It's the night before Gay Pride, and Lane and I are having about a dozen guys over, so they'll be able to get to the staging grounds easily tomorrow, or find a good place to stand to watch. As usual at West Hollywood parties, we swap celebrity dating stories: Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Mario Lopez, Dustin Hoffman.
Randall the Muscle Bear usually doesn't participate, although he knows a lot of actors, but tonight he may be trying to impress his date, Levi from Colorado, so he says "I'm going to tell you about the time Dick Sargent and I competed over a Disney adventure boy from the 1960s."
The room is abuzz as we discuss the Disney adventure boys, a stable of teen hunks who took their shirts off to demonstrate "wholesome American masculinity" during the late 1950s and early 1960s: Jeff East, Tim Considine, Roger Mobley, James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk.
"You'll have to hear the story, and guess.
Hollywood, May 1966
Randall was then Randy, a 26-year old twink, back in his home town of Los Angeles after eight years in Hawaii, Guam, and Germany. He moved into a tiny apartment on Crescent Heights, in what would one day be West Hollywood, got a job in set design, and reunited with his old friends, including actor Dick Sargent (the future star of Bewitched).
Dick introduced him to 26-year old Tommy Kirk (Old Yeller, The Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson) who had been fired from Disney last year when the studio discovered that he was gay. He was trying to keep his career afloat with some beach movies and low-budget thrillers, like It's a Bikini World and Psycho A-Go-Go.
The three of them were talking, and Randall mentioned his crush on a Disney Adventure Boy from a few years ago -- he'd be in his 20s by now.
"He's a really nice guy," Tommy said. "He and Annette are the only two of the old Disney gang who will talk to me now. But he's straight. He's got a girlfriend."
"Maybe she's a beard," Dick suggested. A woman you date as a cover. "And, straight or not, nobody can resist my impish grin."
"Or my...um...baseball bat," Randy bragged. "I'll bet you I can convince him to drop his pants in just two hours."
"That's nothing! I'll have him throwing my legs in the air in 45 minutes."
"Is that a challenge?"
"Sounds like an episode of Truth or Consequences," Tommy said. "Tell you what -- I'll arrange the meetings -- that's the truth. But I get to go down on the loser, the dude who doesn't get the boy. Those are the consequences."
Tales of West Hollywood.