Photography by Jeff Code
In a town filled with career-building job hoppers, it may seem an accomplishment to stay with one employer for five years. Hey, that's longer than some presidents stay in town. Or perhaps you'd be impressed by ten years of toil with the same company.
Well, you go ahead and be impressed. That's nothing to the staying power Adam Holzsager, who spent not five, not ten, but fifteen years with the same company that gave him his first job. After his teenage stint as a grocery bagger, Adam moved on up the corporate ladder at Giant Foods.
"I was at a level of corporate management where our official hours of 8:30 to 5 didn't really mean anything at all," he says. "If I left before 5:30 or 6 in the evening, I snuck out without saying goodbye."
After such a long period of time, he knew that another promotion would mean the company would have "basically felt they owned me." He saw the time was right to make a change, or he would be "doing this the rest of my life."
So four years ago, he joined a business started by one of his close friends, selling and installing custom-made window blinds and shutters.
"I get to meet lots of people and their dogs and their kids," he says of his more independent career. "It's always something different every day."
Born in D.C. and raised in the Maryland suburbs, Adam has lived all over Washington area. He recently moved into the city, leaving behind his home in Oxon Hill for a one-bedroom condo near the Washington National Cathedral.
"I like being in town, it's two or three miles for me to get anywhere I need to go in the city, where it used to be eighteen or twenty," he says.
Although he enjoys the local nightlife scene, at 35-years-old Adam makes a point of keeping his life varied. He's recently started a book club with a group of friends, and he enjoys taking advantage of one of Washington's greatest cultural offerings, the abundance of museums.
"It's fun to find a museum I haven't been to before," he says. He counts the Hirshhorn as his favorite, for its eclectic mix of painting and sculpture, style and era.
While he may not have lived right in the center of the city, Adam became a well-known member of the community even before gracing the pages of Metro Weekly. His years as a participant in the AIDS Ride and the past year's Tour de Friends rank among the most important undertakings in his life.
"I feel that [AIDS Ride creator] Dan Palotta created something that would blow people's minds," he says of the enthusiasm and awareness those giant fundraisers created. Those events have gone by the wayside these days: "People aren't as impressed by that anymore. It's become standard fair," he says.
Although he believes the community needs to move on from those particular events, he hopes the community stays involved and aware, particularly the younger generation of gay men who haven't directly experienced much of the fear and loss of the eighties and early nineties.
Adam's gym regime was launched in large part by his efforts to prepare for his first AIDS Ride, and later his own desire to stay healthy. "I figure if I show up three to five times a week and do something, then I'll do well for myself."
Of course, those healthy pursuits also helped land him on the Nightlife Coverboy pages, an experience he was a little hesitant at first to undertake. He laughs that what finally made him decide to take the plunge was seeing the prize package for the 2002 Coverboy of the Year.
During his week as coverboy, Adam says people assumed he was getting lots of dates from his appearance, although he demurs that that was far from the case. It's a moot point, now -- he and his boyfriend have been seriously dating for the past three months.
"He's new as of the end of September," he says. "But he's a definite keeper."
First Runner Up Prize Package
18th & U Duplex Diner -- Dinner for two (see ad on page 37)
Arena Stage -- One pair of tickets to any of the remaining shows from the '03-‘04 season
ATLAS/Lizard Lounge -- Lizard Lounge $50 Bar Hospitality Voucher and a selection of Mixed CDs by Lizard Lounge Resident DJ Kostas
Cobalt -- $25 Bar Tab
DC Eagle -- $25 Bar Tab
Empire Video -- Ten Free Rentals
Follies -- $50 Gift Certificate for merchandise
Freddie's Beach Bar -- Freddie's T-shirt
Food Bar DC -- $100 Gift Certificate
Hamburger Marys -- Dinner for two
JR.'s -- $25 Bar Tab
Leather Rack -- $50 Gift Certificate
Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend 2004 -- Two tickets to Reaction Dance (Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004)
One-in-Ten -- Reel Affirmations T-shirt & Cap
Studio Theatre -- Two tickets to The York Realist
Universal Gear -- $25 Gift Certificate
Washington Plaza Hotel -- $50 Food & Beverage credit
Wet -- $25 Bar Tab
Ziegfeld's/Secrets -- $25 Cash Prize
Please note: Some restrictions apply on select prizes.