Dancers Michael Phelan and Princess Toulaire performed their 1947 "Jungle Dance" at Seattle's Garden of Allah Cabaret on historic First Avenue. Some called them "body showoffs," but who's complaining? Thelma, the police matron at the Garden, was passionately in love with Michael, but never succeeded in getting him in bed. Michael began as a professional boxer but soon gave it up because he didn't like hurting people. He was an impressive dancer, but he also did comedy routines playing his alter ego, "Miss Thing" (a nice but naughty Miss Thing!). He'd smear his body with baby oil and Tabu perfume and sing campy and suggestive songs and flirt with the audience. A cop who saw the show said he'd hate to arrest him as he would slip through his fingers like a greased pig. While in Seattle he stayed with black friends because of discrimination in downtown hotels. I tried to locate Michael for years and finally someone wrote me and said he interviewed Michael a few years back and that he was living in poverty in an abandoned building back east and selling food out of his kitchen. I immediately wrote letters to Michael, but got no response. I hope he had a good life.
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