Nephew of the Week: Lee (Cody) Napier

Meet Cody. This fun-loving guy just moved here from Ohio. When not on stage performing, he can be found hanging out with his drag family in GaYBOR.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Back in the late 1990s, there was this very colorful friend of ours named Ed. He was and still is the owner of a very large adult distribution center in Tampa. Ed sells everything from adult toys to DVDs. One day he pulled up at our store in this huge black four-door Mercedes-Benz. We were all outside checking out his new car. Ed opened the doors and the glass was one inch thick! Ed explained the car was bulletproof! OMG, why do you need a bulletproof car? Ed laughed and said, “Guess what I paid for this car.” We said, $80,000? $100,000? Ed gave us his big laugh and said “You’re not going to believe this…this Asian guy came in and said he was going back to China. He could not take this car with him. So the guy traded the car for 1,000 gay porno DVDs! Laughing even harder, Ed said, “This guy then told me there are no gays in China! They are not going to believe this.” LOL LOL

Knight Parade Lights Up Ybor

The cold day was dreary, but the rain clouds left and the parade was rain-free! The parade staging area had over 30 krewes and businesses celebrating the annual outside spring social. A record-breaking crowd of over 110,000 spectators and 10,000 pirate dressed parade partygoers filled America’s Top Main Street in the USA! Yes, famed talk show host Jerry Springer did a return visit on the WMOR-TV float and said, “It is one of the best treasured parades!”

Beads were not in any shortage for the robust revelers.  There had to be tons of beads on the 130 participating parade floats. Sant’ Yago Knight Parade officials had to be more than pleased with the record number of people. The GaYBOR District Coalition also was very proud to be a float participant, with 230 diverse business members sharing the Ybor experience.

The pirate-filled GaYBOR float celebrated its seventh year in the parade and the Krewe of dish_museumsCavaliers float, another GLBT group, celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. The many Ybor krewes also included the Krewe of Alegria, Ybor City Krewe, Knights of Sant’ Yago and The infamous Roughriders to name a few. They will sponsor the St. Patty’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 15 in Ybor City.

The money raised by the Knights of Sant’ Yago will go to educational college scholarships and to many non-profits.

Ty Pennington Helps Remodel 100-Year-Old Tampa Church

On the corner of Palm and Lamar Avenues in the Tampa Heights neighborhood, a major change is happening. The 100-year-old Gothic Revival First Presbyterian Church building was acquired by the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association in 2009, and with the help from Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, a major restoration is taking place. On February 11, a celebrity introduced the new changes forthcoming.

ABC TV’s “Extreme Makeover” host Ty Pennington has come with his building crew and hundreds of volunteers, rewiring, remodeling, painting, installing new floors, and landscaping the historic structure, and they have been helped by a grant from Sears Home Services. The old church building was set for demolition in 2007 with the widening of Interstate 4 at the junction with Interstate 275. We are thankful for the reprieve!

Now it is being renovated to bring new services to Tampa Heights residents. Its new use will be as a community center for youth. A park in the back of the community center has a newly-built playground for children. The center will have a library and resource center in a safe environment for the area youth and will be available for group meetings in the neighborhood.