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 So, i'm finally awake and past the drops.

Wow....just wow.

I had no clue what to expect walking into ICBB. All i knew is what i had been told by others. I had no idea how this event would affect me personally. Before this weekend, i don't think i understood the term "brotherhood." When i ran for my SELF Bootblack title, i competed against myself. I wasn't sure what it would be like to compete with 7 other people. It was so amazing. 

Throughout the weekend there were shouts of encouragement, back slaps, tins of polish chunked across a room to help someone out. There were more hugs and cuddles and snuggles than i've ever experienced. There was someone to dry your tears when you felt like you had just blown a portion of the contest. There was aspirin or aleve or ibuprofen when you had a headache. There was always Mountain Dew for just the right pick me up. And you never knew when one or more of us would burst out with "Bird is the word" LMAO!! 

Fun is the only true way i can think of to describe this event. I had such an amazing freaking time. The staff, the producers, the judges, the attendees, the Sirs and boys, and especially the other blacks made this event the highlight of my year. I may not have come home with an international title (but hey, 3rd place at a competition of this caliber is nothing to sneeze at), but i sure as heck came home with 7 new brothers and sisters, 20 other amazing men who i stood on stage with as classmates, more friends than a boi has the right to hope for, and the knowledge that i did my region, my Owner, my family, and my friends proud. I did the best job possible and i'm proud of myself and every single person who had the guts to get out on that stage in San Francisco.

Thank you first to the people who helped me get to San Francisco, everyone who helped with my initial fundraiser in January, the Lloyd E Russell Foundation, and my family. This would never have been possible without the financial support i received. 

Thank you to my Owner for traveling with me and being able to step out of our roles for a few days and just be whatever was needed at the time. I will also add here how very proud i am of You. You were amazing for each and every one of us in so many different ways. I watched You grow this weekend in ways even you didn't think possible. I love you...You suck!

Thank you to my family for supporting me in this endeavor and for holding down the fort while we were gone. Its always sad to be away but oh so good to come home. 

To Archer, Elegant, Q, Nef, and Kristen...thank you for always being there with whatever was needed at any given time. You were all the most amazing den staff/handlers/coordinators we possibly could have hoped for.

Thank you to my producers. You couldn't go with me, but i always felt like you were there no matter what. Your support was unfailing every step of the way.

To every person i met, spoke to, or interacted with in any way this weekend, know that you impacted my life for the better and for always. 

To Brandon, Blast, Diamond Jack, boy blu, Chris, Kyle, and Evan...you guys are all amazing, i couldn't be prouder to consider you all my brothers/sisters. We have to stick together. We will always be the ICBB Class of 2009 "The Year of the Bird" and the Frat Boys of Leather. 

To Evan, Congratulations and good luck. You deserved it brother. Love you.

Much love and humble gratitude,
Andy

Comments

silken_shadow
Nov. 5th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
Amazing!
Sounds like it was a trip of a lifetime. You did us all proud, my dear Sir Gawain.

But I'm very glad you're home. Lunch next week?

Love you!