Michael Mahler and Deborah Spilko

Recorded August 8, 2009 Archived August 8, 2009 38:52 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX005654

Description

Deborah Spilko interviews her colleague and friend, Michae Mahler about being a gay activist in Erie, PA.

Subject Log / Time Code

Michael is a long time gay activist in Erie, PA.
Michael connected with men on surrounding or nearby cities but had trouble finding gay men in Erie where he lived. He began to go to a local gay bar called Lizzy Borden’s.
Michael considered starting a groups for gay men in Erie but then decided to see what groups might already be in the city.
Michael came out publicly as a gay man in Erie when he spoke on a local news program about the murder of another gay man named Donald Kremer.
Michael also talks about the first time a GLBT float appeared in a public parade. It was for the Erie Bicentennial. The float was vandalized the night before but Michael was impressed with the number of people who came out to repair it in time for the parade.

Participants

  • Michael Mahler
  • Deborah Spilko

Partnership Type

Outreach

Transcript

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00:05 Hi, this is Deborah spell go I'm 56 years old. Today's date is August 8th 2009. We're in Erie Pennsylvania. And I'm with Mike Mahler. He's a friend of mine and co-editor with the Erie gay news.

00:21 I might mailer. I'm 45. Today's date is August 8th 2009. We're here in Erie, Pennsylvania. And I am a longtime friend of Deb stoko and she is my co-editor on the Erie news.

00:35 So Mike you've been on a long time gay activist and you're gay news since 1992 coordinator of the big Annual Pride picnic for 17 years is it wasn't quite so active with that are various election and advocacy efforts. He organized and helped with countless social and Community groups in events at your one-man hotline

01:00 How did you become move to be so involved with gay activism men's to how do you say how do you keep keep that energy up? Well, I had been involved with a couple of other volunteer efforts throughout my life. I didn't do like I didn't do very many activities and most of high school that had his freak wave of popularity at the end of my junior year I end up running and becoming a student council president and that was okay when I get out I went to college I was I got involved with this comic book club and that was kind of fun. So we did that for a while. I was involved for brief bit with the chapter the society for Creative anachronism at that point renaissance renaissance medieval Recreation group. So I did that for a while and then went to college at Edinboro. I was involved with the gay community then I realized I think I might be gay.

02:01 Oh, I was about 20 or so and then eventually move to Erie.

02:17 I became active with again with the society for Creative anachronism. And I was really actually that I was pretty much my main social outlet most of the events and if you were in other areas, so as I started getting clean that I was gay that was probably where it would meet other people so I would know gay people in like Rochester and buffalo but you know, not too much here when I was in my mid-20s or so. I was dating a guy for a couple months from Edinboro and that was okay and then treatments or so later is dating a guy from DuBois when we meet my friend Pat's house person. And then I guess I was sort of I was I was on this one bulletin board cuz it predated the popularity of the internet electronic bulletin board.

03:17 Downtown into chatting with somebody from Northampton, Massachusetts and we talked for like quite some time and we never actually met in person. So 1 Spring I was doing as if a great relationship with a missing in The Flash and I so I got to train ticket. The only time I've ever taken a train and I drive Northampton, Massachusetts and I'm feeling as if okay there two possible outcomes. If I am actually there's connection with this person that I'm going to have to worry about how they reconcile

03:59 How to reconcile living in Erie and being interesting to me is long distance or number to what if there is no chemistry at which point I'll feel like a delusional fool / Blanche Dubois character who was carrying a torch for somebody and there was nothing there. Anyways, I got up to Northampton turn if there was any chemistry but I came back feeling really oddly related and wonderful because I felt like I could face this kind of scary situation and at least I had resolution but then I realize that you know, it's pretty stupid that I know gay people lie, and you know Buffalo and Rochester and all around but I know absolutely nobody at my own ZIP code. Well, that was nuts.

04:43 So what I decided to do was I there was a bar here called Lizzie Borden's and I decided that what I was going to do was I was going to set myself every small gold. So it would go out like once a week or so and my rule with myself was okay. Now, I would let myself get a drink and I'll Coca-Cola and all I had to do was say hi to one person, you know, cuz I think they want people set themselves up at. All. Right. I'm going to go out and go to the love of my life for a closed circle of friends and we will be the best of buddies and over your life and hunting experience Brandywine. I think that you you tend to feel when you don't get your unrealistic goal that you were foolish for trying and therefore you don't do anything when you if you've been a little bit more Macho Man have gotten something at least so I did that for a while and then there was one time this was in the fall of 1991 Chris Young from Pittsburgh had

05:43 Is an activist activist right? He had he had started this one goofy League of gay and lesbian voters and at that point was just send it in Pittsburgh, but he was trying to expand it. So Chris happen to be up in Erie at Lizzie Borden's and a happy to see that there was his group forming within Erie chapter and I thought well, you know one way of meeting people would be to you know, I mean Staffing a table or passing out postcards for this working on a hate crimes bill at that point to buy today Crystal back to working on that to the guide kicked out in Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year, but it was a very rewarding kind of activities get involved with and I got involved with the local gay community and

06:38 There was a point in Jan and February of the Year following that we decided we can have a soda pop look up at the Unitarian Church and I've always been very big on. Well, if it took me one of the reasons for going out to Lizzie Borden's was addition to find out that I had initially considered. Well, maybe a shirt for Mike my own so I really need to research what that is because throw another what is a group and I might be stepping on somebody's toes. I was aware that there had been a group called Pals in the ladies. I went to that person will end up hurting myself if it was admitted the will you went to that church of the mediator St. Paul's Episcopal was going today. I when I went to the one time I did go to that previously was that I knew that my dad was bisexual says worry about bumping into my dad and most people if you're thinking about the gay community that worried about being bumping into a parent is probably not

07:38 First concern but that works out. Okay. So anyways, so I hadn't really done anything public and

07:50 In 1992 when I get involved with the leave the game has been voted for a couple of mines and I said we had this potluck I sent to the local TV stations of because we taken me this long to find some kind of the community. They were probably other people out there like that. So the public has helped went. Well. What happened was is that in December of 91 there have been a local man. Don Kramer who have been murdered and I forget if I heard about it at the time. I know I think the two people who were involved with the league of gay and lesbian voters Robert and Brian thought they might have been threatened by the same people who eventually convicted of the crime. Well, what happened was in May of 92, I had a call from wsee TV 35 from Randy McElwain whose report for that who asked how do you want to comment on this on this case? Because they have

08:50 Andy the announcement about the brunch the previous February and I'm like, okay and remember being terrified of a time going on camera at point and I found out later that Harry a local restaurant chair has spoken on the radio, but the heat only used his first name and that's why knowledge. Nobody locally had done the full name for face thing. And so remember being terrified. I remember that all my housekeeping skills are possibly not the most impressive. Am I coming to your house to do the interview? And remember my friend Lynn came over a few blocks away to drop off a tablecloth. I was remember that and I remember being so interview with Randy and that went really well and remember feeling terrified. I was afterwards I mean

09:50 Work was probably okay, but you never know. So I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm going to be fired while I was really worried about my tires got slashed or my heart was going to kick me out. And I remember you said you should go out and I think they choose from your Ukrainian grandmother was blow the stink off you up because it's just so nervous. I remember going out to walking around and you're walking around those people if I'm feeling buzzed. I must be an absolute ruler and I seem to recall. I went to La Bella Bistro that night it was owned by the gentleman who had found it who is spoken on the radio. I previously I remember I was at your Markowitz came up to me who is the Raiders and said we have this this this and pork Christopher. I responded my best Catskills comedian voice. I don't even know.

10:47 It was just so anyways, but the Fallout from the interview was actually a positive, you know, I went into work and identify the cases where people think that they are consumed this great big secret and I think that you know, you really have to contend that you're maybe not living in the universe populated exclusively by mentally challenged Helen Keller clowns that people have eyes they have taken that, you know, that people are not as out of touch as you may think that they are and I'm so I remember that the owner of the company that I worked at asked me more than giving you any problems know there was like no major problems from the from having spoken on camera and it actually feels pretty good. And I think that I I really think that the other side of the whole publicity thing.

11:47 Is most the incidences or many the inside is where I have spoken a camera. I haven't that really wasn't my original intent. I mean it wasn't like I set out to be. Okay. I'm going to be a media person in this has never gotten paid for it is it was just that I sent it some other and I was going to just as I was speaking on camera. So I've had a few incidences of where I have sent me to the media. The media has shown up at the end of the first picnic actually are the first pick in the immediate coverage at 97 Pride picnic picnic and we had sent something out and we have never had coverage at a picnic before and this reporter shows up and I'm like really, you know, why aren't you know, this is a this is important enough to cover all the way later found out that the same reporter one of the other activities with picnic bumped into him at a gay bar. So I think it may be the case that local gay journalist wanted to cover something may not have been out and this may have been hit.

12:47 I think there's one of the benefits I see of having been involved is that you find incidences or interactions that you want to really counting on I mean has been cases of where I've always been pretty bullish about trying to go to nearby groups of Vans and a lot of the time that's happened. There has been some sort of an action that is followed afterwards that wasn't really part of the original intent. That was pretty gosh-darn cool. So that's been I don't know I feel I feel good about that and I think that one of the issues that I told at the local community need to develop the nosed is

13:28 Getting up your own kindergarten mat. I think it's good for I took this with people who make time to compartmentalize their lies and I will talk about glbt stuff. But only Eminem I will talk about gay stuff but really only one and hang out with some of that pretty much has flaming neon rainbows rocking out of its butt and then if I go to any other environment, I will talk about that and where there's any incidences of where I've been looking at work situation or something else again, I haven't been really, you know, I don't feel like it's my job to go there and be you should accept music game hand or anything like that. I just just that there is no need to

14:12 I think compartmentalize your life. I think that usually most people I actually I think that a lot of the impulse it's some people have towards I must remain closet. No one must know my secret is almost a narcissistic impulse because it presumes that just because as a gay person that maybe being gay is very very important part of my life. I don't think that's true for that other people are thinking whatever their particular issues or identities are and

14:42 You know what you're thinking. Everyone is judging me because they think I'm gay. Are they wondering whether I'm gay and the person that you're worried about doing this is taking a while to my feet look too big does everyone think that I have ugly hair or whatever their particular issue is opportunity to sort of engaged or speak on the gay community came when this gentleman Donald Cramer was murdered, right?

15:09 What exactly did you say well?

15:14 Huge. Oh, well, this is why we didn't talk about the murder itself. But it happened was was what had happened was the murder. It happened in December at was a really weird case that they didn't know at first. It wasn't murder. They just found his car had rammed into a pole and it turned out that these two guys who tried to kidnap him. So I pointed out one of these with a pointed out was at the the perpetrators acquainted while he was trying to fill this up and he was driving the car and I'm like you're holding gun on him. He's you're holding a gun on this person. He's driving the car and he's feeling you up if you can do all that handle all those things at the same time. He deserves to feel you up for heaven sakes so I don't remember anything but equally remarkable about the

16:01 I don't ever think you took a remarkable about whatever it was that I said. I was mostly just stating that you know, which I thought was a fairly obvious point that you know, everyone deserves to be treated equally and dad gay people are just part of the fabric goes of Erie and I think that you've been a pretty frequently recurring theme with the for what I've been speaking about. It's not that I don't I know if you'll be able to attend to get into the my role is to be a victim I think of us falling in love with your own victim Floyd and I think that can be kind of a dangerous type. You have to recognize when you're being disadvantaged. But if you kind of obsessed about that sort of Abby, that's where the Viewpoint when there isn't necessarily something going on and you just have to look like a whiner I think and I think it also tends to give permission to other people to treat you that way and I think that one of the reasons for going

17:01 Go to be active in the local Democratic party. I'm very active with the Pagan community and one of the benefits I see if that is is that you get to compare experiences with other communities and you may be realized that while I'm again while I'm taking care about my struggles as a gay person. You mean to be aware that well religious minorities May face this or other folks may may face other issues. I remember one time there was this one HIV / AIDS planning group called the Erie County planning committee. This would have been like a late 90s and there were several different, you know populations are affected by HIV / AIDs that were attending Saint Paul Lucas who was a heterosexual hemophiliac victim. Absolutely. Wonderful. Oh my gosh salt-of-the-earth human being but I remember that there was one particular meeting that as it so happens Don Paul and I were the only white people in the room and that was sort of an instructed.

18:01 Sing the Oki I'm assuming that I'm going to be in the majority on this particular issue. So being a minority in this particular situation and wait, I hadn't expected very instructive. It may make you more sensitive to you know me make you some more sensitive to what are other ways of being there for that. I haven't thought about because they don't have to be my particular issues and actually the the HIV / AIDS Planning Group Theory Community planning committee and they're being very useful. I eat I knew she went to that not thinking it would get anything particularly out of that. We course had the first Pride rally Right Here Waiting Richard Perry Square have a sexy right here very Square in 98 and there was a point that we needed to get some insurance insurance policy to cover the event because and I'm remember being Panic at that and then I mentioned it just of the people to get in the other folks who were some of the main host for the Erie County planning and I like all week.

19:01 Turn insurance. So again, when you go to other situations that are not your own and you are open about who you are without making that you're only the first words out of your mouth in that gimme that you may get benefits that you don't think about.

19:18 But it sounds as if it could be understood that from what you're saying that there are no real victims victims. I mean that that does that does happen. I guess it's kind of a fine line. It is important certainly obviously there are people who have been very clearly a victim. I think that I think the issue is more when you're facing an ambiguous or neutral situation. How do you react if you go too? Well, I remember we get phone calls from people when we would talk about an event that was at a church and we would have on the calendar like some of that was a church and remember a call from someone who is Anderson like while they tolerate a gay people in like they're hosting an event. They have a long history of this and I think that when you have a situation where no one

20:18 Is actually perform a behavior yet and there hasn't really been an indication that you walk into that and kind of assumed it was a person harkening back to the intervention with the Erie County planning committee. If I hit it if I would have felt offended if the African American people who are at that group had assumed it. Oh, well Mike's white. So therefore Mike is not comfortable with African-American and you don't think the relationship of churches and other religious groups towards the gay community and doesn't warrant some some concern on leave now. Okay, I truly does want some concern. However, I tend to look at as a tactical issue that I know that there was some gay folks would assume that anything that has any kind of a automatically means mean nasty anti-gay homophobic people. It is important to acknowledge that there are some churches that are in other arts and churches and there's some more importantly there are usually eat.

21:18 Lutheran Church, it's especially the hierarchy that may be that way. However, one of the things that makes me happy for that makes me happy is when we've had example Pastor Reverend Richard moir's column from the Community Church in the newsletter is that there is a voice at the prison boys that's in there and church / Christian does not mean me nasty, folks and I started enjoying doing that because I think it plays with a heads of the religious conservatives who makes the okay. We have Christians over here we have gays over here. And obviously it's a two distinct populations were opposed to each other and that ignores the that ignores straight religious people who are supportive of gay and lesbian people and that ignores that there are gay and lesbian people who are Christian themselves. For example, I don't know I'm remembering soup Hubler who was

22:18 My ground description 8 raging heterosexual who was acted with st. Paul's Episcopal for a number of years. I remember her bringing in the the AIDS quilt and you know, that was such a really wonderful audible thing and no gay people or if I was doing that. So assuming that the church that a church is is anti-gay just on the basis of it being a church is really my send a guy. I think they're to be super concerned with it feels a little to uncomfortably similar to well. If someone's gay it means that they are there. So if you're complaining about being stereotyped you have an obligation not return that what I meant was to Cuba was that

23:01 The bicentennial float Erie celebrated its Bicentennial in 1995. There were two local organizers. I wasn't actually a very involved with this portion of the band who put together gay and lesbian float that was going to be in the parade. And so the week before the event there was an announcement of these various units that are going to be in the parade and there was a one local man who was just offended that there was going to be a gay and lesbian float and I think he was thinking of something like from San Francisco that was going to have like, you know half naked Leatherman and topless lesbians and people whipping each other and all sorts of really outlandish very very in-your-face kind of demonstration. Actually. What was just it was a truck that had a rainbow rainbow balloons over it and it was actually very innocuous. Anyways the so so there was this whole

24:01 Verse about the flipping of the parade and I remember talking with Abby Conley who is straight supporting his wonderful wonderful human being and there was one point they said that will make will take up bisexual cuz it's got the word bisexual & Inn in the float. I think it was decided like early Thursday evening and then Thursday night late Thursday night, but was vandalized and I remembered feeling the person's house of what was being said. I remember feeling horrible for that person because it must have felt so violated and so scary but I remember that so many people gay and straight should have to rebuild the float that it was. Okay, we could either focus on some of the people who vandalized the float and kind of Come Away with that as a lesson in that we want it. That's that is being the dominant impression or we can focus on the wonderful people who showed up and repair the float some of them, you know, it wasn't there a particular Community, but they were concerned about Justice and

25:01 You can walk away with that has an impression, you know, so it's all up with your focus on and I would rather focus on that happy and good stuff brother happy and good stuff to happen.

25:15 How I know

25:18 What do you think about the participation of the community the gay community in these sorts of activities one of one of these issues for example from when I had when we had the when we go out and do postcards signing at for the league of gay and lesbian voters. I remember feeling okay. I'm doing something that makes me feel happy. So there are some people that help out with that. I think the people aren't aware of how much little it takes and I believe that I carry the experience of the post car so I can forward to when we have these signing our when we have the folding and distribution work parties for the newsletter that it's okay. That's a lot of people that you know people that show up as if we have a good time. I do wish that more people will again with cross boundaries. Some of them are better than others. And what do you mean by well in other words

26:18 I will I will go to a nearby community. I think that there are there are some folks that are I don't want to socialize with anyone who is not of my particular demographic. I remember talking to somebody they were saying they indicated something like that and I'm like, wow, you must live in Mortal Terror that at some point you're going to have to talk with somebody who shops at Kmart, you know, the horror the absolute horror and although I mean it that can be a reassuring thing to do to people to church until you're comfortable with that moving outside of that moving outside of your custom little circle of cronies is offered some tremendous benefits and I wish that I was hoping that eventually more people will do that tell them do and there's probably a lot of people that do that sort of thing that I'm not aware of, you know, I feel like I know a fair amount because on the community been obviously not everything. So there may be more of that that happens when you hear

27:18 Free sample our friends Jenna mourey, I remember they that when there was the Erie had the Frog artwork that would move there would be local statute. We decorate a particular way with frogs that we're all around the city. I remember the Chan and Lori that they had made up of rainbow. I hit a rainbow frog or something along those lines and I made into the paper. I was like, you know good for you ladies and I remember feeling intensely proud of them. When the Erie Times-News did a story about same-sex couples because Jan and Lori had been too had been to Vermont to go swing Union number of years ago. I remember the also admit the x is in the same story also profiled a

28:05 A gay male couple and there was another couple of two and I think only one of them use their full name, but I was just impressive that many people have done that. I think there's a lot of cases of where people are not doing a lot of reality testing when people talk about so I don't know if I can be out in the Eyrie. I'm remembering Dave Mulholland back in 1996, Dave. Mohalla was actor with the league of gay lesbian voters. The Times News did a story about various voters from all kinds of backgrounds and their issues. Will they happen to include Dave? And it was I think the first time that local media included a story about that included openly gay folks where the focus of the story wasn't specifically gay or lesbian and I am the vine a little bit later when this Defense of Marriage Act was being debated debated tv35 would come over and would run a few cases someone to get some local reaction.

29:05 I think my partner at the time was working Dave Mulholland would come over and we would both like speak on camera has happened a couple of times Dave. Is it so happened to mechanic and you tend to think of all blue collar equals me nasty anti-gay and I guess that the mechanics where he worked would happen to the Sentinel Christmas truck and feel kind of party. So Dave was concerned whether the co-workers would watch him to come back. You don't know he was openly gay and I remember him remember them telling Dave us both of us talking on TV that we were a couple which was just again incredibly sweet and again, you know, if you take a few risks and you don't assume you look people you can have some some wonderful life enhancing and then we have the the situation which was shown in the ass out in the silence the new film that's out by Joe Wilson profiling a nearby small.

30:05 Homophobia in the small town of two young men experienced and you know, it it it it seems to me that you also need to say the people do so, you know that Joe Wilson and his partner experienced death threats and all kinds of discrimination for daring to announce their wedding in the whole Community newspaper and the two young men that they interviewed and portrayed have we're in terrible situations in high school said that wasn't wasn't their imaginations. Are there a real very real discrimination and the one boy has me know has stood still and it lives in fear of his life had to drop out of high school.

30:55 Oh, okay. Then I think they'd that needs to be in balance with balance. You personally have never experienced any sort of problems do to your major. I do remember that that you two are we publish de botas got up here and we included reactions from local candidates Linda been to Jones who is the Democratic candidate for the Eastside assembly going to hear it was running against during the Republican during I did a large amount of gay dating in that particular raise and that was kind of uncomfortable and I remember the night before the election. I did have a message, but I'm answering machine that well faget. We're going to have anybody to go to this going to be a victory party for Jerry night.

31:49 Tomorrow at in a republican headquarters or whatever it was and afterwards we'll be a gay bashing in the parking lot. You'll be the guest of honor at the time. I laughed it off. I was never really felt seriously threatened. But yes, I have known people that have. Yeah, I have no people to FaceTime me there been local people have been murdered which seems like we don't hear about the quite the same way. Now, it actually might wait bisexual father. There was one point that when my parents are divorced the first time the dead bullet wound and he told us it was a burglar and then I got me a couple part about coming. I was like, oh crap. I have to talk to my father and my dad told him that was from some guy that he'd picked up at the post office and that the person he's he's stuck with the gun before it fired and it may end up freezing at 4. Actually. My dad was getting a snack to my grandfather back, but it does happen. It needs to be acknowledged. I guess it.

32:49 Snooze, what do you do with that? And I think that there might also be an issue that deals with the situation that I'm not to say that everything is happy and wonderful Theory add remote areas are

33:02 You know nothing but a thorn Thicket of me nasty homophobes. I mean you need to write you do need to consider, you know, the particular situation where you're where you're at school might be a more difficult environment. We had the stories in the newsletter from the young student who had been harassed in high school if it a couple students I met with known as soon as they've been harassed locally here that have had to drop out and that's pretty bad but it still happens it still happens. Right? So I think you need to leave that up to people. I just feel that it needs to be based upon evidence or people should so that people should calibrate what they're doing more and more and more responsive. It's actually going on at me very, well me that yeah. This is a particular course of action is not wise but I think this lot of cases of where

34:01 Overall, it seems we the people are much more likely to overstate that that's not to say that it doesn't occur. There was an incident when you were in high school. You've referred to a shoes is I felt like I had a real I'm really grateful for having hat for my mom and how she raised us. I think that one of the other thing is that a recurring theme in my life was our biggest regrets the things we don't have there was a classmate of mine. I think he had Down syndrome trisomy 21 and I was down syndrome otherwise known as trisomy 21 another would you hit three copies of a chromosome for the 21st are anyways, I'm through.

34:52 There was one point we were like in this Hall in school at some of the kids are kind of harassing him and I didn't say anything and I think the way that they were asking if he might not have caught that that's what they were doing, but it just felt really achy, and I felt incredibly Iggy afterwards that he that they were treating this way and I didn't say anything and I mean using those two cases of where I've done something that involves sending up. I've usually felt pretty good afterwards. I mean I felt as if speaking up for when we when we're done media media stuff to talk about being openly gay that that's usually actually going very well. I remember being terrified before I came out to the zoo. And I knew that one of my contacts are my friend Debbie. I knew what you meant to First Assembly of God Church in again. This is why you can't it's important to acknowledge that churches maybe sources, especially the hierarchy maybe sources of homophobia.

35:52 Everybody involved with that is that way? So I remember being kind of worried that when I came out I would lose my that would lose my friend Debbie's friendship and as it turned out she had been a big time they support for quite a number of years. So the fact that you went to the church didn't mean anything as a matter of fact, I ended up inviting her to the commitment ceremony that I had and when she get married later I went to that and I and I remember talking with her when she had someone had been at a workplace have been harassed for being transgender and it's all good because it helps her to stand up. So for for what was right and I think that what you see if you do the right thing you can hardly go very far wrong. So and usually the time they wrote me the most Joy my life that's been that's what it is.

36:43 So you started you got into gay activism looking for a local boyfriend and it turned into a commitment of another kind. I guess looking to find a boyfriend that way and I mean it didn't work out at a friend's and ironically the longest relationship. I was in my life which was nine and a half years previously ceremony that he met online. Actually. It was really weird because we had met online it was the guy from Northampton and so my ex lived in Youngstown and miles away. So we've been talking for a bit and we had arranged to meet at Lizzie Borden's and I've gone to the Mentor, Ohio hugs help help understanding growth and support had an event earlier that day, but I knew that Mike was going to be there until I was supposed to meet at the bar until

37:43 Later that night. I went to that I came back. So I wandered around Lizzie Borden's and I didn't see him and I thought oh great. I was stood up and again the whole thing of try Donuts in the worst of people and the next day. I got a phone call. I called him to say, okay. It was a d I said, where were you where were you and we describe some of the same people. It was obviously made wanted around the bar the entire night had not seen each other. And so if I had assumed the worst of somebody I would have missed out on a 9 and 1/2 year relationship. So

38:21 Okay. Well, I just wanted to say thank you for doing this Deb. I know that public speaking is probably more my baby with you at my side all my refund for huge amount of work cuz I feel like you don't get enough credit for what you do for the newsletter because most people just see great big old media person me and they don't necessarily see you who does really most of the work.

38:51 Okay, hope