jaded view a journalist often develops. In the case of The Masters, that means we pull for the player we think will provide the best quotes or make the best photos.

Of course, when the first major of the year goes to a three-player playoff, it's hard to complain about anything.

But Angel Cabrera wasn't the only winner for the 2009 event. The Augusta National Golf Club, long dogged by criticisms over the seemingly-annual course improvements, shone in the spotlight. The course provided plenty of drama, plenty of beauty and plenty of great moments.

And the photos and quotes weren't too bad either.

Web posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009

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