Once and only once in my life did I ever dress in drag, or anything approximating it. It was for a costume party that I didn't want to go to because I don't like costumes anyway, at least not on me, plus the theme to this party was "The Brady Bunch," a show I never watched in my life, because I was never a prisoner of war, and only torture would make me do such a thing.
But, I was letting down a friend by not attending, so I went, and dressed up, not as some TV character, but as my friend Teresa Grady. My idea was to say I thought the theme was "The Grady Bunch."
I wore a knit dress and tights, as Teresa did in those days, plus a crucifix. I was a hit, for the most part, doing this thing my own way, as I love to do, except that after about an hour one of the women at the party came up to me, on behalf of herself and the other women, she said.
"We want you to go put on pants," she said. "You have nicer legs than any of us and you're showing us up."
I think of this because I am thinking of my late, great friend, Peter De Mott, Teresa Grady's brother-in-law, husband of Teresa's sister Ellen. If you want to see the greatest pair of legs on a man you ever saw in your life, look at the photo of Peter on the publicity for the De Mott Peace Trot, the annual 5K run/walk held every Father's Day in Peter's honor. The 5th annual event takes place on Sunday 15 June, at the Cornell Plantations.Peter had the body of the ex-Marine he was, maintained by exercise that Peter took as he did everything in life, scrupulously but with joy. "A day without sweat is a day to regret," he said, and is the slogan of the Trot.
You don't have to run. The course is a beautiful place for a stroll, and the gathering is fun and heart-warming, one of the best community events of the year.
Proceeds from registrations and other donations go towards Peter's work for peace, which is carried on most directly by Ellen, their four daughters, others of the Grady Bunch, and the Catholic Worker group. Please contribute. More information at peterdemottpeacetrot.org.