Bruce Dettloff

Bruce Dettloff pic

August 6, 1940 – December 29, 1990

Bruce Dettloff started his gay bar career as a waiter at the Conquest Lounge in Detroit, rising to the position of manager and rechristening it Blue Boy.  In 1975, he opened the Gold Coast Saloon and later operated Applause.  He also helped establish the BTI Bowling League and was co-founder of the Detroit Bar Guild.  Dettloff was shot and killed at his home at age 50.

Cruise, January 9, 1991

Ten Percent, January 15-28, 1991

Oddis

Oddis pic in color

December 22, 1966 – January 25, 2003

Southfield activist, performance artist, and poet Oddis was born in Detroit as Otis Mitchell and regularly showcased his work at 1515 Broadway.  In 1998, he took part in the group Detroit Noir as it won first-place in the DC Black Pride poetry slam.  Oddis also worked as a professional model, worked as a promoter for Club One X, and participated in Detroit Black Gay Pride and Karibu House.

Between The Lines, January 30, 2003

Carl Rippberger

Carl Rippberger pic

October 8, 1947 – May 16, 1994

Born in Detroit, Carl Rippberger graduated from Denby High School and served a tour of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army draftee.  He bar tended at Tiffany’s before acquiring the Escape Lounge, which he opened as Backstreet nightclub in 1979.  Rippberger served as president of the Detroit Bar Guild and helped raise funds for Wellness House and Affirmations.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 46.

Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1994

Cruise, May 25, 1994

Affirmations Newsletter, July 1994