11 September 2022

the story of a still

all 4 years of high school I was on the staff of the student newspaper. & for a part of that time I representd the paper on the Hi-Timers. that was a group of area student journalists brought together by the Cleveland Press for various events.

shortly before my 17th birthday I went to that paper's offices for something calld A Day at the Press. each student was assignd a staffer to follow. mine was Stan Anderson -- the paper's film critic. I remember I gave him a tip that Lila Lee was in Elyria & he calld her for a phone interview. before leaving he put down a stack of film stills & told me to take some with me. one was of George Montgomery shirtless & holding a rifle. I think it was from "Watusi."

that image joind 2 others from my boyhood. Aldo Ray in a swimsuit & Sal Mineo showering. that trifecta has been in my head all these decades. they helpd me grow into the gay man I am today.  I saw all of these men during our lives. but Montgomery was the only one with whom I actually spoke. it was my first trip to Palm Springs & by accident I encounterd him at the art museum which was exhibiting products of his careers as actor & artist.

today a friend visiting from NYC wantd to do the local cemeteries. this time I decided to bring with me that still of Montgomery which I'd had for 63 years -- one year longer than this friend has been alive. it was an emotional moment as my movie-mad boyhood danced with my developing sexuality. what a journey.

photo by David Wallace Crotty

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