Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

June 7, 2012


Originally posted November 2010

I was born into a relatively small family, with each a brother and a sister, and just 3 cousins. Well, technically there are 2 more, but we don't talk about it...

Anyway,  my siblings single-handedly repopulated our  tiny family by bringing forth 9 of the brightest and most beautiful human beings I have ever had the privilege to meet. They are now grown, and starting families of their own. I can hardly believe it, but  I'm a Great Uncle 7 times! How could a person be any more fortunate you ask? Well, I could have 2. Families that is...

When I was 14 years old, my friend Mandi Kent introduced me to an young man named Bobby Herd. In his early twenties then, I don't quite remember how she knew him. But that introduction changed my life. I was a misfit. A big, gay misfit growing up in a small farming community,  and Bobby took me under his wing.

That Christmas he invited me to a party that he and his roommate Lisa were throwing. This would not only be my first "adult party", but it would also be my first gay party. I asked if I could bring my friend Joel, who was the only other gay person  I knew. Bobby graciously said yes, and I spent the rest of the week fretting over what I would wear. I settled on a crisp red and white striped shirt with black jeans and a black vintage polyester country western vest from my Mother's closet, finished off with a pair of black ankle boots. My hair was bleached blond and permed. The year was 1985, and as it turned out, I wasn't the only misfit in town...

That chilly December night on Bunny Street, I would meet Stacey. And Bill Tomasini. And a cornucopia of other characters who would over the years become my other family. Maybe our bonds were (are) so strong because of the circumstances that brought us together, I don't really know. I just know that I am as blessed to know them, as I am my own blood relatives. 

Eventually most of us flew the coupe. I was the first to migrate to the Midwest from California. Over the years Todd, Teresa, Cindy and Mac, and eventually Stacey would  move here too.Some planted roots, others kept traveling. Scott moved to Washington. Lonnie to Kentucky. Of course we lost many in the war...

It was several years ago now that Cindy first had the idea to coordinate a Santa Maria Reunion. The idea would get tossed around by Stacey, Cindy and myself frequently, but the logistics seemed daunting. Then last Winter, those of us who hadn't stayed in as close a contact started finding each other on Facebook. Suddenly the idea of us convening from all over the country seemed plausible. One night while Stacey and I were having dinner in my apartment, talking about how wonderful it would be to see everybody again (after in some cases 15 and 20 years) and he said, "Let's just do this already!"

I spent most of my childhood plotting my escape from Santa Maria. I said on many occasions that once my Mother passed, I would have no reason to ever step foot on its soil again. When I arrived the last weekend in June, it was indeed the first time I'd been there since she left us 4 years ago. I didn't drive by the old house, or by my old schools. Attached to those places were the emotions that  had kept me away for so long, and it was  truly time to let go of those grievances. In doing so I was able to enjoy this extraordinary experience, and come to the realization that you really can go home again...and with a little advance notice, your family will always be there.

Here's the video guys, hope you like it!

Santa Maria Reunion 2010 from Michael McKinley on Vimeo.


Tracy said...

Great Video.. To the memories of yesteryear to the many of new ones to come.. Thanks for sharing.

Eric Barfernk said...

As I sit here with a tear in my eye, I can't thank you enough Michael. I love all you guys sooo much.

And thanks Uncle Bill!!!

rastreator said...

Fantastic work full of creativity. Congratulations. Continue your path!

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!