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

George Benjey

George Benjey pic

May 29, 1963 – February 2, 1995

Hamtramck resident George Benjey was born in Detroit, grew up Downriver, and graduated from Woodhaven High School in 1981.  A longtime member of Metro Detroit’s LGBTQ community, Benjey worked at the Gold Coast Saloon, Backstage, and Tiffany’s.

Cruise, February 8, 1995

Metra, February 15, 1995

Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson pic

March 9, 1947 – March 31, 1987

Allen Robinson grew up in Port Huron and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.  Robinson moved to Detroit in his early 20s, lived for a time in San Francisco, and in the early 1980s returned to Michigan, where he worked at Tiffany’s and the Interchange, and at Metra magazine as managing editor.  He died from AIDS-related complications at age 40.

Cruise, April 8, 1987