Special Feature on Terry Noel

I featured an interview with Terry on my May 2007 show, Click to go there

I was very pleased to be contacted this past year by one of the JBR performers, Terry Noel, and
she not only shared with me some additional pics of her from those days, but also some recent ones,
and she also arranged for me to reprint an interview with her done by Morgan Stevens, a modern day
performer who entices the East Coast with her Ann-Margret impersonation.

First, here's a JBR program featuring a pic of Terry.

This is the 28th Anniversary Booklet

Terry wrote me in September 2006:

Hi, There -  
My name is Terry Noel.  I was with the Jewel Box Revue for almost all of 1959, and two months into 1960, and at the 82 Club in NYC from 1960 until late 1966.  Your collection of memorabilia is phenomenal!!  It is so wonderful to be able to see pix of all the ladies I knew (and LOTS I didn't know) from my time on the boards.  I've enclosed some pix from the early years and some current ones so you can see how Father Time has run over me like a semi on the highway of life. lol. Take care and keep up the wonderful things you are doing to keep the "old days" alive.  Best wishes.
 
Love you madly,
Terry Noel

Of course I wrote right back and asked if she had any photos to share with my site visitors
and she graciously provided the ones below and wrote some more information.

    

      1966

Below, from the 82 Club Program for 1965

    

Click to see the entire 82 Club Program

and, some current pics....at 70 she looks terrific!

    

  

She continued to tell me:

The only place in your JBR collection where I found myself was in a group of ladies of the ensemble which, I believe, was the one from the JBR 28th Anniversary Booklet.  It is an awful picture.  The pic I sent of me in the Japanese kimono was taken in 1959 between JBR shows at the Tivoli (Rivoli?) Theater on Chicago's south side.  Unfortunately, I never had any professional pictures taken.  All the shots I had of myself from the JBR and the 82 Club were left with a friend in NYC when I moved south in 1969.  I have no pix of any kind except snapshots taken through the years while I was just living life, working for the fed govt, being married, etc.  I transitioned (had SRS) in 1965 and quit "the business" in 1967.  About a year ago, I bought a Female Mimics magazine on eBay (not cheap!!) which has me on the cover as Mr. and Miss Terry Noel, circa 1963.  This mag has an article about me but also contains several pix of others who were performing at the time....Toby Marsh, Pudgy Roberts and a bunch of European gals. Of course I would be very flattered if you used any of the pix I've sent.  It would be an honor to be on your site.
 
Take care and thanks again for all you are doing to keep us all "alive."  What was really fun for me
is seeing all the production number shots from the JBR and the 82 Club.  I was in most of them at one
time or another and the costumes are very familiar to me.  Sadly, most of the folks in both shows are
now gone.  I just turned 70 myself, so we are fading fast!!!  You are doing a great service for us all.
 
Love you madly,
Terry

**************************

And now for the Interview...
Female Impersonator Morgan Stevens (below) did the interview
last year and has graciously allowed me to reprint it here.

Morgan Stevens

www.MorganStevens.com

For those of you who know me personally, you Know that I am a drag aficionado, especially for the good ol' days of the 1960's when drag and drag shows really came into prominence. Recently I had the chance to connect with a true drag performer/legend from that era. If you ever searched the internet for the famous shows of the past such as The Jewel Box Revue or the famous 82 Club in New York City, your search engine would have come up with a few names of outstanding performers from that bygone era. But probably one that would have really captured your attention, was the name of Terry Noel. She was a headliner at these two shows and was quite stunning, often leaving audiences scratching their heads as to whether or not she was a drag queen or a real woman. Needless to say she was very good at her craft. Thanks to the good ol' internet, I was able to locate Terry and she graciously consented to an interview and a chance for us to stroll down 'memory lane' recalling the drag glamour days of the past. She was more than generous and a pleasure to get to know. I think as you read the interview you'll see that as well. So without any further adieu I give you the legendary Terry Noel.


Morgan: Terry, my dear, take us back, if you will, to your beginnings as a female impersonator, namely, how you got started and how you managed to land featured roles with the great Jewel Box Revue and then on to New York City's famous 82 Club.

Terry: In 1958, I entered and won a drag contest at a local hang-out in Northern Kentucky called The Jacebo Club. Somewhere along the line, someone gave me a magazine which had the address of the Jewel Box Revue in NYC. I wrote to them and sent some pictures from the contest. Doc Benner, one of the owners of the JBR, called me and asked me to join the show, which I did in the spring of 1959. I met the show on the road in Asbury Park, NJ. I was not a featured performer with the JBR, only in the chorus as a showgirl, until I became part of a singing trio some time later. I joined the cast of the 82 Club in late 1960, also as a showgirl. I did have a solo singing act a couple of years later. I wasn't a very good singer but when the club owners want you to sing, you sing, whether you can sing or not. No one said "No" to those guys, if you know what I mean.

Morgan: What was it like to be a featured performer in these two fabulous shows in what has to be considered the golden age of drag? And tell us a little about the types of shows that you did. In other words, were there celebrity impersonators, regular drag/drag, or was the emphasis simply on the beautiful and remarkable feminine illusions you and girls created?

Terry: Well, as I say, I wasn't really a featured performer….although I did have my moments. The shows principally centered around lavish production numbers with beautiful costumes and music but there were many talented performers in both the JBR and at the 82 Club. In the JBR, there was a girl named Billy Daye, who impersonated the fabulous Billie Holliday. She would start singing on a totally dark stage and then a pin spot would light her face. People would gasp at how dead-on her voice was and how much she looked like Billie. She was great. All performances were done to live music then. There were no recordings used. At the 82 Club, Kim August was the featured singer and sometimes impersonated Judy Garland, particularly when Judy was in the audience. In both shows there were other performers who sang, danced and did comedy acts or musical skits. I guess you could say both shows were revues in the finest sense of the word.

Morgan: What was it like to be an "82 and JBR Girl." Was it strictly fun, glamour and the chance to rub elbows with some great fellow drag performers or was it strictly show biz, as in rehearsals, work, long difficult hours dealing with temperamental producers/directors?

Terry: It was both fun and hard work. Just doing the shows every day and appearing in front of live audiences was very exciting and scary, too. It got tough when we were preparing a new show because we would have to work all day in rehearsal and continue to perform at night, particularly at the 82 Club. We did three shows a night and didn't get off work until after 4:00 AM only to be at rehearsals at 10:00 AM. That was a killer schedule. For the JBR, we at least didn't have to do both performance and rehearsal at the same time. Because we were a traveling show, we would have down time between appearances and that was when we would prepare the new numbers at rehearsal halls in NYC. Working with some of the greats of the FI galaxy was great fun. For the most part the were all sweethearts…..although everyone has a bad day now and then. I can only think of two people whom I considered to be real bitches…..who were angry all the time. They shall remain nameless, naturally. Kitt Russell was the director at the 82 Club and I only saw her lose her cool and couple of times. She, of course, was a performer herself who knew what strain we were all under. The JBR had several producers/directors whose names I can't remember….they weren't from the FI world. I don't recall there being any major problems with them.

Morgan: Now you must have had some wacky moments on stage where a zipper popped, a cue was missed or perhaps an audience member got a little out of hand in his enthusiasm for the girls…..let us in on a few of those "screwball moments."

Terry: Oh, honey, I was always getting zippers stuck and tripping over my own feet. It was a common occurrence. Missing cues at the 82 Club was a major problem because the performers had to enter the stage through the lobby of the club with people (customers, waiters and performers) everywhere. It was a bad situation….dressing rooms at one end of the place, the stage at the other.

The JBR opened a new show at Maksik's Town and Country in Brooklyn with Lynne Carter as the headliner. Everything went well on opening night until the finale. It was a number which featured Lynne and the whole cast in a sort of Mardi Gras finish. The showgirls had a change of costume in the middle of the number from bulky "palace guard" outfits into skimpy flesh colored leotards with sequins and feathers everywhere, including headdresses, to imply that we were fantasy carousel horses. We had very little time to make the costume change. As the finale built to its climax, none of the showgirls (except me) were able to make the costume change. I heard the music cue and flew out on the stage in my feathery finery. Nobody else in the cast made the cue. There was only Lynne and me on the stage. It was hysterical. We finished the number as best we could. Lynne just turned to the audience and said, "Oh, my God!!" The audience loved it.

In the same show, there was a "Frankie and Johnny" number, ending with Johnny killing Frankie. I was a background character, as usual. I wore a white sequined cocktail dress, very open and bare. The audience was very close to the stage at Maksik's and it was my part to slink/dance across the stage behind the main action (in time to the music, of course) and lean against the stair rail until the number was over. One night a guy who was obviously blitzed ran up, grabbed me and started kissing me on my face and neck. I was mortified but the audience thought it was hysterical. The management was not amused. I was restricted as to where to stand from that point on.

In one number, I portrayed Helen of Troy. The girl who was opposite me on the stage was Vicki Vogue. She portrayed Pocahontas and wore a huge feathered headdress. We came down the stairs together to the music, came to a landing and turned to face each other. We were very high on the steps on the stage. One night, as we did our thing, I got to the landing and turned. Vicki was nowhere to be seen. She had fallen off the landing onto Robbi Ross, who was portraying Marie Antionette. All I could see at the bottom of the stair were feathers, legs and Marie's white wig. No one was hurt, but it was a funny scene.

Morgan: Anybody who is a drag aficionado certainly knows that in its prime, in the late 1950s and '60s, the 82 Club was one of the hottest drag venues in New York City and was frequently visited by some of Hollywood's and Broadway's big shot stars. Perhaps you can tell us what it was like on a given night to be performing only a few feet away from the likes of Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Kirk Douglas and other so-called Hollywood royalty.

Terry: I really can't recall any of Broadway's stars being in the audience with the exception of Carol Channing and Bernadette Peters. I do remember some of Hollywood's elite being there. I've seen Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, Jim Hutton, Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Sylvana Mangano (Italian actress), Dan Dailey, Lauren Bacall and Lorne Greene. I recall that Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty had just finished the movie "Splendor in the Grass." They referred to it as "Splendor up my Ass." How crude! But funny!! Country music icon Eddie Arnold came to the club and I was introduced to him. He got right up in my face and examined me very carefully. He said, "I will never believe that you are a male." He then proceeded to buy me several drinks and we had a long, interesting talk. Frankie Valli, of The Four Seasons, was also intrigued by my impersonation. He was nice to talk with. Unfortunately, he was there with a date. Enough said.

Morgan: And, of course, the follow-up question has to be ?????....did any of the so-called Hollywood macho guys sitting in the audience ever make a pass or ask Miss Noel for a date after the show? Inquiring minds have to know…..Dear Terry <grin>.

Terry: Oh, well, I suppose enough years have passed and so has the guy, so…..yes, I did date Jim Hutton several times. If you can't remember who he was, just Google him, girls. I suppose to the younger ones, he is best known for being Tim Hutton's father. He was sweet man. I enjoyed his company.

Morgan: Was it true that at the time, drag was so strictly regulated by the City of New York that you girls could not go on the street (either to the show or when leaving at the end of the night) without having at least one item of "male attire" on or otherwise you'd get arrested?

Terry: I believe that it was the law then as you state it. However, the club operators were the ones who were very strict about leaving the club in drag. That was a no-no. But since boys will be girls, the rule could be gotten around on occasion…..especially on holiday nights…..like New Year's Eve. It was also common knowledge that the club owners had a certain influence over the vice cops, if you get my drift, and we were in less danger from them than the owners when it came to leaving in drag.

Morgan: Okay, Terry my dear, here's my chance to play Barbara Walters, if you will. The scene is 1969 and the social revolution is in full swing; the Stonewall riots in Sheridan Square, gay liberation and an ever-increasing acceptance of drag. But you decide to cash it all in, quietly retire from show biz and make the ultimate decision to pursue your SRS. Tell us a little about that, as in why you walked away from a successful drag career and decided to venture into full-time womanhood.

Terry: You mention the Stonewall riots of the 60s. I worked in the JBR with a male impersonator named Storme De Larverie who, as I understand it, threw the first punch which began the melee at Stonewall. Storme was a real treasure and was so very nice to me when I was a newby FI in Asbury Park.

{Note: Storme DeLarverie (born 12/24/20) is shown here,
and you can see recent pics of her at the site below}

http://www.stonewallvets.org/StormeDeLarverie.htm

The decision to leave show biz was made the moment I decided to have my SRS in 1963. I was not a star in the FI world. I knew there could be no long-term career in shows after the surgery. The salaries we were being paid were very bad. For example, we did 18 shows a week at the 82 Club, working six days a week, for the grand salary of $65. Some of the girls who had featured acts made more, but not a lot more. I believe I was paid about $100 a week when I was singing solo. Fortunately, I had been trained in data processing before I joined the JBR, so I had some office skills to fall back on. I knew I wanted to pursue a 9 to 5 office job and also knew that I could make more money that way. Also, the reason I had SRS was to blend into society and have a regular life. I had wanted to be female since long before puberty (before I knew what sex was) and used to pray every night for a transformation, only to wake and be disappointed that the gods had not heard my prayer.

Morgan: Let's face it, SRS back in those days was a 'surgical Star Trek' as in "boldly going where few had gone before to explore new worlds, etc." Did you ever feel frightened, alone or have any of those so-called second thoughts, or did you just dive in, throw caution to the wind and say, "This is what I've wanted all along. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."?

Terry: I agonized long and hard before deciding to go ahead with the surgery. In fact, I cancelled the surgery the night before I was to report to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. That was after two years of struggling with the decision. The authorities were not happy, but it was, after all, my life we were changing. In truth, I was not happy with the surgeon who was to do the procedure. I sensed something in him that made me wary. I'm glad I didn't go through with that surgery. Canceling was the right thing to do.

A year later, when I did go for the first surgery in a small town in Illinois with a doctor who seemed more trustworthy, I was more at ease. Unfortunately, there were complications which showed up after the surgery. I had a bad urethral stricture and had to carry around a small catheter to empty my bladder whenever I took in too much liquid. That went on for three years until 1968 when I had another surgery in Yonkers, NY. The Yonkers surgery was the successful one, although the hardest, because I had to have a skin graft taken from my right hip to allow the construction of an adequately deep and wide vagina. Recovery from that surgery took months. The healing of the skin graft site was agony. Today the place where the skin was taken is not noticeable at all and the vagina is fully functional and cute, thank you very much! Contrary to popular belief, SRS is not for sissies.

Morgan: You grew up in the south (Kentucky) where there is, shall we say, a more conservative approach to life. You pull up stakes at 23 or so and head north, up to Yankee country (NYC) to the JBR. You land on your feet and become quite successful at the JBR and the 82. Time marches on and you get your SRS. Now, what was the reaction of your family; accepting, mild rejection or complete ostracism? And if it was rejection, how did you deal and have the fences been mended?

Terry: My mother was the only member of my family to know of my SRS in the beginning. In fact, she took out a loan to help me pay for the first surgery. After the surgery, she was the one who took papers from the surgeon and the psychiatrist to the local county clerk to have my birth certificate changed from male to female and my named changed. Within a week, I had a new birth certificate issued to me which had no attachments to it showing that it had been altered. I never had to appear in court. She was also instrumental in getting me back into contact with my brothers and sister. I am so lucky to have the family I have. They are accepting in every way and I live very close to them now. My one brother is especially close to me. He has been my protector for all my life. He's my hero. Perhaps my niece said it best when she said, "There was something wrong and you had it fixed." That seems to be the attitude of my whole family. Sadly, of my immediate family, only my brother and I are still around, and he's still looking out for me.

Morgan: After your surgery you must have felt as though a weight was lifted from your shoulders in that you finally achieved a life-long goal. Did you go back to show biz or did you become the complete woman, merging nicely and stealthily into society with maybe a Cheshire cat grin on your face (as to your past) and a great sense of satisfaction known only unto you?

Terry: I've always been a very practical gal. I knew that the surgery, while it was an accomplishment for me, would not make all my problems vanish, but would only present me with another set of problems, which it did. In my case, I had to find another place to live, get proper identification, buy lots of business clothes and look for a job. The 82 Club was kind enough to allow me to continue to work in the show from September 1965, when I had the first surgery, until February 1966, when I found my first office job. I even used the 82 Club office typewriter to prepare a resume. I'm grateful to Kitt Russell and the management for their graciousness.

It is true that, as time went on, there was a certain satisfaction attached to small victories I had in society, such as being selected for jobs around NYC, dating men who knew nothing of my past, etc. I discovered, to my delight, that I enjoyed office work and was good at it. I have always been a good typist, probably because I have played piano all my life and was used to keyboards. My keyboard skills have served me well over the years.

Morgan: Judging by the pictures of you both pre and post operatively, you are quite stunning; a girl who looks as though she never had a problem getting a date. If Jim Hutton was knocking on the door there must have been others! After the surgery, was marriage in the cards and if yes, what was it like to be a successful career woman doing the whole career/wife thing?

Terry: Thank you for the compliment, though stunning I was not. I was in a long-term relationship during all the time I was preparing for SRS to a wonderful, sweet man who was very supportive. As that relationship was winding down, I did start dating others. NYC is a fertile ground for finding available men. For the most part, it was just a fun time and quite educational for a brand new woman, if you know what I mean.

In 1969, I left NYC and moved to Virginia Beach, VA. There I met and married a military man (Navy). There is something about a handsome guy in a dress-white uniform, right girls? We were together a total of 14 years. He brought his son from his first marriage to live with us when the boy was nine years old. We bought a home (no white picket fence, but I always imagined it was there!) and lived a normal life until 1985 when we were divorced. He, to this day, knows nothing of my past nor does my son who is now 38 years old. We are not in touch. I had worked for a government agency for several years during our marriage. After the break-up, I went back to college and studied computer science. I became a computer programmer/analyst for the government and worked until I retired in1997.

Having a demanding career, a family and a home to care for is quite a load to carry. I sometimes wonder how I did it all. I guess a person just does what has to be done, regardless of the situation. I'm grateful to my ex-husband and step-son for the experience and everything I learned about being a wife and mother.

Morgan: Okay, dear Ter, I'll put away the Barbara Walters "play book" and now we can move on to the lighter side of Terry Noel. Certainly you're enjoying an amazing life; performer, successful SRS, successful career woman and a happy family life, too. Apart from that though, what makes Ms. Noel happy? And does Ms. Noel have (editor's note: I think she does, intrepid readers) a completely wacky and silly side where she lets her hair down, goes out with gal-pals, does the whole girlz-gone-wild thing and gets into a little trouble from time to time? <grin>

Terry: Shortly before my SRS I met a gal in NYC who became a very good friend. Alice had her SRS before I did. We looked somewhat alike and always pretended to be sisters when we would go out on the town, which was quite frequently. She was married, so she would only go so far in meeting men on these forays into NYC nightlife. As I said before, I was in a committed relationship but was fascinated with flirting with strange men we would run into. I can't count the many times we would get into tight situations after leading men on and then not delivering the goods, so to speak. Alice had a great sense of humor and we used to laugh until we cried nearly every night we would go out. She was as crazy as I am. I'm sorry that I've lost touch with her.

After I left New York and my eight-year relationship, I became a wild thing in Virginia Beach. That area of Virginia is the site of several military bases and, of course, loaded with single, horny men. There is not space available here to go into all my adventures during that time. The only time I felt I was in trouble was one night when I wound up in a deserted house deep in the North Carolina woods (just over the border from Virginia) with three sailors. We had a great time, though, and it was only after the fact that I realized all the bad things that could have happened to me. Hindsight is 20/20, they say.

It is hard to name all the things that make me happy. I guess now that I've reached retirement and have found contentment and peace, just having the free time to do as I please is my greatest joy. I enjoy all the things most people do, though. I have a great passion for college basketball, which some people might find amusing. I am a rabid Kentucky Wildcats fan and have been all of my life.

Morgan: I want to go back to an area we kind of covered herein a bit earlier, okay? No doubt you came of age in the drag biz when it was somewhat new and cutting edge. Things have come a long way in the biz since then. Fewer and fewer clubs exist that feature high-class drag shows like the JBR or the 82. Las Vegas, Hawaii and one or two clubs at best in NYC are about the only ones left featuring female impersonator revues. Most of the others have faded into history and if there is a drag event more often than not, it's a beauty pageant with all its cattiness and hardware-hunting (namely, tiaras). Having been in the drag scene, how would you compare today's drag scene with the good ol' days of the 50s and 60s when Ms. Noel was 'workin' the boards'?

Terry: Wow, is that a hard question or what? I haven't seen a drag show since I left NYC in 1969. I only know what I read on the internet, so my opinion of what is going on today doesn't amount to much. It does seem to me that there are a bazillion girls out there compared to the seemingly few that there were in the late 50s and early 60s. Maybe it is that there were as many girls then, but we are just more aware of their existence now in this information age. Almost all of the girls I see are so stunningly beautiful that I can't imagine being a judge in the pageants. How can one of these exotic creatures be chosen over the others?

I think the one difference between the revues that exist now and the ones I was in is that, as I understand it, today most performers lip-sync and dance to recordings, whereas everything was done to live music in my day. Also, I am sure that no performer today would work for the low salaries we did back then. At least, I hope not! We can be glad for that improvement, at least. In short, the drag world seems to have expanded enormously and acceptance by the general public has gotten so much better. Onward and upward, girls! Keep your powder dry and your gaff in place!

Morgan: When you went through your SRS there were very few girls who did so at that time. Hence, you didn't have a mentor or shoulder to lean on. What advice (or suggestions), if any, would you give to today's girls who are contemplating their SRS? Perhaps a Terry's Guide to the SRS universe?

Terry: It is true that I didn't have a "mentor" per se, but I did have my friend Alice who had her SRS some time before I did. She had a wealth of information to share with me. I also had a roommate, Bobbi Day, who was preparing for her own SRS. Bobbi and I went along, learning as we went, commiserating daily about our problems and joys. Bobbi is still my friend. We got into contact some months ago through a mutual friend who had seen my interview with Vicki Rene. I'm delighted to be able to still talk the talk with her.

My life after SRS, I believe, can be described as a success. I was right to make the change because it has allowed me to be the person I really always was. I have known moments of exquisite happiness that I would not have known had I not had SRS. I don't know what kind of person I would have been, had I remained as I was. Somehow, I think that I would have been less happy. I am no authority on SRS or anything else, for that matter. I can only speak from my own experience on this journey and from my heart. I suppose the most important thing I would say to someone planning SRS is to be absolutely, positively certain that you have made the right decision. As I said before in this interview, having SRS does not solve all your problems. It only presents you with different ones. Ask yourself the hard questions about things like how you will support yourself after SRS and where you want to be in, say, five years. The doctor who first treated me reminded me that I would not always be 25 years old and pretty. He was right. Think about that. Will you be able to handle getting older? Some people can't. I know of one girl who committed suicide after SRS because she couldn't face getting old and losing her beauty. Also know that your sex drive will change to some degree after SRS, depending on what hormone treatment you will be following. I only took hormones for 18 months before my surgery and none since. That's a decision you must make.

So far as I know, SRS is irreversible. For some, SRS can be the most tragic of mistakes. Once your 'joy stick' is gone, it is gone forever. Take your time in deciding what is right for you. It is a momentous decision you are making for it will change your life totally, whether or not you think so. Be certain of what you want. I wish you Godspeed on your journey. Enjoy the hell out of your new life!

Morgan: Recently, a few girls who underwent their SRS many years ago have come out publicly with tell-all books or their life stories. Aleshia Brevard and Leslie Townsend come to mind. After many years of stealth they decided to let the world in on their pasts. Are you contemplating the same and if so, is a Terry Noel Life Story in the works?

Terry: I am a great admirer of Aleshia Brevard and Leslie Townsend. They both had fascinating stories to tell and both certainly paid their dues to society to be allowed to live their lives as they wish. I plan to remain in semi-stealth for the rest of my life. I have done two interviews (counting this one) and written a thumbnail bio all done on the internet, and the internet is as far as I plan to go. No, you will not be seeing my life story in print. I haven't the discipline to write consistently, though I do enjoy writing. Besides, my story is so much like many, many TS women I read about. There would be nothing new to add to the collective FI/TS story. All the transition stories parallel each other in many ways. Besides, even if a book about me was ever accepted by the publishing world and put into print I would have to make myself totally public, certainly embarrassing myself, my family and friends. I would never let that happen.

Morgan: Back in the good ol' days of drag, you rubbed elbows with some of the greats in the drag biz; Hans Crystal, Kim August, Dori D'Or, Kitt Russell and Ty Bennett to name a few. Have you managed to stay in contact with any of the 'girls' and if you did, can you kind of give us a 'where are they now and what are they up to expose'?

Terry: Yes, I knew quite a few of the greats, including the ones you name. Unfortunately, I left the drag scene in 1969 and lost touch with everything and everyone. If you remember, I left the city for the boonies. Not much drag news filters down from New York to Virginia. I understand that many of the girls I knew are no longer with us, but I'm not sure of anything. Everything I say here is only rumor except that I do know that my friend, Bobbi Day lives in Arizona and is still working part-time. Another girl I worked with at the 82 Club, Jan Taylor, lives in Oklahoma and still works full-time for a design firm. I have heard that Jan Britton lives in Nevada as does one of the Club 82 chorus boys, George Roth. I know this seems quite sketchy and not what you might have wanted to see in the way of an "expose." I just don't know any real news.

Morgan: From reading this interview, I think anyone can pick up on the fact that you are very content and enjoying life. What does the future hold for Ms. Noel?

Terry: Well, Ms. Noel is now of a certain age where every day of living is a gift! I expect to go on enjoying the life I do today, volunteering at a local hospital, playing piano at retirement homes in the area, picking up a few dollars doing seasonal work at a local call center for a major television network and taking pleasure in the small things of life. My family and I are very close, so I expect to be involved in their lives as they are in mine. My health is generally good so I expect to be around for a few more years, if the gods are willing. And I'll be keeping my eye on all of you girls out there through the internet. Behave yourselves, now!

Morgan: Terry, my dear, this interview has been a joy and a true pleasure to have reminisced with you, a true drag legend. Is there anything you'd like to say, plug or wrap-up with? Shall we say….Terry's epilogue?

Terry: One thing you can say for sure is that my life has not been conventional. Another thing you can say is that it hasn't been boring. I am the creation of the choices I have made, whether good or bad, as everyone is. Isn't it wonderful that we have the right to make our choices and live our lives as we see fit? We've come a long way, baby, from the dark days of the past.

I assure you, Morgan, that the pleasure has been all mine during this interview. I am enormously grateful to you for inviting me to participate. You have been a kind, sweet, generous and patient reporter. Thank you for your kindness. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and if, by doing this interview, I have shed some light on a subject that your readers find interesting, then I am pleased. I wish you continued success in all your endeavors in all the years to come. Stay as sweet as you are.

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