The Rainbow MinuteThe Rainbow Minute
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
“Kentucky’s Sweet Evening Breeze" Read by : Miss Heaven Leigh Kennedy
Born James Herndon in 1889 in Scott County, Kentucky, and later nicknamed "Sweet Evening Breeze" or just "Miss Sweets," he is remembered as one of Lexington’s most colorful characters. He often wore make-up and appeared in drag every Saturday on Main Street, in the early- to mid-20th century.
As a child, Sweets was abandoned by his uncle at Good Samaritan Hospital. There, hospital superintendent Miss Lane Johnson gave him a room. He worked delivering mail to patients and serenading them with his ukulele. He ultimately became one of their best orderlies.
Sweets was generally loved by all and managed to live authentically as an African-American, gay, crossdressing male until his death in 1983. The Lexington Men’s Chorus named its small ensemble group in his honor.
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