Monday, August 7, 2017

Barbara Poma remembers Pulse's inspiration and growth.

Barbara Poma was born in Connecticut and her family moved to Florida when she was 10 years old. in 1987 she moved to Orlando. Her brother John was four years older than her and he got her into trouble as a child. He was the source of entertainment and centered the family. Barbara graduated from UCF and started teaching. She got married young and that marriage only lasted two years. Around that time her brother John died from complications associated with AIDS. To honor her brother she dreamed of opening a clean and beautiful gay club. Gay clubs were known as being seedy she wanted to create something clean and inviting. She remarried and with her husband ran a series of restaurants. Ron Legler knew about her brother and suggested she try opening a club. The name Pulse was to honor of her brothers pulse living on through the establishment.

The original design of Pulse was in three rooms. First was the all white room which has LED lights that would change color turning the color of the room from red to blue, etc. The dance floor was in the center room and then there was the smaller dancer performance stage room. The club used to be an Italian Restaurant and she has a good time remodeling. Her husband referred to Pulse as an expensive hobby.

Her favorite night was Drag Night. Boys would come as girls and girls would come as boys. Employees came up with ideas for events. Comedians came in, and gay days brought people from all around the world in. We enjoyed ourselves. Twisted Tuesdays drew a young crowd. They were young people trying to find their way. There was a talent nigh and and every four to six weeks there would be a finale. Pulse had some amazing talent develop over the years. 19 year old kids would blossom into full on performers. Wednesday was College Night. That evening was popular for 12 years. Friday became Hip Hop Night. Every room had its own DJ. Saturday Nights were Latin Night for the past few years. Employees just didn't leave Pulse and if they did move on to a new career path, they often returned. We were family. Pulse was the second home for many people. The purpose of a gay bar is to be a second home. Often someones own family will not accept them.

Pulse had just recently been renovated. The white room was removed and the place returned to the original South Beach and Miami vibe. The new look was amazing. Gay days had just finished and the club was gearing up for its anniversary in July... The evening of June 12, 2016 interrupted that anniversary.

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