Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Queen of Hearts' Farewell

By Bixyl Shuftan

It's always a little sad when a club closes down. Each represents an idea and a dream, to provide others with a place to have a little fun. Many last less than a year, sometimes just weeks. One, however, lasted for about sevreal years. For eight years, the Romance-themed sim of Mystery entertained visitors in Second Life, with the Queen of Hearts riverboat club as the main area of events for most of this time. It's owner Tygeria Mirabeau and it's manager Amythe Moonlight kept it going year after year through many happy times. But in late June, Tygeria announced to her staff that problems in real life were making her unable to keep up the sim. Friday June 27 would have the last events. So it was with heavy hearts that the staff prepared for one last day of music and dance.

10AM SL time was the start of the "Memory Lane" event, a "come as you are" party, with Amy herself DJing the music. And people came in, not just the regulars, but people whom hadn't been over for a while, including former staff whom had moved on. "Black, I missed you." But they still took things with a little humor, "Aim better next time." Moria the hostess called out, "TP your friends, your man, your girl, your eye candy, and anyone in between."

Amy told everyone, "We are having some dedications to the club and the family we have here tonight ... how I feel about what we build and have built - it's the journey where you meet all the people and help them on the way- that's what makes it special. ... The Queen has been a home to many of us for a long time and some of us for a short time but it's the YOU the people that make it special. ... TONIGHT IS FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!"

The normally 250 Linden prizes for best male and female were raised to 500L each. There was also a jar of candied gummi frogs for anyone to take one. Once in a while, fireworks were placed on the ground, to lauch and explode near the ceiling.

At 12 Noon came the second and final show, and Amy turned over the music to DJ Mac and hostess Aislinp for the "Best in Red" event. There were all kinds of outfits in theme for it. Mac wasn't showing any red at first, so someone joked that it was his underwear that was red. The playful banter continued, between two ladies, "pour some sugar on me." "If you pour sugar on your underwear dear it will not be nice at all, though it will be sweet." "Sugar on underwear....yikes."

Eventually, Mac closed things off with the Club's adopted tune, the last song for an official event here.

and I'm a-waitin' on the twelve o' five, 
hoping it'll take me,
just a little farther down the line.

And moonliiiiight,
you're just a heartache in disguise,
won't you keep my heart from breaking,
if it's only for a very short time.

Playin' with the Queen of Hearts,
knowin' it ain't really smart,
the joker ain't the only foo-ol,
who'll do anything for you.

"Thank you Mac for a wonderful send off!" Amy told the DJ, then she turned to the crowd, to both the staff and the regulars, "Keep your eyes peeled for notices and IMs. Just give me a couple of days to sort things! We have the staff meeting on Sunday and maybe there will be news then. On Monday we will go to my sim Condunrum as a temporary home."

"Thank you everyone. Look after yourselves and I'll let you all know soon what's happening."

And so ended the last event at the Queen of Hearts riverboat club. As of the day I was writing this, the club was still around, just with no one aboard. It has seen much over the past several years from live music events by a number of singers to costume balls, and of course the scene of romance as couples came for parties both while dating and committed. Then there was the "masked lover" whom for months pursued the object of his affection while still keeping his identity hidden.

The Mystery sim remains up, for now, and there is much to see across the place from the "Alice in Wonderland" exhibit, to the train ride, to the little village tucked away in the valley. But eventually it will fade away into the virtual nether, leaving nothing behind but memories.

For now Amy's sim of Condunrum will take over as the new home for the Queen of Hearts staff and fan group, the Cape Hope club at Conundrum (213, 10, 22),  But for the fans, there's only one true "Queen of Hearts," and she will be missed.

Bixyl Shuftan

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