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 bartended 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, 2994

Cruise, May 25, 1994

Richard Shank

Richard Shank pic

January 28, 1952 – February 27, 1992

Detroit native Richard Steven Shank graduated from Novi High School in 1971 and worked as a waiter and bartender at Morey’s and the Escape.  Shank was also involved in local community theater and for a time performed female impersonation as Rickie Day.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.

Cruise, March 18, 1992