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  • Arthur Severio

Chris Owens Halloween

Everyone has "their"very own version of their personal Chris Owens' "her-story" Some are pretty colourful. Some claim she's a trans woman, while some that she is a former stripper/b-drinker and some that "she married her husband Sol who was older and that he took care of her." I think Sol Owens was the love of her life and together they blew the fuse off the lights when they entered a room together. The lady will go down in history as the performer with the longest running career on Bourbon Street and probably one of the longest/most successful business women or maybe even men on Bourbon Street.

Every year for Halloween, Chris throws a show and a party in the club and in her home the Saturday night before or if the Saturday falls on Halloween.The "Chris groupies" who attend are colourful characters in their own right. This year with Covid she didn't get to have her show but she threw a party instead last Sunday night. My dream is to be one of the crowd who gets invited to her private parties at her home which is adjacent to her club below her three floor apartment building that take up most of the corner of St. Louis and Bourbon Street next to Antoine's.

When I first moved to New Orleans and started doing drag, I wanted to learn how to do makeup. There was a class given on Oak Street at the Academy of Scientific Hair Design and Makeup given by skin carer legend Letti Lynn. Letti has a mesmerising personality and was an intriguing teacher who taught theatrical makeup as well as traditional makeup, and esthetics. She had a personalised autograph from Liza Minnelli that hung on the wall in her classroom from when she met her. Letti Lynn has the most flawless skin of any woman I've ever met.

Chris' house has all the memorabilia of her as the entertainer with photographs of some of the people she has met along the way. There are photos of her and Elizabeth Taylor and other legends of the showbiz world-most have already gone but Chris, like Cher has out lived them all.

Her house is decorated in a mid-70's 80's chic. A vinyl upholstered bar with matching stools with a lighted up glass liquor shelf behind it is the first thing you walk up to from the photograph museum hallway, There are two large chaise lounge chairs that face a big flats screen tv and a white baby grand in the corner . In the adjacent formal dining room there is a lovely chandelier above the table with book shelves with more photos. The kitchen that is set off from the dining room is gorgeous with white cabinets and refrigerator that looks like its from the set of That 70's Show. It has a white bar with white barstools and a traditional wall paper muraltn off a classic Venetian scene . The private courtyard that setos off from the kitchen has a beautiful flower garden box with mood lighting.

One of the most disappointing things in my photographic life will be that I haven't been given the chance to have a sit down interview or a private photo shoot with the legend Chris Owens. Chris's story should be told in her own words.. Even though I have been turned down, I still have the dream of taking her portrait in front of the white baby grand piano.. One thing is for certain some stories will be taken to her eternity because she knows where all the bodies are buried.

I will forever be grateful to Lesa and Patrick for making my dream come true.

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