Prior to being drafted into the
Army, Lon had been in a dozen movies in a seven year career in Hollywood which
began when he was only thirteen. He had been in Tom Sawyer, Babes In Arms, Henry
Aldrich, High School, Home in Indiana, Yankee Doodle Dancy, Gentleman Jim, and
the delightful Stage Door Canteen. After finishing Stage Door Canteen, he was
drafted and sent to Camp Crowder in l943. His stay there would be short.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor, the Army Signal Corps came to Hollywood and swore in
a number of key film makers who had volunteered many months before. David O.
Selznick, George Cukor, and Frank Capra were three of those key people.
Selznick was assigned to the regular army to head up a unit making Army Signal
Corps training films. Capra was assigned to Army Intelligence, later put under
OSS, and placed in charge of making propaganda films. Capra and Cukor were given
authority to grant a commission to anyone they needed. They recruited and
commissioned writers, cameramen, technicians, and anyone they needed to make
In Hollywood Lon had been close to George Cukor. And when Lon was drafted and
sent to Crowder, it took Cukor only a few weeks after Lon's basic training to
have him transferred to his propaganda movie-making unit, which was doing four
Lon was at Crowder only a little more than three months altogether. When he
left, he joined Cukor for the award-winning movie, Winged Victory, which also
starred Jeanne Crain, Judy Holiday, Red Buttons, Mario Lanza, and John Forsythe,
and was produced by Darryl Zanuck. He was never as sexy and talented as he was
in that particular film.
Dear busy, hustling Lacey had indeed made contact with Lon and his friends
during their short stay at Crowder, meeting them one late Friday night at the
Connor Roof. And, at least according to Lacey, for several weeks he was Lon's
sexmate, and the occasional sexmate to his two close Hollywood buddies who were
about Lon's age and who were known to me as "Tom" and "Tony."
Lon was cute and sexy beyond words, shorter than I had expected, and slender. He
had light complexion, sandy hair, dimples, lots of freckles on his face, a cute
turned-up Irish nose and very sparkling and revealing eyes. He was charming and
unpretentious, and responded to me as though we had been friends for years.
Everyone was an equal that night. From the suite of rooms, all of us recessed to
the Connor Roof where, for three hours, we had drinks (but coke for me) and
dinner and a lot of enlightening conversation. For the first time in my life I
realized that, whether or not I was ready to acknowledge my secret, like my
friends at the table, I was "gay," a term the group used over and over again to
label or name guys who like guys and like to have sex with them.
I came to know that in the great outside world there are many, many guys who,
like me, were also "gay," including, apparently, a high percentage of men in
show business. I wondered off and on during the evening just how A.J. Wyatt and
the Edwin Jackson group would react to being called "gay." Lon talked of dozens
of Hollywood stars and studio employees who were gay and with whom he had
enjoyed, or not enjoyed, having sex. He seemed to know all of them, actors,
writers, directors, editors, scene designers, costumers, and so forth. He had
lived in Los Angeles all of his life, having been born there in April of l924,
and was "discovered" when he was only twelve, when he was "picked up" by a
Lon's friends, Tom and Tony, were also in films, but I never knew what they did.
Like Lon, they were exceedingly gregarious, very interested in me, and very
sweet and kind. They were also quite handsome and sexy.
At eleven that evening the party adjourned to the adjoining rooms Lon and Tom
and Tony had rented for the weekend. On the way there, Lacey whispered to me
that everyone would have sex the rest of the night, and that if I didn't want to
do anything, or if I didn't like what was going on, I could leave and walk the
few blocks to his small apartment and spend the night. He even handed me a key.
I told him I wanted to wait to see what happened. I never did use the key to
Lacey's apartment that night.
I must have been a very attractive early teen-ager, because that evening I was
much in demand. I was a hundred and thirty pound, five-foot ten kid at the time,
with beautiful, curly auburn hair, a very pretty face with freckles, long arms
and legs. Moreover,
thanks to the eighteen months of experience in Rogers, and my experiences with
guys at the park, at the USO, and at the Canteen, I certainly was something of a
sophisticate, at age thirteen, in male to male sexual experience and bonding.
But the night at the Connor in Lon McCallister's suite, was really my first
involvement in the major league of group eroticism.
The next morning when I awoke, I was being cuddled by Lacey. Everyone else had
left to return to Camp. I never met them again.