Jul 20, 2017

Who is Tony Dow's Boyfriend?

This photo is causing a bit of speculation.

It looks like Venice Beach in Los Angeles (the cabana in the background says "Charter 0").

The guy on the left is Tony Dow, the teen hunk of Leave It to Beaver, shirtless, in his standard white shorts. Sometime in the early 1960s.

He's with a guy who is about his height and age, buffed, with a severe military haircut, wearing a dark t-shirt and cut-off jeans. They're both barefoot, and they both bulge to the left.

Tony is looking at the photographer, while the other guy is facing away, not sure what to do.  It's not a posed photo, it's a candid, two guys caught in an informal moment.  Hanging out together, or on a date.

But who is Tony's boyfriend?

I cropped the photo, but the original doesn't display any more information.  There are three guys sitting on the left, and there's a partial watermark: eart.ltd edit

Three possibilities have been suggested:

1. In "Wally the Lifeguard," a episode of Leave It to Beaver that aired on October 22, 1960, Wally thinks he has been hired as a lifeguard, and is embarrassed to discover that he will be selling hot dogs in a ridiculous outfit instead.  Some scenes are set at the beach, where the real life guard is played by 25-year old Dick Gering. Maybe he and Tony Dow bonded.

Severe military haircut, but the guy in the photo doesn't look like him.









2. Tommy Rettig, the star of Lassie, four years older than Tony Dow, became one of his closest friends during the early 1960s, and starred with him in Never Too Young (1965-66)

The guy in the photo is definitely not Tommy Rettig.
















3. John "Butchie" Davidson.  Not the actor, the physique model. He was in Los Angeles for only a few months in the spring of 1965 before shipping out to Vietnam (he died tragically en route).  But during those months, he starred in several Athletic Model Guild films and got the cover of Physique Pictorial.  

Same haircut, same hands, same face.

Tony Dow never appeared in Physique Pictorial, but he mostly likely knew about it.  It's not inconceivable that he met Butchie, and was showing him the sights that day when an anonymous photographer snapped his picture.

There are nude photos of John Davidson on Tales of West Hollywood.


Jul 19, 2017

Nude Wrestling in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Rock Island, July 2017

It's the morning after the most disgusting hookup ever.  Bob the 19-year old economics major and I are at having egg white omelets and fruit cups at the Quad Cities Pancake House.

"So, what's on the schedule for today?"  Bob asks.

"Chicago, about three hours from here.  We'll hit a couple of the museums, spend the night, and then drive on to Cleveland tomorrow."

"Would you mind if we take a little side-trip first?  I have a cousin I haven't seen since we were kids.  It's a couple of hours out of the way."

"Where?"

"Fond du Lac, Wisconsin."

4 hours out of the way!  But this is Bob's trip, too, so he should have a say in the itinerary.  Besides,  I have a history with Fond du Lac.


During my senior year in high school, although I was still Nazarene, I became obsessed with all things Catholic.  I read The Seven Story Mountain and The Dark Night of the Soul, learned to say the Rosary, and even went incognito into a Catholic Mass. I didn't actually convert, but I was considering it.

 And I considered applying to Marion College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

One day in January 1978, Dad drove me up for a tour.  I remember a vast snow-covered campus with round white buildings, pristine, pure, as quiet as a cloister.

You could feel the presence of God everywhere.

I imagined living in an austere dorm room, all white, empty except for a bed with white covers, some statues of saints, and a shelf of contemplative classics: the Little Flowers of St. Francis The Cloud of Unknowing.  Of walking among buildings of brilliant white other-worldly splendor every day, en route to my classes in medieval philosophy, Catholic theology, Ecclesiastical Latin, and Koine Greek.

On the four hour drive to Fond du Lac, Bob tells me more about Cousin Tark (short for Tarkington).  He's older than Bob, a big brother who used to babysit him and sneak him into R-rated movies, until he went away to college in Wisconsin, and then got a job in Fond du Lac.

"Was he cute?" I ask.

Not an athlete, but big and tall, with a thick beefy chest and nice biceps.

"Any sausage sightings?"

"Man, we used to wrestle in the nude.   Really big -- and thick!  Man, that thing was like a beer can!"

 A beer-can penis somehow seems out of place in a world of quiet contemplation.  Surely trivial matters like sex fade away when you are in the presence of the Divine.

The full post, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.


Tony Dow Stars in the Teen Soap "Never Too Young"

Never Too Young (1965-1966) is famous as the first teenage soap opera, an attempt to draw the Beatles crowd into daytime tv.

It was set in Malibu, where Alfy (David Watson) ran the High Dive, the local teen hangout, and negotiated the angst-ridden lives of three high school girls, Joy, Rhoda, and Susan, and their boys:

Dack Rambo, who would go on to star in All My Children and Dallas, played all-around good guy Tim (shown here with his twin brother Dirk Rambo).  Both were bisexual in real life.



John Lupton (shown here with Michael Ansara and, apparently, their child) played rich kid Frank.

















Tony Dow of Leave It to Beaver appeared in 10 episodes as brooding, always shirtless race car driver Chet.  Then he joined the California National Guard and temporarily retired from acting.

Tommy Rettig of Lassie played his boyfriend Jojo.











Michael Blodgett, a beefcake star of the 1960s, played injured football star Tad.

Never Too Young ran daily at 3:00 in the afternoon from September 27, 1965 through June 24, 1966.

That's a pitiable short life span for a soap; apparently teenagers were staying away in droves.  But not to worry, they grooved on the vampires and werewolves of its replacement, Dark Shadows















Only five episodes have survived  You can sometimes find them on Ebay.  But be warned, the reproduction is not very good.  Check out John Lupton's bulge, if you can.