Ever since I was in high school, some 30 years ago, I don’t believe one day has gone by that I have not actively sought a mention of Bette Midler’s name in a magazine, newspaper or whatever. My eye has been so trained to spot her name that I have mastered the art of fanning through reading material like Evelyn Wood and stopping the page on a dime. Some may view this as pathetic, but I view it as a great skill…:-)
Well here I am…a supposed adult, almost a half century old and I am still searching for mentions of Bette. It is ingrained in my being now…almost like a sixth sense. It just comes naturally. With the Internet, a whole new world has been opened up to me. I can find something new on her almost daily. It might not be directly about her, but there is at least a mention. Instead of posting my findings on the Official Bette Message Board where they would get lost among the other posts, I decided to make a little page where I can store all my “tid-bettes” on-line for me to reference and for others who share that same enthusiasm….
I named the site BootlegBetty (a take-off on Bette’s CD, “Bathhouse Betty”) due to just about everything being surreptitiously acquired from other sources (in other words, “pirated”:-)….from the news, the images, the songs, etc. However, I mean no disrespect to those who originally conceived of all these wonderful gems. I’m just calling it like it is…but hopefully all will see that I mean this page to be a treasure trove of information, sounds, and images paying tribute to a wonderful lady that has enriched my lifetime. Not only is this page for me…but also for those like me …
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy your stay…..Mister D
“I was born in the wagon of a traveling show…”
Well no that’s not true, actually I was born Don T. Bradshaw (aka, Mister D), July 14, in a little town called Lucedale, Ms. It had maybe 2 or 3 traffic lights and then you were heading to another hillbilly town. Since my father was promoted quite a bit, I tended to get moved around quite a bit, living in places like Moss Point, Ms, Pensacola, FL, Clinton, MS, Lancaster, PA, and eventually Nashville, TN, where I call home.
I attended Millsaps College in Jackson, MS earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1978. Hated it! Made the rounds as managers of hamburger joints, restaraunts, and finally my dream job, as an area manager for a record store chain, but you’ll see what happened. Later on in my mid-30’s (shove 15 years of my life up your ass, S*U*D S*O*, ya anti-gay, record-whoring, sexist pigs!…oops, so sorry!), and after a nice, restful stint in rehab, I attended school again.
This time I earned my degree in Social Work and graduated around 1990. I got my next dream job, working as a case manager, then counselor, for The Escambia AIDS Clinic in Pensacola, FL. This had to be one of the highlights of my life, and yet, a lowpoint, as well. I loved what I did…the counseling, the education, the friendships made, helping people…but sometimes that help meant teaching them to “let go.” In some ways that whole journey made me stronger, but somehow, I think, it crushed something deep inside of me. But I was very good at what I did.
Soon around 1995, I resigned from that job and moved to Nashville with my partner, Barry. He got a fabulous job doing something with computers, don’t ask me what…it’s just that I never understand. I, on the other hand, for the first time, since I was 14, did not have a career. I took the first job cut, I mean job I could…but I was ill prepared. I was hired on to work with the mentally challenged and it was just out of my league. I had to teach them things I didn’t even know how to do, for goodness sake…like shopping for food. The girl I was helping that day overspent, thanks to me. Many of these people lived in the worst conditions I have ever seen, and to think they lived in one of the richest counties in the states! We’re talking dirt floors, tin roofs (“Love Shack”…sorry!), and rat-roach infested homes. I really tried the best I could to be stronger, to learn, and grow from the experience, but alas, I had to resign.
From then on it’s been a bunch of shit jobs and a bitch of a journey, but I’m still here dammit, and now I just want to have a little fun. And to do that I invented the Bruce Vilanch site, We Got Bruce, a Bette Midler site called Bootleg Betty, and my own, The Divine Mister D, which I rarely touch, but have big plans for in the future. After starting all of these damn sites and with the right damn attitude, someone blessed the hell out of me. I finally met Mr. Vilanch and Ms. Midler, and they did not disappoint. So my little sites continue…and I hope you continue to enjoy.
I currently reside in Franklin, TN with Barry and three cats – Squeak, Coco, and Bitsy. For fun and entertainment I love to write, play piano, sing, perform, pop pills and provoke people. But only when their policies, behavior, thinking, and/or outfits are stupid. And don’t ever sign off with, “please advise.” I’ll go apeshit and end up in the hospital!
Well, this was fun!
Love, Mister D